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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