26 September, 2020

Blog

The Church Of Ceylon Fails To Elect Its Bishop For Colombo

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Our church has two dioceses: Colombo and Kurnunagala. Each is headed by a Bishop and both are under the Archbishop of Canterbury. Our bishop of Colombo – by far the most powerful with almost everything under him except Kurunagala and Kandy –  the Rt. Rev. Dhiloraj Canagasabey had turned 65 recently and we had to call for a new election. Our bishops get a ten-year term unless thy reach their 65 years sooner.

Thus it was that the clergy and  lay representatives from the numerous parishes gathered on Saturday 15 Aug. 2020 at the precincts of the cathedral on Bauddhaloka Mawatha, formerly Bullers Road.

The rules governing election are rather archaic. They had been set to give control to our Archbishop, His Grace The Archbishop of Canterbury. They make it difficult for anyone to win and almost invariably necessitate reference to the Archbishop of Canterbury who will decide unless we select a person with a very high vote. We have the House of clergy and the House of Laity. Each has to give the winner two-thirds of the vote. Failing that, everyone getting less than 20% is eliminated and there is a new round of voting between the remaining. A 60% win is required in each House now. When a reference is made to Canterbury, he seeks counsel usually from the person he knows well, the outgoing bishop, because he does not know the local politics. This violation of democracy has a long history. I know that even the much-talked of Bishop Lakdasa de Mel of Kurunagala, who lost the vote to the archdeacon of Kandy I believe, was selected by this dubious process.

L to R – Marc Billimoria, Perry Brohier, Dushantha Rodrigo

The archaic rules also pretend to ignore reality. Until the 15 of Aug. no one was to declare his candidature. As claimed, the Holy Ghost will inspire a person to nominate a candidate from the floor, and the nominee, also energized by the Holy Ghost, would accept the nomination. Despite the pretence, we all knew as far back as late last year that the candidates would be The Rev. Dushantha Rodrigo (Headmaster of St. Thomas’ Prep), The Very Rev. Perry Brohier (Archdeacon of Colombo) and The Rev. Marc Billimoria (Warden of St. Thomas’ Mount). The latter name floated up and down as interested, not interested etc., but by recent times it was evident that he would agree (regardless of the Holy Ghost). Campaigning has been in earnest. It was widely let known that Bishop Dhilo wanted Brohier because both are said to be so-called Bible-believing evangelicals although the other two, too, are Bible-believing.

Although Brohier was a candidate and known to be so, he was allowed to call the Council to order, giving him good exposure. Those who protested were told the Holy Spirit argument. When the protest was widely the talk of the church, Brohier backed off, presumably having been moved ahead of 15 Aug. by the Holy Spirit to know he is a candidate. The rules require the senior-most archdeacon to chair. He agreed he would not.

The four archdeacons are Bishop Dhilo’s appointees so all have a healthy and obedient respect for the him. With Brohier now admittedly contesting, it should have been the next senior-most. But Sam Ponniah, whom the Bishop appointed archdeacon for Jaffna by jumping over several senior priests, was declared by the Registrar to be the chair, again jumping to the front. Unlike the other archdeacons he is aggressive enough to tweak the system. The Registrar, Chanaka de Silva, is also known to be of loyal service, declaring as not permitted all resolutions that do not please the Bishop, because they “are beyond the competence” of the Council or “detrimental to the fellowship and unity of the body of Christ.” By his definition he can over-rule any resolution that the Bishop does not like. With his legal counsel, Bishop Dhilo even managed to ignore a near unanimous resolution asking for corrections to the Tamil Eucharistic liturgy that are being  translated by Rev. Joshua Rutnam calling God “without holiness” and eliminating all references to God as Almighty, “Thou only art Holy” etc. because it is an insult to other gods. He left out one of the ten commandments, still calling it the Decalogue.

The manipulation did not end there. A cheap trick by Rutnam while proposing Bilimoria was to say that Bilimoria had earned his degree from Oxford London (or London Oxford, I am not sure). The University of London is distinct from the University of Oxford. It upset many. In fact Fr. Bilimoria earned his theology degree from  what the college itself describes thus: “Ripon College Cuddesdon is a Church of England theological college.” It is neither in Oxford nor in London. The STC Centenary Group misspells the name as “Ripon College Cuddecdon,” rather surprising for an elitist group that tells others that they do not know English when they write St. Thomas’ instead of S. Thomas’  (the alternative and rare form they use for distinction). The elitism is so ingrained that the school switched from soccer to rugger, openly stating in writing that soccer is for ordinary people, but rugger is for those who are employed by the private sector.

There has been some suspicion over vote counting after Hiran Fernando reported that a then young vote counter, later the Secretary calling himself CEO of the Church, sought his counsel asking “Uncle some people as me to change the number. What do I do?” So some did not want a package where the Standing Committee headed by the Bishop proposed names for recording and counting. When Engineer Selliah Premkumar proposed supplementing that list, Ponniah asserted that adding names is to not trust the appointees. Put in those terms, the House rejected Premkumar’s suggestion. When points of order were raised, Ponniah simply failed to rule and moved on.

The first round results are as follows:

Not having secured 20% of the clergy vote Bilimoria was eliminated for the next round. (If not the dreadful and likely consequence is that we would have had to vote on the same three candidates leading perhaps to a deadlock unless somebody withdrew or a new candidate entered the fray.

By the time we got to the second round it was close to midnight we had started with morning prayer and mass at 7:00 am. We were tired. The results are as follows:

It was as I had predicted to friends – even if all of Bilimoria’s clergy switched to Rodrigo, he would not get 60% of the clergy. No surprise in a Church where many priests are out of touch with the laity.

To understand the vote and the difference between clergy and lay vote results, one must understand the clerical mentality with respect to the Bishop. My mother told me of the time when union among the Protestant Churches was being hotly discussed. Our English bishop was opposed to it and the overwhelming vote was against union. Shortly after the Bishop left, the new Bishop was all for union. The Diocese immediately responded with an overwhelming vote for union. 

This obsequiousness must be seen in the light of the clergy being so dependent on their bishop, even an outgoing bishop, to whom they might be obligated for much – postings, children’s school admission, scholarships, leave etc. Just look at the priests who manage to stay permanently in Colombo with rich congregations – children at St. Thomas’, Ladies or Bishop’s, a car from the parish, an envelope with say Rs.10,000 after attending a parish-child’ birthday,  etc. In contrast my priest in Jaffna has an old motorbike and I have seen him taking his full-term wife for a checkup on his pillion like the once Head of the Methodist Church, Engineer Rev. Duleep Fernando transported his expecting wife, a Professor. In contrast, our archdeacons have been assigned Rs. 10 million for a vehicle each. While the retired socialist Bishop Kenneth Fernando lives in a modest house in Pilliyandala, the newly retired Bishop, I am informed by Father Isaak, has been rented a house in Park Road Colombo for Rs. 100,000 a month when the stipend for a priest is about Rs. 20,000 a month. It is argued that this house is cheap because it was found by a benefactor, a magnate in the insurance industry, whose son was fast-tracked to priest without any theological education.

In contrast, the laity was steadfast for change. They are tired of the corruption and extravagance of the Colombo set when the vast majority from a rural setting live in abject poverty. Their poverty is hidden only by their majestic church buildings generously funded by foreign donors.

The election failed because Rodrigo did not get 60% of the clergy, although he got 63.28% of the overall vote. A gracious Brohier should have withdrawn so that as the lone candidate Rodrigo would get 100% of the vote. He did not. Can Brohier in conscience, if that happens, now accept an appointment as Bishop with merely 36.72% of the overall vote? And from Archbishop Justin Welby who is defending himself against charges of covering up clerical sexual abuse in the UK that could potentially lead to his resignation.

We must change our anachronistic constitution and make it democratic without handing over undeserved power to our Bishops to reward favorites and ideological bedfellows. We must let the real people of the church choose.

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Latest comments

  • 17
    17

    This is absolutely outrageous! Thanks, Professor Hoole!
    .
    However, just as Homer used to nod occasionally, this Professor of Engineering also seems to have got the statistics in the Second Table mixed up just a bit.
    .
    On the other hand, his writing makes the message clear enough.
    .
    The mistake has crept into the clergy percentage for Dushantha Rodrigo in the final round. It should have been 54.46%, which is still short of 60%, true, but is well ahead of Perry Brohier. Prof. Hoole has given Dushantha’s number of clergy (ten more than Brohier) a lower percentage than Brohier.
    .
    It also seems clear that a few of the laity, seeing that Dushantha was easily ahead among them, have gone home instead of hanging around until midnight. Could Professor Hoole please indicate the basis for his fear that Archbishop Welby of Canterbury will appoint “Rev. 36.7%” as the next Bishop?
    As for the run-up to the election, I can assure Jeevan that all Thomians knew a month ago that these three were candidates,
    .
    I have written about some strange Thomian election practices here:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/challenging-three-cheating-thomian-pharisees-and-not-doing-it-from-behind/
    .

    • 8
      9

      Mr Panini Edirisinghe,
      .
      I would like to quote from above article with small changes.
      ———-
      A gracious(?) SP/RW/AKD should have withdrawn so that as the lone candidate GR would get 100% of the vote. They did not. Can SP/RW/AKD in conscience, if that happens, now accept an appointment as anything with merely 29.9% of the overall vote? and 21.3 of the total registered vote?
      ———-
      End of quote
      .
      Words speak for themselves………

      • 7
        3

        S. C. Pasqual,
        .
        A spurious argument.
        .
        Gota’s citizenship is still an issue in my mind, of a different sort.
        .
        Here the parallel would be if it was held that Sajith still was in the race after Gota got his 52% of votes polled. Please examine all the comments that I have made on the elections. I haven’t once spoken of only 71% having turned up. I’ve not tried to dispute Gota’s votes won at the elections. I can’t make much of 29.9% and 21.3%. Not worth pondering. You’re neither sincere nor committed to “truth”.
        .
        However, that Sepala Amarasinghe campaign to brainwash into spoiling votes by writing NOTA, I see as ominous.
        .
        Our voters are foolish, but what’s to be done? Those are our people.

        • 3
          2

          Dear Mr SM,

          dont be disturbed by Sepal Amarasinghe. His thoughts and minds seem to be mixed up. Now he is tending to criticise more about MEDAMULANA racals.
          .
          Just to tell you, I dont think you should further waste your precious time for SCP or the like POLBURUWAS (literally the modayas) that would not seem grasphing the little about human life. Christian Schools are controlled by colombo bishop – however looking at the manner how SCP or the like men behave as seniors in the society, can you ever think their masters would behave well ? I know Churches in europe are very powerful. I am used to worship COLOGNE cathedral at least 4 times a years. They maintain highest levels of disipline than anything else. Is that case in SRILANKEN churches and their sympathisers ? No, most of them, go after superstious beliefs as notimes in the past.

          contd.

          • 3
            1

            Dear SM,

            I look at srilanka with growing despair today than few months ago. I dont think I am the the only one.

            Mr SM,
            It is worth giving a chance to comment on behalf of you. But I have no clue as to why people in that hell, CALLED Srilanka behave so. Either people are totally foolish or their thoughts and minds are equally robbed outby powerful agents.
            Christianity is a minority religion in Sri Lanka of 22 millions of people. Most oft hem are born buddhists but what they have been prasitising is not buddhism as taught by LORD BUDDHA, a different version mixed up with Hinduism or Jainism. Christianity was introduced to the island in first century, probably in AD 72. Traditionally, after Thomas the Apostle’s visit in Kerala in AD 52, Christianity is said to have been introduced via India because of its close geographical and commercial ties. According to Christian traditions, the apostle Thomas preached the Gospel in Sri Lanka. Records suggest that St. Thomas Christians and Nestorian Christians lived in Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura cross is one of the archaeological claims that suggest Christianity in Sri Lanka before the Portuguese.Roman Catholicism was introduced by the Portuguese in 1505. There were conversions by Dutch persons in the 17th century, which resulted in a percentage of church members in excess of 10%.

            • 3
              1

              to be contd
              The Christian population of Sri Lanka includes members of both the Sinhalese and Tamil ethnic groups. Both of these groups, most oft hem have no idea what they have been doing. They are utterly disgusting fools. Sometimes no basis to see why they react so. Be it national elections or any other elections, they most oft hem, dont care much about the facts.
              Outcome would be to pave the way idiots becoming the people’s representatives. I remind Mr Ranajan Ramanayaka saying „ malli people in this country are controlled by some external forces – it is not internal men but some groups connected to internal agents“.

              • 2
                1

                Dear LM,
                .
                That’s a remarkable knowledge of the history of Christianity to possess, considering that you were not brought up in the faith. It also seems quite accurate to me.
                .
                Having been brought up in this religion, I too know a lot, but obviously not everything. If I may intuit, with a guy possessing my background, bits of knowledge tend to flit in and out of my conscious mind.
                .
                What is also certainis that this world would be much better if there were more persons like you.

                • 1
                  0

                  Dear SM,

                  thanks very much. I have the feeling I am not the same person as had been before. I am very unhappy thinking about the future of srilanka. Please check the video below. You may be thinking that so called buddhists in SL would respect the others.
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMi6bNEniyk

                  • 1
                    0

                    All religions outline ethical or moral codes of conduct. No religion could be better than the other. I am born into BUDDHAGAMA, which was then called buddhism but it has turned out to be religion that promotes hatreds and disharmony as of today in my country. However, it has been changed a lot over the decades. These codes of conduct include concepts such as filial piety, reciprocity, compassion, and social responsibility. The difference between buddhist monks then and that of today’s are sky high.
                    Please listen to what GHANSARA BBS head has done to this monk:
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMi6bNEniyk
                    All religions also include a cosmology that explains the nature of earth, the heavens, and/or mankind itself. Religious cosmology may also explain the fate of mankind or the ultimate fate of the cosmos.
                    Religions also contain specific practices. Buddhagama in Srilanka has now become a business. It ist he same in Thailand. In my childhood, going back to late 70ties, I respected my srilanken budhism, because, I did not know much about the real practices of it.


                    to be contd.

                    • 1
                      0

                      continuing

                      After moving out oft he country, I go tot know islamists, hindus, jewish adherents, christians an all other inclucing atheists. Some black americans have their various sectors of christianity.
                      Common religious practices include: prayer, meditation, contemplation, worship, confession of faith, and the veneration of important figures. Another common aspect of all religions is that they contain a central figure or set of figures. Those who respect relgions were believed to have achieved a lot in their life. But the chinese and commmunist world broke it proving that it is not these case. Lookg at the chinese, they dont care anything but their motivation is affinity to materials.

              • 2
                0

                LM
                May I add that the Portuguese were ignorant of the tradition of Thomas the Apostle which fell upon the “Syrian Christians”. (Interestingly, the Syrian Christian elite now compromise interests as reactionary as the Hindu right.)
                Roman Catholicism suffered after the Portuguese left, very much under the Dutch and less under the British.
                Protestant Christians in this country (except perhaps the Pentecosts), unlike Roman Catholics are a middle class phenomenon, and have had a tradition of state patronage which explains much of its socio-political attitudes. The were poor relatives for long.
                Political opportunism (like Donoughmore Buddhists) was more among Protestants. You may even remember the good Christian SL Gunasekara, who was politically more Sinhala Buddhist than his allies in the Sihala Urumaya.
                Although the Roman Catholics were more stable, of late we see much institutional opportunism.
                Politicized religion is evil, regardless of faith
                *
                ps.
                Please do not call this country names like ‘hell’.
                It is offensively patronising if not downright insulting.
                Would you use such names for countries of Europe and North America where life is far worse for people of colour, and fascism is openly in action?

          • 0
            0

            Dear leelagemalli,
            .
            This is a very serious comment.

            .
            You are the sort of person who, in one sense, we need everybody to be.
            .
            Unfortunately, we are surrounded by many crooks. You are much too trusting a person.
            .
            S. C. Pasqual is a known irritation; we can counter him – and in a sense, he is an honest man, with whom we don’t agree.
            .
            Sepal Amarasinghe is a much more dangerous snake in the grass. That he is now somewhat critical of the Rajapaksas underlines for me the danger that he is.
            .
            He has already betrayed those whose trust he managed to win. He started his NOTA campaign in time to help the Rajapaksa landslide, which may have come even without him. Now, he’s trying to win the trust of people again, and your current observations show how easy it is even for an intelligent man like you to get taken in again.
            .
            You are intelligent; the problem is that your heart rules your head.
            .
            I beg you: Please keep away from this Sepal fellow – and warn others as well.

    • 6
      0

      Homer and Hoole are awake.
      “However, just as Homer used to nod occasionally, this Professor of Engineering also seems to have got the statistics in the Second Table mixed up just a bit.”
      I checked the tables and they appear in order. It shows Rev D R as 54.46% – no error there.

      • 1
        2

        Dear Ferryman,
        .
        When this article appeared just before midnight on Monday the 18th, Rev. D R’s clergy score was given as 42.86% – the same as his First Round score.
        .
        I made my hurried comment, and it has appeared so fast that Mr S. C. Pasqual was able to able to make his rather silly comment before midnight.
        .
        By the next morning, the correction had been made and the fonts for the Second Table enlarged.
        .
        This comment is a digression. We must emulate the practice of Cato the Elder, who used to end every speech with “Carthago delenda est”. Instead, let us end every comment with:
        .
        May the Holy Ghost prod Dhilo to demonstrate the proof of his premiss that “Perry must take precedence over Dushantha because the learned Engineer has placed his statistics to the left and Dushantha’s to the right”. No, that’s too long and clumsy. Let’s just content ourselves with chanting:
        .
        “Down with Dhilo; long live Dushy!”
        .
        Uninspired – please invent something better, Ferryman.

        • 4
          0

          I did not invent. At the time I commented the table showed 54.46% but at the time of your comment you say it was different. So that is OK. That was all you need to say and not be so prolix and even bring in bystander SCP.

          • 1
            0

            Both of these comments are good.
            .
            About Pasqual: both of us are “regular” commenters on CT. You will notice that he has “intruded” where he has no real interest and he has addressed his comment to me by name – so regular is our banter.
            .
            He’s got a definite political line, but he doesn’t trouble me.
            .
            Your comment lower down is remarkably perspicacious. Let me move down there.
            .
            Invention? A better slogan was what I asked for!
            .
            “Down with Dhilo; long live Dushy!”

            .

            .

  • 18
    5

    Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole,
    .
    It’s an honor to see you, minorities enjoying the religious freedom ensured by the majority sinhala community and GR government.
    .
    Thank you professor.

    • 9
      1

      Mr.Pasqual,

      ,” minorities enjoying the religious freedom ensured by the majority”
      Going by your name, you are not a Buddhist. So I should not ask you why the majority Sinhala Buddhists aren’t allowed their full rights in the election of Asgiriya / Malwatta Mahanayakas.

      • 5
        0

        Mr COdger,

        I really dont know what SCP or the like men are upto. Whatever, the kind stupid men would add, sound to be very supportive to the rascals. May be people as a whole would respect the crime – friendly leaders today. I have no clue about lanken society anymore. It is really sad to see this tendency.
        Last evening I had been thinking as to why our people are easy manipulative today than some years ago ? The reason could be, that many today would not read as a habbit. My elders read a lot and they knew well what they were talking about. Today, peoples are caught by TV and Internet rather than printed media as their source of info.

      • 1
        0

        old codger

        “So I should not ask you why the majority Sinhala Buddhists aren’t allowed their full rights in the election of Asgiriya / Malwatta Mahanayakas.”

        It is because those jobs are exclusively reserved for Radalas/Goviyas in the supposed to be casteless Sinhala/Buddhist enlightened society.

    • 2
      1

      Yes, I get it, old codger.
      .
      Not all Sinhalese are allowed to decide on matters related to the Buddha sasana.
      .
      It depends on caste, doesn’t it?

      • 1
        1

        SM,
        Caste? That’s not a word to be used in polite Sinhala Buddhist society, is it?

        • 4
          1

          OC,

          Polite Sinhala Buddhist Society ? Gone were the days we had polite buddhist led society in that island. Today wearing thick pirith noole they are on their way to perpetrate next crime. Please look at those make every effort to be seen as buddhists ( to many they are so called strong buddhists) but none of them would care about ” five precepts “which is the basics of buddhist teachings.

      • 1
        0

        Mr Sinhala Man,

        It is just the culture. Why is that you cant study it properly ? They believe in BUDDHGAMA not buddhism which is considered as a philosopy, as LB taught it.
        :
        How can what is being practised today in SL ever be close to LORD buddha s nobel teachings ? A group calling themselves as the patriots, licking the bo trees, make every effort to show the locals, that they are born to protect buddhagama. The name of buddhagama they get elected in to the parliament, no matter, even chilli powder throwing ballige puthas, are among them. Both people and their representatives are to be blamed for the rascal culture.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMi6bNEniyk

        We the outsiders see it better than you guys would do – how unethical sinhalayas of the days are upto. Rascals support the rascals – that is their life motto.

        • 1
          0

          We the outsiders see it better than you guys would do – how unethical sinhalayas of the days are upto. Rascals support the rascals – that is their life motto.

          If more of SINHALA MAN or the like seniors did their job properly, appalling levels of the society as we experieince in SL today, would not have been reachd. For various seasons, those seniors have been on their long slumber EVEN if a few of them do their best. If a nation to move forward, they should invest more for human/society building, above all for a country which had been caught by a BRUTAL war for longer than 30 long years.

          This we cant expect from a BUNCH of thugs, born to Medamulan DEN. Even if they call themselves today to be WALLAWWA people, I still remember, my elders resounding them as ” beliattha rascals” in as of late 70ties.

          That barbaric man, by name Ghanasara and Athana methana natana Rathana seems to be fighting for the P seat as lay men wearing PIRITHNOOLE would do. One violent monk, is already assaulted by Ghansara “DHADORIA of sinhala monkhood” – Dhadoria is a colloquial term used by SINHALESE call “a mischievous dog”.
          Reply

  • 5
    14

    Why does this writer think the case he writes about would interest the general reader in the least?
    |
    He writes about a cabal created by the murderous, syphilitic Henry VIII in order to get his divorce (which the Catholic Church disallowed at he time). Then they spread this evil in the colonies as a ‘church’, converting penny seeking traitors in Jaffna and Colombo.
    |
    Hoole writes about the power of “His Grace The Archbishop of Canterbury” et al. Who are these people and what is the relevance of these people to us in Sri Lanka in 2020?
    |
    As the recent media reports show, Hoole has an ongoing issue with his ‘church’, and judging from the manner he abused the EC privileges, trying to show himself as a raving ‘democrat’, the reader would read between the lines here.

    [edited out]

    • 8
      1

      Shelley Belley,

      On the contrary, I myself am most interested in this case, given that the said Anglican church owns property across the country to the tune of literally BILLIONS (including the number of acres it owns in Colombo 07 and Colombo 03, all on freehold. It also controls a large number of ‘elite’ educational institutions in the country, whether we like it or not, which also nets them hundreds of millions of rupees per year. In addition, like the Catholic and evangelical churches in Sri Lanka there is a high likelihood that it will be used for money laundering and other nefarious activity (if not already the case) if it continues to be controlled from behind the scenes by the corrupt man from Batticaloa.

      • 2
        0

        Walter Bagehot, Amen.
        .
        St. Anley

  • 14
    0

    Well the premier Anglican School similarly has a set of Rules which are very archaic being Ordinance No.7 of 1930. The Branch Schools at Kollupitiya and Bandarawela and Gurutalawa altogether are still represented by just one old boy at the Board of Governors. This was the rule when Kollupitiya and Bandarawela were Preparatory Schools with Grades 1 to 5 and Gurutalawa Grades 6 to 10 and had fewer students and to go to Mt. Lavinia for A levels (or Uni Entrance earlier). The two Prep Schools fed both Mt. Lavinia and Gurutalawa after Gr. 5. But all three have now all grades 1 to 10 and increased numbers with diverse problems. Example when Guru had 200 students in 1956 now has 500. Representations for change over nearly 20 years for three separate representatives are ignored as this suits the Chairman to manipulate to get an obsequious candidate to fill the place.

    • 3
      0

      Yes, there is much that is sick with S. Thomas’. Apart from Ferryman’s very relevant observations, there’s the snobbery which is still embarrassingly there.
      .
      In 100 Years at Mount (2018), page 292, Lassie Abeywardene quotes Justice Gratiaen: “Football,” he said “was a working-class game. No boy at STC would get into the planting circle unless he played Rugger”.
      .
      So, in 1955, Rugger was started, and football given up.
      .

    • 0
      0

      Dear Ferryman,
      .
      Yesterday,
      I really was looking for a place to substantiate the Rugby vs Football sports option in the main article.
      .
      Today’s observations by me are based on your brilliant seminal comment placed right here. You really know what you are talking about.
      .
      To start with, you have selected the correct year to contrast with the present. 1956 was when Keble left (to start “a new life” in Canada) “selling” the two schools (not a commercial deal, missionary and educational considerations mattered) to S. Thomas’. This was when the Bandarawela and Kollupitiya schools came administratively under the Board of Governors. Upto then, they were Keble’s private property.
      .
      He handed over hurriedly to a Mr Obeysekera ( a devotee of Bacchus who lasted only a month) before my tee-totalling father ran the school efficiently for two terms. I”m relying on memory here, and I was only an eight year old. My father, an excellent and versatile teacher without the paper qualifications was only a stop-gap..
      .
      tbc
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe aka “Sinhala_Man”

      • 2
        0

        Thanks for that interesting information. I must correct one factual error. The Kollupitiya school was never ‘Keble’s private property’. He began it as an experiment with the blessing of Cannon R S De Saram as Manager on the full understanding it would be considered an extension of STC if successful. That school was taken under the Board of Governors in 1940 or 1941 the latest (definitely before the two Colombo Schools were relocated during WW2) and De Saram was vital in getting the Kollupitya property back from the government/military (then as now, the Church was relatively docile and useless in such matters). It is possible the arrangement you mentioned was the case in Bandarawela – I have no idea as I have not had any connection with that branch. I am certain of the above though, as my father was a close associate of De Saram and also served on the Board at the time. I seem to have seen copies of the Board minutes in his records many years ago (now lost). I was told that Rajan Asirwatham who clung on to the position of board secretary for donkeys years lost all of their own records.

        • 1
          0

          Thanks, Stephen.
          .
          What you have corrected is a pretty serious misapprehension on my part.
          .
          Thanks for saying it so nicely, and also for substantiating it the way that you have. We would certainly have fewer problems if everyone acted as decently as you obviously do.
          .
          I will attempt a more detailed response later.

    • 0
      0

      Continuing
      .
      So, my father, David Edirisinhe,
      ran the school efficiently on Keble lines for a time but reverted to being a teacher, albeit as the only properly appointed Deputy Headmaster (designations have always been eccentric”) that the school ever had. Tragically, he died in 1963, aged only 53. There now are “Deveni Mahattayas” for local consumption.
      .
      Perimpanayagam at Kollupitiya
      was allowed to continue for many years, and then was followed by those who had the Keble vision because they were people hand-picked by the Founder. For example Mr JSL Fernando was actually brought up to Bandarawela for two years in the earliest period.
      .
      I’m not going to research every detail; an unrealistic exercise, unless it is in a less ephemeral format. Too many people allow the vague childhood notions that they carry to become the truth for them. I have fact-checked. In 1956, Gurutalawa had only 237 students. Were you one? In December 1964, Rev. John Foster (the last missionary) died in office. The Board didn’t really exercise their duties and numbers swelled to 1247 by July 1983.
      .
      tbc

    • 0
      1

      Continuing again:

      Today, Gurutalawa is struggling. Post-COVID-19, five hundred is about right. But with classes from Kindergarten to O. Levels, with students in the Sinhala and Tamil media, that’s inadequate. Add to that the Bi-lingual stream (miscalled English Medium), and you see the near impossibility of managing.
      .
      Rev. Nesakumar is realistic and is managing quite well. However, he hasn’t got a vision. These are the privileged clergy whom Jeevan Hoole (never a Thomian – he was throughout at the excellent mission-run St John’s, Chundikuli, Jaffna) has referred to. Rev. Balraj at Bandarawela is worse – a man at the heart of the Canagasabey resistance. He was an erudite (and popular) lecturer at the Theological College at Pilimatalawa; many younger priests have been his pupils. Even Rev. Marc Billimoria, who is only 48. I have had to make Police Complaints against both Nesakumar and Balraj. Need I say more on this score ?
      .
      Actually what we now have is an improvement. There were only 154 boys at Gurutalawa when the rescue mission was launched in February 2007. I am as aware as you how necessary the reforms you have suggested are.
      .
      tbc

    • 0
      0

      Concluding for today. Any further comments will come down at the bottom.
      .

      We are too old to play any direct part in this, but I hope that sharp younger people will realise the need for radical change.
      .
      Let me delay comment on the Bandarawela school until the AGM of the OBA is over – on Saturday – tomorrow.
      .
      This is what I wrote in December 2016:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-thomian-pharisees-are-unrepentant-why-this-matters-to-all-sri-lankans/
      .
      Five articles in all that bear out the validity of what you say. There are links, if you start with the most recent that is there in my first comment.
      .
      You now know my name; please try to establish direct contact. People who will come up with objective facts and logical thinking are very necessary.
      .
      It is not the Ordinance of 1930 that denies the Branch Schools representation on the BoG. It is these Rules, badly drafted:
      .
      http://www.stcg62group.org/PDF/College/05_Rules_of_STC_Board_of_Governors.pdf

      .
      The Board itself can change them.
      .Concluded for today.
      .

  • 7
    0

    And I thought we leftists were the worst sectarians in the world! On this count, clearly the Holy Ghost is giving Karl Marx a good run for his money.

    • 7
      0

      The Leftists are, and Trotskyists are notorious.
      Much of this stuff is not sectarianism but personal bickering.

      • 4
        1

        That says almost everything SJ.
        :
        What made the pepole behaving as they are upto today ? It is the brutal media mafia. What are the primary source of info to the average today ? How many of them are readers of news papers ? How do they get their information ?

        Over 70% are based on TV news (Derana TV, Hiru TV, Wanmohini or the like pvt channels). The island and DM work for the agendas or rascals. I wonder why there is no such code of ethics to filter out the information before being passed to the public these days ? Rajapkashe profit the situation now and then. Fake perceptions mislead the nation.
        And so called information technology is not a blessing to srilanka today. The west and many countries in the east focus on their improvement using internet and revolutionized information technology. But societies and countries filled with high criminals and total ignorants dont seem to think twice.

    • 3
      0

      Eekdavi,
      “clearly the Holy Ghost is giving Karl Marx a good run for his money.”
      Most irreverent ,Sir , but true nevertheless.

  • 8
    1

    A good analysis of what took place at the election for the position of Bishop of Colombo. I totally agree with Prof Hoole that Fr Perry Brohier should have withdrawn from the election as Fr Dushyantha Rodrigo is more popular with the Clergy as well as the Laity. Shame on you Fr Perry! Fr Dushyantha also was not given the opportunity to serve as the Archdeacon of Colombo by the out going Bishop for reasons not known by all of us! The Colombo Archdeacon position was given to Fr Perry who was a junior priest. Its shocking to note that discrimination exist in our church even today! We should have a clear procedure in promoting clergy to higher positions. I had the privilege of knowing Fr Marc and Fr Dushyantha as we closely associated with them, I also know Fr Perry. Fr Perry is quite an arrogant and mister know all person as during my short acquaintance with him he clearly displayed such qualities! I would have loved to have Fr Marc as the Bishop as I know the heights he could have taken the Anglican Church to, if he was elected! I am sure Fr Dushyantha will also live up to our expectations and I wish him well in the election process! Our prayers are with you Fr Dushyantha.

  • 9
    0

    If these kinds of Reverends and Bishops are transacting business with God, I feel all is not lost for people like me. I’m beginning to have hopes that I’d be allowed in through the Pearly Gates after all.

  • 2
    15

    Reading S. Ratnajeevan Herbert Hoole’s article on the election of a new Bishop, the biblical verse “take out the log in your eye before looking at the speck in your brother’s … ” springs to mind.
    Most regrettably, little does he realise that perhaps the most compelling argument yet against Anglican Church democracy, remains a 5-minute read of its very own Hoole-gan!
    Furthermore, his professed sense of ‘outrage’ is rich indeed, coming as it does, from someone who irresponsibly undermined the credibility of independent institutions at a time when it desperately needs to be upheld, by speaking to the media and effectively urging people not to vote for the SLPP while being a member of the Elections Commission (required to reflect independence). He didn’t even have the moral rectitude/decency to accept his serious lapse as a gentleman would and resign, considering the serious proprietary lapse on his part. He has undermined a key cornerstone of democracy, which no-one involved in the Bishop’s Election (whether candidates or otherwise) has done. In fact, proper, objective civil society would have called for his immediate resignation notwithstanding their generally known aversion to the SLPP.
    Hoole’s professed love for God, country, community and church are sadly mere vehicles for projection of his diminishing self for self-inflation of his own stature and ego.

    • 6
      0

      ” He has undermined a key cornerstone of democracy, which no-one involved in the Bishop’s Election (whether candidates or otherwise) has done”

      ___

      How do you know this?

      ___

      Dhiloraj Canagasabey – is that you?

    • 10
      0

      So called True Anglican

      Rather than disputing a single seemingly indisputable fact that Hoole has presented, you have instead displayed personal vitriol against him. Who cares what he did or didn’t do in some other capacity? Does this somehow absolve the corruption of the church? I too have commented negatively on his other articles. However in this case the man is spot on. Disgusting behaviour by the so called saviours of the people and by the likes of Chanaka De Silva who as far as I know could even be you.

    • 4
      3

      Tell us this clearly, True Anglican:
      .
      Do you want Brohier to be the next Bishop?
      .
      Give a clear answer, sanctimonious coward hiding behind a pseudonym.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 48 3111 444 V)

    • 4
      1

      True Anglican,
      “serious proprietary lapse on his part.”
      What’s that again?
      Ye gods, an Anglican who mangles English!

      • 4
        2

        OC
        Anglicanism is about religion not language.

        • 5
          0

          SJ,
          Dear old QE2 is the head of the Anglican Church. No True Anglican should mangle her language.

          • 4
            0

            Touché

    • 2
      1

      True Anglican,
      .
      This gets tiresome. Many of us went into this “don’t vote SLPP business” at the time the allegation was made.
      .
      It was quite simply not true. Hoole had asked voters not to work for certain types of candidate (those guilty of various crimes) and the SLPP put the hat on. This distortion was also spread by the “Mawbima” and “Ceylon Today” newspapers. If you tell me that your argument hinges on this story, please tell me. I’ll dig up the refutation. The problem for us is that if we debunk one story, people like you come up with another.
      .
      As Bagehot has said, stick to the facts about this Bishop Election.

  • 3
    11

    Since Hool has forgotten to include certain things in his article, I thought of sharing the following with the readers.

    As approved by the standing committee, Rev Fr Melvin de Silva was to be the chief scrutiny at the Bishop’s election. however, Hool thought being a member of the election commission of Sri Lanka, should be the chief scrutiny. the vote was taken and Hool just managed to get 40 votes and Rev Fr Melvin received 268 Votes. end result was a member of the election commission of Sri Lanka was badly defeated by a highly respected Anglican clergy. as a result, both Clergy and Laity had wasted almost 2 hours.

    2. Hool was talking about renting a house for Bishop Dhiloraj. yes, it is true. It is the duty of the Diocese of Colombo to look after their former Bishops. accordingly, a house adjoining Cathedral premises was built for Bishop Chickera as well. (in 2011, it has cost LKR 10 Mn)

    In conclusion, I strongly feel that Hool’s eccentric behaviour is highly detrimental to the Anglican Church in Sri Lanka

    • 7
      1

      Dear SudathK

      Alongside your rather pointless addition to this article please comment on the following:
      – Why have none of the said houses within the Cathedral compound been maintained or renovated as required during Dhiloraj’s tenure? Many have leaking roofs and conditions not seen in shanty homes, and this is where folks who have dedicated their lives to the service of the public are supposed to be put out to pasture.
      -Who authorized the sale of the Church owned bungalow in the uva province, on what grounds was this done, and what happened to the funds?
      – What happened to the house worth hundreds of millions on Horton Place that Dhiloraj tried to get the owner to write to his own name but was foiled when her lawyer wrote it to the Bishop of Colombo instead?
      – Have you any evidence to the contrary to contest anything that Hoole has written?

    • 3
      3

      Dear SudathK,
      .
      I’ve tried to be fair by you, and so I listened to a 22-minute video of Rev. Melvin de Silva. He speaks well, and I have nothing against him at all.
      .
      However, can we know about the outcome of the election itself? Who ought to be the new Bishop? Can we focus on that, please?
      .
      I had known the outgoing Bishop for a long time. I have said much that is derogatory of him during the past five years. To me, it is credible that he wants to continue to manipulate. He hasn’t met me; he hasn’t countered my arguments.
      .
      However, again, the question is why is it that Brohier and Canagasabey work against settling on Dushantha Rodrigo’s clear selection last Saturday?
      .
      Why is his appointment being sabotaged? I myself have said many things about the running of the schools. Bagehot, (who seems to be now on the same side as me!) said some things critical of me – I countered them.
      .
      We must move forward.

      • 13
        6

        I was born the son of an Anglican clergyman and was educated in Anglican schools, but am not much a participant in church ritual. My knowledge of Anglican clergy from my father’s time is that they had differences with one another, but were as a rule truthful. And truthfulness was a quality generally associated with Anglicans, even by non-Christians. I have my personal differences with the author, my brother, but there is one matter on which I will stand up for him. He will not lie.
        Reading the article above and through experience, I am disturbed by the prevalence of lying among senior members of the Church. I have it on good authority that there has been a good deal of backdoor canvassing going on to keep out of church office those whom the leaders find a challenge.
        I know for a fact that most practicing Anglicans are afraid of disapproval by priests and persons holding church office – that they would be worse off in the life hereafter. Higher the office, the greater the fear.
        Individual canvassing by persons holding high office is all right if it is not against the rules. I understand that people have been addressed in rooms and told not to vote for so and so. But when I asked the church official concerned he denied it. He could have spoken the truth and defended himself.
        It now appears that lying and deception are normal in the Church.

    • 4
      0

      A neat twist by SudathK.
      The vote was not on Fr. Melvin Vs. Hoole.
      It was on the proposal to add Hoole to the customary panel of 2 from Church Standing Committee.

  • 2
    4

    Dear Stephen Pieris and Sinhala_Man,

    Sorry We are not in a position to reply as We have referred Hoole’s article to a team of legal experts.

  • 13
    1

    The Bishop Stakes are a critical event in the Anglican Church calendar because we get to decide on who leads the flock for a period of up to ten more years. So if we elect a bad egg into authority we suffer the consequences for endless ages as it were. This is why it is important that someone who is not a dictator, does not play power politics, will not abuse his authority and will not line his pockets must be in control. Someone humble, honest and a team player as well as filled with the Holy Spirit needs to be at top. Someone who doesn’t blindly follow in his predecessor’s shoes. The outcome of the election makes it clear that Rev. Rodrigo leads. If not for the persnickety clause which rules that he needs a majority percentage he would have come on on top. However, now we have to wait to hear the Archbishop’s ruling. Will he know enough of the Sri Lankan situation is the question? Will he be guided by the Holy Spirit too in making his decision? Let’s hope that a good sense of fairness prevails.

  • 0
    0

    Is CT a product of some Protestant legacy and I am amazed by some centrifugal thinking in a common platform.

  • 1
    1

    The claim of the Anglican Church is that they have done much for education. Certainly, this new MP, Dr Harini Amarasuriya, I heard recalling, in Sinhala. what a wonderful school Bishop’s College was. I can’t find that hour-long video, (perhaps LM can find it again for us – I really owe this generous but “unknown” guy a great deal) but we all have to acknowledge the mixed contribution of the Anglican Church. This discussion by her is mainly in English.
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xICIjxBZSqw
    .
    For an example of the worst pretentiousness of our products, please look at the Drama that unfolded here; the comments will be over tomorrow, so let me go across there for the latest episode:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/ravinatha-gets-the-boot-as-gota-takes-full-control-of-foreign-ministry/
    .
    You’re bound to find it appalling, eye-opening, and interesting.
    .
    Dr Preethi Dharshana Wanasinghe
    is certainly one of the strangest persons one can ever meet. I wonder what it would have been like to teach him a teen-ager. He wants to say that I taught him, but unfortunately, the truth is that it is something that never happend!

  • 3
    0

    Church rumor has it that the Archbishop is on vacation and will return to Lambeth Palace only on 31 Aug. and take a decision. Bp. Dhilo has written in support of Brohier. Bps. Kenneth and de chickera have written in support of Rodrigo.

    SudathK is a church official working hard for the appointment of Brohier

  • 8
    0

    One hears that the Archbishop is due to deliver his verdict before the month is out. Might I suggest to his Lordship that he be impartial and not unduly influenced to suggestion by vested interests. Preferably choose a person with the milk of human kindness not a stiff fuddy duddy who cannot relate. Someone who is a “people person” and does not want to live in an ivory tower. Someone who will truly tend to his flock with love and compassion. Someone who position will not go to his head and make him wise in his own eyes. Someone who will not talk down but will build up even the little child. Making the right choice in this crucial decision may be at the price of me as a congregant who is half Roman Catholic and if this culture of despotism and corruption continues in the Anglican Church may mean my returning to my first love – the first church.

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