26 September, 2020

Blog

Why Bishop Joseph And His Roman Catholic Clergy Have Been Targeted

By Brian Senewiratne –

Dr. Brian Senewiratne

In an extensive article, now expanded into a booklet and sent to the Pope, and others, I drew attention to the threats to Bishop Rayappu Joseph, the (Tamil) Roman Catholic Bishop of Mannar, members of his clergy (Tamils), members of (Tamil) ‘Civil Society’, and even Sinhalese human rights activists and journalists in the Sinhalese South, by the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and some of his very violent Ministers.

The ‘crime’ committed by Bishop Joseph

For those who have not read the earlier article, I will summarise the reasons why Bishop Joseph and his Roman Catholic clergy in Mannar have been targeted. What have they done?

1. Bishop Joseph has looked after his flock – not just Catholic Christians, but Christians of all denominations, non-Christians, and others. The Bible says that they are all God’s children – which Bishop Joseph has applied absolutely.

As one of his clergy (Fr Jeyabalan Croos), in an appeal to the local people has put it, “…the Bishop of Mannar who in the spirit of the Prophets of the Bible and following the footsteps of our Great Master Jesus Christ acted as the “voice of the voiceless” people of Mannar and in the whole of North and East, and also in the whole island of Sri Lanka.”

 He is not only the leader of the Catholic diocese in Mannar, but a humanitarian, which is why his ‘elimination’ will affect us all.

2.   Bishop Joseph, his clergy and members of ‘civil society’ have committed four ‘crimes’, in the eyes of the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL).

  1. Made a Submission to the LLRC (the so-called Lessons Learnt and Rehabilitation Commission of the GoSL).
  2. Contacted the US Officials from the State Department who arrived in Sri Lanka in February 2012 and apprised them of the humanitarian problems of the Tamil people in the North and East, and the expectations (and responsibilities) of the UN Human Rights Council (UN HRC).
  3. Made a direct Submission to the UN HRC in March 2012, with 31 Christian clergy in the Sri Lankan North.
  4. Sent a response to the UN HRC, setting out the downright lies presented to the UN HRC by the GoSL (Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe), and the real situation on the ground in the Tamil North and East.

I have dealt with these in detail in my earlier publication. Here is a summary:

1. LLRC Submission

Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and International Crisis Group (ICG), had refused to attend the LLRC stating, “There is little point in appearing before a fundamentally flawed commission. The Commission is nothing more than a cynical attempt by Sri Lanka to avoid serious inquiry that would bring genuine accountability”[1]. This was followed a scathing 60-page document by AI, “When will they get Justice? Failures of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’[2], stating that it was “fundamentally flawed”.

Despite this, Bishop Joseph and his fellow clergy decided to appear before this flawed Commission to clearly set out the problems facing the Tamil people – which is more than what their  members of Parliament did.

LLRC: Submission by the Catholic Diocese of Mannar

Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph, Rev.Fr. Victor Sosai, Rev. Fr. Xavier Croos[3]

It is a crucially important Submission which set out in detail what the people in the North and East were going through behind the closed and censored doors of Sri Lanka. What was more, they made constructive suggestions as to what needed to be done.

The Submission opened with:

“At the outset, we must express our disappointment that previous Commissions of Inquiry have failed to establish the truth into human rights violations and extrajudicial killings they were inquiring, and bring justice and relief to victims and their families.”

Driving the point home, it went on:

“In order to achieve genuine and lasting reconciliation, we believe it is crucial to address the roots of the conflict and war, primarily issues affecting Tamils such as recognition of their political reality, language, land, education and political power sharing.”

This is the only document ever published that gives the actual number of people who are unaccounted for after the war -a staggering 146,679.

(This figure of 146,679 missing people was later taken up by the CID, the Criminal Investigation Department of the Sri Lankan Police, in a clear attempt to intimidate the Bishop and his clergy).

2. Contacting the US State Department officials visiting Sri Lanka

In February 2012, the US State Department sent two officials to Sri Lanka to inform the Rajapaksa government that the US intended to submit a Resolution on Sri Lanka at the upcoming 19th Session of the UN HRC (27 February – 23 March 2012).

19 Tamils, non-politicians, (“Civil Society”), including Bishop Rayappu Joseph, immediately sent a letter to them (10 February 2012). It is a concise and precise letter written by people with a genuine concern for the Tamil people, and the expectations (and responsibilities) of the UN Human Rights Council.

It started with:

“In the context of the forthcoming sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, we, members of the Tamil civil society in Sri Lanka, write this letter seeking to bring to your notice our expectations of the Geneva sessions.

  1. With deep regret we take note of the fact that the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation (LLRC) has become the point of reference in the discussions on Sri Lanka in Geneva. We wish to emphasise that it is important to give pre-eminent status and importance to the UN Secretary General’s Expert Panel Report on Sri Lanka in the discussions and particularly to highlight the unbridgeable gaps between the LLRC report and the UNSG’s Expert Panel’s report.

It ended with:

We urge that it is imperative that the International Community that meets in Geneva this March for the UN Human Rights Council sessions takes a firm stance on accountability…. we urge the ‘international community to acknowledge the consistent failure of domestic accountability mechanisms in Sri Lanka and take steps to establish an international mechanism for accountability’.

Any resolution coming out of the Human Rights Council, which gives more time to the Government of Sri Lanka, will have a devastating impact on the Tamil community. The Government’s current activities in the North and East are challenging the very existence of the Tamil people and more time to the GOSL to implement the LLRC’s recommendations will only mean further time for the Government to play havoc in the North and East and subjugate the interests and aspirations of the Tamil people.

If the International Community does not act now, like they did not act in May 2009, the Tamils will cease to exist as a ‘people’ in this country.”

3. UN HRC Submission

On 1st March 2012, 31 Christian clergy in North Sri Lanka headed by Bishop Rayappu Joseph, made a direct Submission to the 19th Session of the UN HRC:-

UN Human Rights Council sessions and resolution on Sri Lanka

We are writing to you as a group of concerned Christian clergy in North Sri Lanka who have been directly affected by war and have been working to ensure rights of people in our region before, during and after the war, while being concerned and committed to broader issues of human rights, democratization and rule of law in Sri Lanka. We have also been trying to monitor domestic and international developments in this regard and contribute constructively to such processes.

 …. we welcome that the UNHRC members appear to be taking some action towards protection of human rights in Sri Lanka, even though this comes a bit too late, after massive loss of life and sufferings. At least now, we urge the Council to act decisively in relation to Sri Lanka, to enable Sri Lankans to move towards genuine reconciliation.

Given the consistent denial of the Sri Lankan government about scale and nature of war time abuses as well as pre-war and post-war concerns, refusal to address these, and given also the seriousness of the allegations levelled against it as one of the parties to such abuses, we believe it is an independent international body that could best address concerns of truth seeking, accountability and reparations for victims in a way that victims, survivors and their families will have confidence. It is only by addressing these that we believe we can move towards genuine reconciliation.

The record of various domestic bodies whose recommendations successive governments have ignored, including the LLRC’s own interim recommendations issued more than a year ago, and threats and intimidation of witnesses who gave testimony to the LLRC including a Christian Priest, had made us lose confidence that our concerns will be addressed through LLRC.

Thus, we believe it is imperative that the UNHRC calls on the Government to:

 1. Implement LLRC recommendations,

2. Present a time bound, detailed and specific action plan in this regard to the 20th session of the UNHRC,

3. Report back on progress made on implementation to the 22nd session of the UNHRC, and

4. Accept the appointment of and fully cooperate with an international independent and effective mechanism to monitor above and address accountability issues not dealt with by the LLRC.

4. UNHRC – Response of Civil Society

On 27 February, 2012, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe Head of the Sri Lankan delegation, addressed the UN HRC. Much of what he said were half-truths, untruths or downright lies.

Members of ‘Civil Society’, which included Bishop Joseph, responded immediately –

“Response by Civil Society” (29 February, 2012). This is so important that it has been reproduced in full in Appendix 2 in my earlier publication on the threats to Bishop Joseph.  Here are the opening paragraphs :-

“This document is a response to the statement made by Minister Samarasinghe at the High Level Segment of the 19th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

At the outset it is noted that the responses by the Government including setting up the Lesson’s Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and the pledges made in the speech referenced here are as a result of increased international scrutiny and a counter to the growing call for a resolution to discuss Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. As civil society who work on human rights and rule of law issues in Sri Lanka, the pledges made are yet another indicator of the delaying tactics used by the Government to halt any genuine progress in Sri Lanka.

………., this document highlights areas of contention and counters some of the statements made by him. The table below contains two columns-one with highlights from the statements made by the Minister and the opposing column directly rebutting the specific claim and at times containing questions that should be posed by different actors to the Government of Sri Lanka.

This document is…. drafted at a time when civil society and others who are critical of the Government have come under intense threats, resulting in no names being mentioned of those who drafted this document. The shrinking space for any action in Sri Lanka demonstrates the urgent and immediate need for action at the 19th Sessions of the UNHRC.”

The ‘table’ referred to is a point by point response to the absolute untruths of the Sri Lankan government. I know of no better response to the downright lies of the GoSL. It clearly documents the reality of life in the Tamil areas, rather than the fiction propagated by the GoSL.

This too, is reproduced in full in my earlier publication.

The threats

JHU – the political party of Buddhist monks

An open threat came from the party of the Buddhist monks – Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a Government coalition partner, that accused Bishop Joseph of aspiring to become the Cardinal of Tamil Eelam (IndependentTamilState), and that he should be arrested and prosecuted.

In a press release, JHU said[4] that “Rev Rayappu Joseph, the Bishop of Mannar, who requests the United Nations Organization that an investigation should be launched regarding the supposed war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka, should be immediately produced before court, as it is a violation of the constitution of this country.

Minister Mervyn Silva

Mervyn Silva, President Rajapaksa’s Minister of Public Relations and Public Affairs, is a very violent person, operating with his ‘private army’ of goons and gangsters.

 

At a public meeting on 23 March 2012, in Kiribathgoda, a suburb of Colombo, Minister Silva said the he will “break the bones” of those who supported the US Memorandum on Sri Lanka. He added that he would do it himself, boasting that he had done it before to (Sinhalese) journalists.

In what is clearly a death threat, Minister Silva said that past kings would execute those acting against the country, and that, “The time has come now to do what the kings did then”.

Minister Silva, who functions with a band of armed hooligans, murderers and underworld characters, not only threatens but carries out his threats.  As such, his threat cannot be taken lightly.

I do not know whether Bishop Joseph, his clergy and members of ‘Civil Society’ in the North are within the reach of Minister Silva and his goons. However, if they come toColombo, even if invited to do so, and Mervyn Silva and his goons know about it, they will most certainly be at risk.

A Government Minister in Parliament

In early May, 2012, a Cabinet Minister in Rajapaksa’s government, Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, a Muslim, criticised Bishop Joseph, accusing him of ‘anti-Muslim activity’ in the Sannar area of Mannar District. The Minister is the leader of the All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC) which is a constituent member of President Rajapaksa’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government.

Shockingly, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the elected representatives of the Tamil people in Parliament, did not demand that the Minister tables the necessary evidence to document what he said, or unconditionally withdraws what he said and apologises to the Bishop for what, in the absence of such evidence, is defamation.

The Government reaction

To date, there has been no condemnation by President Rajapaksa or by any member of his government, of these outrageous threats by Ministers in the Government to step outside the law, even into criminality. Nor has there been any request to Minister Bathiudeen for evidence to support his defamatory claims.

Action taken against Bishop Rayappu Joseph and his clergy

Criminal Investigation Officers ‘visit’ Bishop Joseph

The Senior Superintendent of Mannar Police personally met the Bishop to inform him of the decision from his superiors inColomboto send two Police officers from the  CID in Colomboto ‘see’ Bishop Joseph regarding his Submission to the UN HRC.

On 8 May 2012, two CID officers came to Mannar to ‘interview’ Bishop Joseph. I gather they were both Muslims, not that it mattered – except that the Cabinet Minister who slandered Bishop Joseph is also a Muslim. One does not need to be a genius to work out who was instrumental in sending the CID to ‘see’ Bishop Joseph.

They questioned him on his Submission to the LLRC regarding the ‘disappearance’ of 146,679 people during the last stages of the war in the period 2008-2009. Bishop Joseph told the police officers that he had submitted to the LLRC whatever documents he had in his possession. Incredibly, the police officers said that they had no access to the LLRC documents. Consider this; here were two police offices from Police headquarters in Colombo, who could not access the LLRC documents which I, a layman, can do fromAustralia!

They asked the Bishop if he personally knew any of the missing persons. The Bishop said that a Priest was among the missing, but that his concern was for all those who were missing.

The Bishop rightly wondered why the Police had to question him when the information they sought was available with the Government Agents, Divisional Secretaries and the ‘Grama Niladaris’ (local government village community leaders), in the Tamil provinces, who would have the population figures for the area (Vanni) before and after the war. This is from where he got the figures to make the claims he did.

Several Catholic priests were with the Bishop during the questioning. The Police officers who questioned the Bishop, got his signature and stamp. They also took the names and addresses of all those of all those present, and left.

This is clearly intimidation. It is despite the direction of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, stating on 23 March 2012, at the close of the 19th Session of the UN HRC, that there must be no reprisals againstSri Lanka’s human rights defenders after the adoption of the Resolution.

Protest in the Mannar area.

Sections of the Catholic clergy and laity in Mannar vehemently objected to the speech in Parliament by Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, and planned to organize a public solidarity event on Sunday 27 May 2012, in the premises of St Sebastian Church, Mannar, to express solidarity and support for Bishop Rayappu Joseph.

It was to express appreciation for the Bishop’s role for many years as a “voice for voiceless” victims of war, especially the Tamils, express concern and call to ensure his physical safety and condemn false and malicious allegations made against him both in Parliament and the Government-controlled media .

Invitation to the public to attend

Fr. Jeyabalan Croos, St Anne’s Church, Vankalai, Mannar, issued an “Invitation” to the public to attend the 27th May event in St Sebastian’s Church.

The ‘Invitation’ set out the background for the meeting:

“Since the beginning of 2012, there has been lot of adverse comments about the Bishop by some Government Ministers, media owned, controlled and sympathetic to the Government.

 False accusations were made that the Bishop of Mannar aspires to be the Cardinal of “Tamil Eelam”, that he is involved in a conspiracy against the government supported by the INGOs and that he is disturbing Muslim – Tamil harmony.

Government Ministers claimed that he should be arrested and prosecuted over a letter he wrote to the President and members of the UN Human Rights Council (together with 30 other Tamil Catholic Clergy from the North), later endorsed by 63 more including a Retired Sinhalese Anglican Bishop, Catholic and other Christian Clergy and lay people, men and women, non Christians, both Tamils and Sinhalese.

More than 16 months after a detailed submission to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (LLRC), he was questioned by the Criminal Investigation Department recently. The Bishop was also part of a group of Tamil activists who engaged with the Tamil National Alliance on issues that they considered being critical to Tamil people.

The most recent attacks on the Bishop arose due to his public support for decisive action by the member states of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva with regard to reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. The Bishop supported calls for implementation of the LLRC recommendations and presentation of a plan of action regarding the same and an independent and international commission of inquiry to look into matters not addressed by the LLRC such as accountability.

Through above and various other public and private interventions, the Bishop had called for recognition of the Tamil nationhood and a political solution to the ethnic conflict, a process of truth telling about abuses that had happened in the last stages of the war and throughout the conflict, return of land forcibly and illegally occupied by the military to people, support for the return of Northern Muslims evicted from the North in 1990 by the LTTE on a level equal to support extended to Tamils, concerns about those killed, disappeared and injured during the war, those detained for long periods and several post-war concerns such as militarization, cultural domination of Tamil area,  attacks on journalists and human rights defenders in the south including the killing of a Sinhalese fishermen during a protest against fuel price hikes.

His submission to the LLRC included a question about the fate of 146,679 people that appear to be unaccounted for in the Vanni in the last 8 months of the war, based on Government statistics and relevant documentary evidence from Government sources, was submitted to the LLRC along with the submission.

On no occasion had the Bishop called for a separate country or renewed armed struggle and have rejected both these as not being viable options to be considered in the struggle for dignity and justice of Tamil people and broader reconciliation in Sri Lanka. The Bishop had cooperated and engaged with national and local level government officials, including the President, Ministers, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense, Government Agents, Military officials and Police. He readily agreed to the request for questioning by the CID, and was instrumental in taking the initiative in inviting the LLRC to conduct hearings in Mannar. He had also cooperated and engaged with the international community, especially inter-governmental bodies, experts and staff of the United Nations, of which Sri Lanka is a member.

Therefore, we most cordially invite you to participate in the above event to express your solidarity to the Bishop of Mannar who in the spirit of the Prophets of the Bible and following the footsteps of our Great Master Jesus Christ act as the “voice of the voiceless” people of Mannar and in the whole of North and East and also in the whole island of Sri Lanka. We would be very grateful to you, in case you may not be able to be present, to delegate someone to participate in the great event”.

Police charge the Catholic clergy

Before the planned event occurred, the Mannar police intervened and sought a Court order prohibiting the demonstration and the meeting. It was admitted by the Police that they were acting on instructions of the Cabinet Minister concerned.

The Police filed a case against five priests, saying that they are organizing a Protest March which would disturb traffic along a main road, might burn effigies of ministers and would cause tension and disharmony between the Catholics and Muslims living in Mannar.

It was clearly an attempt to intimidate organizers and participants of the planned public event.

The five Catholic priests were summoned by the Police to appear in the Mannar District Court on 26 May 2012.

In the courts, it was stated by the lawyers of the defendants that no such protest march was planned by the said priests. They and other Priests had announced in their Churches that a Prayer Session would be held inside the Church premises of   St. Sebastian’s Church, Mannar, after which a Resolution of Protest would be made against a particular minister who had spoken in the parliament defaming Bishop Joseph.

The verdict was given by the District Judge Hon. A. Judeson that the Court had no authority to stop a religious prayer session to be held inside the Church compound and also any meeting afterwards done in a peaceful manner. However, the court prevented public marches along the streets.

The 27th May 2012 event in St Sebastian’s Church.

More than 5,000 people from Christian, Hindu and Islam faiths, braving the heavy military and police presence in Mannar, came for the meeting. A Resolution in defence of Bishop Rayappu Joseph was passed.

A senior Muslim journalist who participated and spoke in support of Bishop Joseph was assaulted by a prominent supporter of Minister Bathiudeen. The journalist had to be hospitalized because of the injuries sustained in the assault.

This is the current situation in the Tamil North and East. Not even a Prayer session, or a peaceful meeting even in a Church premise can be held without Police intervention, being dragged to Court and even being subjected to assault by goons who support the Government.

As Fr Jeyabalan Croos pointed out in his ‘Invitation’,

Further threats, intimidations or the physical prevention or disruption of this legitimate and peaceful event cannot be ruled out”.

It is a serious violation of the Freedom of Assembly, guaranteed in the Sri Lankan Constitution which I will refer to.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA)

The TNA are the elected representatives of the Tamil people in the North and East. It is of interest to look at the stance and actions taken by the TNA when their clergy were hauled before a Court in Mannar and charged by the Police on a patently absurd charge. After all, the Leader of the TNA, R.Sampanthan, is a lawyer. The TNA nominated MP, M.A. Sumanthiran, who seems to be travelling salesman for the TNA, is a lawyer. I would have expected them to be at the forefront in the defence of the five priests. Let alone be at the forefront, they was nowhere to be seen! “Missing in action”.

With more than 5,000 people who attended the 27th May, 2012 event in St Sebastian’s Church, Mannar, to express support and solidarity with Bishop Rayappu Joseph, one would have expected the TNA leadership to have been there. There is no evidence that they were. Again they were “Missing in Action”.

So was the situation in Genevaat the 19th Session of the UN HRC meeting when action onSri Lanka was being taken up. One would have expected them to be very much there, apprising the delegates of the plight of the Tamil people in the North and East and the disastrous humanitarian situation which demanded immediate international action. The TNA was (again) “Missing in Action”.

Escaped to Norway

I have had a number of emails to check on the credibility of a story in circulation that Bishop Rayappu Joseph had ‘escaped’ to Norway, and that the Sri Lankan government had ‘assisted him’ in this.

I am well aware that this is untrue and that Bishop Joseph is in Mannar. However, I am concerned about these stories given what has happened in the past.

I refer to the fate of another Roman Catholic priest in Mannar, Fr Mary Bastian. He was abducted on January 5th, 1985, by the Armed Forces, tortured and murdered. The body was clandestinely burnt. Several witnesses saw the Priest being taken away by soldiers. Pope John Paul had a special prayer for the departed soul of Fr Bastian.

Lalith Athulathmudali, the then President J.R. Jayawardene’s Minister of National Security (or rather, ‘Insecurity’), in typical Goebellian style, completely denied that the murder had occurred, adding insult to injury by tarnishing the dead priest’s reputation.  He claimed that Fr Bastian had escaped toIndiaand was very much alive in Tamil Nadu.

Many Sinhalese Catholic priests in the South collaborated in this cover up. The most serious collaborator was Rev Oswald Gomis, later appointed the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Colombo. Rev Gomis, the government propagandist, with the tacit consent of the then Archbishop of Colombo, Nicholas Marcus Fernando, wrote to theVaticanthat Fr Bastian was alive and well inIndia.

The Pope retracted his earlier statement – something that is unknown. TheVatican said that the Pope had erred in praying for Fr Bastian’s departed soul and that “joyfully” he was alive.

Despite overwhelming evidence that the priest was dead, Catholics did not push the issue, since it would have eroded the Pope’s credibility even further. With the Pope’s infallibility already dented, the faithful decided to let it pass. The Pope’s infallibility was undermined by Roman Catholic priests in the Sinhalese South cooperating with the Government – and lying.

History has a habit of repeating itself. I hope that the claimed ‘escape’ of Bishop Joseph to Norway’ is not going to be a repetition of the ‘escape’ of Fr Bastian toIndia. There is a worrying possibility that Bishop Joseph will ‘escape’ in a ‘white van’, never to be seen again. The GoSL is likely to ‘assist’ in such an ‘escape’, indeed organise and conduct it.

Violation of the Sri Lankan Constitution

What President Rajapaksa and his government have done to the Catholic priests in Mannar is a violation of Constitution.

Chapter 3 Fundamental Rights

Freedom of Speech, assembly, association, movement etc

Section 14.  Every citizen is entitled to –

(a) the freedom of speech and expression including publication;

(b) the freedom of peaceful assembly;

(c) the freedom of association;

(e) the freedom, either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice or teaching.

The Mannar Police trying to stop the event (meeting) on 27th May 2012 in St Sebastian’s Church, Mannar, is a violation of Chapter 3, Section 14 (a),(b),(c) and (e). It was a peaceful assembly that was to take place, it was by a group who were being prevented from ‘association’, it was a ‘Prayer meeting’ which was a ‘belief in worship’.

This is a matter which will have to be legally challenged. The problem, of course, is that the Judicial system in Sri Lanka is under the heel of President Rajapaksa, and the ‘Rule of Law’ does not apply, nor do ‘Violations of the Constitution’.

Such are the problems in Sri Lankaunder an absolute ruler, President Mahinda Rajapaksa. with sweeping powers and no accountability or responsibility even to Parliament, The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, as it is called, is neither ‘Democratic’ nor ‘Socialist’ but a Fascist dictatorship, or blacker still, a Totalitarian tyranny under the absolute rule of a despot.

All that can be done is that the International community, including the Pope, should be kept informed of what goes on behind the closed and censored doors of Sri Lanka.  Should you wish to register your protest, here are the Sri Lankan authorities and those in the Vatican:

President  Mahinda Rajapaksa                           

“Temple Trees”

150 Galle Rd

Colombo3,

Sri Lanka.

email  secretary@presidentsoffice.lk

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI PP. 

Bishop of Rome
Apostolic Palace
Via del Pellegrino
Citta del Vaticano
Vatican City State, 00120
Europe
phone: 011.3906.6988.10.22
email: av@pccs.va
fax: 011.3906.6988.53.73

His Eminence Cardinal Tarciso Bertone

Secretary of State of the Holy See

(address the same as for the Pope)

Note. The Secretary of State is effectively the Prime Minister.

He deals with most Foreign Affairs matters. `

Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke

Prefect
Apostolic Penitentiary
Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
Piazza della Cancelleria 1
00186, Rome, Italy
Europe
phone: 011.3906.69.88.75.26
phone: 011.3906.69.88.75.21
email: civcsva.pref@ccscrlife.va

William Joseph Cardinal Levada.

Prefect for The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”
[Secretary: Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J.]
[Secretary of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” the Rev. Msgr. Guido Pozzo]
Piazza del S. Uffizio ll
00l93 Rome Italy
Europe
phone: 011.3906.69.88.33.57
phone: 011.3906.69.88.34.13
fax: 011.3906.69.88.34.09
email: cdf@cfaith.va
and www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith

Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke

Prefect
Apostolic Penitentiary
Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
Piazza della Cancelleria 1
00186, Rome, Italy
Europe
phone: 011.3906.69.88.75.26
phone: 011.3906.69.88.75.21
email: civcsva.pref@ccscrlife.va

Minister Rishad Bathiudeen

Minister of Industry and Commerce

73/1 Galle Rd

Colombo3

Sri Lanka

phone  011 2435248

fax       011 2390885

email   minister@industry.gov.lk

 

Brian Senewiratne

MA(Cantab), MD (Lond), FRCP (Lond), FRACP

Consultant Physician

Brisbane,Australia4122

bsenewiratne@gmail.com

tel +61 7 44496118

mob +61 419335334



[1]  http://www.hrw.org/node/03600

[2] www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA37/008/2011/en

[3] Rt Rev Dr Rayappu Joseph, the Catholic Bishop of Mannar, Very Rev Fr Victor Sosai, the Vicar General of the Mannar Diocese, and Rev Fr Xavier Croos, the Representative of the Priest’s Form of Mannar)

[4] http://www.srilankabrief.org/2012/03/should-summon-bishop-of-mannar-to.html

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
      http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/
      In short:
      • If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems.
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  • 0
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    Sumanthiran is not a criminal lawyer and he does not have the time and energy to represent each and every Tamil. There is no need for Brian Seneviratne from Brisbane to take any cheap shots at Sumanthiran and also such unwanted comments like “he being the traveling salesman of the TNA.

    I hope Brian would desist from such comments in the future.
    Sumanthiran is a well respected and regarded Tamil MP and attorney (One of the best in Sri Lanka), who has a lot of character and integrity living in Colombo, Sri Lanka under trying circumstances. His work and effort needs to be appreciated by all Tamils and Sinhalese like Brian Seniviratne.

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      Gnanakone
      What are you? A flag-flyer for Sumanthiran? Please get some “gnanam”. Sumanthiran IS the traveling salesman of the TNA. Brian S is absolutely right. Sumanthiran is like a cancer cell. As soon as diagnosed, must be removed at once and prevent it from spreading to the other parts. This man is dangerous and should be ousted before he causes havoc.

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        No,Gowrie, it is YOU that is dangerous.

        Your metaphor of a “cancer cell” that needs to be “cut out” is an indication of the paradigm in which you think about medicine and health. A surgical paradigm rather than a holistic health paradigm.

        For too many years terrible mutilations were done in the name of “cutting out cancers” (heard of “radical mastectomies” and “wide excisions”?). I know that you are a big fan of my father, but since you understand so little about medicine, you are unable to understand his “modus operandi”. The fact is, doctors who wish to kill have the necessary knowledge to do so. My father has a great deal of knowledge in the field of medicine, being an expert in biological, chemical and psychological warfare. Most doctors do not want to kill. But my father, full of hatred for both Singhalese and Tamils (as you can see from his speeches posted on his “Brian Senewiratne pages” DOES want to kill.

        Please have a look at what I have posted on Scribd, about my investigations into genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by my father. He took all of you Tamils for a ride, just for the money and applause.

        Donald Gnanakone is a war criminal too, but his crimes pale into insignificance compared with those of my father, Brian Senewiratne.

        Donald, if you read this, I took you advice seriously. Consequently I have changed my name, dropping the “Brian” as my middle name and taking the surname of my Tamil grandfather, Winslow Alagaratnam. You said that my writings do not indicate my Tamil heritage. Perhaps you are right…for many years I have regarded myself as Australian rather than Sri Lankan, and I was, after all, born in England (which is where you live, isn’t it, Gowrie).

        Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam

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          Hey Romesh!
          If I shouldn’t be talking about cancer because I am not a doctor, you shouldn’t be talking about terrorist because you are not a terrorist. You don’t even understand your father’s stand on moral issues let alone understand LTTE. In your opinion if anyone talks about genocide they are complicit in genocide, is it? That alone tells all about the state of your mind. You know nothing about LTTE and have no idea what they stood for. They were not terrorists. Lot of people are unaware of just how much interference goes on around the world and how most of it is from the U.S. The US can meddle in any other countries domestic affairs in their own interest. LTTE stood in their way of their interest in SL. So they branded them terrorist and the whole world wanted to see the back of LTTE and got rid of them.. This is too complicated for you to understand. Why don’t you concentrate on your health instead. They were saviours of Tamils. You often cry about recruitment of child soldiers. Are you keeping up with the stats on children after the so called “end of war on terror”. A child is being raped every 90 minutes in Sri Lanka. Where are you now and the likes of UNICEF?..Have you ever heard a child been raped in the de facto capitol of Thamil Eelam? Have you ever heard about any Tamil fighter raping a sinhalese girl? Knowing how to spell oppression doesn’t mean you truly appreciate what oppression is..Please try not to talk about anything that you know nothing of. You simply don’t know a thing about Tamil fighters. So why don’t you keep quiet! Do you think the government is run by Saints? Full of thugs and underworld gangs. Murderers. They will get rid of anyone who comes in their way regardless of the race.

          Your father, unlike you, was born in Sri Lanka. He has seen it all how Tamils suffered,struggled and lost their properties and land in the hands of chauvinist governments. He has an appreciation, sensitivity,and an understanding of life that fills him with compassion and a deep loving concern.Beautiful people do not just happen. You can’t even understand yourself, let alone understand your father. Don’t even try it. If I am a terrorist to you because I am a Tamil, as I said once before, your mother is a Tamil too. You can drop Brian from your name. But you can’t drop his genes, can you?
          Where I live is immaterial Romesh. Take Care!

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    Can you believe that any or christian Catholic priest would look after god’s children of any other religion when christianity is the only true faith ?

    If so, why Australian treat aborigines as wild animals ?

    It is known, LTTE had hidden, after the instructions by Joseph Rayappu, all the loot from Bank robberies behind the altar of the Rayappu’s church.

    Is that the Church is for, to hide the loots and to hide killers ?

    The west accuse Pope for disregarding many child molesting accusations of priests from around the world even when he just a Cardinal.

    So, how will the vatican decide on this ?

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    Brian Senevirathne may have MDs, FRCPs, FRCSs, yet he is not an intelligent person. Excellence in one subject area means nothing if he cannot apply to that to other areas.

    He is just an extremist and a terrorist-supporter.

    I have seen other MDs here, and in one case, as he mentioned, only the west was civilized and the the others were not. That says what an idiot he was. REMEMBER, he also had MORE THAN a MD.

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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
      http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/
      In short:
      • If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems.
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      In what way is he an extremist? Is it an extreme view for everyone to respect each other and live in peace. Isn’t the JHU and the other sinhala nationalist who say that tamils and muslims should be kicked out of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka is A sinhala Buddhist state, are the extremist but You seem happy with them.

      You uses labels such as extremists and terrorist supporter because you have no intellectual way to counter his arguments. Let see how long you can use labels when the government turns on the sinhala poor.

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      Thalaivar, who ever you are, a coward unable to stand up before the masses rfevealing your true self, unlike Dr.Brian Seneviratne, is the last person who should sit in judgment over others, leave alone claiming Dr. B.S. as unintelligent. It shows how much you are intelligent.

      As for your claim as to who is more civilised, the West or the East, do not go by the past, judge from what is happening now. Today, It is possible for the progeny of the slaves in the last century to become Presidents of the West, whereas we boast of Theravadha Buddhist Human Kindness in the East, is unable to recognise and treat as equals of fellow human beings, without killing and maiming them. Get a life man, without living in the laurels of the past.

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        “Gamini”, there is a certain hypocrisy here. You are not revealing YOUR identity!

        You are right on one level. My father is not unintelligent. He is just amoral. He had many natural gifts, including musicality, artistic ability and a good memory. Unfortunately, for the people in the world (not just Sri Lanka) he used these gifts to try and acquire money, prestige, property (notably my mother’s family’s property) and power.

        He didn’t just support the LTTE; he was one of the masterminds of the genocide committed by the Tamil Tigers. He used his formidable memory and intelligence to study and excel in the sciences of biological, chemical and psychological warfare, training under the notorious Max Rosenheim and Sheila Sherlock.

        He is an expert in causing liver disease and diabetes, and poisoning, but he also knows how to kill people in many other ways. You may realise, by now, that my father knows a great deal about the methods of genocide. He explains them in some of his speeches and writings that have been uploaded to his “Brian Senewiratne pages” blog.

        He is also an inveterate liar and manipulator of the truth. The fact is the LTTE was always a genocidal program of the indigenous people of Sri Lanka (including both Singhalese and Tamil populations). The methods were based on the genocide of Jews and Gypsies by the Nazis. Don’t forget that Hitler called himself a “Socialist” too.

        Please have a look at my Scribd site, where I have posted evidence to back my allegation that my father engaged in, and orchestrated, a carefully planned genocide of the Tamil and Muslim people in the North and East of Sri Lanka. This was done through corrupt NGOs, with which he had contacts, and through the “hospitals” and “clinics” that were set up by the LTTE.

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    Australia is a State of the Anglican Church. Queen is the head of the Anglican Church. Has Queen ever visited Vatican or Pope visited Queen ?
    Another Country that helped Tamils, Norway, constitutionally 80% of “the parliament” be christians. USA, always talk about the GOD by saying the “UNITED WE STAND”.

    Why Sri Lanka can not be a BUDDHIST STATE when Sinhala culture is a Buddhist culture ?

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/
    In short:
    • If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems.
    • Don’t be unpleasant. Demonstrate and share the intelligence, wisdom and humour we know you possess.
    • Take some responsibility for the quality of the conversations in which you’re participating. Help make this an intelligent place for discussion and it will be.

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    @Gowrie. You have no idea what you are writing in respect to TNA and Sumanthiran.
    I know both Brian and Sumanthiran as well as those senior leaders of the TNA for over 40 years.
    I am a flag flyer for the Tamils and I support issues for the benefit of the Tamils. Sumanthiran’s role is mostly in Parliament, legal matters for the TNA, as well put forward TNA and Tamil position with international leaders and opposition. He does not play to any gallery or to gain cheap publicity.

    There are plenty of cancers among the Tamils and Sinhalese. I do not want to be specific in this forum. However, Sumanthiran is definitely last on the list. He will be with the TNA and play an important role, even after Sampanthan retires at 84 with the end of this Parliament, or earlier.

    Sumanthiran is the greatest Tamil asset among the 13 Tamil MP’s well respected in world capitals and IC. That is what really matters, and not someone barking at his performance even from those who are prolific writers. I would monitor that situation, and I would not be this diplomatic. I doubt Brian would be attacking Sumanthiran, unless he does something like holding the flagpole with any Singalese or Tamil. I have know idea who you are and from where you are, so I cannot comment.

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      Gnanakone

      I have no idea about TNA or Sumanthiran? Really? I am sorry but I am in total dis-accord with your view of TNA and “Suna” manthiran. India and America did not vote and elect TNA to parliament but our people. Sana’s(Sampanthan) sole agenda seems to be revolving around “IndoAmerican” interests. Your Suna’s sole interest seems to be rescuing GoSL and every time when gets caught red handed, he comes up with little quote ” I was misunderstood or mis-quoted”. It doesn’t take a genius to understand what he is really up to with his “Diplomacy” non-sense. Your so called “Tamil asset” Suna seems to be suffering from selective amnesia because he keeps changing his “diplomatic”stories in each country he travels to. His stories! Arrant non-sense.!!!

      Please Gnanakone! Don’t interpret your view as the view of IC.. Your so called “well respected” Suna’s effigy has been burnt in Jaffna. Well.. You don’t surely think that people of Jaffna are NUTTERS to burn the effigy of a well respected Sunamanthiran, do you? What matters is not whether he is clever or not but his trustworthiness. As you say if this Criminal, I mean this criminal lawyer Suna is the greatest asset of Tamils, so was GG Ponnampalam. Another “Criminal” lawyer. We are in this mess as direct results of these so called “politcal leaders”s actions motivated by non other than self interests. And Suna is no exception. Wake up Gnanakone. Or are you wide awake and trying to sedate others? We have had 64 years of “political” sleep and are not about to go to sleep again. We had enough of these money-mongers. Learn from the history Gnanakone. If history teaches us anything, it is this; Never trust a Criminal Lawyer masquerading as political leader.

      You may know Brian S for over 40 years. I may not even know him for a day but that’s besides the point. I don’t know if you are holding a personal grudge against this gentleman. If you do, please DO NOT pour out it in a public forum such as this Gnani..If Brian IS barking, as you say, then be assured Gnani, Brian S is barking up the right tree. Keeeeep barking Dr.Brian Senewiratne. God bless you BS.

      If you are flying the flag for Tamils, Thanks. But please make sure you are not creating yet another ‘ group’. Who I am or where I am writing from does not matter Gnanakone. What matters is one’s opinion. You are entitled to yours and I am to mine. You sound like if you know who I am you will change your opinion. Please always stick to the facts. never change facts even if it is Suna manthiran..

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        No, Gowrie.

        You are NOT entitled to your opinion if you are a supporter of terrorism and an apologist for the genocide and crimes against humanity committed by Brian Senewiratne via the LTTE.

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      Is Suna the greatest asset of Tamils? If anything, as for me, he is the curse of Tamils Gnanakone!

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    The catholic clergy appear to be split into two groups – one group opposing/highlighting human rights violations and the other opposing these revealations on behalf of the government.
    The Pope himself has been misled about the murder of a catholic priest.
    This shows that ‘racism’ has crept into the catholic church.

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    G’kone…….. If Sumaitharan is the greatest tamil, will he too end up like that other great Tamil Late Mr. Lakshaman Kadiramar ??

    Rayappu the bodyguard of the Statue of Our Lady of Madhu the Mother of Jesus. He kidnapped her to the Wanni because Jesus could not take care of her ?? Jeyabalan Croos must be halucinating…….
    What was he doing inside the RAT HOLE of the barber in K’nochchi ?

    Brian Sene, MAD,FRCP, FRCS ect.., Rayappu can help himself if he is yet a believer of his Master is Jesus Christ and not the Sun Goat & his head of the mission, GTF S.J.Emmanuel.

    As for you, you are a flag flyers not for the Tamils but murderous terrorists LTTE who denied & sacrificed the Tamil Youth & Children population of a future by financing the ltte. Just take a look at your hands. Retribution not that far off…..

    The LOOT…. The Catholic Church were the loot keepers for the LTTE. Deogopillai, Singarayer, Prayappu Joseph……
    Then, they are the providers of Martyerdom to misled suicide cardres. S.J.Emmanuel eqqated them to be equals to Martyers of the catholic Church.
    Joseph Ratzinger has lost control. Vatileaks states, Italian cardinal mafia behind Pope doc leaks.
    Emmanuel promoting worship of the Sun Goat to tamils diaspora ahead of his Master Jesus through GTF.

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    Brain (The self-claimed Bandaranayke)

    Having seen your long writing, I thought I may shoot few questions for you to answer:

    1. Despite the reassurance of the SLF Commander for the safety of Madhu Church, why did your saint Bishop ran away with blood sucking LTTE terra goons when the SL Forces were marching towards the Church?

    2). Why was this Bishop (and you)so silent when LTTE monkey army was killing thousands of innocent sinhaleses over last 30 odd years?

    3). Why did this Bishop (or yourself) never condemn all the sinful activities of LTTE monkeys for last 30 odd years?

    Being a Catholic myself I am just wondering whether you both have a selective religious approach when it comes to social justice and oppression.

    I am sure you would say “I do not know”, I am just wondering whether the Christ Himself is able to answer either.

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    Bishop Rayappu Joseph will be the first person to condemn when human rights violations are committed by the Sri Lankan Forces. That is fine.Whoever commits human rights violations should be condemned and taken to task. But, what I do not understand is his double standards.

    Did Bishop Rayappu Joseph issue any statement against LTTE when they rounded up Tamil children in Mannar and in the Vanni and made them child soldiers? Did the Mannar Bishop at any time during the last stage of the Eelam war make any appeal to Pirapaharan to release the thousands of Tamils held as human shield by the LTTE? Was he not committed to protect his flock from the murderous LTTE?

    He maintained total silence over the atrocities committed by the LTTE. He has no morale right to condemn the SL Government or the SL Armed Forces when by his own silence he condoned the human rights violations of the LTTE.

    Brian Senevirate is no saint. He openly participated in pro-LTTE activities held in Australia and applauded the LTTE. He is still the darling of the LTTE supporters in Australia. Brian was paraded in pro-LTTE platforms in Australian as a show piece because of the fact he was a Sinhalese championing the cause of the Eelam Tamils. Did “Thalayanai Manthiram” made him to champion the cause of the murderous LTTE?

    I agree with Gnanakone’s comments about Sumanthiran. Sumanthiran may not be an elected MP but he is the only one apart from Sampanthan who see the reality. He is forthright in his opinion that there cannot be a Tamil Eelam. If Diaspora Tamils want a Tamil Eelam let them create it in Tamil Nadu with the help of Muthuvel Karunanithi and Jayalalitha.

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    @Gowrie. You need to focus on what you write. This is what I wrote about the 13 Tamil TNA MP’s in Parliament which includes Sumnathiran himself.
    Quote : Sumanthiran is the greatest Tamil asset among the 13 Tamil MP’s well respected in world capitals and IC.-Unquote.
    I standby what I wrote and totally disagree with your opinion which is absolute nonsense.
    I do not debate with unknown characters with bogus names. As you say, it does not matter what you say under a bogus name. Thank You.
    Sumanthiran is neither a criminal nor a criminal attorney.
    That shows what type of a problem you have, and it is best you and Brian keep your own opinion about Sumanthiran and Sampanthan privately.
    This type of character assassinations are harmful to the Tamil’s future.

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      Gnanakone
      This is a public ‘e’forum where you see no faces. I am not about to flash my face across the net because of you. I am not bogus. My mother named me Gowrie. It really does not matter who I am. I am a member of Tamil community. You say “he (referring to Suna) does not have the time and energy to represent each and every Tamil. Agreed. But Bishop Rayappu Joseph is not just anyone.. Right now Tamils feel his is the only voice coming out of Sri Lanka speaking the truth of what is really happening in that beleaguered country. Our question still remains unanswered. Why TNA never uttered a word in defense of our Bishop. Can you answer that. You seem to be representing them. I really don’t care what you stand by or what your opinion is on him. If we cannot comment on his actions despite him being a public figure and representing( only you, Sampanthan and God know whta he is representing)our people,he better walk out through the back door through which he walked in. Brian is only expressing his opinion and there is no need for you to go berserk and please stop telling people what to do.And above all PLEASE stop your character assassination of Brian Senewiratne.

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    @Naga. Sumanthiran or any other Tamil MP cannot openly advocate for Tamil Eelam under a State Terrorist GOSL. Or else he will be murdered like the other 5 Tamil MP’s under the Rajapakse regime. We Tamils need attorneys and MP’s like Sumanthiran.
    Tamils have been struggling for their rights since independence and specifically since the Vadukottai Resolution where Tamil Leaders SJV, GG, and Thondaman joined hands in 1976 and unitedly came to agreements. Tamil diaspora does not boycott Rajapakse groceries or Sri Lankan airlines but make demand for Tamil Eelam as if that can be bought and delivered to the North and East. There are a long process involved and first and foremost the half a million Tamils who are homeless and are IDP’s should be given homes. Education, Health and jobs are also important, before railways, Ports, airports and highways.
    The elected Tamil representatives in the Island can negotiate and also they would privately advise/discuss their demands with the UN, India, US UK, and the IC. Those in the cyber space are just empty vessels making noise.. That is all and that is the fact and harsh reality.

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    Gowrie, You could be anybody.
    There is no need to defend the Bishop from the gallery in public and bring attention to him from any crazy Sinhala guy.

    I don’t need to defend TNA’s actions, and if you are a Tamil, and attack TNA MP’s as cancer, you can communicate it yourself. As for Brian I did not attack his character, but I took offense on his unwarranted attacks on Tamil TNA MP Sumanthiran.

    As I said previously, I do not have to debate with nameless, faceless people, but would comment on ridiculous attacks and ideas.Under the circumstances and dangers in a Terrorist State and Sinhala terrorist who could harm them anytime and anywhere they are doing a good job. Sumanthiran, I hope is a permanent feature of Tamils in Parliament and public office for a quarter century. Of course he cannot please every body and that is the baggage that comes with it.

    It is news to me that his effigy was burnt in Jaffna. Yes, those who burnt his effigy are definitely “nutters”. Do you have a link for that story?

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    Jesus has strictly condoned the present systems of governments in the world.As per the bible this world is governed by Satan.Hence Christians are advised by Jesus to be away from these politics.Don’t these priests know about it? For power, their survival and popularity only they are doing these things.These people have got every thing in their faith reversed and that is the sole problem. Refer to

    John 6:14-15
    14 Hence when the men saw the signs he performed, they began to say: “This is for a certainty the prophet that was to come into the world.” 15 Therefore Jesus, knowing they were about to come and seize him to make him king, withdrew again into the mountain all alone.

    Mathew 23:13
    13 “Woe to YOU, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because YOU shut up the kingdom of the heavens before men; for YOU yourselves do not go in, neither do YOU permit those on their way in to go in.

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    I know nothing about Colombo Telgraph, where it is, who runs it etc. All I can do is to thank you for publishing my articles, depite their lenght, and the obviuos danger you are in by doing so at the lands of ‘patriotic’ Sinhalese.

    The future os Sri Lanka rests with the likes of you.

    I was pleasnatly surpirsed to get an email from a school mate of mine in Colombo whom I have not met for 5 deades saying that he was reading what I have written in your paper – indication that despita all the techical methodology that His Excellency President Rajapaksa and his loyal staff have at their disposal to block Sri Lankans from accessing information, Colombo Telegraph seems to heve survived. For how long – God only knows.

    The Tamils in the N&E know what is going on. They do not need to read what i write in the CT. They can step outside their homes and see what is going on. They do not even need to do that. They can stay at home and have violence, including and especially rape, delivered to them in their insecure homes.

    My greatest worry is that the Sinhalese, members of my ething group, have no odea what is going on behind the closed and censored doors of Sri Lanka.

    If His Excellency, the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa claims that there terrorism has been wiped out and the Tamils have been freed and there are happy smiling people in the N&E, why does he still block Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and International Crisis Group from visiting the N&E and seeing this miracle? Let us get these groups, one of which is a Nobel Laureate, who have an international record in human rights, to report on the ground situation in the North and East.

    Instead of going down roads that will lead nowhere eg prosecuting the Hon President and his Defence Secreatry, and, for that matter, Gen Sarath Fonseka and others with war crimes (much as they deserve to be), the most urgent need is to get AI, HRW and ICG into Sri Lanka NOW. Not just to the Tamil N&E but the whole of the country, including the South, where some of the illegal detantion centres fuctioning outside the normal jails, continue to fuction despite the ‘end’ of the conlict.

    I do believe that if the Sinhalese really know what is going on and happening to civilians, including Tamils in tha N&E, they will be shocked. After all, it is members of this ethnic group who ran not-insignificant risks and protected the Tamils in Colombo in the July 1983 massacre of Tamils.

    It is absolutely essential that the Sinhalese know the problems of living in a Totalitarian State under one family – a family autocracy.

    I do not think that the Tamils can do one thing about this. It is the Sinhalese who have to act and act before it is too late, not for the Tamils (which it already is) but for Democracy and the Future of Sri Lanka.

    We in the expatriate community can jump up and down as much as we want, the UN Human Rights Council can pass all sorts of meaningless Resolutions, Foreign governments can ‘expres- but unless the people act – and by the ‘people’ I mean the majority Sinhalese act, the country is heading for a distrous situation.

    You, the Media, have a criticl role to play.

    Brian Senewiratne

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    Dear Dr. BS,
    When will U Learn How to Write a Simple Short & Sweet Article ??? Will U Ever ???

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    No Mr Kahapola. i will not be short or sweet. What has to be dealt with has to be dealt with properly. When the life of someone like The Most Rev Dr Rayappu Joseph is on the line, it has to be done in detail. If your attention span is too short to read a detailed account about a serious problem. you can always stop reading. It is not compulsory

    Brian Senewiratne
    Brisbane, Australia

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