27 June, 2022

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Saving Christianity From Unethical But Respected Christian Management Bodies

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

The Rev. Gnanasara Thero and his Hindu counterpart Maruwanpulavu Sachithananthan allege unethical conversions by Christians. As a Christian, knowing many converts to Christianity as sincere and genuine, I have always been dismissive of such claims and still am.

Recent events however make me think that there is another dimension of their accusations that we need to give heed to. It is unethical leadership among large and respected Christian Agencies that run the new churches and are a blight on Christianity.

The new Christians are trusting of their leaders who are often good people – but not always. However, many leaders are backed from the West by the generous tithing practices of their members. When those whom they support in Sri Lanka misuse the funds given to them to preach the Gospel, those organizations funding these bad leaders find it awkward to blow the whistle. Diverting money to new sources is not easy for the western donors as they balance the need to maintain their charity status from their government with the need not to be seen as helping with conversions. The issue of misused money makes the donor organizations own individual donors ask if their hard-earned money needs to be diverted to be more useful. And then after the donor agencies advertising their local ministers here and their work as stellar, how do the donor churches in the West tell their individual donors that their previous advertisements were wrong? So they continue to support the bad pastors here despite the fact they are unfit to be pastors. They cover-up.

I have seen many new converts to Christianity becoming Christian leaders and rich overnight. Corruption is difficult to prove. Property acquired overnight is explained away as a donation from a sibling overseas. Then there is the unbeatable excuse: Jesus rewards the faithful. Praise the Lord.” We know there is something amiss. But little can be proved.

My recent experience with Christian Boards of management has shown me how this embezzlement is done. One common way is to give employment to board members even when the local organization’s constitution insists that a Board member must be service oriented and cannot take a salary. Most Board Members are respected leaders who come for meetings, receive an honorarium and agree to these illegal appointments to fellow board members and thereby misuse the authority of their offices outside the organization. I am aware of tsunami funds being used to employ Board Members disallowed from employment. Persons persuaded to give their names to these Boards make an impressive list: Bishops, Accountants, President’s Counsel, Bank Managers, Evangelical Professors et al. Who would dare to cross the Boards on which they serve?

Another devise is to receive funds from abroad to buy property and then to buy the property not for their organization but in the name of their relations. I know one guy who was a butcher as a youth with the reputation of coming home with stolen pieces of meat in his pockets. Today he is a millionaire Christian minister. Another rich fellow with his own church is known for scouring crows’ nests in his boyhood for eggs.

An example involves Pastor Paul Fountain, a Trustee of Providence Trust, U.K. He worked with Care Sri Lanka of Lanka Evangelistic Fellowship of Churches (LEFC) based in the East. Pastor Fountain’s complaint reads:

“I’m a trustee of a UK charity called the Providence Trust. In December 2016 we gave £33,000 to purchase a large field next to the Children’s Home at 6 Mile Post in Trincomalee. I think it is around 1.5 acres. At one end is the Sunshine Day Care Centre and the other end borders a house and home garden on the road connecting the boys and girl’s homes. The land was owned by Habitat. My trust paid towards the purchase of the land. £33,000 was given to LEFC. I have the receipts.

“Over the next 3 years whenever I asked what was happening about the land [I was given] different reasons why it had not been possible to purchase it yet. Recently I realized the field had almost certainly had not been purchased, particularly as the Children’s Home had closed and I’d not been informed.

“I raised these concerns with one of the Care Sri Lanka trustees who is in Sri Lanka looking at the finances. I told him if the money from the Providence Trust had not been used to purchase the land it must be returned to the trust. He agreed with this. However despite a lot of pressure from myself in the last week, he has not responded to my requests to check if LEFC has any ‘land deeds’ or receipts to prove they purchased the land from Habitat.”

I was asked to see if I could get a letter from Habitat with a simple statement saying either they still own the land or they sold it and when and to whom they sold it.

I was refused. It appears that this kind of fraud is common with these Christian organizations and they cover-up for each other in case their own dealings are ever questioned. The trustees of Habitat are real big shots in the Christian world. When they help coverup, it is an impossible wall to breakdown. Being big-shots in the world, I am sure they will give reasons like privacy when the simple letter I requested lets down nobody’s privacy. My expectation is that they should bend over backwards to ensure probity in all Christian organizations. When they refuse, it shows how all these organizations help coverup the crimes of respected Christian crooks. I am aware of many respected persons from these organizations who were caught with their hands in the till and were “let go” without punishment to move on to embezzle at another Christian charity.

An accountant who serves on a Board with me fiddles with accounts to make them look right when fraud comes to light. As our donors insist on the audit for 2019, he and pals have moved all documents and receipts out of the office. There is evidence that approved minutes are being rewritten. The Companies Act specifies a fine of Rs. 1 million for falsification of documents. I believe the Christian organization LEADS is helping him with facilities in their office to carry on this work. LEADS too is a major player in Christian work and till recently had an Anglican Bishop lending his name to the Board.

My own daughter was a high-up at World Vision. An Anglican Bishop was on the Board. When my daughter came across US$ 2million claimed to have gone into putting up a plant and she found nothing there, she told her boss and quietly moved on. Her boss got the relevant company to put up the missing plant without any billing. It is one of the few happy stories although no one was punished.

Some friends say I am playing into Gnanasara Thero’s hands when Buddhists are enriched by the state and engaged in unethical conversions, getting state land and appointments on Commissions, free hostel in universities etc. to encourage their conversion. True, but It is time to investigate poor people who became Christian leaders and got rich overnight. Investigate the management bodies of evangelical Christian organizations. That is the way to build the Kingdome of Jesus Christ, keeping it clean.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    0

    When I lived in London twenty years ago, I was approached by Samaritan’s Purse. They ask you to fill a shoebox with small toys, sweets, tinned food etc for them to send to poor children in Eastern Europe and all over the world. They send out some 7m boxes a year. They said that it was better not to include tinned meat as some of the children would be Muslim and it would not be Halal. I was so impressed by their thoughtfulness that I filled two boxes. They asked that the boxes be left unsealed for inspection by Customs.
    .
    Later I found out that the unsealed boxes had nothing to do with Customs. They were inserting Christian literature into the boxes telling the children that these gifts were from Jesus.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/nov/10/religion.society

    • 3
      1

      Dear Paul,
      .
      I find your story profoundly shocking.
      .
      To whom do we complain?
      .
      Please see the penultimate comment here. Just a few days ago – and I’m still confused by it.
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/christs-love-moves-the-world-to-solidarity-healing-reconciliation-unity/
      .
      Now what do I find? See this previous article, just about a week ago:
      .
      After the current Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dushantha Rodrigo had ignored this earlier article by Professor Hoole, I called the Bishop again, and referred to his strange response to my earlier call. He listened to me for for 15 minutes, but said practically nothing himself.

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/church-of-ceylon-anglican-democracy-choosing-the-best-to-be-put-over-us/
      .
      It was weird. I asked the Bishop once or twice, whether he was following what I said. He said, yes. At the end of 15 minutes 28 seconds, I said that since he was obviously tired, I would wish him a restful evening, and “God bless” to which he responded, “God bless”.

      There are plenty of dishonourable people in Lanka, but I wouldn’t consider any of these people to be such.

      Some of this, I have already reported here:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/we-dont-do-sex/
      .
      This is confusing!

      • 6
        1

        Thanks and hats off to you Professor Hoole for this exposure. Christianity is being used and abused, just as much as Buddhism and Islam. Indeed, religions are being weaponized by the CIA as they did in the Cold War to destabilize multi-ethnic and multi-religious countries in Asia and Africa.
        Prof. Hoole, please read the book”Cold War Monks: Buddhism and America’s Secret Strategy in Southeast Asia” (Yale UP), to understand how religions are being weaponized to cause “clash of Civilizations” by those who want to colonize Lanka and set up more. military bases in the Indian Ocean!At this time of new Cold War against Asia and China, the new Evanegelical Churches funded from North America are used to weaponize religion, cause inter and Intra-religious conflict and violence by the CIA as they did with the Easter attacks in 2019 claimed by CIA’s ISIS. This weaponization of Religion is an old Cold War strategy of the US Deepstate.

      • 0
        0

        “To whom do we complain?”
        God, of course.

        Soma

    • 3
      5

      That’s a serious allegation, esp if it wasn’t clear to the donors, can you fill out the substance of how you discovered this?

      • 5
        1

        CSoper,
        Yours is a typical question to avoid real issues. When a serious allegation is made, it has to be looked into. Asking “Who told you?” is to divert the discussion.
        There are many allegations in this article. Which is “a serious allegation”? If it is wrong you may legitimately say so with facts and ask for the source.
        If it is true, then do not ask for the source because it is irrelevant. Make sure the culprits are exposed and the good name of Christians is restored.

        • 0
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          Dear Jaffnaman, you’re jumping to ill founded conclusions. The comment was directed at Paul’s claim about the Samaritan Purse, not the article, which I have no beef with.

          • 2
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            CSoper, my apologies. But how was anyone to know from your comment.

  • 6
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    I’ll let the Christians fight this out.

    As a nonbeliever ……. I’m already condemned to eternal damnation.

    Well, come to think of it, hellfire is not as hot ……. as the fire the Christians try to burn one another with ……….. :))


    Shouldn’t you guys be trying to nail one another to a cross? ……… As tradition dictates?

    • 5
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      Nimal,
      “Shouldn’t you guys be trying to nail one another to a cross? ……… As tradition dictates?”
      Now, now, Nimal…. Whoever is nailed to a cross stands a good chance of being deified and worshipped…..Not a bad thing… May be worth the pain too.

      • 4
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        OC,

        “Whoever is nailed to a cross stands a good chance of being deified and worshipped…..Not a bad thing… May be worth the pain too.”

        That’s why Sinhala_Man is trying is level best to get nailed …….. the sneaky bastard!

        Someday we’ll all end up worshipping him!


        In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:

        But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

        And you love Ramona. ……… Unbeknownst to you, you are more Christian OC! ……….. than all these Christians in name only ………. :))

        • 3
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          Is it something like this that you’re thinking of, nimal fernando?
          .

          But think, Thomas, think of glory after death.

          When king is dead, there’s another king.

          And one more king is another reign.

          King is forgotten, when another shall come:

          Saint and Martyr rule from the tomb.

          Think, Thomas, think of enemies dismayed.
          Creeping in penance, frightened of a shade;

          Think of pilgrims, standing in line

          37

          Before the glittering jewelled shrine,

          From generation to generation
          Bending the knee in supplication.

          Think of the miracles, by God’s grace,

          And think of your enemies, in another place.
          .
          Thomas:
          .
          I have thought of these things.
          .
          To be found here:
          .
          https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.86641/2015.86641.Murder-In-The-Cathedral_djvu.txt

          .
          Worshipping me like this? Much good it will do me!
          .

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_in_the_Cathedral
          .

          “The last temptation is the greatest treason:
          To do the right deed for the wrong reason.”

          .
          Think it over!
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe The Retired Teacher from obscure Maha Vidyalayas in Uva; Not good enough for the elite STC, Mt Lavinia

          • 5
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            SM,

            Don’t take anything I write seriously ……. I just tease people …..

            It looks like you have had a traumatic experience dealing with STC ……. my father was expelled for running away from the hostel with a group of boys just for kicks; he was the ringleader …….. it didn’t affect him much …….

            You have done your good deeds for the school ……. be happy and satisfied with that ………. not many will acknowledge …….. that’s the nature of man ……..

            Forget the past and enjoy your life.

            The trick in life, you should set your own agenda for your happiness/satisfaction …….. not others ….

            • 1
              0

              Dear nimal,
              .
              This comment of yours gets to the heart of the matter.
              .
              If I can, I’ll add more, but I feat that I’ve spent far too much time explaining language problems to your lady love.
              .
              Comments will be over soon. I’ve got to set out for Maharagama tomorrow.

        • 4
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          Nimal,
          “And you love Ramona….”
          To think that one time I thought you were her husband, being both Fernandos. Could be worse, some have accused me of being in love with Champa.

          • 2
            1

            “I thought you were her husband”

            Either she would’ve killed me or I would’ve killed her! ……… it proves God do exist …….. up there ………

        • 2
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          Hey Nimal…….noooo, i have never hated you or despitefully used you. So zero points in heaven to you for loving me.

          • 3
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            nimal,…..ohhh you mean that OC loves me? I thought at first that you were sending me your love out of Christian charity. No, OC doesn’t love me – well, in a way : he sees me as an ideological buddy.

          • 2
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            Geeze Ramona, ………. I wouldn’t have written that if I knew you were reading …….. it’s just this thing I have going with OC to give him a break from his philosophical musings …….

        • 0
          4

          The World is full of nuts. Crack Nuts as well.

          • 3
            1

            OBSERVATION A
            .
            Dear Nawalage Charles Upasena Cooray, alias “hanchopancha,
            .
            I grant you to be one of the cleverest commenters on Colombo Telegraph, even at the age of 84. The documents you sent me two years ago (an action which you say was one of the most foolish in your life) included your identity card number.
            .
            You are not an Anglican, but St. John’s College, Nugegoda, which gave you a fantastically good knowledge of English, was then an Anglican school.
            .
            However, what’s the purpose in your making this cryptic comment?
            .
            I’d like the moderators, and other readers, to look at this article:
            .
            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/my-role-as-archbishop-of-canterbury-appointing-bishop-of-colombo/
            .
            hanchopancha often buts in, but often does so cleverly enough for people to actually give him a like. Right now you have one DISLIKE, given by me this morning.
            .
            Look at the other comments on this page, on an article written by the honest but humourless Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole.
            .
            Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

            • 2
              0

              OBSERVATION B
              .
              You have Ramona, nimal,
              and old codger, demonstrating to us how adults can interact, with no malice, and with wonderful humour. Usually RTF makes a comment in earnest; she’s a very nice person who has written two articles on CT, so that we all know what she looks like.
              .
              https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-american-midterm-elections-vis-a-vis-the-sri-lankan-constitution/
              .
              However, having lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for more than forty years, she can’t really see things from a valid perspective.
              .
              That comment of hers is usually followed by all sorts of “romantic comments” by oc, and nimal. I know that these comments may be maddening to the puritanical and priggish author, but most readers find “nimal”, in particular highly entertaining; and it is refined humour which RTF also is able to appreciate. Ramona has that great virtue of not taking herself seriously, although most of her initial comments come from a mind that is dwelling on a good deal of serious reading.
              .
              I know that most readers are sick of my long sermons. So let me stop, and ask them to read again what happened when hanchopancha made an unwarranted entry into the article by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

            • 0
              2

              Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V. I am pleased to have your confirmation that the Hat fits your little head perfectly well. Keep it on all the time. Cheers.

              • 2
                1

                So, the worst that you can call me is “nut”.
                .
                Well, I have never called you a nut, but you’re one of the nastiest bits of work anywhere. Total intellectual dishonesty is what I see in you.
                .
                Doesn’t your conscience prick you?

      • 1
        3

        Old Codger, You got it wrong. Jesus was crucified as he carried all the sins of the world as he was born of overshadowing by a sinless birth. Luke 1,35. Whether we believe it or not is immaterial. He was resurrected and carried back into the glory of heaven and promised to come again regardless of human belief systems. He is deity of mercy, compassion and Love.

        • 3
          0

          There were thousands before Christ who were crucified, worth reading this!

          https://www.livescience.com/65283-crucifixion-history.html

          • 0
            3

            Ari, Your worthwhile article on crucifixion history shows the false shroud supposed to wrap the dead body of Jesus. Jewish practice was to put spices so the resurrected body had to exhale out of a cocoon. The serviette around head folded separately means “I will come again” Mat. 27,51 says that when Jesus died, temple veil tore from above down, earth quaked, rocks split, graves opened, dead resurrected after Jesus resurrection and were recognized in the city, and the Roman soldier fearfully said truly this was the son of God. An angel who rolled back the stone from the sealed tomb said to go to Galilee to meet Jesus and it happened. He appeared to his disciples many times before he ascended. There are believers as well as unbelievers.

    • 2
      1

      Nimal Fernando,

      You say, “As a nonbeliever ……. I’m already condemned to eternal damnation.”

      Thankfully No. There is hope for you in faith. God loves you.

      • 5
        1

        “God loves you.”

        So say you, so say you, Jaffna Man! …….. Shouldn’t I hear from God himself?

        Where is God when we need him most?

  • 1
    6

    SRH, Jesus commanded to preach the gospel of the kingdom, and make disciples, which means unconditional love, limitless grace and triumphant mercy. It is only the sick in mind whose effort is to pull down other christians, without saving , healing and delivering. Church is expected to be in Union Oneness in Christ.

  • 8
    1

    “The Rev. Gnanasara Thero and his Hindu counterpart Maruwanpulavu(??) Sachithananthan “
    Does the writer have a sense of proportion in drawing this analogy?
    *
    The author may be dismissive of unethical conversion, but they still happen, and I know several instances.
    One cannot pretend ostrich-like that unethical conversion does not exist.

  • 6
    0

    Dear Sinhala_Man, there is nobody to complain to, all we can do is to remain alert. Organisations like these are rich and powerful. In the case of SP, it is run by the son of Billy Graham and you can read about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaritan%27s_Purse Unfortunately Charities have become big businesses with all the associated corruption.
    .
    This reminded me of the Charity collector who said “Don’t give your money to the poor, they’ll only go and drink with it. Give it to us, and we’ll give it to them.”

    • 5
      1

      You have a brilliant mind, Paul.
      .
      Unfortunately, the crooks are cleverer.
      .
      May be that God is dumb.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

  • 3
    2

    My initial reaction was to not comment – wash dirty linen, in public – on this subject. However, on seeing the multitude of comments already showing up, my temptation, to defend Religion, is dragging me in.
    .
    Jeevan Hoole, Kindly tell me, – What is your education for. Are you satisfied with the derision pouring in.
    .
    Religion is a personal matter. There is no pride in soiling it in public.
    .
    I am a Hindu. I don’t get a thrill out of watching your Church being disgraced. If you are a true believer of The Lord and The Church, take it up with the other Parishioners. Get your Parish to deal with it.

    • 6
      0

      Nathan,
      “Religion is a personal matter. There is no pride in soiling it in public.”
      .
      These are Sri Lankan Christians. They are Sri Lankan first and Christian later.

    • 4
      0

      Should I have said, even though I am a Hindu, I don’t get a thrill out of watching the church being disgraced.
      .
      To old codger,
      Sorry, I am a Ceylonese, for ever. We who find this country in this mess are responsible for thinking of us in terms of Sri Lankans.
      .
      My being a Hindu is by birth. It has nothing to do with my beliefs.
      I pray at temples (Hindu and Buddhist), at Christian Churches.
      I have had no chance to access a Mosque.

      • 5
        0

        Dear Nathan,
        .
        Most of buddhists in the island behave no different to you. They just remain as SINHALA BUDDHISTS because they are born to those families. Sinhala buddhism is a not real buddhist as Buddha taught it.

        Besides, It is not a religion but it has become more a life style in today s srilanka. True buddhism has not caused anyone to hurt the others. Ironically sinhala buddhism and Myanmar buddhism create violence.

        But what is being displayed in srilanka today is – dawn to dusk on TV screens and on social media platforms, not much is left to comfort the people but to divide. People s easiest way to the news has become – through TELECASTs being spread by main stream TV channels.
        Just look at them please, how many of them focus on the ” PEACE and HARMONY” of all communities.
        Sirasa holds interviews PM s son for no good reasons. What is behind the telecast ?

    • 1
      4

      Nathan, I agree with you totally that Jeevan takes much pride in soiling church with derision and disgrace when Jesus said “I will build my church” a sure promise one day. Mat.16,18

    • 3
      0

      The different commenters have said things from a multitude of perspectives.
      .
      The church controls some of the most renowned educational institutions. When they don’t run them properly we must protest; I’m glad that after initial hesitation, you’ve decided to protest.
      .
      I don’t ask you “to join us”. You must independently work out where you stand on these issues.
      .
      Soiled linen must be washed; failure to do so will result in will mean the bacteria growing and mutating.

  • 3
    0

    Yes Professor! you’re right, not only in the Christian denominations, but unfortunately all religious establishments have been compelled to go through these kind of malpractices in the name of charities. Theses minority fools destroy all the good work done and genuine well intended religious charities by others. They may wrongly interpret the saying ” Charity begins at home”.

    • 1
      0

      Davidthegood,
      .
      Few may agree with the things you say, but I think that all are impressed with your sincerity, humility, and goodness.
      .
      On this train, dare not risk long comments. They get lost if submitted just before a tunnel is entered. Plenty in the Kadugannawa area
      .

  • 3
    0

    BTW: Jesus had no place to lay his head.

    How do you get rid of a new church pastor?

    The new church pastors are like the “Born-again jelly fish.”
    “In a process that looks remarkably like immortality, the born-again polyp colony eventually buds and releases medusae that are genetically identical to the injured adult. In fact, since this phenomenon was first observed in the 1990s, the species has come to be called “the immortal jellyfish.”

    You fire them they do not even go into dormancy next Sunday they sprout elsewhere. They break the mother church and take half the church with them and start a new colony under the same donor or his competition. They are the immortals of this world.

    Like you, Jesus too sounds classically impatient with such people:

    “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

    When they lie, they speaks his native language. When they steal?

    Good luck with your intended reforms. But they are seasoned wolves in sheep’s clothing and a holy title although purchasable at fifty rupees.

    May be Better under one Pope than so many self-appointed popes.

    • 1
      3

      SRH, Whole focus of contention here is the money angle and how to get clean charity, like how Jesus dismissed with coins having image of Caesar. Sacrifice of Jesus was so humans will not carry karmic sin and hence be able to spiritually dwell in the atmosphere of heaven also. Atmosphere of earth and money is only till we die on earth. But eternity is where the soul can no longer hide in its money god.

  • 6
    0

    It seems that there is no regulatory body on these finances. I heard that there are trust funds for major Christian schools to send their children overseas to study…..guess the best get scholarships (so that’s ok). Still, it is better if they used the money in-country to build up Motherland, and worked with the Buddhists instead of intimidating them.
    _
    Was watching the Ladies College Carols Service, 2021. It was truly a beautiful performance. However, it was strange to witness what happened during the last hymn, the Halleluiah Chorus. It was done magnificently, but for the principle and vice(?). They went into the midst of the choir whilst the girls were singing it, and moved amongst them, whilst the girls sang to them. They were not singing however. It looked like they were glorifying themselves instead of Christ, for the grand performance.

    Seen these kinds of phenomenon in Sri Lankan non-Christian schools too. One school had a huge feast of goddies to be served after their annual concert. But it was for the principal and school hierarchy in the front two seats. The rest of the school’s families and children had to look on them eating and awe at their good works. People dared not speak up of course, although they looked miserable.

    • 1
      0

      Principal*

      Some had brought their own short-eats to eat quietly, sharing with others who had none. A kind lady offered me a patty. Living in other countries, I have only seen these kinds of behaviours in the Mitherland.

      • 0
        0

        Motherland*

      • 7
        0

        ramona therese fernando

        “Living in other countries, I have only seen these kinds of behaviours in the Mitherland.”

        Brilliant, however have you forgotten the experience of others who have been treated as obnoxious aliens though their ancestors have lived in this island as your mother and father, 1915, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1977, 1983, ….. 2013, 2018, ………. 30years of war.
        Were they all kind acts?

        You just accept the fact that Sinhala/Buddhists have serious psychological problems which is expressed through greed, violence and abuse, who would not let others live peacefully, including Sinhalese, Buddhists, Tamils, Hindus, Christians, and Muslims.

        • 4
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          NV,

          I agree! Our Sinhalese…..Buddhists and otherwise are a terrible lot (thought the Buddhists are a bit better). Highly nationalistically charged in trying to achieve noble-gas quality. Their nationalism is based upon pulling the other down. Jealous-cats who can’t even master the art of lying without perversity creeping into it. Oh yes, minorities have suffered much.

          • 2
            0

            ….though* the Sinhala Buddhists are a bit better.

          • 1
            0

            Dear RTF
            Is that not common to the many in that south asian region ? I mean considering what u say about “Jealous-cats who can’t even master the art of lying without perversity creeping into it. Oh yes, minorities have suffered much”?
            ☹🐕☹🐕☹🐕☹🐕✌

            • 1
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              And people in that particular region/ get cheated easily because they are lack of awareness about basic things. Their malicious thinking dont allow them to see it beyond.🐕☹🐕☹🐕☹🐕☹🐕

        • 1
          0

          My dear NV;
          I like this comment very much. U have articulated it as no others . That public racist Ghanasara urinated today
          anywhere he considers as his territory but all stay yet dead silent. ???????☹🐕☹🐕☹🐕☹🐕☹☹🐕🐕🐕🐕 not even high chapter monks makes effort to educate him? Why?

    • 1
      2

      Dear RTF,
      .
      When I sleepily first saw these comments last night, I thought that you had actually arrived in Sri Lanka. and that old codger (who, according to nimal fernando, is so much besotted with you) must be told.
      .
      On the other hand, I saw, above, that oc had told nimal that he had thought you to be nimal’s wife, given that you both have the same surname.
      .
      But no, I then realised that I’m probably the guy who knows least about all this. It is likely that you are already exchanging information with those guys, and that I am the fool who’s been flattering myself that I know a lot.
      .
      However all that may be, it is now (13.35, the next afternoon) my view, that you had not physically visited Ladies” college, and that these are the observations of a sharp mind (yours!) after remotely observing all this.
      .
      What follows, however, dear RTF is dead serious stuff that I personally know.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

      • 4
        0

        S.M,
        “It is likely that you are already exchanging information with those guys, and that I am the fool who’s been flattering myself that I know a lot.”
        Pardon me, but you are so hopelessly stuck in a bygone age of telegrams, typewriters, and cardboard files. I”ll give you a hint: FB and Google.

        • 2
          0

          EVIDENCE: EXHIBIT A
          .
          Dear oc,
          .
          We both question the objectivity of religions
          ; I think that, like me, you too, are aware of the dangers of digital technology. Let’s put it this way:
          .
          When we were kids we were given “religious upbringings”. After realising the shortcomings of that what are we giving the emerging generations? What have we now put in its place? I’ve been begging you to look at the way that we are manipulated, using the Youtube practice of toying with us. Comments put on by us are displayed only if they flatter the maker of the video.
          .
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbJsa4eUos8
          .
          I worked with a guy in an African country (deliberately not naming the country). We put comments on together. This you will see – I have copied it just now at 2.31 am. Three likes. But he cannot see mine.
          .
          Why? Because the content is critical of this charlatan, Sepal Amarasinghe.
          .
          Lasith Jayawardana
          Lasith Jayawardana
          2 days ago
          I like your analysis Mr. Amarasinghe.
          Right on target. Please keep your videos coming.
          3
          .
          Got it, old codger?

        • 2
          1

          EVIDENCE: EXHIBIT B
          .

          This is what I have copied from my computer after submitting another comment today (and editing it).
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe
          4 minutes ago (edited)
          There now are 348 comments, with mine as the “top comment”. That’s what I see. Significantly, although posted two days ago, it has got nether likes nor dislikes. To me it seems clear that comments critical of the video are not displayed, but on my computer they are shown as the top comment. Not a single like, but the now third by Dakshitha Gomes has got 123 comments. Isn’t that fishy? I’m now editing this. It has got top spot, and the comment made by me “2 days ago” is in second place, as I said, with no “LIKES”.
          .
          After other readers also try out a similar experiment, they will understand just how much we have to treasure Colombo Telegraph. Only obscenities are ruled out by CT.
          .
          Please think this out for yourselves, and work out the ramifications.

  • 3
    0

    Ok, ok…..to be fair to the ladies, they might have felt that they were giving encouragement to the girls to sing that difficult piece (though a conductor might have been more apt).

  • 2
    1

    The Serious Stuff.
    .
    PART ONE
    .
    RTF,

    .
    My head now clear, I’m writing all this in deadly earnest. Needed checking done. The school websites have not been updated for years, and some have got Nirmalee Wickremasinghe as Principal.
    .
    My granddaughters (then aged 5 and 3) were students at Ladies’ College for 9 months starting January 2019. In the Sinhala Medium. The Principal by then was Mrs Eesha Speldewinde (a Sinhalese married to a Burgher). These are people known to my family because all five sisters of mine were essentially at Ladies’ from Grade 5 to A. Levels (the details will show slight deviations from that).
    .
    My daughter was quite honest about all that she said when the elder kid, Kimaya, was interviewed, but she suppressed the information that I was the grandfather (because of my notoriety!). Technically, my daughter and the kids are Roman Catholic – normally a DISqualification. However that she had studied at an Anglican school, Hillwood, Kandy, had helped. Kid’s father, St. Joseph’s, Darley Road – bad, bad! My daughter and family had been in Malaysia. She had assumed that the younger kid (Anaya’s) admission would be only a formality.

    • 2
      1

      Ramona, and all other readers,
      .
      I’ve got to shut down in ten minutes and go into the town, etc.
      .
      I had typed in PARTS TWO and THREE, but somehow contrived to lose them. Will do them again.
      .
      The new Principal will be “Deepika Samarasinge”. Whether her surname would have been changed to that of her husband I don’t know. “Liberated women” don’t do that, but she will then be using not her mother’s name but that of her father, Rajeev Samarasinghe (whose mother had been Principal of Hillwood, Kandy).
      .
      I know that all that I have said in the paragraph above is of low significance. What I put on in the evening, as PARTS TWO to even PART FIVE will be serious, and also significant.
      .
      nimal, and old codger, please take all that follows very seriously.

      • 3
        0

        S_M,

        It was a sendoff, was it? Then it was a good sendoff…..lady must have done many good things for the school.

        Hillwood College Kandy! I think I visited the place about 11 years ago for their annual concert. Didn’t realize it was an Anglican school. Thought it was a Buddhist one.

        • 2
          0

          RTF,
          .
          I attended the Prize Giving when my elder daughter was the Head Prefect. What later overtook her life is sad. We, in Sri Lanka are cursed.
          .
          Must stick to relevance:
          .
          All the Prefects were in this Kandyan Sari – and barefoot!
          .
          Extrapolate from there! I have so much to say, but it can be done only if I have readers like you, who actually – think!
          .
          Yes, I admire you for that, RTF. (Said rather fearful of oc’s jealousy).
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe

          • 0
            2

            //All the Prefects were in this Kandyan Sari – and barefoot!\\

            My foot! All boru bogus Nationalism! Only big-shot Sinhalese are run after…..don’t care two hoots for the struggling Sinhala (and Tamil). Elitism (where money is concentrated at the top) is the motto, where only the good get rich.

          • 1
            0

            No, RTF, your comment is off the mark.
            .
            I’m in a train getting to Colombo, so I can’t go into this in detail. But we could later.
            .
            If there was elitism, it would have been of an ostentatious sort. What we have to do is
            to level up.
            .
            I have worked mainly in State Schools; although I know zero Tamil, I’ve done my best to
            raise standards there. I’m glad that you are trying to look closely at what’s happening here. However, my earlier reservations stand. You’re the interested foreigner looking in with sympathy.
            .
            Thanks. Will submit and continue.
            .
            Panini Edirisinhe

            • 1
              0

              It’s sundown, RTF, I lost a longish comment that I addressed to you. Lots of tunnels going down Kadugannawa.
              .
              My first comment on the train was from UVA, after I boarded the train at 10.00 am.
              .
              Please continue this discussion when another suitable article gets written.
              .
              It becomes constructive when all are candid, polite, and without hidden agenda.
              .
              A typo above. I mean unostentatious – the opposite has got typed in.

  • 3
    1

    The Serious Stuff

    PART TWO
    .
    Just before admission, with my daughter having arrived in Lanka with the kids, little Anaya
    had to be seen by the Principal, Mrs Speldewinde. The latter was furious when she found that the kid knew no Sinhala. “Do you expect the school to do everything for you”, etc. My daughter wisely held her peace stomached it all, recognising that it was her fault. The Principal finally relented, and both kids commenced schooling.
    .
    However, it was Kimaya, the elder who was weeping all the time. The moment she was woken owing to the prospect of entering that horrible school. Anaya fitted in better. My daughter spent all morning hovering round the school, without disturbing anybody. She got talking with the other parents; then she visited other privately-run schools in the area (she was by then operating from Pita-Kotte, although the idea earlier had been a condominium in Ward Place). She knew the red-tape for government school admission to rule that option out, and had taken my warnings about crowded classes, favouritism, etc seriously. Actually, she hardly needed my advice on that; knew how syllabus and exam-oriented it all was.

    • 0
      2

      //The latter was furious when she found that the kid knew no Sinhala. “Do you expect the school to do everything for you”, etc.\\

      Good Lord! The level of Nationalism is so misplaced/misguided. With so many of our nationals living out of Sri Lanka, they should have a Sinhala integration class, where Sinhalese is taught for at least a year (of course the parents can pay for the extra classes). No brains for that when they are seeping in boru nationalism.

      • 1
        0

        Dear RTF,
        .
        Rather an unusual situation
        for the Principal, I guess! The point is that the school had “English Medium classes”, which my daughter eschewed for the Sinhala medium. The kids had been in Malaysia, and I should imagine that they would have heard just a little Sinhala from two “aunties” – one under twenty-five, the other in her forties.
        .
        They were not fluent speakers of English, and liked the daily hour that they spent in this condominium. I told you that I spent a fortnight in KL. These women – I guess that they called themselves maids – used to visit about seven households a day – for an hour each. Different times. One specialised in cleaning, mopping and ironing (something I’m very lazy to do myself); the other in cooking, I think. My daughter also used to do her bit. The result – that house was so different from my untidy place in Bandarawela.
        .
        I’m the incorrigible guy in the family. So, there was a bit of Sinhala that they heard – no Tamil. Only my elder daughter knows Tamil. We can all speak Sinhala, but we don’t seem to do it within the family.

        .

      • 1
        0

        Importance of Sinhala – Part Two
        .
        BTW, did you know that CT has a Sinhala Section – many overlook even that.
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/uvindu-kurukulasuriya-8-december-2021/
        .
        LM is for ever asking me to write in Sinhala; I could laboriously do it, but I’m of the view that there’s no point writing anything at all, unless it gets read. Just take a look at that; there are comments by me there, in English. What to do? Better be honest about our shortcomings.
        .
        In her father-in-laws spacious house there has been Rupa, the maid. She speaks in Sinhala, but you see the problem, don’t you? Sinhala becomes the servant’s language. Some do it deliberately; I insist on using Sinhala as a language of dignity. This is one of my problems with S. Thomas’. I insist on Sinhala and Tamil be both accorded places of dignity and responsibility.

        Importance of Sinhala – Part THREE

      • 1
        0

        Importance of Sinhala – Part THREE
        .
        I know that this whole comment will sound odd to most people. And the irony in Bandarawela is that some of the old boy types imagine that I push for Sinhalese to be allowed at meetings because I don’t know English. However, when I use English, few can follow me, and then they think that I deliberately use high flown language.
        .
        All in all, Sri Lankan attitudes to language are crazy. Given that, I appreciated Mrs Speldewinde’s outrage, as did my daughter. But yes, it was a severe drubbing, and I’m proud of my daughter for managing to weather it.
        .
        However, the real problem in Lanka is teaching English to every child. It was never done pre-Independence. This is why insist on speaking Sinhala to adults to are not fluent in English.
        .
        Incidentally, those International schools in Malaysia don’t bother to teach French. It’s Mandarin Chinese, and obviously, Malay.
        .
        All this raises many questions, I know. The kids got to Colombo last Friday; I’ve booked a train ticket to go down tomorrow. As a pensioner, I’m entitled to First Class Warrants. Now isn’t that nice?
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe

  • 3
    1

    PART THREE
    .
    Why didn’t Kimaya like Ladies’ College?
    She had been to a school in Kuala Lumpur, which I visited. Anaya was longing to grow up to attend this wonderful place full of laughter and play and friednds. When? November 2018, (at the time that Maithripala made MaRa Prime Minister, and Jeevan Hoole, the author of this article, courageously filed action in the Supreme Court) –
    .
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Sri_Lankan_constitutional_crisis
    .
    That’s how one remembers. My daughter and son-in-law spared no cost in providing me a fortnight’s holiday, vitiated by pre-occupation with what was transpiring at home.
    .
    How cursed we Lankans are! These politicians always up to their dirty tricks. Don’t we deserve something better from life?
    .
    That was a fabulous (and expensive) International Nursery. Since the mother was “non-working”, the father’s workplace paid the fees. My daughter had been a banker for 12 years; managed HSBC branches for the last four, but retired the moment Kimaya was born to ensure that she was “properly brought-up”. So, there was home-schooling as well. When one speaks of equal opportunity, this becomes the problem; aren’t such kids at an advantage?

  • 2
    0

    The Serious Stuff
    .
    PART FOUR
    .
    Other attractions of life lived in Malaysia as seen by Panini Edirisinhe
    .

    This was only the third country visited by me. I had returned from the Maldives in 1994. Before that in Oman. Living as expats, we’re not supposed to follow political developments in the host country. I had to be warned a few times by the little family! My son-in-law’s income seemed sufficient for them to live well in that society.

    .
    The kids liked my visit because it meant extra treats for them, too! Visiting the aquarium (situated in the Petronas Towers), the Bird Park, “Menara Kuala Lumpur” – much taller than our Lotus Tower.
    .
    Day to day, the parents were paying for all manner of “educational experiences” in various locations in KL. Swimming, and when I was there, even some “sports” for Kimaya. Some guy getting the kids to throw balls, slide down slopes, and such like. Non-competitive, just to develop kinaesthetics.
    .
    So that’s the life that had to be abandoned by returning to Sri Lanka to study in their “mother tongue” in what was for a century Lanka’s best girls’ school boasting all three media.

  • 2
    0

    The Serious Stuff
    .
    PART FOUR
    .
    Reasons for Kimaya Disliking Ladies’ College

    .
    Her most quotable utterance:
    .
    “At Ladies’ the teachers are teaching all the time! I don’t want that. I want to learn!”
    .
    .
    Better leave it at that. However, these were the observations of Kimaya’s mother:
    .
    The teachers were nice, and competent, but had to satisfy the competitive parents by showing “results.” The Principal was very nice when given the news that the two kids were leaving, and going back to Malaysia. I’m sure that she’ll read this; I haven’t seen her in the flesh. I have seen some videos. I think that she will realise with a shock who the grand aunts of the kids were. My youngest sister (now in North Carolina) is 59 years old. They inhabit a different world from mine!
    .
    What I’m asking Bishop Dushantha to do is to reform the system at the top. I think that he wants to. He told me that he wasn’t reading all this. I didn’t believe those words of his. He has the “Christian Community” to answer to. I cultivate contempt for the entire system.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe

  • 3
    0

    I am getting lots of information from readers. For example one says the pastor who took GB Pounds 300,000+ to buy land without buying it taps water illegally for his institution from a neighbour and everyone at the Pradeshiya Saba knows him for what he is. Another says the money is gone, and no one knows where. His brother bought a palatial house for SL Rs. 14.5 million. Another brother in France sent it to him says this LEADS millionaire. That brother himself was fired from another Christian organisation. Running in the family?

    What we need is a formal investigation leading to criminal charges.

    Who gives all these criminals the title pastor, brother, rev. etc? Should these titles not be regulated like bachelor’s degrees?

    I know one pastor who failed his BTh exams, and called a few people to a prayer meeting at his home. Now his home has a church from foreign funds and he is Pastor.

    All these people who bring these stories say “Please do not quote me.”

    The churches will continue to deteriorate so long as Christians do not demand accountability.

    The Anglican Church too has similar problems so it is not just these free church pastors who are crooked. I heard today that a priest with lapses of many types was posted to a parish in this January’s transfers, and parishioners protested. But the man was foisted on the parish by the Bishop.
    Blame the person making the news. But we blame the person bearing the news!

    • 1
      0

      Dear Professor Hoole,
      .
      You’ve done a great job
      .
      .
      But guys saying, “Please do not quote me.” – and here am I now into my fourteenth year of speaking out, quoting chapter and verse. I’m not even asking for people to be punished.
      .
      An investigation will certainly see me co-operating, but I will settle for even less. I want an assurance that elections be properly conducted in 2024. Who knows? I may have croaked by then. Why can’t the Bishop give me that assurance. However, it’s not really my confidence that he must win; it is the confidence of the teachers.
      .
      Another problem has so far been that most of the stake-holders in these two Uva schools are non-Christians. Faced with a clergyman in robes they get on the defensive.

  • 3
    0

    Prof S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole
    “The Rev. Gnanasara Thero and his Hindu counterpart Maruwanpulavu Sachithananthan allege unethical conversions by Christians.”
    ======
    Can Ratnajevan Hoole explain what he meant by :
    “”The Rev. Gnanasara Thero and his Hindu counterpart Maruwanpulavu Sachithananthan….”
    I don’t know who Maruwanpulavu Sachithananthan is …but is he counterpart of the Racist Gnanasara (I refuse to address him as “The Rev”)
    We all now Racist Gnanasara openly incite racism against Muslims & Tamils and even against those monks who openly criticise his anti Buddhist behaviour.
    =========
    Ratnajevan Hoole himself is a anti Hindu racist ,,he cant write a single article about Christianity without dragging the a Hindu priest or dragging Hinduism.
    ===========
    If there is corruption within Christian Management Board, write about that without dragging other Religion.
    ===========
    One undeniable fact that Hoole has accepted is that Sri Lankan Christians are converts. Whether the motivation to convert is tangible benefit or intangible benefit …only they can answer. For Hoole to think that Christianity whether in Sri Lanka or Globally is clean of corruption is laughable.

    • 3
      0

      Rajash,
      .
      You have a point there. I have told Professor Hoole myself that he must be more mindful of what he says in three areas. Other religions and caste.
      .
      The third is sexuality, where attitudes have been changing, but usually the controversial things he says must be said by someone. Muslim polygamy has to be handled carefully. I’m not saying “anything goes” – and Jeevan has not touched on that.
      .
      However, if you go back to the Bishop’s article, hasn’t Dushantha gone a bit too far in congratulating Rev. Gnanaponraja on his jubilee with nothing about the reasons for his transfer out of St. John’s. There’s worse. All records of that have gone off the Internet.
      .
      We have begun to be tolerant on LBGTQ, but we have to draw a line somewhere. The problem here was coercion. Another paedophilia.
      .
      I have recently been worrying about the extent of manipulation of our minds by those who control digital technology. Those trying to be fair, like Colombo Telegraph have an uphill task. Perhaps impossible.
      .
      Here we can express dislike. You may think you can on YouTube. Think again!

      • 1
        0

        Sinhala_Man “I have recently been worrying about the extent of manipulation of our minds by those who control digital technology.”
        =====
        There was a great programme on BBC2 last night on the very subject.
        How peoples life has been sieged by Social Media.

        Those of us who lived in the era before social media are more equipped to handle Social Media as we can step back in to pre social media mindset and manage the abuse and hatred and racial insult
        ===
        for others of the digital age it’s very difficult to dissociate with social media for them social media is away of life..

        the presenter of the programme switched off form all social media for two weeks as an experiment and he found it difficult to manage.

        Social media is a way of life and we have to learn to live with it ….but in some cases the abuse can go very extrema …death threat1

  • 0
    2

    //All the Prefects were in this Kandyan Sari – and barefoot!\\

    My foot! All boru bogus Nationalism! Only big-shot Sinhalese are run after…..don’t care two hoots for the struggling Sinhala (and Tamil). Elitism (where money is concentrated at the top) is the motto, where only the good get rich.

  • 1
    0

    The Christian schools especially those in “remote” places like Uva, recruit teachers from the State system and then treat them as slaves.
    .
    Why do those teachers come in and get trapped? That has yet to be discussed. I will.
    By now you should know that I’m no dilletant. I’m too old to benefit personally from any improvement in the administration of these schools.
    .
    The public must pay attention because this ultimately affects our entire society.
    .
    You are going on tiny details, which also must be addressed by me.
    .
    However, meanwhile have I not provided detailed insights of what’s going on? Please study all that. It affects only a few, it’s true, but changes here will have a domino effect.
    .
    Stopping now,
    .
    Google “Thomian Pharisees”.

  • 3
    0

    SJ, I am well informed about the matter of unethical conversion. It has been going on for centuries and still continues today. A child is easily manipulated. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-59602955 I wish the SL Government would ban child ordination in the Sangha too, but that is too much to hope for.

    • 0
      2

      Paul. ethics or otherwise, I thank God that my ancestors found God in a true conversion as they earlier had a buddhist conversion only. It was the greatest gift I received in my life as Jesus became real, I could pray to him and sense distinct answers. That valuable reality cannot be substituted with money, property, position, admiration, being correct or other quality. Ethics apart, yield and surrender mortal thoughts in this life trusting the creator who paid for karmic sins of all humans to transfer liberty to all. Its his union not religion.

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