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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2903

Catholic Bishops Appeal for Ceasefire During Christmas-What a Farce?

By Darmitha-Kotte

Terrorism has taken its toll of damages both to civilians, religious places of worship of Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims as well as government property through a period of near 30 years. Even though we saw JVP brutality in the early 1970s when they took the law into their hands "once upon a time", Prabhakaran’s LTTE brutality has far outshone that of the JVP. Rain or sunshine, holiday or not, pilgrims or not, Buddhist Temples, Hindu Kovils and Muslim Mosques have all been treated with the same venom by LTTE with no time to think of "mercy or peace" at any given time during their ethnic cleansing operations, and their mayhem/ brutality against Sri Lankan civilians. Even the very innocent bus commuters with small children –some on their way to school- none have been spared so far.

The Catholic Church has been nurturing serpents’ right along and commanding them to "kill" their adversaries while sitting in the back-seat and working "in remote-control mode" while at the same time showing a peace loving façade to hoodwink Sri Lankans and the international community. Their secret agendas are well understood by western powers who themselves are Christian by faith and understand the modus –operandi of Christian institutions whereas the unsuspecting Hindus and Buddhists tend to feel that these people truly want peace and harmony to prevail in this country. Many a time, have we been shocked to watch the results of these manipulations which have always benefited the terrorists and not the majority of citizens in this country irrespective of caste, creed or other religious groups outside Christians.

During the past three years, Catholic Bishops operating in Mannar, Jaffna, Trincomalee and Batticaloa have all exposed their preferential treatment towards the “Sun God” Prabhakaran and his LTTE terror outfit and openly accused our Combined Armed Forces of various allegations- all this done with the express intention of demoralizing the soldiers who are out their for our sake- to eliminate terrorism from Sri Lanka. They have gone on record appealing through the LTTE Tamil Net website appealing for international intervention against a democratically elected Government of Sri Lanka and her Armed Forces who are working 24 hours round the clock, to help us have a peaceful future after the LTTE is wiped out from the face of this country.

These Bishops( if I suspect correctly) are all sons of this soil who have reaped rich benefits from the State to carry on their religious as well as activities related to unethical conversions in a shrewd and subtle manner. They have had the audacity to appeal for intervention by The Vatican and other Foreign Funding Organisations at a time when all sons and daughters of Mother Lanka should be firmly behind our Combined Armed Forces who are fighting hard in the battle fields up North attempting to fee the suffering Tamil community in the North due to the misery wreaked out on them by the terrorists.

Religion, Religious places of worship or Religious festivals of non-Christians in this country have never been given "tuppence consideration" by Prabhakaran and his terrorists when they wished to clear areas which they wished to invade in the North & East and claim as "their homeland territory." At such times, the Prince of Peace never gave instructions for the LTTE to consider laying down arms and ammunition & asking for peace! Peace is a word used only and when the LTTE is in dire straits facing difficulties!

During the last three years, throughout the year at different times Christmas or no Christmas, the GOSL gave into the requests of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and offered opportunities for the LTTE to genuinely show their intentions towards peace negotiations- however, have they ever truly responded positively? For them to gain international publicity the LTTE were given the chance to decide on which country to hold peace talks( a luxury that most terrorist organisations never enjoy at the hands of the USA, UK, or European Countries)-Oslo, Tokyo, Geneva, Germany, Thailand – They Named It and our GOSL gave in but what was the outcome? The UNP gave them a Carte Blanc CFA with all freedom to govern the North & East but did they stop terrorizing their own Tamil community?

Chandrika Kumaratunga was adamant to offer her ill-famed P-Toms all this, to appease Prabhakaran and the LTTE but have they ever stated that they truly want peace –never. All these examples go to show us that LTTE is not a peace loving outfit because "peace" means they have no place within the majority Tamil community in the North or East.

Even the GOSL of President Rajapakse gave many opportunities for Prabhakaran to prove his sincerity but when it proved that "breathers" or ceasefires have all been used for them to amass more weaponry to replenish the depleting stocks, the current GOSL and The Combined Armed Forces have decided "enough is enough" –no more grace periods until the end when we can truly see peace and harmony resuming after defeating LTTE terrorism.

This seems to have caused a lot of anxiety to those (including Catholic Bishops) Stakeholders who have been pulling the strings all this time and gaining profits through INGO/NGOs and their so called humanitarian programmes. None of these have ever shown any constructive results except that those involved enjoy unprecedented perks and live like warlords in this country.

Like the age old saying "gahate giya minihatath uttarayak thiyenawa"(meaning in English -even the man who went up the tree has an answer when caught trying to steal toddy) so does the Catholic Bishops attempt to use Christmas as an excuse to get a breather for the LTTE which has in the recent past suffered losses as never before at the hands of our Armed Forces.

The Island newspaper of 18th December,2008 carried a small article in the front page titled " Bishops call for X-mas truce" in which they state in their usual sweet sounding slimy manner (quote):" The joint call signed by Rt.Re.Thomas Saundaranayagam(Jaffna), Rt.Rev.Rayappu Joseph(Mannar), Rt.Rev.Norbert Andradi(Anuradhapura), Rt.Rev.Kumara Illangasinghe(Kurunegala) and Rt.Rev.Duleep de Chickera (Colombo) states “At this time, many Christians and even persons of other faiths will be encouraged by the birth of Christ, the Prince of Peace, to review and strengthen relationships. It is consequently expected that family ties will be renewed, communities will gather for fellowship, strangers will be welcomed, the marginalized included and the oppressed set free. It is this spirit of Christmas that compels us as Christian leaders of the country to urge the Government and the LTTE to declare a truce to include Christmas and the New Year. There should not be any fighting or movements during this period. We trust that our appeal will be treated with dignity by both sides and urge the Government to take the initiative in setting up this truce. Such and initiative will be seen the world over as a sign of political maturity and generosity. Even though temporary, such a truce will bring immense relief to the people in the LTTE controlled areas of the Vanni. It will also enable the Christians of these areas to worship and engage in their religious practises with less anxiety, as well as being some respite to the war weary soldiers and cadres and some peace of mind to their parents and loved ones. …………..Religious leaders of all faiths are also available to help facilitate this process……….May the Peace of Christ fill our hearts and nation."(end quote)

Reading through the above message one truly wonders whether it was this same Prince of Peace who ordered The Holy Wars, The Inquisitions in which we know brutal torture was brought on innocent people amounting to hundreds of thousands, the Iraqi war, the Afghan war, the wars between Palestine and Israel etc?

In the entire country of Sri Lanka the Christian population is a mere 8% of the total population and the majority living in the war affected areas are Hindus and not Christians except for the fact that the LTTE terrorists might have a few hundred or thousand Christians/Catholics. If there was peace in the minds of the LTTE terrorists- they would not have carried on their blood-thirsty brutality on ordinary civilians for nearly 30 years & to them Christmas time is no special exception except to "get a respite" as the Bishops state in their statement but this will not be to rest & pray but to amass more weaponry to fight the Armed Forces & these will also be supplied through "peace and good will” by Christian sources to the terrorists during this "period of peace." Why should the Bishops "…. request and urge the Government to take the initiative in setting up this truce. Such and initiative will be seen the world over as a sign of political maturity and generosity?"

May we ask the Bishops “why do you expect the Government to take the initiative- why not ask the terrorists to take the initiative instead?” Is it not obvious what agenda the Bishops are trying to implement? Religious leaders are there, to help their adherents to practise their religious beliefs And Not to interfere in matters of national security in the guise of "…Religious leaders of all faiths are also available to help facilitate this process." As for generosity- we think we have already been extra generous by giving into terrorism for 30 years! Lastly, it is because of political maturity that the current GOSL has understood that politics must take second place to military action if this country is to see peace in the true sense of the word- not the sugar coated "Christmas Peace."

Dear Bishops, the nation looks up to the Combined Armed Forces with admiration for the sacrifices they are making and the wonderful victories they have achieved so far in reducing the terrorists within their territory. Please refrain from insulting them by urging or appealing as you state to have a "temporary respite"- that is the biggest insult you could do to their morale at this juncture. The Government and The Armed Forces are bound to safeguard the security and territorial sovereignty of Sri Lanka- they will surely celebrate Christmas once their mission is accomplished and they can rest back in the thought that they have done their duty by bringing back peace to a country which had lost it for 30 years- in the meantime, please refrain from interfering in their work.

A couple of years ago the Sarvodaya Leader conducted what was called “ Sama Bhavana” to bring peace to the country at a cost of a couple of million Sri Lankan Rupees funding from the UN but we have not witnessed it so far & it could very well be, that during this Christmas season that all Christians in this country could pray for our brave soldiers to fight to the end and eliminate terrorism once and for all so that we could all live in peace and harmony.

- Asian Tribune -

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