CLASSIFIED | POLITICS | TERRORISM | OPINION | VIEWS





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LTTE and the Christian Church

Gerald de S Samarasekera

It is quite common to see the conflict in Sri Lanka being portrayed as one between Buddhists and Hindus - especially in the Western media, deliberately ignoring the Christian factor, which is becoming more and more important in the light of the recent developments pertaining to the unethical conversions controversy.

Christianity was introduced to Sri Lanka in 1505 by the Portuguese invaders who arrived with a sword in one hand and a bible in the other. They burned down thousands of Buddhist temples, universities and other hallowed places and built Christian churches and schools on the rubble in order to "civilize" and bring "salvation" to the native "infidels". Dr Susantha Gunatilleke, in his recent speeches to several international forums, has explained in great detail the extent to which these Western imperialists have succeeded in destroying the indigenous Sinhala Buddhist civilization during the last 5 centuries.

Hundreds of thousands of natives who refused to convert were massacred. Graphic accounts of how infant children were impaled with bayonets show the brutality of these fanatics and their warped vision of the world. Genocide in the name of God is nothing new to Christianity, which teaches that God created the world and everything in it for the consumption of (Christian) mankind. I read in the newspaper today how millions of Native Americans were systematically wiped out by the European Imperialists through the Church and other religio-cultural institutions such as the school system. It is estimated that over 200 million people have been killed during the last 20 centuries in the name of this religion. The situation in Iraq is another good example of the Christian crusade to dominate and Christianise the whole world.

Until the arrival of the Europeans, the Tamil population in Sri Lanka was very insignificant, with a few primitive settlements in and around the Jaffna peninsula, most of their inhabitants being descendents of Dravidian invaders, mercenaries and slaves.Historical accounts by the European imperialists themselves attest to this fact.

It was the Europeans who brought tens of thousands of Tamils to Sri Lanka to work in tobacco, coffee and tea plantations. These Tamils were more than happy to help and collaborate with the Europeans to oppress the Sinhalese and contain Sinhalese resistance. In return, more and more schools were built for Tamils while the Sinhalese were taxed even for owning dogs and having coconut trees, a disproportionately large number of Tamils were inducted into the civil service, land and other properties taken away from the Sinhalese were given to Tamils (eg: the massive land grab from Sinhalese in Nuwaraeliya and adjoining areas in the 1840s). The same divide and rule system with blatant discrimination against the indigenous majority was to be seen in many other countries under the British tyranny. India more or less had the same situation as Sri Lanka where Hindus were socially, educationally, religiously and culturally oppressed while Muslims and Tamils (especially those who converted to Christianity) were favoured.

I believe that the core of the problem has a lot to do with a very Christian concept, Creation. As far as the Tamils are concerned, this country and everything in it were "created" for them and them alone by the European masters (read: God) and how dare the Sinhalese take that from them! 55% of the civil service consisting of Tamils is not a problem, because that's how the Master-Creator intended it to be.

How dare the "Sinhala-chauvinist" government try to make things a little fair for the poor Sinhalese children by devising a quota system that gave them an equal chance of getting into universities! What right do the Sinhalese have to change the name of the country to Sri Lanka, when Ceylon (which, ironically, is a derivative of Sinhalé while Sri Lanka was an ancient Indian name) was the name Master-Creator had chosen! And on top of it all, how could they make Sinhalese the official language, the language understood by the majority of the population and the only language unique to the country, but deprive Tamil of the same status. Of course, the fact that it is not an official language even in its birthplace India where it is spoken by over 50 million people and Tamils having to learn Hindi to survive in that country or the fact that Tamils who are significant minorities in over 70 countries ranging from Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Fiji and Australia in the Asia-Pacific, and South Africa, Mozambique and Mauritius in Africa, and Canada, USA, Guyana and West Indies in the Americas, and Norway, Britain, Sweden, France and Germany in Europe, timidly and obediently learn the indigenous languages of those countries and try to assimilate with the natives, would be conveniently ignored.

Even though the Christian population is "still" at 7%, the Christian Church has tremendous political influence in Sri Lanka. A majority of the major business tycoons, media organization owners, civil activists and almost all the senior cabinet members of the former UNP government (which suffered the worst electoral defeat in its history at the recent PC elections) were Christians.

Both Ranil Wickremesinghe and Chandrika Kumaratunge are also widely believed to be closet Christians. In the early decades of the 20th century, the major aim of the Ceylon Church was to prevent Sinhalese from obtaining universal franchise (read publications by the Christian Church of Ceylon at that time).

In the 40s, it was to stop the Sinhalese from getting free education (read Dr CWW Kannangara's Biography). Today it is using its proxy, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to achieve its ultimate goal, to divide up the country to pieces with ample help from Nordic countries, Britain and the European Union, hundreds of assorted NGOs and leftist/liberal political parties funded by either the above countries or directly by the Church (especially World Vision, Redd Bana, National Peace Council, CPA, Berghoff, Sarvodaya, FMM, Red Cross, UNHRC, New Left Front, National People's Party etc.) involved in such innocent sounding activities as peace making, conflict resolution, poverty alleviation, human rights protection, community development, media freedom etc, which are actually covers for evangelisation and promoting separatism (case in point: World Vision's activities in the North/East and Hambantota).

A separate essay would have to be written to explain the antics of these groups and their holier-than-thou peace-mongering activists who preach that the cause of all the problems in Sri Lanka is the Sinhalese and the panacea is federalism and secularism (euphemism for Christianisation). Read "Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige and Corruption of the International Aid Business" by Graham Hancock, "Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity" by Michael Maren, David Rieff's "A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis", recent columns by Rajpal Abeynayake and Neville de Silva in Sunday Times and especially the communiqué from President Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone to Kofi Annan just before the 1997 Western backed military coup, who accused the London based but Nordic funded NGO International Alert of meddling in Sierra Leone's internal affairs and supporting the RUF terrorists and "sabotaging all efforts at implementing the peace", for more information.

Iraqis and Afghans seem to have taken the initiative against these groups in a very Islamic way, as seen from the attacks on UN, RSF, Red Cross, Korean missionaries and Christian churches etc in those countries. While we must sympathize with the victims of terror attacks, these are nothing compared to what Christians have been doing to believers of other religions for centuries.

Tamil Tigers are not the only terrorists supported by the Church. Some others are the African National Congress of South Africa, Sudanese rebels, Palestinian terrorists (hatred for Jews apparently surpassing that for Muslims), so-called pro-democracy movements in Myanmar, anti-Mugabe forces in Zimbabwe, various separatist movements in India, Northern Alliance of Afghanistan and many others which have been exalted to the freedom-fighter status by the Western media. The reasons for the Church and these Western countries to back these organizations are more politically and economically motivated than religious per se.

The ultimate goal is weakening and destabilizing these countries so that their natural resources etc. could be exploited freely and the holy message of the gospel could be brought to the "uncivilized" masses. In the Sri Lankan context, it is the potential oil reserves in the North Sea, the Trincomalee natural harbour, the fish in the shallow sea area surrounding the island and millions of impoverished people just waiting for divine salvation that attract them. The first Portuguese marauder that landed in the Indian coast over 500 years ago is said to have declared, "We came for spices and Christians". It is the same story even today.

The father of modern separatism, late Mr Chelvanayagam, MP was a Christian. As the renowned Tamil writer DBS Jeyaraj wrote in the (Christian owned) Sunday Leader a few months back, Christians have contributed much more to the "Tamil cause" than Hindus. LTTE's ideologue Dr Anton Balasingham, a former employee of the British embassy in Sri Lanka is also a Christian. The same goes for Velupillai Pirapaharan's son, Charles Anthony and most of LTTE's lackeys across the globe, ranging from NGO wallahs to left-wing extremists to British and Canadian parliamentarians. In fact, it is the Bishop of Mannar, Most Rev Rasappu Joseph who declared open the "Embassy of the Tamil Eelam", the Eelam House in London.

If you are still not convinced, take a look at LTTE's recently established Human Rights Centre (joke of the decade to most of us). Its chairman is a Christian priest! When was the last time you saw a Hindu priest in any LTTE ceremony or function? Never? But Christian priests are as a necessary ingredient to those events as are the representatives from Nordic countries, Britain, EU, Japan, NGOs and the World Bank.

Today hundreds of foreign funded radical evangelical groups that are openly anti-Buddhist and anti-Hindu have sprung all over the country, especially along the A9 highway, targeting the Tamil population there who are very vulnerable following the 20-year war. There is clear proof that the new proselytes are used to systematically vandalize Buddhist and Hindu places of worship. The Western media, which gave huge publicity to the alleged destruction of Christian "churches" following the death of Ven Soma Thera which was blamed on the evangelical groups, with headlines along the lines of "Anti-Christian feeling rises in Buddhist Sri Lanka" etc but most of these so called churches were huts and temporary structures and many attacks were self induced in order to blame the Buddhists. What the Western media also does not report is the religious war that the evangelical groups have unleashed in Sri Lanka with LTTE's help.

Every night, the walls in Colombo get covered by provocative posters insulting Buddhists in the lowliest ways. In the past few weeks, several Buddhist monks have been murdered and one female monk was raped and killed and the LTTE is clearly responsible for at least one of these attacks. The President, who wound herself up to a frenzy following the attacks on the Christian "churches" and ordered 24-hour police protection for all Christian churches, has not even denounced these acts. Same applies for all those human rights bleeding-hearts who are actually trying to justify the attacks on Buddhists. There were also recent reports of several Hindu temples having been looted by the LTTE. This seems to have been going on for a while.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that many of these evangelical groups have been established in Sri Lanka by parliamentary bills proposed by Tamil National Alliance MPs. LTTE's past attacks on Buddhists, including the bombing of the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy - one of the most sacred places for Buddhists in the world, massacre of novice monks in Aranthalawa, shooting of hundreds of old devotees at the site of the sacred Bo tree in Anuradhapura etc, all have the hidden paw of the Church behind them.

Something that you might find interesting is the case of funny Mr T Maheswaran, UNP MP and former Minister of Hindu Affairs. Mr Maheswaran, while being a very vocal supporter of the LTTE, also showed a lot of concern for the issue of mass scale conversion of Hindu Tamils by evangelists. Just before the April polls, there were two failed assassination attempts on him but nobody took responsibility and Mr Maheswaran decided to lay low for a while. Last month, he re-emerged with the shocking revelation that he's convinced that the LTTE was responsible for the attacks and threatened to leave the country for good unless the police stepped up his security. Could there be any reason save for the obvious for why they tried to kill him?

There is also evidence that Christian priests have been directly aiding and abetting the LTTE to carry out terrorist attacks. In the late 90s, reports of Christian priests being caught trying to smuggle in banned items used to make bombs to uncleared areas were not rare in daily newspapers. It is also suspected that the Tigers have been using some churches in the Kotahena as safe houses. LTTE's renegade commander Karuna issued a warning a few weeks ago, warning his ex-cadres not to surrender to the Bishop of a certain Eastern district as those who had, have been turned over to the LTTE to be executed. Not a hoot from our human rights activists though.

LTTE's ISGA proposals, which aims to set-up a quasi-sovereign mono-ethnic, effectively mono-religious, apartheid-like parallel state comprising 1/3rd of the country, has a clause explaining the so-called "secular" nature of the proposed state. As I said earlier, a secular state is essentially a Christian one (explained in detail by eminent Indian scholar Dr Gangadhara) and no truly religion-less state exists in the world. For example, look at the United States where the church is constitutionally separated from the state, but every dollar note has the motto "In God We Trust", and the pledge of allegiance says "one nation, under God", the presidential candidates always quote from the bible and the current president utilizes federal funds to finance Pastor Billy Graham's operations in this part of the world. Where is the separation, pray tell? The Vatican recently said that Europe either has to be Christian or it is not Europe. Isn't religion the main reason for Turkey not being accepted as a EU member?

In Britain, the head of state is also the head of the Church and the national anthem is "God save the Queen" and the Law accepts "act of God" as a defence for some crimes and torts. The constitutions of the Lutheran Norway and other Nordic countries have many references to God and the Christian religion. Secular indeed! There is reason to believe that the moment the Eelam is created, the Church of South India that has contributed so much to the Tamil separatist cause, is set to re-establish itself as the "Church of Tamil Eelam" and become the official Church of the new state. This is the ultimate end that the Western countries, NGOs, the Christian Church and the LTTE are striving for.

To sum it up, they have brought in the Tamils, planted the seeds of separatism and the Promised Land (Eelam) in their minds, helped them take up arms, created a war, bought our servile, spineless and treacherous President and Opposition leader with Nobel peace prize carrots (in my opinion, the prize awarded to the biggest traitor in the world who had betrayed his/her nation and was the most obedient of all to his/her Western Imperialistic masters), and offered us a "solution" to the so called ethnic conflict that we are supposed to accept or become extinct. This is the land of the Sinhalese and it cannot be run according to the whims and fancies of alien minorities nor the so-called "International community" which is nothing but a cartel of modern imperialists consisting of EU, USA, Canada and Japan out to rob 3rd world countries of their resources. Sri Lanka is a sovereign, independent state and not a European, American or Japanese colony and it is time that all these special envoys and peace messengers from every nook and cranny of the world waltzing around in our country as if it was occupied territory, realized that!


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