20 September, 2018

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Wikileaks – Bishop Chickera Urged Ambassador Not To Remain Silent In Sri Lanka

By Colombo Telegraph –

acknowledge your own histories!

A leaked US Embassy cable reveals how the Anglican Bishop Dulip De Chickera lobbied US government on promoting international human values.

“The bishop Chikera urged ambassador not to remain in silent in Sri Lanka, acknowledging the need to express US views and to promote international human values” a leaked US Embassy cable revealed.  The Colombo Telegraph found the cable from the Wikileaks data base.

The remarks by Washington’s embassy to Sri Lanka, are revealed by the Wikileaks leaked US embassy cable. The cable classified as “ CONFIDENTIAL” by ambassador Patricia A. Butenis.

In a cable, written in 26th February 2010, under the sub-heading “ANGLICAN BISHOP OFFERS ADVICE AND HOPE”  the ambassador wrote that, he emphasized, however, that the US – and the international community – should frame problems as universal learning opportunities, acknowledging their own histories and responsibilities, rather than criticizing. A long history of colonization had left Sri Lanka easily “offended by the teacher mentality.” The bishop also opined that the change would come “ when people come their senses and say ‘enough’, citing historical examples such as apartheid in South Africa, civil rights in the US, and aboriginals in Australia.

The bishop Chicera further said to the ambassador that Rajapaksa had won favor from Sinhalese who saw him as “a person who, right or wrong, would stand up to the global north.” Regarding advocacy on individual human right cases, the bishop advised reminding the state of its obligations rather than focusing on its failures and soliciting individual “favors.”  Ambassador further wrote “in his view, the Sinhalese vision for relations with Tamils and Muslims had improved.”

Placing a comment ambassador Butenis wrote “ the bishop’s encouragement to the ambassador that she continue to express US views and promote international human values by framing problems as universal learning opportunities reflected thoughtful advice.”

 

Read the full cable for further details.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 000142

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INSB

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/25/2020
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM PTER EAID MOPS CE
SUBJECT: ANGLICAN BISHOP OFFERS ADVICE AND HOPE

REF: COLOMBO 140

COLOMBO 00000142  001.2 OF 002

Classified By: AMBASSADOR PATRICIA A. BUTENIS.  REASONS: 1.4 (B, D)

1. (C) SUMMARY: On February 25, Ambassador called on Anglican
Bishop Duleep Kamil De Chickera, a well-respected and
influential Sri Lankan cleric.  The bishop saw a role for the
international community in Sri Lanka but cautioned against a
didactic approach.  While there were two national interfaith
groups and many local ones, none were actively engaged in Sri
Lanka.  The bishop noted improvements in the Sinhalese vision
for relations with Tamils and Muslims and opined that
eventually Sri Lankans would demand change in the current
direction of their country.  END SUMMARY.

COURTESY CALL ON ANGLICAN BISHOP
--------------------------------

2. (SBU) Ambassador called on Anglican Bishop Duleep Kamil De
Chickera, a well-respected and influential Sri Lankan cleric.
 The bishop had recently released a statement on Fonseka's
arrest and detention, calling for clarification of charges
and a transparent judicial process.  He was also part of a
post-election joint statement by six Roman Catholic and
Anglican bishops highlighting concern over the campaign
process, low Tamil voter turnout, the use of transfers for
political ends, terminations and promotions to reward or
punish military, police, and public servants after the
election, and the disappearance of journalist Mr. Eknaligoda.
 (NOTE: The bishop is considered liberal within Anglican
circles and drew international attention when he delivered a
sermon at the Lambeth Conference, calling for inclusiveness
in communion for all, "regardless of color, ability, gender
or sexual orientation."  END NOTE.)

ROLE FOR INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
--------------------------------

3. (C) The bishop urged Ambassador not to remain silent in
Sri Lanka, acknowledging the need to express U.S. views and
to promote international human values.  He emphasized,
however, that the U.S -- and the international community --
should frame problems as universal learning opportunities,
acknowledging their own histories and responsibilities,
rather than criticizing.  A long history of colonization had
left Sri Lankans easily "offended by the teacher mentality."
Rajapaksa had won favor from Sinhalese who saw him as "a
person who, right or wrong, would stand up to the global
north."  The bishop also recommended quietly building up
relationships within the government, noting that Rome was not
built in a day.  Regarding advocacy on individual human
rights cases, the bishop advised reminding the state of it
obligations rather than focusing on its failures and
soliciting individual "favors."

INTERFAITH COORDINATION
-----------------------

4. (C) According to the bishop there are two major interfaith
organizations bringing monks, Christian, Hindu, and Muslim
leaders together: the Congress of Religions and the
Inter-religious Peace Foundation.  He recalled that the end
of the war brought a new understanding among monks of how
"the crisis was eating at the roots of democracy" and "opened
peoples' eyes to the movement against dissent" in politics
and the media.  But the interfaith groups had not moved
forward to act.  (NOTE: The Fonseka arrest did galvanize
monks of varying castes into issuing a joint statement on
democratic governance and calling for a council of clergy to
discuss it. (Ref. A). END NOTE.) At the local level, there
were many low profile interfaith groups, helpful for

COLOMBO 00000142  002.2 OF 002

sustaining trust among communities, but otherwise limited in
their roles.

POTENTIAL FOR IMPROVEMENT
-------------------------

5. (C) While the bishop admitted to concern about "moderate,
principled people" who seemed to have fallen in line with the
Rajapaksa regime, he also expressed hope for Sri Lanka.  In
his view, the Sinhalese vision for relations with Tamils and
Muslims had improved.  The Sinhalese were more relaxed now
that the war was over, and they sensed no immediate threat
from the LTTE.  Reports of intimidation of Tamils in daily
life had decreased.  The bishop also opined that change would
come "when people come to their senses and say 'enough,'"
citing historical examples such as apartheid in South Africa,
civil rights in the U.S., and aboriginals in Australia.

COMMENT
-------

6. (C) The bishop's encouragement to the Ambassador that she
continue to express U.S. views and to promote international
human values by framing problems as universal learning
opportunities reflected thoughtful advice from a good embassy
contact with an important view on, and voice in, Sri Lanka.
His advice complemented the consensus approach to engaging
the GSL reached by Colombo-based chiefs of mission (COMs) in
a meeting hosted by the Ambassador later on February 25
(septel).  The COMs agreed that any GSL attack on core
democratic values or institutions should be met with strong
denunciation by the international community and that the
international community should re-engage with the president
after the April 8 election regarding his promises on
reconciliation, the 13th Amendment, and re-development in the
north and east.
BUTENIS
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Latest comments

  • 0
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    He is great!!

  • 0
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    Not great, greater than Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. Ranjith is a Hippocratic monk.

  • 0
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    ya ya, looks great!! A man with a dignity.

  • 0
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    Rev Chickera had democratic principles. He was carefull not get westernized

    He refused to go to Anglican International Conference in the UK as the British HC has his finger prints and he maintained that the UK agencies were criminalizing the civilians

    he tried to mobilize the Angelican Sinhalas but the modern church is SL is also ethnonationalist. so he did not go beyond his circle

  • 0
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    yes, he is a great man!

  • 0
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    Is it a surprise that this Christian is licking the boots of imperialists. These people are agents of the western imperial forces and that’s what they are supposed to be doing. This guy once adored that the LTTE makes excellent vine, and wanted to use them for his church religious services. Never he thought that child-soldiers were bad thing, or suicide bombing is a crime. If he could have been any different from what he is, we would not have had a 30 years of war with LTTE terrorists.

    • 0
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      Mr.Wije,
      Please read Rev.Chickera’s words more carefully before commenting (3.c).He is basically asking the US to find a way to work with the Govt and move forward,instead of being stuck in one place.Carefully chosen words “Remind the State of its obligations,instead of focusing on only the failures”and to promote International Human values.
      Sir,this is what we need.We need the international community to find a way to move forward,instead of just being critical of what ever that may or may not have happened!!

      • 0
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        I completely agree with Mihira.

    • 0
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      Well said. he is a senior member of the LTTE. he promoted LTTE wine for his churches. Part of the British conspiracy… Anglican or Church of England and Henry VIII

  • 0
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    @ Wije, Rev Chickera is very balanced uman being and not political. As for feet licking the only person i see who seels the religion is the Diyawadan Nilame of Dhaladha maligawa Nilanga Dela Bandara

    • 0
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      I don’t see Nilanga is licking the boots of imperialists… If this fellow is so concerned about human rights why is not concerned about thousands being killed in Libya everyday? Why doesn’t he asks those killers to stop those crimes as well. Don’t try to tell me about goodness of this double dealer.

      • 0
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        Why don’t you ask your leader Mahinda Rajapakse to save his friend and fellow mass murderer Gaddaffi. I understand that quietly the Rajapakse govt has recognised the new govt in Libya and kicked Gaddaffi to the kerb. LOL

  • 0
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    All are hypocrites and traitors of our country. Doing exactly the opposite of God’s command. They are the stooges of the West……

  • 0
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    Well done Bishop Chikara. What a difference between Catholic Archbishop Malcolm Rajith and Bishop Chikara.

    Being a Hindu and the nephew of Late Canon D J Kanagaratnam I am pleased the Anglican leadership is taking a stand.

    • 0
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      Chikara was not a reborn christian. When blood sucking LTTE was on rampage, this Chikara adored them and never questioned or condemed them behaved like a real chicken. He kept silent when LTTE was killing ample number of people.

      • 0
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        If LTTE is an evil then the very evil that created the LTTE cannot be an angel. Violent history did not start with the LTTE it has its ugly roots well before its birth.

        In the very same token to write off Chikara is not a reborn Christian makes me laugh. Reborn or born again, Mr Selvarartnam or to that matter Chikara or Malcolm or even the Pope are not god given authorities.

  • 0
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    Bishop Chickera is a well balanced, honest person who is deeply committed to build a united Sri Lanka. He is above petty nationalistic and religious sentiments. He is a well respected cleric in the world wide church. We Sri Lankans should be proud when he was chosen to preach the opening sermon at the last Lambeth Conference of Bishops, attended by over 600 bishops around the world. It was more than winning the world cup! Keep up your good work especially be a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.

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