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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2959

President Rajapakse takes Lanka back to the Dark Ages of the Catholic Church

Colombo, 25 May, ( The state-run Daily News announced yesterday that President Mahinda Rajapakse has "ordered the Public Performances Board to ban the screening of the movie ‘The Da Vinci Code’ in local cinemas and on local television channels"

"The decision to ban the film was taken on an appeal by the Catholic Bishops Conference in Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa told the Daily News yesterday."

"This is an abominable political decision to please the Vatican," said a leading film critic. "It is not based on any merit or demerit of the film."

"This means that the whole world can see except the people of Sri Lanka. Not even Catholic countries like Italy or Philippines have banned it," he added.

Informed sources say that leading film producers like Lester Peiris, the doyen of the directors, is opposed to this ban though he has not come forward to say so, so far. He is a Catholic but he is liberal enough to let a film like Da Vinci Code be screened, said one film critic.

The Daily News reported: "The Bishops charged that the movie is a product of a "totally perverted mind" and that it reaches the height of moral corruption.

"It matters greatly to us as it adversely affects the most sacred beliefs of our people when it levels the charge that the Catholic Church is essentially a vast network founded on maintaining the lie of Jesus' Divinity."

"Calling the film and the book blasphemous, the Bishops said the book attacks the very person and mission of Jesus Christ.

"Those who say the book is just a story do not understand that this
deception is part of the book's power.

"The book and the film are offensive to Christians. Brown and Howard are clearly targeting Christians when they attack what is most sacred to us, namely the person of Jesus Christ," the letter added.

The Bishops pointed out that while artistic creativity needs a climate of freedom, such freedom cannot be separated from responsibility."

Analysts agree that this purely a political ploy of the Catholic Church to impose its will on the people of Sri Lanka. Instead of the Church imposing a ban on the Catholic from viewing the film, it has asked the government to ban it for the rest of 93 per cent of the population. (Catholics constitute only 7 per cent of the population.) "Why should 97% per cent pay for the prejudices of the Catholic Church," asked an agnostic.

Analysts agree that this is a political favour handed by the Government to win the support of the Catholic Church. One wit asked: "Now that President Rajapakse has banned the anti-Catholic Da Vinci Code will the Vatican ban the LTTE which commits criminal obscenities against humanity daily? Will, at least the local Catholic Church, which is supposed to uphold the principles of Jesus condemn and impose some kind of ban on the LTTE which violates all known principles of Christianity?"

A Sri Lankan Catholic Vicar, Fr. S. J. Emmanuel, boasts that he has written "liberation theology" praising the Tiger terrorists. He even compared Jesus to Velupillai Prabhakaran. Another priest, Rev. S. Jebanesan, has also threatened to write a theology for the Tamils only, excluding all the other children of God.

- Asian Tribune -

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