23 October, 2020

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Kilinochchi Police Instil Fear To Stop Church Services

Today is the first Sunday after the second outbreak of COVID-19. In previous weeks and months services have been held according to Health Ministry guidelines, restricting numbers to 50 (or 50% of building capacity) by breaking up into multiple services, and strictly insisting on preventive measures like hand washing, wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing.

Department of Christian Religious Affairs: Are Catholics not Christians?

So there was little surprise when Circular CHA/ACC/COVID-19/2020 dated 9 Oct. 2020 was received by churches reiterating the same conditions as before. Churches readied accordingly. Thus, most churches that made do with 2 services and had returned to a single service as COVID-19 eased, now returned to two services again. Every other row of pews was blocked off with a rope or through removal. As necessary some had to move out of the main building and participate from outside verandahs looking in at the altar or pulpit through windows. 

Where the Holy Mass was celebrated with bread and wine, the old form of intinction was reintroduced to avoid infection by using the same cup. (The word intinction stems from Latin intinctio, intingere “to dip into” so the priest dips the host in the wine changing the words of administration to “The Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ”). Experts were not agreed on the origin of the practice. One said it comes from World War II when wine was scarce and intinction was resorted to, to save on the cost. Others claimed its origins to be older.

The shock came when the Kilinochchi police on 11  Oct. ordered Deacon Justin of St. Luke’s Tharmapuram to cancel the service. So also Rev. Fr. Daniel of St. Paul’s Kilinochchi was ordered to cancel the Eucharistic Service  which is an obligatory exercise on Sunday for Catholics. Referring to the Circular by the Department of Christian Religious Affairs did not help with the police. They were firm that services need to be cancelled. The Roman Catholics in Kilinochchi also desisted as announcements to stop were made from loudspeakers.

The Department of Christian Religious Affairs is a strange department indeed. In titling the circular “COVID 19 Restrictions in Catholic and Christian Churches” they seemed to suggest that Catholics are not Christians; whereas the reality is that all Catholics are Christians and not all Christians are Roman Catholics. More is expected of a department tasked with looking after Christian Religious affairs.

The government through the police seems intent on intimidating the poorer sections of Tamils who are more reluctant to insist on their rights or to disobey orders from the jack-booted police. A good part of the population in Kilinochchi and surroundings  is of Estate Tamil origin.  

Recently Colombo Telegraph highlighted in the article titled “Our Fears Keep Us Down, Bereft Of Freedoms,” how the intelligence services have been intruding on innocuous meetings in the Vavuniya area and insisting on permission for meetings. Strangely this time it is the Kilinochchi police who have been using the jackboots to instil fear and extract obedience from Tamils. 

The soft approach with state authorities towards the more powerful is evident. In Colombo for example, in May this year government officials on duty needed no curfew passes during curfew hours whereas in places like Jaffna the police insisted on lockdowns and curfew passes – as if to let the police enjoy bullying Tamils. The story of the Tamil Election Commission member being pursued through two police inquiries as to why he travelled from Colombo to Jaffna during non-curfew hours is still ongoing.

In Mannar, because the epidemic is centred round the powerful church, a certain relaxed leniency may be discerned. Several workers from Wennapuwa had come to Mannar to build an orphanage behind Bishop’s House. As soon as the Gampaha outbreak was announced, these workers, expecting liquor shops to be closed, had gone there where according to a witness the queue was near one-kilometer long and the distancing rule was ignored. Now the workmen are being tested. Two days since the test on 9  October of over 42, only some 27 results came back with 5 confirmed infections. The remaining 15 results came on 11 oct. with 3 positive. Fifty-one further tests were done on 10 October.  Two clergymen were also tested. One was declared free. The other is the diocesan accountant and had dealings with the workers in paying them. His test, rather ominously, was repeated with no result yet. Despite the seriousness only the Bishop’s House and the two villages of Periyakadai and Pattiththottam (together having over 800 families)  are in lockdown. Those working a few metres from these areas have been told “Come to work. But do not dilly dally here and there.”

Adding to the complications, a Mannar priest celebrated his ordination jubilee for which priests from all over came to felicitate him. Three priests from Jaffna who came are locked up in Bishop’s House Jaffna. Though tested two days ago, their results have not been released yet.

Generally no service in Jaffna was disrupted like those in Kilinochchi and Tharmapuram. Similarly services in Mullaitivu, Pallai, Uduthurai and Vavuniya proceeded unhindered.

Do the police in Kilinochchi have a Hitler Complex forcing their bloodthirst from the war days to take it out on minorities? (By Jaffna Correspondent)

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Latest comments

  • 5
    3

    What else can a civic-minded civil society except a mostly uncouth uneducated unsavoury to the core petty-minded Klu Klux clan petty racists who when they are attired in uniform andals serve in areas where the poor members of the minority communities are forced to live in?
    b.
    These unfit to hold any sort of billet in a decent society where hey will dare to harass the cardinal’s church in Colombo or the other influential dioceses.
    c.
    The war criminals in uniform, the petty racists in the present government along with the other nincompoop’s who are of value even to themselves will only try their vile conduct with these poverty-stricken poor living in pathetic conditions which are unfit for the wild beasts who due to no choice of theirs have to live in the jungles.d.
    They are warriors in pink pufta amudes with the weak who just do not have the capabilities to retaliate and just cannot fight back.

  • 4
    5

    Inter-faith dialog is important at this time.
    Covid 19 is a hoax, and attack on Society and Economy to destroy communication, social and political activism and to distract and to shut down the global economy and mask the Euro-American hybrid war on China and Asian and BRICS economies, also by Weaponizing Religions.
    Divide and Rule by Weaponizing religion and ethnicity is an old colonial game of Europe- UK and France in particular and the US CIA.
    Various new Charismatic churches and Racist Hindu outfits like Ravava Senai and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) funded by Canada and US and Australian networks with the Church of South India are involved in weaponizing religious identity in northeast Sri Lanka to de-stablize the country which is in the cross hairs of US-China rivalry. Like the Easter attacks that were staged by the US Special Operations Forces (SOF) to sign SOFA and MCC and set up US bases in Eastern Province and Mannar to protect Christians from Muslim terrorists. But ISIS is owned and operated by CIA we all know, with Mossad and Saudi funds.
    As the hybrid Cold War unfolds, Religions in Asian countries are being weaponized turned against themselves through creation of small outfits and networks like NTJ, BBS, Ravana Senai, Ravana Balaya, Mahasohon Balakaya, VHP, Word of Power Church in Trinco etc.

    • 2
      2

      Dinuk,
      Wow, what an intricate conspiracy theory! So, you’ve implicated many villains, even Australians. Don’t you think the Mexicans and Somalis would be offended at being left out?
      Oh, by the way, my compliments to that DRS lady!

  • 5
    1

    Well, at least the Director of the Christian affairs department is apparently not a Muslim or Hindu. Likely a Catholic.
    Still, I think the police are justified in shutting down all gatherings. But is this applied to Buddhist temples too? I know the local temple carries on regardless.

  • 9
    2

    Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs
    \
    The ministry’s letterhead clearly shows that we are headed towards a Buddhist theocracy. Not only are all other religions subordinated to Buddhism, even “cultural affairs” has been brought under the purview of Buddhist Khomeinis. Culture cannot be subsumed under religion as it occupies a much larger social space encompassing as it is the myriad activities of people. Many of which have nothing to do with religion but belong to the spheres of work, education, art, recreation, leisure and lifestyle. These spheres should be able to function autonomously in secular space without the religious gatekeepers. Paradoxically, it has been found that when people have the freedom to make their own lifestyle choices and pursue their creative interests, they lead lives that are far more ethical and spiritual than that of the jaded career religionists.
    \
    Looks like some angry zealots are running the state agencies under Gota. They seem to find some perverse pleasure in butting into other peoples’ personal lives. Get a life you sad people. The irony is, these self-appointed guardians of Buddhism are the ones wrecking the pristine wisdom of the Buddha, the greatest teacher the world has ever known. But they don’t care. Their real motivation is the domination of civil society by the Buddhist oligarchy.
    \
    Down with the thought police.
    Down with the culture police.
    Down with police culture.

  • 8
    2

    So where is cardinal ranjith malcolm the man catholic buddhist . ?? Is he silent because the affected people are Tamil Christians?? Awake up man of you are a TRUE Christian speak up!!

    • 5
      4

      Umberto.
      The cardinal who is well known for gyrating sensuously with shiranthi alimapuka will not protest as the affected by this are penniless Tamil peasants of no commercial value.
      b.
      He has one set of keys for the rich of any caste or creed and none for the beggar class.
      c.
      Sad but true another pre preethi undesirable birth by no planning case.

    • 0
      0

      As there was only one Cardinal that office had meaning and reverence before Malcolm Ranjith.
      I don’t know what sins Catholics committed to be saddled with pain and suffering.

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