17 October, 2019

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Now Wild Statements Have Been Attributed To Bishop Rayappu!

By Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda –

Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda

Bishop Rayappu of Mannar diocese has been accused again. The Nation paper says, ‘the Bishop, TNA resurrect LTTE’s ISGA demand’.

Who can challenge the source of reporting, when the ‘Nation’ is totally depending on the army intelligence?

I have been at several meetings where Bishop spoke his mind on the national issue. But he never stood for a separation of the country. He strongly stood for a political solution which respects the Tamil identity.

However he is deeply committed to cause of the Tamil community. For an example very bravely he stood by the Mullikulam people when their land was appropriated by the security forces quite unjustly. Due to such instances, many have misunderstood the Bishop because he takes up unceasingly the cause of the Tamil community despite of the threats he faces from different quarters including the intelligence services. Bishop strongly believes in the cause of Justice. That indeed is the Faith of Christian community which believes ‘Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream’. (Amos 5/24)

For some voicing on the rights of the Tamils equals Tigers or supporters of separation.

The real problem lies not with the Bishop but with the government who has no political will to draft a political solution. In fact, it is the opinion of the commission that cause of the crisis is the politicians who governed this country after independence. So far we have not seen any serious attempt on the part of the government to implement the recommendations of the LLRC which was appointed by the President himself.

Now wild statements have been attributed to bishop Rayappu! No one can prevent such accusations. But we can see that the nation paper is having a biased mind and an agenda to destroy the good name of the bishop.

It is a well known that Bishop Rayappu is one of the strongest voices of the Tamil community.  Branding him as a Tiger voice can be a strategy to silence such voices. If one vilifying Bishop Rayappu with that intention, he/she will have a short victory.

An unjust regime can harm Individuals as it is happening in the case of Bishop Rayappu but the prophetic voices cannot be stopped.  Church leaders have a calling to ‘speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute’ (Proverb 31/8).

We pray that Bishop Rayappu be continually blessed to continue his prophetic mission.

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Latest comments

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    Simple, anyone who seeks justice from Srilanka is LTTE rump, no matter which part of the world that they are belongs to;

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      From the AHRC report carrying justice seeker and LTTE hater Rayappu’s response (where he doesn’t actually deny or contradict anything that’s in The Nation article):

      Bishop Joseph has not denied that he called for a new version of the ISGA. Neither has he denied the allegations regarding his political affiliations and preferences. He has most certainly stood with and in many ways defended those who sought to divide the country, including the LTTE. ‘The Nation’ also notes that the Tamil National Alliance maintains silence over the news item which we carried last week, which was based on the reports of the Jaffna based Intelligence Units

      “Wild statements” indeed :)

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
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    Bishop Rayappu Joseph has to be true to himself, his religion and is answerable to the creator. He has no reason to deny any rumor, he has stood with his flock in good times and bad. If he feared man and worried about his life he would have changed his residence to Colombo.

    Govt can “try” to throw mud at him but he stands clean and tall with intergrity. The poor and voiceless have more respect for him than the Cardinal who is supposed to be the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Sri Lanka.

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      Burt, Don’t be too harsh on the Cardinal. He has a very difficult job on his hands. He is being attacked from all sides and as the head of the Catholic church in SL, he has to balance a number of considerations. He has been accused of being pro Tamil and at the same time Tamils have accused him of being too pro Sinhalese. For my part, I would not want to be in his role for all the tea in China.

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    Bishop Rayappu has always voiced up the grievances of the people who have been victimized and he is truly a Good Shepeard. His one and only desire is that Justice will be done to the victimized; the displaced will be given proper shelter and suitable livelihoods will be allowed tor them to live a life of human dignity. According to the LLRC, the President and the government has to be answerable to all these created problems. We have to respect the political right of the Tamil community.

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    Thank you again Fr. Iddamalgoda for your Christian duty of standing by truth and justice. We have all been accused of being LTTE, Tigers, Terrorists and the like merely for speaking for our right to live and in the matter of protecting our lives and property. It is a happy fact there are tens of thousands of decent Sinhalese like you who can see above race, religion and bigotry. The sooner the dark period that has overtaken our land is over the better for all of us – Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and others.

    Senguttuvan

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      Dear M. Senguttuvan,

      “ The sooner the dark period that has overtaken our land is over the better for all of us – Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and others.”

      We need to be firm in protecting our identity, our right to live and our property. I am in total empathy with this view in all this and our need to be firm.

      More than at least sixty percent of the Tamil people supported the Tigers. Most Sinhalese people know this. We need to admit the truth that both communities have at one time or other engaged in divisive politics.

      I really don’t thing this is important if all feel assured that none are entertaining a separatist political ideology as an agenda for the future.

      We cannot persist in our old ways both Sinhalese and Tamils. Perceptions are important in politics. I hope the Rev. Bishop Rayappu properly advised the TNA constituents who met him to stand for the rights you mentioned and stay away from divisional politics.

      While all missionary religions engage in conversion of some sort or other, he need to reassure the Tamils, building a few Buddhist temples is after all not a dangerous practice. The Tamils have thrived after convert ions.

      We need to be forthright and fair if a new consciousness is to emerge in Sri Lanka.

      Dr. N. Satchi UK

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    I agree with you Burt. The Church is the voice of the voiceless. The Church is also the voice of those voices shut up by the authoritative forces. Fr. Rayappu is a member of this Church and he continuously voices for the voiceless without fear and risking his life. He was threaten on many occasions and the government did do nothing, as usual, to provide security to such noble men who stand for righteousness and justice and freedom. Fr. Rayappu’s action is what Lord Jesus Christ the one who annointed him as His priest commissioned him to do – “Do you love Me? Take care of my sheep”. Sadly not all the members of the Church take this walk. Cardinal Rt. Rev. M.R. on numerous occasions were silent when the oppressed were crying and hoping for his consolotion and comfort.

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    Thank you Fr Sarath for speaking out like this but sadly the fact is if a Tamil speaks for justice he/she is labelled a Kotiya or Tiger rump,A muslem is a Jihadist and if a Sinhalese Buddhist speaks for justice then they are labelled as ‘NGO karaya’ or nightclub Buddists (a term coined by Malinda of ‘The Nation’ fame) such is the state of mother lanka now

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    FR i appreciate you for what you are and i will support you in your prophetic ministry.Go foreward there is nothing to stop you.

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