19 September, 2019

Blog

My Good Friend Carlo Fonseka Is Gone

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Note: As I bemoan my loss as well as mankind’s, I am thankful to God for three things. First that Carlo joked about the Newton obituary at the end of this article saying it was premature. Indeed he outlasted it by 3 years. Second, it was last week that I got a chance to visit him at the National Hospital. His request to me was that I visit a 42 year old Tamil man Jesuthasan he had befriended who was alone and awaiting a difficult heart operation. That is the man Carlo was. He remembered only “Intensive care”. I found Jesuthasan and visited him too.

Now the third. Carlo was an avowed atheist. He has dedicated his body to a medical school. However, he took his wife to Church regularly. I remind Aunty Carlo of the promise to her through Acts of the Apostles, 16: 30-31 because of her faith: Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.” 


Prof. Carlo Fonseka

Time was when science was just one endeavour of many for the great scientists of the world.  For example, Sir Isaac Newton was a true polymath –  a celebrated master of astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, physics and theology1. Another polymath was The Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, more popularly known by his pen name Lewis Carroll. He was an Oxford mathematician, Anglican theologian, musician, author, publisher and the political scientist to whom is attributed the electoral system of proportional representation which is presently the subject of raging debates in Sri Lanka and a matter of personal interest to me.

Science now, however, is so specialized with small incremental advances that there are few polymaths today. Carlo Fonseka, MBBS (First Class) University of Ceylon, Ph.D. University of Edinburgh, Emeritus Professor of Physiology of the University of Ceylon (now Colombo), is such an exception – engaging in medicine, management of public bodies, theology, music, leftwing Trotskyite politics, and many other things and bringing these to the public through op-ed pieces, radio and television talk shows.

This book under review consists of a collected volume of his selected writings and speeches over a lifetime on diverse topics such as medicine, science, philosophy and ethics, religion, economics, politics, education, the arts, biographies he has written and his travel experience. The selection has 34 essays written between 1971 and 2014. Of particular note is his first chapter, appropriately titled “To Err was Fatal”, where in his honesty he details the five deaths he attributes to his erroneous interventions, where it is clear that he is being too hard on himself.

The book has been reviewed in many places as is natural for one from a much-loved public personality. I do not wish to detail the book and take away the thrills of reading it. What I will focus on is Carlo the man. For that is relevant to understanding what he writes.

Carlo Fonseka graduated MBBS from the University of Ceylon and earned his doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. His doctoral work on how the pituitary gland puts out Growth Hormone has become the stuff of textbooks. 

Greatness in life involves the ability to communicate. Almost all great men evince this truth. Most successful men in Sri Lanka are no exceptions and products of the church and her schools which gave them their skills. To cite one striking example, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was a product of Anglican education. Most public spokesmen of the LTTE were Tamil Christians although for its membership of the LTTE was rarely able to draw from Christians. 

Likewise, Carlo is a complete product of the Roman Catholic Church and her St. Joseph’s College, Colombo. His versatility with the English language is such that I have met a doctor who a generation later preserves his handwritten notes on physiology as Carlo lectured as a monumental work of literature. Around the year 2004, we shared the same office while being members of the UGC and, in the absence of his secretary, I had the pleasure as his friend of typing his articles as he dictated. They were always perfect on the first go. (Unfortunately the privileges of high-up government service had then prevented him from learning the computer. It appears that he has become computerate though not to the degree that he is literate).

However, communication alone is not enough for greatness. The absence of taboos is another dimension of greatness. For example, in his stark honesty, he once confessed to me of how his conjugal engagements early into marriage in his house officers’ quarters inordinately delayed him from visiting a patient in the ward. In his linguistic dexterity with command of the English language, he put it so elegantly whereas from another man it might have seemed crude vulgarity. It is that attitude and skill of his that gave the world the privilege of reading how medical negligence does lead to deaths even from caring, ethical doctors.

The medical school could not keep Carlo engaged in the pedestrian activities of a university where today we 

1. Split what can be meaningful papers into small inane bits to play the numbers game (where administrators count papers because in the specialized world of science they cannot know the difference through actually reading the papers), 

2. Have journals which will publish anything for a fee, and so many citation indexes that make a mockery of journal evaluations, 

3. See university administrations claiming  that grant money is important as research because overheads give them the best offices in a university, 

4. Recognize even university ranking is subject to gaming, and

5. Every metric to measure quality is countered by clever academics by another metric they invent to cheat the system2.

Carlo I am sure saw this deterioration of the university ethos early and left behind his high powered research in physiology to work on more important things like superstitions, politics and religion. By far his most successful endeavour is his world-famous demolition of the myths behind fire-walking. Drawing from my upcoming textbook3,

“Carlo Fonseka became most famous for his scientific elucidation and personal demonstration of how fire-walking is done by Buddhist and Hindu devotees who walk across embers without burning themselves. He starred in a British documentary where he fire-walked, an area where others feared to tread and came a cropper by fire walking to show it can be done by anyone and in the process burnt their soles badly. 

To demonstrate that there is nothing religious, Carlo and his team deliberately downed arrack (the local brew) and pork (which devotees abstain from to acquire spiritual power to do the magical walk) before successfully fire walking in front of British TV cameras with British science fiction writer Arthur C. Clark watching.

Carlo came out with the rules of how it is done – walking fast without allowing the soles to heat enough to reach ignition point to burn the flesh, and making the rectangular fire bed wide to make it seem big while the length one walks across is narrow, thereby giving the impression of walking across a large bed of embers, etc. He showed that the thick soles of the fire walkers who never use footwear also helped.

Carlo’s forays into politics, however, were a disaster because, although he acted with integrity, his associates did not. As a member of the Trotskyite Lanka Sama Samasamaja Party (LSSP), Carlo and his LSSP friends under the late N.M. Perera, D.Sc. Lond., did Tamils proud by standing up for Tamil rights and parity of status for Tamil with Sinhalese. However, as the LSSP realized that the policy was not winning them votes, they abandoned their noble ideals. Carlo had to lapse into silence. 

As the political culture in Sri Lanka deteriorated, Carlo withdrew into religion and music and cultivated a new hairdo to match. Whether for better or worse I am unable to decide.  He completed an MA degree in Buddhism. Initiated into Sinhalese music at St. Joseph’s College, he has made a name for himself as a popular musician and one of his lyrics is now sung at Sinhalese weddings as the bride goes away and others are used in award winning movies.

In 2005 President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, the widow of slain leader Vijaya Kumaratunga (Carlo’s elder sister’s son) was rooting for her brother Anura Bandaranaike to succeed her as the Sri Lanka Freedom Party leader while Mahinda Rajapakse staked his own claim. Carlo inclined toward Rajapakse. As we sat in our office together, he mused that as he was playing with his favorite grandnephew (Chandrika’s son), Chandrika reminded him, “Carlo Maamaa [Uncle], remember he is Anura’s nephew.” That stopped Carlo short of an outright endorsement of the Mahinda Rajapakse candidature except for an op-ed praising Mahinda’s father George Rajapakse.

Again later as the LSSP alliance with the Rajapakse regime continued while the government soured with the people, and was summarily voted out in presidential and general elections in the year 2015, his loyalty to the LSSP kept him silent as many unsavoury things went on. Everyone made money, but not Carlo. The only money he made was when he fled Sri Lanka in March 1988 after making a strong eulogy condemning the killers at the funeral of his nephew Vijeya Kumaratunga who had been murdered by the JVP insurgents, to accept an appointment at the UN University in Helsinki. He told me that he returned with US$30,000 with which he built his house and gave the rest for his children’s education. His foreign travels were limited because of his membership in a community party. The US embassy refused him a visa even for official trips because there was ban on visas for communists. Besides the house, Carlo’s only sign of wealth is his Micro Car.

This period saw Carlo working quietly in administration. The best testament to his value as a person is that when the government changed in 2015, he handed in his resignation from the posts of President of Sri Lanka Medical Council and Chairman of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol. However, his letters of resignation were promptly returned by the new President. Such is the perception of him as being politically conscious and yet above politics.

Thus in conclusion we may say of Carlo what Newton’s tomb at Westminster Abbey says in Latin:  “Mortals rejoice that there has existed such and so great an ornament of the human race!” 

Thankfully it is much too early for a real eulogy for Carlo. God Bless him and give us many more years of his insightful and sharp mind.

References:

1. http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/famous-inventors/5-isaac-newton-inventions.htm

2. Hoole, S.R.H., “Gaming Performance Measures: Institutional and Individual,” IETE Technical Review. Accepted. In press.

5. Hoole, S.R.H.  and Hoole, M.M. and Hoole, Dushyanthi, Ethics for Professionals – a Human Rights, Internationalist Perspective, Cognella Publishers, San Diego, CA, 2018.

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  • 4
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    This is incorrect “Mahinda’s father George Rajapakse” . mahinda’s father was Don Alvin Rajapaksa. please correct this before it get fossilised.

    • 3
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      The fact that two people from opposite ends of the political spectrum, Prof.Hoole and Malinda Seneviratna have eulogized CF says something about the man.
      “Most successful men in Sri Lanka are no exceptions and products of the church and her schools which gave them their skills”.
      True about CF . In spite of all the carping about forced conversions , cultural distortions etc. here is a man who entered SJC as a Catholic, and came out as an atheist and connoisseur of Sinhala culture. But then SJC also produced Mohan Pieris and Dayan Jayatillaka.
      Still, the only Sri Lankan scientist of serious international repute was from St. Aloysius’ College, Galle , which was run by dedicated Jesuits who even had a mini observatory which set Cyril Ponnamperuma on his career.
      To those who condemn CF for being a Marxist, I would ask why so many brilliant people take to Marxism? Is there something about the idea that we can’t see? If we are talking about democracy, where is that to be found? In the USA, where black people drank from separate fountains when CF was a young man? Or the UK, where the head of state cannot be a Catholic?
      At the very least, Marxism destroyed the power of the Church in Russia. We need something similar to deal with monks who interpret the Constitution.
      I admired CF when he did his firewalking stunt , and collaborated with Dr. Kovoor in his campaign against astrology and witchcraft. I think he was wrong to join the Rajapaksa bandwagon, but maybe that was out a sense of solidarity with his LSSP comrades.

      • 6
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        Old Codger

        Apropos your
        ‘In the USA, where black people drank from separate fountains when CF was a young man?’ . . .and may I add, where in time a black man (or should I say a half black-half white man) became President.
        and,
        ‘Or the UK, where the head of state cannot be a Catholic?’ . . . and may I add, similarly in Sri Lanka, where only a Sinhala-Buddhist can ever be Head of State.

        Just for balance.

        • 5
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          SK,
          I didn’t mention Sri Lanka to avoid hurting the sentiments of the gullible masses.
          People who believe that Sri Lanka is a democracy need to see a shrink. Just for balance !

      • 1
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        Old Codger, You focus on irrelevant unanswerable personal minutae as if they are laws. Most brilliant people don’t take to Marxism and the power of the church in Russia is still very intact, Putin openly being a member now, though he was secretly baptized as a baby. Can you explain why fear gripped GR imprisoned and tortured SF without mercy. Democracy is not a lawless mafia maniac free for all without defined boundaries, like GMOA which learnt law and order when SAITM MBBS they murdered, was registered.
        CF was like all men, the product of circumstances. He gained joining Rajas to be president SLMC. Only SWRD who threatened to confiscate property legally, controlled GMOA.
        CF in Catholic schools, married Catholic without crisis until his daughter married Buddhist. With political ambitions made him realise that religion played a major role in gathering political followers. He stepped into the religious arena first to defy penance seeking hindu gods wanting fire walkers, and later against astrology and devil oppressing witchcraft occultism. His knowledge of Jesus as infant in mother’s arms was very superficial as accepted in RC. Tragically did not know him as the resurrected glorified soon coming Lord in his kingdom, who in Jesus life on earth, healed out of compassion, expelling demons, forgiving and merciful, loving all.
        Unfortunately the Buddha lived before Christ and had rejected the only gods he knew as a hindu. thus rejecting a creator god. Hence Buddhism became an atheistic philosophy involving body and soul only, the latter being the personality involving mind, emotions, will etc. Enlightenment is in the mind and intellect of the soul. In the bible, spirit is a different part and experience of man which believes in praying ability to connect with God who is powerful spirit of love or a fallen expelled angel Lucifer the unseen devil, seeking worship but producing evil thoughts.

    • 1
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      You are right. Father, Don Alvin R.
      .
      Before that, the dynasty had been founded by a Proctor’s clerk, Don Mathew Rajapaksa (how come they had these strange names, and even the former President is “Mahendra Percy”.
      .
      Before that it was the “proctor-boss”, Vincent Stuart de Zilva Wikramanayake. I’ve heard slightly inconsistent versions of how Mathew replaced his boss in ‘Hambantota East”. I live too far away from the area to evaluate with certainty. Somebody ought to write a quite different article on this subject.
      .
      Thank you, Professor Hoole for a very sincere tribute to a good man who was so different from you. I hadn’t expected that you’d be able to appreciate the views of an atheist.
      .
      We must count ourselves fortunate to have honest people like Hoole and Carlo Fonseka. May Professor Fonseka’s dreams see fruition, and may those Medical Students handle his remains with the reverence that they deserve.

      • 3
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        S,M,
        “(how come they had these strange names”
        These names were quite normal at the time. Portuguese influence survived both the Dutch and the Brits. Still, not as strange as Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike !
        And, I bet Mr. Wikramanayaka was an Anglican.

  • 6
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    Hoole,

    The point I’m making here is only about Hooles picture about CF’s politics. I believe that it is not a correct assessment that CF tried to distance himself from LSSP after LSSP turned towards racial politics during their later stages. LSSP took it first visible racial stand when Dudley signed Tamil Language act with Chelvanaygam in 1965. LSSP participated in the protest march which caused the death of a Buddhist monk. During the ensuing election campaign, a blood tainted yellow robe became one of the main exhibition items on LSSP political stages. CF kept his silence.

    When LSSP came to power jointly with CP & SLFP, Colvin was in charge of drafting the new constitution. It was Colvin’s supervision that Buddhism was given a special status in the constitution perhaps under the influence of from the SLFP. And yet not only CF didn’t say a word against it, but also he became one of the prominent speaker for the 1977 LSSP+CP election campaign (CF’s speech using the analogy of four basic truth in Buddhism was a memorable item on that stage!).

    Why didn’t CF stand on behalf of his own principles? I believe he did so b’cos he fell to very common mistake most of us make: The tendency to defend our side while ignoring all the wrong-doings by the leaders! SL politicians are well known for dishonesty which makes politics a bad place for honest intellectuals. CF was an extremely intelligent man but he was also a human and a product of SL. If he concentrated his intelligence on his profession, he could have been much more productive, I believe .

    • 2
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      D.P, I agree. Carlo’s political stints even in the physiology block with Senaka Bibile started expanding into the arena of 4 basic truths in Buddhism, going the way of all flesh of all maturing into politics. Integrity and truth being valued for a PhD, gave way to the dualism Carlo practiced in real life, his intelligence vs. his political activism. While speaking truth about Vijaya Kumaratunge assassination, he had to flee to Finland against JVP politics and learnt that political ambition specially after 56 was attached to religion. He did not appreciate that Trotsky was hidden Jewish like Lenin, hounded and murdered by Stalin for political power. Stalin’s daughter defected to USA. Politics is the opium of masses, not religion, but religion too wants a portion and sells the ignorant masses for their power.

  • 0
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    Good bye Sir, you are a great soul. You tried to change the gullible along with with Abraham Kovoor but it is impossible to get rid of stupidity and ignorance and blind faith. Whole world is duped by these so called supernatural and paranormal happenings without anyone has the guts to question this quackery and cheats. Hardly anyone has the ability to think, question and investigate while the so called educated who are just trained to do certain skills maraud as intelligent. All places of worship, rituals, magic, hooniya. Charlatan, sai baba, matalie Swamy (the guy died), Nithiyanandan Swamy crook, etc are all big time cheats exploiting on people’s ignorance, vulnerability and stupidity. Our leaders too are same bunch of morons. I performed fire walking at muneswaram kovil for a bet having eaten beef and consuming arrack many years ago to proof my point. Blind faith even ruin our logical spiritual lives. Ha..ha,, Catholic Church confessions and the crooked priest masturbates on the other side. Watch a Netflix series “murder of a nun” that explains how ruthless and perverts these priests . But after Kovoor the journal Rationalist Ambassador came to an end that helped at least some gullible fools. It is easier to cheat than making people believe the truth. All because of unknown fear. Religions have a big role to play.

  • 0
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    Carlo will be remembered for his fire walk which he did in his usual skepticism and satire. I was a 17 year old when he performed his deeply controversial not ‘moon walk’ but ‘fire walk’ at the medical college auditorium. Subsequently met him in person in political discussions and other intellectual debates mostly in Colombo. A keen observer, sharp critic and a good human being. The next I remember him is the Shakespearen style of a eulogy he made at the Borella, Kanatta at the funeral of his assassinated nephew, actor-politician Vijeya Kumaranatunga on behalf of the family. May Carlo still continue to impart knowledge this time, with his mortal remains to physiology and its research and development in Sri Lanka and further afield.

  • 0
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    Carlo will be remembered for many things which he did in his usual skepticism and satire. I was a 17 year old when he performed his deeply controversial not ‘moon walk’ but ‘fire walk’ at the medical college auditorium. The next I remember him is the Shakespearen style of a eulogy he made at the Borella, Kanatta at the funeral of his assassinated nephew, actor-politician Vijeya Kumaranatunga on behalf of the family. Subsequently met him in person in political discussions and other intellectual debates mostly in Colombo. A keen observer, sharp critic and a good human being. May Carlo still continue to impart knowledge this time, with his mortal remains to physiology and its research and development in Sri Lanka and further afield.

  • 2
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    i wish to know why a great brain like this was an atheist.Can’t he look around and surmise things.

    • 2
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      A lot depends on the concept that is put forward regarding the nature and the attributes of God.

    • 3
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      Shnakar,
      Don’t you know that a vast majority of great brains had been and are atheist. The reason is simple. Science deals with with theories that can make testable predictions only. Religions doesn’t make testable predictions; it depends on beliefs only. For example, theory of relativity did not get full acceptance until one of its prediction that space-time curvature bends light rays until it was proved in 1919.

      On the contrary, the concept of Karma cannot make testable prediction other than describe what is already factual and therefore there is no difference between the creation theory & the concept of Karma. Also, every time science make new discoveries, religions keep changing its position to fit the new knowledge. That is why most big brains become atheist!

      • 1
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        D.P, Science keeps discovering through the ages what God has already set in motion in creation. History is his story unravelling what glorious life is meant to be in his kingdom. Religion is man’s faulty interpretation of who God is and hence there are so many religious expressions even among those who believe in the God of the bible. It is mainly soulish knowledge of enlightened minds of intellectual Christians, who worship their own minds. But true Christianity from the early church is relational expression, knowing intimately the resurrected Jesus. John apostle wrote “that which we have seen and touched” Peter said “We heard this voice when we were with him on the holy mountain” Experiential knowledge is not at the mercy of theological religion. When a woman’s dying child is healed because she prayed, she has no theology but experience. What you experience becomes conviction which no intellectual can argue you out of. Experience God in a desperate situation in prayer and an ignorant atheist will be a believer.

        • 0
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          Dear Believer,
          .
          What you have just said is that there is no God, in any objective sense.
          .
          Your God is something that you experience. Any person’s experience is real for that person, but not for anybody else. You say that an atheist turns into a believer owing to having been relieved of his desperation. What on earth does that mean, except that he desires to be comfortable? Does that mean that God exists in any objective sense?
          .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Ways_(Aquinas)
          .
          Every one of the arguments for the existence of God falls into one of those five categories. None of them will bring certainty. Read Bertrand Russel, he examines them one by one and shows where the holes in the argument are.
          .
          On the other hand, nobody can actually prove that God exists.
          .
          Reading all this is tedious? Why not listen to this very civilised discussion? A delightful 88 minutes.
          .
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bow4nnh1Wv0
          .
          So many want their children to learn English. You can’t find better speakers than Dawkins and Rowan Williams.

          • 0
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            Correction, because that is not what I meant to say. I have said:
            .
            “On the other hand, nobody can actually prove that God exists.” is what I wrote there and is true.
            .
            However, it was this corollary that I wised to state: ” nobody can actually prove that God does not exist.”
            .
            By the way, this may be the place where we could pay tribute to Prof. Jeevan Hoole, whose comments are always honest and sincere; but he sometimes ruffles a few feathers because he is so much a “Believer”. In this tribute, he has been able to rise above the limitations imposed by his personal beliefs.
            .
            We are fortunate to have such a man in charge of conducting our country’s elections.

            • 0
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              Sinhala man, you cant live above beliefs without being a hypocrite. You can’t prove or disprove God with the same 5 senses you touch the seen natural world as bible says God is spirit, light, love and consuming fire. So you have to touch God through spiritual senses in your spirit. Most don’t know we have spirit, soul and body and accept only body and soul. Soul is mind, emotions, will, personality which we alone are aware of. So we have enlightened minds and intellect, but unconscious of spiritual experiences. When we believe that same Jesus who lived 2000 years ago, rose from dead because people saw him back, his spirit charges our spirit to see spirit realm, God and angels and he taught us to pray for this in the bible. So spiritual experience with God brings healing body, emotions, mind and freedom from karma.

        • 0
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          Believer,
          You or anyone else are free to believe whatever you like. But the problem is when believers force their faith onto others in the form of blasphemy, inquisitions, Sharia, Poya day abstinence, etc.

      • 0
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        DP, Karma is cause and effect we experience daily as sowing and reaping. Its flaw is that children getting effects of parental or ancestral wickedness is interpreted as their own previous birth actions for which they must pay by another birth, hence faulty rebirth.
        Richard Dawkin’s answer to fact that matter cannot produce information which comes only from some intelligence, he said it is probably from some previous intelligence. Evolution and atheism is because of blind faith in imagined earlier civilisations.
        DNA in all our body cells is information in all our genes, but not in our molecules. Need language to read how DNA produces our body proteins.. For language, there has to be intelligence. Matter by itself cant produce DNA. To read DNA, need to crack code of language and requires intelligence and not by chance evolution. Darwin went to recover from mental illness and produced as yet unproven and misleading evolution. Only intelligence can create. Matter only changes form. Energy is from source.
        To interpret morse code of dots, dashes and spaces, need intelligence to crack code of its language. Intelligent man created in God’s image in the bible understands language. Atheists and evolutionist have blind faith and will finally be deceived by aliens who are the expelled angels of satan and his demons. May God have mercy on humans before they die and discover that God in his love for creation, gave truth in the bible.

    • 0
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      Shankar, Most brains have similar structures. Thinking is in the mind, a small area. Mind, emotions and will are our personality which is secret and God will not violate our free will. This is the living soul of man. Man created in God’s image has spirit component to communicate with him in prayer, worship, intuition, reverence, fear of God, God given revelation etc which is in the heart of man and had dominion over soul. When man sinned by rejecting God, relationship with God was broken and soul became dominant while spirit was dethroned. Man dropped God and worshipped his own intellect being enlightened and proud of his rationalism. Even among God created angelic beings, Lucifer was thrown out of heaven because of pride and became the evil tempter, accuser and deceiver. Jesus paid with his life as a man to reverse this back to heart from mind, but rational atheists cant accept and receive. Dreams and visions are picture language given to bypass mind.

  • 4
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    Only great brain that can see and judge and analyse could be atheist. Religion flourishes in ignorance. Religion is for business, politics and cheating. What do you think about most of our monks.

    • 4
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      nathan

      we are not talking of man made religion here.Surely a man of his intellect should be able to see how perfectly this planet has been formed in order for us to live.We who make all kinds of things like aircraft,ships,motorcars etc know that some superior being has to have created this planet.After all the aircraft and ships and cars that allow us to travel on air,land and sea were not created accidently.How much more difficult to create the palnet that enables us to live here.It is just commonsense,no need of high IQ.

      • 1
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        Shankar,
        Even if there is a Creator, it is unlikely that he or it would be bothered about what some insignificant creatures in a corner of an insignificant galaxy get up to. There are even other Universes being postulated. If it any consolation to you, science nowadays is becoming as incomprehensible as religion.

        • 0
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          old codger

          yes,we are just a small part of the universe.However until i have some evidence that there is life like ours in other planets,i tend to believe that we are the only ones.

          ps.as you can see very other planet we have researched has some shortfall or other that prevents life like ours.Only ours is perfectly designed for life.

          • 0
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            Shankar,
            “However until i have some evidence that there is life like ours in other planets,i tend to believe that we are the only ones.”
            If that is your argument, shouldn’t it apply to God as well? As far as I know, God has not appeared in public, expect in religious books.

            • 0
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              “As far as I know, God has not appeared in public,”

              god works in mysterious ways.If he appears it will be like a author who writes a mystery thriller naming the murderer in the first chapter itself.Will you read on?

      • 0
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        Shankar,
        .
        Are you really serious? Voltaire parodied that argument of yours by saying, “Behold, how thoughtfully the nose has been designed to rest spectacles on!”
        .
        The fact is that there are so many trillion suns (each star is a “sun”) in the Universe, with planets revolving around many, that there must be other planets on which life exists. They’re too far away for us to get to know. Actually, some of them may already have discovered “us”, but decided that we are such nasty vermin that it’s best to give us a miss.
        .
        These “aliens” may have senses quite different from our five to apprehend what is not “ourselves”. I’m sorry to say that most responses are naive, unless, of course, you were indulging in sarcasm.
        .
        You need a big dose of Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchins on Youtube.

        • 1
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          SM,
          “how thoughtfully the nose has been designed to rest spectacles”
          A similar argument is used by believers sometimes to show that bananas are perfectly designed by God for humans, ie perfect shape, packaging and taste. But in reality the current banana has been designed over the last 150 years by growers and companies such as Dole !
          Not being scientists, the believers don’t know that the wild banana has large seeds..

        • 0
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          sinhala_man

          i go by what i see,not by what i can’t see.Just because there are millions of planets does not mean that life exists in them.It’s quality,not quantity that is needed here.

          Ps.even if there was life on other planets.it does not disprove the fact that a supreme being designed those planets in such a way that life was able to exist there.This supreme being created the universe through the big bang.

          • 0
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            Shankar, Who did this big bang, the myth created and imagined by atheists who lost the maker’s manual. God spoke the world into being and that is why Jesus later came to earth to pay the price to save humans from their karma into freedom, Jesus was called the Living Word of God. He was the perfect fulfilment of the written word of God, bible, written by 40 authors over 1500 years with one continuous thread, God’s love for man, created and God breathed into his image. Not so with animals, later corrupted.

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          SM, don’t go to soul intellect of mere men Richard and Christopher. Go to the spirit revelation of Jesus in the bible to understand that so called “aliens” are fallen spirit creatures that rejected God and were cast out of heaven. They may even be seeking embodiment to deceive humans to do their will, reject God who created them and drag humans to worship them into a Godless eternity of hive mind Sansara. No hope of a meaningless return to earth, Pillai becoming Soyza or Velu becoming William, or Beth becoming Mandela. When sinless Jesus was resurrected from the dead, bible says he is the same yesterday, today and forever. Mortal body dust is raised immortal spiritual body, spirit returns to the Father of spirits, God. The living soul of God breathed man was created special in the image of God, fallen into karma/sin, but can be saved, and is always eternal, accountable and responsible in judgment. Animals, birds and fish have no accountable soul, living by instinct, habit and reflexes. Spirit of man is candle of Lord. We walk in his light. We are not vermin, but bought by heavy price paid by Jesus. The universe shows how great our Creator/Redeemer God is now. Don’t wait till death.

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    Now only I realise Dr Carlo was a separatist after knowing he was Hoole’s good friend who is an ardent separatist

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      yes,he was a seperatist.he wanted to separate the sinhala racists from the non racists.

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        Shankar, Hoole is a Tamil who belongs to Tamilnadu. He has no business in meddling with the supreme race Sinhala.

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          joy mana wadu

          hoole is a sri lankan tamil.Those classified in sri lanka as indian tamils may fit in with your theory,though in western countries once you obtain their citizenship you become a part of their country and not have anything to do with the country you came from.You can see why they developed while we did not due to low IQ like you.

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      To start with, which of the Hooles is a separatist? I don’t think that either of the two is a separatist. Please be careful about how you label them.
      .
      Talk about God, all you want, without being afraid of Lucifer. Utter not separatism. Gnanasara is worse than Satan!

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    A man who understood what the lot was like for working women. He said there is no harm if they wanted to comb their hair and relax a little longer in the office. They produced the future work force.

    I remember with gratitude how he spent time with our children talking to them and advising them and brought them chocolates and diaries. He put his neck out for Jeevan and me when we were ceaselessly applying to Jaffna University from 2002 to 2018.

    He knew the Latin mass by heart and the correct pronunciation. Loved to hear it too. Understood it better than any. Had a nostalgia for his old religion. He was so happy when I wrote on Christian music.

    He loved the Analysis of Fareed Zachcharias.

    He was a scholar beyond compare.

    The true definition of a gentleman a vanishing breed in this world.

    His choice of wife too was perfect.

    He understood the process of death to the detail and would have loved to explain it.

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      The Hoole family may have several reasons to speak highly of Carlos Fonseka, and there is the dictum that concerning the dead only the good shall be said, but the truth is that CF made a laughing stock of himself by supporting revisionist history by a former DIG, stating that the Jaffna Public Library was not burned down by the armed forces and police, but by the LTTE.

      It seemed to those of us who knew him only by his writings and his public persona, that along with supporting the murderous Rajapaksas, he had fallen to the typically Sinhalese disease of those who had progressive outlook and reputations for integrity, fairness and non-racist outlook in their younger days, transforming into chauvinists in their old age: Philip Gunawardena, Nalin de Silva, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Dayan Jayatilleka , Caros Fonseka, ….

      I think you meant Fareed Zakaria, not Zachcharias. What is special about CF liking this CNN journalist?

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        I said Prof. Carlo likeed the analysis of FZ- to the point, an irreducible extract of global matters. A master brain.

        Guess the Rajapakse’s will corrupt the very angels! Carlo thought Anura was too gone physically though it was obvious how much he cared for Anura because of his sister.

        Lesson: Becoming an atheist makes even the wisest Christian amongst us stray from the correct path in cardinal matters. So much for the finite human mind.

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          Mrs. Hoole,

          If you think CF’s atheism led him astray in his old age, what do you make of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith?

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            A committed racist in practice cannot be an authentic Christian. A white washed tomb- borrowing the phrase from our Lord.

            I am talking of sincere beliefs.

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            Agnos, Cardinal has been appointed and authorized by God over a certain portion of the church flock which he is trying to save and preserve. Any question of his theology is not the issue. He saved a critical situation where SB BBS and rest would have been used to hammer all moslems and topple spineless govt. and create chaos in SL as in past.
            CF’s antireligious performance was different as he performed a ritual of Baal worship, Baphomet, passing through the fire, power of political conviction (Marxism) and freedom from God and into occultism and desire for unauthorized destruction of others.

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    This happened to many Christians whether they are Catholics or protestants. Carlo Fonseka understood that almighty is a haux. So, he became Rationalist and Atheist. But, he respected Buddhism.He involved even in Buddhist discussions in SLBC. and made me think whether he was Buddhist. Generally Rationalists are those who gave away the almighty whether it is catholic, protestants or one of those 41,000 denominations.

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      JD, If CF understood while here through rationalism that almighty is a hoax, by now he would have discovered otherwise about his eternal accountable soul. Jesus in Luke 16 showed the gulf after death between God believers and others, and they cannot come back to warn their brothers. But my prayer for CF is like Luke 23 for one of the 2 thieves crucified with Jesus who got revelation in his dying breath to ask Jesus to remember him and was promised that he would be with Jesus that day in paradise. Better to understand early.

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      JD, Agree that Catholics are Christians like all other followers of Jesus Christ, but in this century have added on immaculate conception of Mary and worship her as the mother of God, but in early church knew as earthly mother birthing other children 1Peter 4, 17 says time for judgment to begin at the house of God, specially when it comes to encouraging the poor illiterate to kiss wooden statues of Mary with an infant Jesus, when the truth of the bible is that Jesus paid the price of sin laid on him and saved humans proving his resurrection witnessed by those living at that time. He will come again as the king of glory and not Mary apparitions who cannot redeem, as poor people are made to think of due to absence of bible teaching. Now the Vatican established telescope on Mt. Graham to look for coming aliens rather than Jesus, are moving to elevate Mary’s impregnation by aliens and not of God, absolute blasphemy. This allows the final apostate pope to be the false prophet in Rev.13, uniting all religions as one. CERN looks for aliens. Beware false Mary teachings and apparitions added to true Christianity in RC which produces rationalists.

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    A Tribute from a strong christian to a strong and unrepentant Atheist. I am however at a loss to understand why this learned man seconded the view of a nondescript Policeman ex:DIG:Edward Gunawardena that it was the LTTE that burned the Jaffna Library! I wonder how Prof: Carlo would have reacted when the LSSP marched in Colombo in the late 60s chanting Dudleyge baday Masalavaday?
    Even a strong LSSP stalwart of yesteryear Vasu is now the left ball of Wimal Weerawansa!
    I remember Rajan Hoole in one of his remarks has said that Mrs: B. was prepared to grant something to appease Tamil grievances during the drafting stage of the Republican Constitution but Dr.Colvin.R.de..Silva sabotaged the POSITIVE VIEW OF MRS.B by saying the Government can be toppled by the Buddhist Monks!
    So, Dr.Colvin was far more keen to keep the Govt safe so that they too could enjoy the taste of Government!

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    Plato, that was of course was a blunder by Carlo about LTTE burning Jaffna library. Carlo ought to have known that Tamils will never ever, even in a dream burn even a book, leaveaside such a unique library. It was nothing but cultural genocide by Sinhalese that no one will never ever forget or forgive. It was a clear message by Sinhala racism. But I have a vague feeling that later Carlo corrected it. He also got into a mess by joining SLMC and got caught to the rabid GMOA. May be dementia setting in. Vasu is totally mad and having his children married to Vick’s he has completely gone mad. He should be at an asylum with his sampanthy.

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      Nathan, It is an understatement to say that Carlo got caught to the rabid GMOA. Carlo enjoyed the elevation it gave him for a period, but then violation of SLMC as a statutory body of govt. brought it’s own consequences. When atheists think they are god and not subject to the laws set in motion by the true God, then their descent begins. Carlo was deceived into believing that GMOA and all medics were his total property and violated judiciary to destroy SAITM. Consequences should have jailed him, but the Almighty was merciful. When GMOA crooks visited Carlo’s home to strike for his SLMC post, he had sense to opt out of GMOA terror, and left Panden to battle his own contempt of court case. Panden and Gora in same boat now.

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