24 September, 2020

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His Master’s Voice

By Harsha Gunasena

Harsha Gunasena

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith delivered a political speech at the re-opening of Katuwapitiya  St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo. Religious leaders can make political speeches, but the issue is, that certain sections of the society think that this is gospel truth. When many Buddhist Bhikkus they speak politics it is visible that they favour someone. The cardinal is careful. His approach soon after the Easter Sunday attacks eased communal tension. He appealed to the Roman Catholic community to stay calm, and he commanded respect for his initial statements and actions. But he lost  credibility subsequently due to his political approach. Katuwapitiya speech shows where his political affiliation lies. 

In recent past he has given a speech condemning the human rights promoted by the Western states and said that it was not necessary to promote human rights when the religions are in existence. He said that we should be concerned about the age-old culture of this country rather than human rights. Minister Mangala Samaraweera responded to this backward speech by issuing a twitter message. Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa quickly defended the cardinal’s ‘gospel truth’

He has criticized human rights at the Katuwapitiya speech as well. He alleged that the government has weakened intelligence services. The origin of human rights in the West was Manga Carta signed between King John of England and the barons in 1215. It protected the rights of the Church, then under the Pope and protected the barons from illegal imprisonment. The rise of human right movement in the West was linked to the rise of Protestant movement against the Roman Catholic Church. In 16th century Martin Luther who opposed the Roman Catholic Church was excommunicated from the Church. Church of England was established by Henry VIII in 16th century breaking away from the authority of the Pope. The milestones of the human rights movement were grabbing the power by Oliver Cromwell in England in 17th century by expelling the king of England, English Bill of Rights in 1689, Declaration of Independence by United States in 1776 and the French Revolution in 1789. Human rights in the West were the result of the prolonged struggles against the authoritative kings and against the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. The cardinal cannot place religion ahead of human rights, instead religion should be a source that  ensures the human rights of the people.

I quote from Pope Francis, who is widely considered  a progressive religious leader, for the knowledge of those who believe in ‘gospel truths’ of the cardinal. “The right to life is the first among human rights” The cardinal is emphasizing this human right of the people who lost their lives at the Easter attack. Therefore, he should talk in favor of human rights rather than talking against it. In our constitution, third paragraph is dedicated to human rights and as a nation we were a signatory to Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  

During the last regime condition of human rights of this country deteriorated to a very low level. Lasantha Wikrematunge was assassinated. Several journalists were attacked. Some were kidnapped and were released later. Prageeth Ekneligoda was disappeared. Thajudeen was murdered and they pass it off as  an accident. Top police officers and medical officers tried to cover this up. Prisoners at Welikada were murdered in an operation. Officers of Navy kidnapped students for ransom and later killed them. Cronies of Rajapaksa raped women and were engaged in various high handed acts. Law was not enforced against Rajapaksa clan and his cronies.

Intention of the cardinal to condemn human rights is nothing else but to endorse the activities of the previous regime. Pope at that time rejected Magna Carta saying that it was imposed on the king by the barons. The king also rejected it paving the way to a civil war in England. During that time Pope was in the side of the oppressor. Present Roman Catholic Church and the Pope are not in the side of oppressors. Therefore Cardinal should follow suit. His master should be the Pope, not Rajapaksa. His voice should be Pope’s voice not Rajapaksa’s voice.

Police has identified the intelligence officers who were responsible for most of the murders and they were arrested. The story promoted by extremist elements such as Gnanasara Thero and supporters of Rajapaksa that this government destroyed the intelligence services was false. Is it the duty of the intelligence services to kill the political opponents of an existing government? Is it the duty of the intelligence services to kill and intimidate journalists? Is it the duty of the war heroes to kidnap students for ransom and later kill them? The cardinal meant that these arrests weakened the intelligence services since it was the recent rhetoric. This was endorsing the activities of the previous government.

Based on a news item of Divayina newspaper the cardinal said that the leader of ISIS was in the custody of a powerful country and the Ester attack was an international conspiracy. It was not fit for a religious leader to get evidence from a newspaper such as Divayina since we have noticed the impact, they have caused by publishing unfounded story of Dr. Safi. The cardinal indirectly accused the United States. Rajapaksa regime made Sri Lanka aligned with China. United States told us to settle things with India during the time of JR Jayewardene. United States became interested in Sri Lanka after Rajapaksa made Sri Lanka aligned  with China. However, in this power struggle it is the policy of Rajapaksa clan to blame the United States in public. The cardinal follows the same.

President Sirisena has responded to the cardinal’s speech by saying that politicians go before the people and they are prepared to go home if the people wants so. However, Cardinals are appointed by the Pope and they are not required to go before the people. would not go before the people and would not go home easily.

We understand the grief of the cardinal. We understand the grief of the Christians who faced this tragedy. We understand the grief of Muslims who lost their property and who were suppressed. We know that the President has betrayed his responsibility. We know that the President and the Prime Minister have not taken prompt action when the communal riots were erupted. The President and the Prime Minister do not utter a strong word in favor of communal harmony let alone the action. We are disappointed with both of them. We also feel sorry that the Cardinal of the country has become a political voice of someone else rather than the spiritual voice of the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope.

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Latest comments

  • 12
    39

    Mr Gunasena.
    Who are you?
    “We understand the grief of the cardinal. We understand the grief of the Christians who faced this tragedy”
    No you don’t. You are lying. You are worried that UNP lost some votes. What you are telling the Cardinal is bury your dead, say your prayers and go home.

    Soma

    • 11
      32

      Mr. Gunesena,

      The Cardinal understands geopolitics and international relations much better than you do and it was because of his leadership that the country avoided a blood bath after the Easter attacks which were meant to destablize the country and cause religious violance.
      The Easter attacks were organized by the US Special Operations Forces (SOF) to pass SOFA and turn Sri Lanka in a military base under the pretext of fighting IS terrorism, though it is the SOF that now owns and operates ISIS,.
      The International Court of Justice Ruled against the US base Diego Garcia recently and the US needs another base in the Indian Ocean to fight China.

      • 28
        5

        How can you be so stupid to say the us special forces organized the attacks.

        • 9
          2

          Have any of ye noticed that the man the cardinal represents ……… never wore a fancy-dress costume to preach?

          He was a simple man in simple attire who preached a profound message. A message – like Buddha’s – still resonates through the ages ………

          He stood against the corruption of the church of his day ……… and got nailed to a cross.

          The genuinely profound last the test of time …….. the others; here today gone tomorrow

          In spite of people’s great innate desire to be stupid there is an unfelt inner “sixth-sense” that keeps people subconsciously aware of the truth ………… If not, how else would’ve Christ’s and Buddha’s utterances survived for so long?


          “One crucial disadvantage about the end of metaphysical views is that the individual looks his own short life span too squarely in the eye and feels no strong incentive to build on enduring institutions, designed for the ages.” — Ol’ Federico


          Has anyone seen Native; Native Veddah? …….. Have people already forgotten him; like they have forgotten the Cardinal, the reverend, Ganasara, Ratana, SWRD, JR, CBK, Prabakaran, Balasingham ……. ?

          He better forget his minor squabbles with the ladies; Champa, Ramona, et al ………….. and start speaking for the ages ………….

          • 7
            0

            nimal fernando

            “Has anyone seen Native; Native Veddah? “

            Recently my Elders warned me quoting Mark Twain “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
            Therefore I thought it’s time I took note of their advice. I also thought when you are around to argue with them why waste my time by duplicating your demolition job/work?

            • 3
              0

              So, taking the moral high-ground, eh? :))

              With what audio aparatus/system do you listen to your music, Jim Reeves, Neil Dimond et al ?

              • 2
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                nimal fernando

                Now its youtube

                • 3
                  0

                  Native,

                  YouTube, through the computer speakers and electronics?

                  If so, you are missing out on the quality of sound. There are some good audio gear out there that are reasonably priced.

                  Search/Google for “Kondo Ongaku” and read up on it. They cost as much as houses but I could recommend some that sound very similar for much less money.

      • 15
        1

        Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith is a shameless Rajapakshe stooge who obtained personal favors from the Rajapakshe government and therefore it is obvious that the Cardinal will be obliged to preach a political sermon for favors granted to him. Now he has started his political campaign in favor of SLPP and the Rajapakshes. Now, some Catholics who were staunch UNPers for many decades are now planning to vote for the SLPP due to the Cardinal. This Cardinal is a disgrace to the Catholics of Sri Lanka and the majority of Catholics are not happy with the way the Cardinal has been supporting the racist ideology of the Rajapakshes and the joint opposition.

        • 1
          8

          We Catholic unp era’s if at all vote against it not because of Cardinal who sincerely stood by the church he leads. It is because of the worst ever crazy arrogant RW who shamelessly and selfishly destroyed the party. Don’t blame the Cardinal for that, he feels the pain and the agony of those who suffer due to the heinous crime. Catholics need not care for MR,RW or GMS cause the saviour is around the corner , SP !!!

        • 0
          10

          Malcolm you are nothing but a uneducated UNP stooge. Cardinal Ranjith is a person who openly declined favours from politicians. The UNP is full of ‘Samanalayas’. Sodomy practised under the guise of LGBT is not acceptable to people who believe in any religion.

          • 4
            1

            You seem to be ignorant that Malcolm Ranjith (not fit to be referred to as Cardinal) had his niece Ruvini Cooray, with no proper qualifications, given a diplomatic post post first in the Philippines and then in France, under the previous regime.

            You also have forgotten that he was silent when so many atrocities were committed under the previous regime.

            In addition he turned a blind eye and made no protest when the picture of the Holy Father was used as election propaganda during the last Presidential elections.

            We all know where his loyalties lie, except YOU.

      • 10
        3

        I am expecting very soon a statement from the Cardinal that Jesus Christ was born in Sri Lanka, just as some Buddhists claim for the Buddha. This will legitize the fact that he is under the control of foreigners in Rome.

    • 21
      4

      Soma,
      Who are you to ask the question about the author. Are you afraid of the truth?

    • 10
      1

      Soma,
      I don’t think that you have paid enough attention to Cardinal’s statement attacking HR demands from the west. Assuming for moment that he is correct, then shouldn’t he be responsible for representing a foreign cultural force that destroyed the SL traditional value system? Shouldn’t he apologize for forced proselytization by the westerners (Portuguese, Dutch & British)?
      The truth is that Cardinal, like a cheap politician, is playing to the gallery in a disgusting effort to “white wash” MaRa’s brutal past and thereby offering him a kind of “political Easter Resurrection”. Cardinal echoing MaRa’s interpretation for the reason for intelligence failure follows the line.
      Soma, sorry to say this but I cannot escape from the inevitable conclusion: Cardinal Ranjith is a disgrace to the religious values all humans cherish. However, his stand may not necessarily disagree with the old Roman Catholic system that stood alongside with pre-democratic brutal western feudal regimes which finally had to surrender (unwillingly, of course) to the HR movement we enjoy today! What was true for Europe is true for SL as well.

      • 1
        4

        DP The UN is the organisation used by the powerful western countries to get the developing and underdeveloped countries to do their bidding. The UNHRC was called ‘cesspit’ by it’s biggest financial contributor USA. Where are the religious values of the western nations today. The human body has organs to perform specific body functions. The mouth is there for the intake of food and for speech. The back passage is there to excrete. If under human rights people believe that organs of the body can be (LGBT) used to gratify their sexual (especially as a right) urges there is something wrong mentally because even animals know the differences in gender.

    • 10
      2

      The Catholic Church should not get into politics.

      The sanctuary of the altar of the Catholic Church is very sacred. The tabernacle is the abode of the Blessed Sacrament and the Lord Jesus Christ is truly present. Thus one should not desecrate the sacred Sanctuary by giving political speeches from the Sanctuary. Only the word of the Lord Jesus Christ should be preached.

      • 2
        0

        Tony, you just said it in a very short and sweet way.

    • 4
      0

      somu

      “What you are telling the Cardinal is bury your dead, say your prayers and go home.”

      So you want Mahinda to fish in troubled waters?
      What is the Cardinal angling for?
      I suggest he stop being a secret cross dresser and convert to Sinhala/Buddhism. Is there a remedial ceremony for “Reverse Baptism”?

  • 38
    5

    Listening to the cardinal’s speech, there was no doubt whose ideas he was echoing. He is a hypocrite who has betrayed his master Jesus Christ & is getting bolder now that he thinks his friends are close to gaining power.
    Sadly there is no doubt that Sirisena & Ranil are the most inept & spineless duo who got elected in our 70 year history. But to equate the arrest of people who committed murder as the cause for the weakening of the intelligence services is to condone all the dirty stuff they did.
    His distaste for human rights shows his longing for the ancient times when religion was in cahoots with the state & you could burn people who oppose you at the stake.

  • 28
    2

    My ancestral home is next to Weliveriya. I have attended mass at St Anthony church many times. Weliveriya once was a proud catholic community. Now the demography has changed. Besides that, when the people protested about the water issue, everybody knows what happened. Two kids from St Peters Gampaha died. When people ran to the Church for sanctuary, they were shot as well, There are bullet marks. Search the internet, you will find Video clips.
    Roshen Chanaka was asking for his ETF and EPF, he was shot a catholic, the fisher man from Chilaw was shot , he was a catholic, his crime was asking to reduce the gas price. Part of his head was missing.
    Christianity( including all denominations) in general. in Sri Lanka is the only religion that can boast the participation of Sinhalese, Tamil and Burghers. If I walk in to Sunday mass in Kandy I can bet, that there are all three in the Church at the same time.
    I am not condoning terrorism. However, when northern operations were done, thousands died, including Catholics.
    Where was the outrage from the Cardinal?
    Was it because then rulers had a backbone?
    or was it because, his favorites Mahinda and Gota was in power? or was it because Cardinal got free medical care from Mahind’s hora dosthara ( search the internet, you will find picture cardinal showing his leg to hora)? or was it because, some of Cardinal’s relatives are given jobs in Sri Lanka foreign service?
    Just recently he was head saying he was ashamed to say that Ranjan Ramanayake was a catholic. So it is good to criticize Muslims but not other religions. Does religion matter to bring bad to the surface? Is’nt it better to prevent it rather than go to confession and say I know is this happening?
    Where was Cardinal and where was his outrage when poor muslims were kicked out from Negombo “pola” ?

  • 23
    2

    The Cardinal appears to have commenced the Election propaganda on behalf of the Rajapakses.
    Catholic vote is for Rajapakses? The Muslim vote is being carefully cultivated by Ranil by giving in to all their demands.Where does the Tamil vote go? Ranil ,Sajith or Karu or for that matter ANYONE PUT FORWARD BY THE UNP?
    But one thing is certain. TNA would have to pack up their bags after the General Election!
    Adios Amigos!

    • 2
      1

      The Catholic vote was never for the Rajapakses even when the picture of the Pope was used as election propaganda at the last presidential election.

  • 30
    3

    He is not a God’s servant, but rather a Godfather. He’s openly a Sinhala majoritarian racist and a socially conservative medieval bigot. He has taken these ideological positions to cover his financial and sexual crimes with the help of the Rajapaksa Mafia. That’s all there to his relentless moral and political pontifications. This Satan should not think Sri Lankans are stupid. The Easter Bombings took place not because the intelligence services were weakened, but rather because they have been infiltrated by the Rajapaksa Deep State set up by Gota when they were in power. This clandestine network is still intact within the entire state machinery sabotaging the work of the bureaucracy, judiciary, intelligence, police and the armed forces. Is there any mystery why there has not been even one single conviction for the countless deadly crimes committed by the Rajapaksa clan and their political stooges. To any keen observer it is evident that this deep state has penetrated even professional organizations, such as the GMOA, lawyers’ associations, the academe, and of course the Media especially Sirasa, Hiru and Derana. It is also linked with shadowy organizations like the BBS, Ravana Balaya, Mahason Balakaya, Sinha Le. Our Godfather is its agent in the Catholic Church. This network is the deadly force behind many staged street demonstrations by monks and students, political strikes by trade unions (especially the GMOA, Railway & teachers), and anti-Muslim riots at Aluthgama, Digana, Amparai, Minuwangoda, Kurunegala, etc. And these past years, Gota’s Deep State has also been entertaining Sri Lankans with a kind of Theatre of the Absurd combined with elements of the grotesque and evil: Grease Yakku, Awa Kalliya, Sira-Mara Coup Fiasco, Dr. Shafi and 1001 Fallopian Tubes, etc. etc.

    • 2
      10

      Ajay, Cardinal Malcolm is a Sri Lankan, he is from the majoritarian Sinhala community and we Sinhala Catholics are proud of him and his actions. Sri lankans like you are definitely stupid and that is why you brought in the Maithri /Ranil government. What exactly has this government achieved during the past 4 1/2 years? You made so many allegations / accusations about the Rajapakse’s to win the 2015 election but have you been able to prove one single case. It is a pity that as a keen observer you do seem to ignore the Ranil masterminded biggest day light bank robbery. The sale of the century happening under this UNP government of the nations assets.
      The Easter bombings by Muslim fanatics was due to the negligence of Maithri / Ranil government.

  • 2
    29

    His eminence is quite forthright in his criticism of the way the investigations into the massacres on Easter Sunday are being handled. As the religious leader of the persons who were subject to this heinous crime he is entitled to articulate his views openly . Clearly, there are many who feel uncomfortable by his frankness.

    • 11
      2

      Where was this ‘so called’ cardinal when pictures of the Holy Father Pope Francis was used as election propaganda at the last Presidential election?
      He didn’t utter a word. He opens his mouth when he should keep it shut and keeps it shut when he should open it. Shameless man!

      • 1
        3

        Are you definitely a catholic.

    • 12
      2

      His Eminence is biased when he says that the investigations are not done properly. He is just repeating what normal uninformed people say. Investigations into this type of crime takes time, patience & is not as easy as shown on tv dramas.
      Remember Lasantha’s & Thajudeen’s murder cases? How much time has lapsed since those crimes were committed? But credit to the honest & skillful police officers who managed to uncover the details despite the roadblocks. The cardinal should stop shooting his mouth off & practice what he preaches. Pray to God Almighty to give wisdom to the investigators so that justice could be done.

  • 12
    2

    Dear Readers,
    It is well known that Malcolm Ranjith was made a Cardinal consequent to Mahinda and Shiranthi meeting Pope after the 2009 war. It is said that Pope has inquired what can he do for Sri Lanka and the answer came back (Shiranthi being a Catholic) “Give us a Cardinal”.

    If the Easter bomb blast happened when Mahinda was the President I am sure whilst the Cardinal would have still appealed to the Catholics to remain quiet (no Catholic would have any other obvious option anyway) he would have found a way to exonerate Mahinda and put the blame as a conspiracy of Mahinda’s opponents!
    A Devout Weeping Catholic

    • 11
      2

      You hit the nail on the head!

    • 2
      7

      Devout Catholic you must privy to discussions and decisions of the Pope. Cardinals are not appointed on the recommendations of Heads of state or politicians.
      Please go on weeping because t is so called Catholics like you who brought this incompetent UNP government and brought the country to its knees.

      • 3
        0

        Hai Lanka ,
        You are a great Rajapakse stooge, aren’t you?
        Why does Cardinal bum suck Rajapakse’s so much? Remember as soon as the Easter bomb went off Gotabaya (who has no political status now) made one beeline to the beloved Cardinal to exploit the opportunity.
        The weeping Catholic can only laugh at your statement!
        Weeping Catholic

      • 2
        0

        You seem to be quite ignorant. Cardinals are appointed by the Holy Father in consultation with the Head of State of the respective country. In this case, when Mahinda Rajapakse and his wife visited the Vatican, Pope John Paul II had inquired – “what can I do for Sri Lanka?” and prompt came the response – ‘give us a Cardinal’ . It was on this recommendation that Malcolm Ranjith was appointed Cardinal.

  • 11
    1

    I am a Catholic and so are several of my friends. We do not consider this treacherous scumbag Malcolm Ranjith to represent us. He thinks he is a bloody self appointed leader of the Catholic flock.
    He is a racist (anti Tamil) and a schemer who should give up his robe and contest at the next election.
    The damage he does to us Catholics is immense and embarassing.
    You will never hear the Mahanayake of Malwatte make a political speech from his temple in Kandy.

  • 1
    6

    Mike: You said: ” You will never hear the Mahanayke of Malwatte make a political speech from his temple in Kandy”. Please CHECK your hearing senses. I feel there is some serious problem with that “SENSE” of hearing functioning within your physical body.

    • 1
      0

      Whatever the Mahanayakes do is not the business of the Catholic faithful. As a religious leader, this ‘so called’ cardinal SHOULD NOT get involved in political matters.

  • 5
    3

    Harsha Gunasena,
    Well said.

  • 3
    0

    The Ten Commandments are quite clear.

    https://scripturememory.com/10commandments?gclid=EAIaIQobChMImPOzgffU4wIVEVYMCh2AuQlEEAAYASAAEgIkw_D_BwE

    They are rules to be followed by Christians and their leaders.
    The Cardinal is one of them

  • 8
    1

    This Cardinal is a puppet of Mahinda Rajapakse for all the “Santhosams” he got from Mahinda when Mahinda was in power. When the non-Catholic places of worship were attacked by Buddhist Monks this Cardinal came out and declared that there were no such attacks. There were clear video clips available to prove such attacks happened. He in the recent past has made statements bordering racism, religious hate and above all against human rights. He is against foreign involvement in the country when the country is totally dependent on exports to foreign countries and for the import of oil. He himself has been appointed by a foreign Pope and has the audacity to claim foreign influence in SL in any form is not necessary.

    He is putting the lives of Catholics in SL in danger. Its time the Catholics petition Pope and kick him out of his position and nominate a Cardinal by themselves than a foreign appointed Cardinal.

  • 3
    1

    This guy seems, not only seems to be he proves to be ignonorant and pathetic when real facts are considered.

  • 6
    2

    MaRa bought over the Cardinal sometime ago by appointing his niece to one of our foreign embassies.
    MaRa in that sense is great; The Cardinal has sold his soul; Damn shame!

  • 3
    4

    Devout Catholic you must privy to discussions and decisions of the Pope. Cardinals are not appointed on the recommendations of Heads of state or politicians.
    Please go on weeping because t is so called Catholics like you who brought this incompetent UNP government and brought the country to its knees.

  • 5
    0

    “MaRa bought over the Cardinal sometime ago by appointing his niece to one of our foreign embassies”
    Not only his niece, his Brother-in-Law too was given a DPL posting through Cardinal’s connections with Rajapakses. Further Cardinal’s support for Death Sentence is totally against the Catholic Doctrine. Pope Francis even repeated it within one week of Cardinal’s statement supporting the Death Sentence. Catholic Church and more precisely Pope Francis Canonized Archbishop Oscar Romero last October in recognition of his Martyrdom for fighting against Sandinista Forces to uphold human rights of Salvadorians. Further even UN has declared March 24th as the World Human Rights Day, which is the death Anniversary of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Cardinal MR’s name appeared in Wikileaks to show how Cardinal had white washed Rajapakses during the war. However, Cardinal did not utter a word against kidnapping and extra judicial killings of innocent people, including Catholic Priests during that time. Not a hum when Armed Forces fired at St. Anthony’s Church Weliveriya and when Catholic Nuns were threatened with rifles. No protests when Nuns at Mother Theresa’s Home at Rawatawatte were Remanded, until Italian press criticized the Cardinal’s inaction. We Catholics can even write pages about this political Cardinal.

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