Dalit Christians accuse Catholic Church of caste discrimination – MISNA

Dalit Christians protest against discrimination in the ChurchMISNAA DCLM delegation asked the UN and other organizations to urge the Holy See to eradicate the caste discriminatory practices and to withdraw the Permanent Observer position of the Holy See in the UN if the Vatican does not take the necessary steps [to end untouchability]. – MISNA

Cardinal Archbishop Baselios CleemisThe Dalit Christian Liberation Movement (DCLM) accuses the Vatican and the Indian Catholic Church leadership of caste-based discrimination “by way of allowing it directly and indirectly in their spiritual, educational and administrative places”.

“We have submitted seven copies of the complaint to Rajeev Chandran, assistant director of the UN Center in New Delhi addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and different human rights organizations”, Mary John, president of the DCLM, told ucanews.com.

A DCLM delegation asked the UN and other organizations to urge the Holy See to eradicate the caste discriminatory practices and to withdraw the Permanent Observer position of the Holy See in the UN if the Vatican does not take the necessary steps. Dalits, or untouchables, are the lowest caste within Hindu society. Huge numbers of Gregory XV (9 January 1554 – 8 July 1623)Dalits have converted to Christianity and Islam over the decades, though in reality the religions offer limited protection from societal prejudice.

“The discrimination against Dalit Christians in the Catholic Church* is a human rights issue and it would be right if we approach the UN to find a solution to it,” Mary John said.

“There are separate cemeteries for Dalit Christians. Even in the church there are separate seating arrangements for those from the Dalit community and others. The festival choir processions do not enter the streets where Dalit Christians live”, said Kudanthai Arasan, president of the Viduthalai Tamil Puligal Katchi, adding that in some churches even the dead body of a Dalit Christian is not allowed inside for funeral Mass. While Dalit Christians form 70 percent of the total Catholic population in India, said John, their representation in the Church leadership is only 4-5 percent. Out of about 200 Salvatore Pennacchio is Papal Nuncio to Indiaactive bishops in India, only nine are from the Dalit community.

“We have raised our voice time and again to end this practice in the Indian Church, but our pleas have been falling on deaf ears. … They do not take our case seriously to the Vatican”, John said.

Father Joseph Chinnayyan, deputy secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), said that as far as the Dalit Christians’ complaint about the issue to the UN is concerned, “we are not aware of any such complaint and will only respond once we receive any communication about it”. – Euroasia Review, 30 June 2015


St. Thomas and Caste – Ishwar Sharan: “Scheduled Caste Christians demonstrated against the untouchability practiced in the Church when Pope John Paul II visited India in 1986. They probably did not know that Pope Gregory XV (1621-1623) had sanctioned caste within the Indian Church and that his edict has never been rescinded. Earlier in 1599 the Council of Diamper and again in 1606 the Council of Goa had sanctioned the same. These sanctions have governed Catholic practice ever since — though Christians piously maintain that caste is contrary to Christ’s teachings.”

» MISNA, or the Missionary International Service News Agency, provides daily news ‘from, about and for’ the ‘world’s Souths’, not just in the geographical sense, since December 1997.

Dalits for Equal Rights in Churches

Caste-segregated Christian graveyard in Tamil Nadu: Dalits are buried on the left side of the wall, caste Christians on the right.

Catholic Church in India: Sex, sex, and more sex – G. Pramod Kumar

Sister Mary ChandySister Mary Chandy, sixty-seven years old, walked out of the Congregation of the Daughters of Presentation of Mary in the Temple in Chevayur, Kozhikode, 14 years ago. She wrote her autobiography, Nanma Niranjavale Swasthi (Peace to the One Filled with Grace), in April 2012. Excerpts from the book are below. – Editor

Barely two years after it was slammed by An Autobiography of a Nun that catalogued the lurid details of bullying, sexual abuse and homosexuality, the Catholic Church in Kerala is again attacked by a former nun.

Sixty-eight-year-old Sister Mary, who left her Catholic congregation in Kerala 13 years ago in disgust after 40 years of nunhood, is ready with her exposé. In a biographical sketch titled Nanma Niranjavare Swasthi, she heaps more ignominy on the Church.

Sister Mary talks in vivid detail about the extreme pain she had to endure during her tenure with the congregation: physical and psychological oppression, the sexual permissiveness and abuse prevalent among some of the nuns and priests, and the harassment she faced for sticking to her values and commitment to service.

She also talks about the miserable sense of abandonment, rather than sacrifice or service, that some of the nuns feel.

For the Catholic Church in Kerala which is already under attack with a wide range of allegations ranging from oppression of its nuns, abuse, suicides and inappropriate sexual behaviour, the book will certainly be further bad publicity.

Ex-Priest K.P. ShibuTwo biographical accounts; one by Jesme Raphael who gave up the nun’s robes after 26 years of service (2009) and another by a male priest, K.P. Shibu Kalaparambil who left after 24 years in white (2010); had in the recent past, dented the reputation and order of the Catholic Church. Both of them had explosive revelations including sexual exploitation of women and men.

In her memoirs Sister Mary, born in the Palai area of eastern Kerala, describes how she wanted to be a nun at the age of 13 and ran away from home to a Catholic congregation. Although she “found her path of service at the altar of the god”, what awaited her was four decades of hardship, betrayal and absolute disappointment.

Unable to take it anymore, she abandoned her robes in 1999 but continued her service to humanity by establishing a modest orphanage at Wayanad in north Kerala. According to Jose Pazhukaran, the writer who helped Mary put together the memoir, she literally begs door-to-door to raise the resources for her orphanage. “She is now doing what she couldn’t accomplish as a nun – to serve humanity and be a mother to abandoned children,” says Pazhukaran.

“There was a lot of unbearable pain and humiliation. Some ran away, some committed suicide. I endured all the pain because of the priest’s words at my first communion as a nun – you should be ready to follow the path of Jesus Christ. These words are still throbbing in my heart and that is why I am a mother of orphans,” says Sister Mary.

Translations of two chapters of the book are given below :


Some of the nuns used to read books with filthy pictures. I used to wonder how they laid their hands on them. Once I noticed that one of the nuns mostly stayed in her room with the doors bolted.

She was very good-looking and otherwise active, but I didn’t clearly understand the “clandestine things” she was up to.

One day, I found out that she was reading a filthy magazine. A magazine that had pictures of naked men and women. I was very upset. Once you pledge yourself to be a nun, such temptations can compel you to give in. Privately, I admonished her and warned her that she should not repeat it, lest I should tell the matron of the provinciate. I also promised her that I wouldn’t tell anybody. I used to wonder who got them those magazines.

I also resented the male priests coming to the convent without any reason. I really didn’t like how some nuns spent so much time with them and flirted with them. I thought that it could lead them to wrongdoings that could bring disrepute to the congregation. I complained to the mother, but she kept evading it.

Most of the time, what you saw if you accidentally walked into a room of the nuns was shameful. I haven’t seen even a handful of them who were chaste. I just told myself that what comes from flesh has to be flesh.

There was this church hospital at one of the convents when I spent my time there. The hospital was adjacent to the church. I came to know that a doctor at the hospital and a nun had an affair. Once when a patient was brought to the hospital in a critical condition, the doctor was found missing. We, the nuns, frantically searched Medieval Monk with Nun: Mediaeval convents in Europe were high class brothels.for him; but he was nowhere to be seen.

Knowing their closeness to each other, I somehow felt that he would be closeted with the nun somewhere. Finally, my search led to a room from which I heard hushed voices. I brought them out of the room and angrily told them that such behaviour wouldn’t work.

I didn’t know what they were doing in the room, but I am sure it wasn’t something good. I told him that a doctor is worthless if he cannot attend to a patient in an emergency.

Many others also advised the nun that she could get out of the robe and marry so that the congregation’s name is not sullied. The mother, an Italian named Luccia, was informed too. I told her in Italian that those two had been carrying on for a while and they should be thrown out.

The issue simmered for some time and both the doctor and the nun went back to their old ways. Subsequently, the doctor even threatened to kill me. But, almost everyone seemed to side with them and I felt isolated. I just had to ignore what was happening.

They got married later and the nun left the congregation.

I was really disgusted with the way the convent worked and was really reluctant to continue there. It even affected my taking the communion and my confessions. I felt disgusted the way some uncommitted priests conducted the church rituals. They were plain perfunctory.

There was a practice of assigning daily duty for everyone in the convent. To avoid work that they didn’t like, such as farming, some nuns stayed in their rooms. They mostly seemed to feel that they had lost something in life.

40 years of my life as a nun went through such contradictions.

Right from my childhood, I handled the difficulties I faced without letting my family and others know. Therefore, this sense of aloofness was growing in me. In fact, I realise only now that on such situations Mother Mary was giving me the mental strength.

Pope Francis 'the Humble': This pope is not what he appears to be!RAPING FATHERS

Those who didn’t oblige the priests were always in trouble. They get pained in some way or the other. Some think that the oath of discipline that you take while accepting the nun’s robe is to be subservient to such men.

Such an incident happened to me as well. As somebody who had thought of Jesus Christ as the only savior since the age of six, this experience pained me immensely.

This incident, in which a priest tried to molest me and I hit him with a wooden stool in self-defence, became a big issue at the congregation. Although I was the one outraged, in their eyes, I was the culprit. The unwritten rule was: whatever the priests did, nobody could question them.

I was only twenty then.

The incident happened at the Chevayaoor convent. There was this practice of serving breakfast to the priests after the morning communion. Sometimes, it was sent to the church. The nuns needed to take turns to cook for them and serve them.

I used to get nervous whenever my turn came because I wasn’t good with cooking and would certainly be criticised for that. Nobody used to help me or advise me. Instead, they seemed to get some vicarious pleasure by pointing out the mistakes. I used to find it very painful.

Okay, let’s get into the incident. Once, I was assigned to cook and serve a priest who finished the communion (I don’t want to name him though). I went to the dining hall with egg curry and ‘appam’. He came in, washed Indian Cardinal Ivan Dias lives in a Church-owned building in Rome which also houses Europe's largest gay club.his hands and bolted the door before taking his seat.

He asked me to serve; but sensing some mischief, I stayed away. When he persisted, I started shivering with fear. At that moment, I deeply hated the rule that one should obey whatever the priests orders.

The priest got up, came to me and grabbed my hands.

Don’t you know all this, Sister Mary?, he asked.

When I cried, he tried to pull me close to his chest. I relieved myself and ran, but he chased me around the table. I really got wild as I used to do when I was a child on such situations. I got hold of a wooden stool in front of me and hit him hard.

It fell on his head and he started bleeding profusely. I got both sad and scared although I did it in self-defence – he was a priest. I screamed in fear and rushed out of the room and told everyone what happened. But most of them appeared indifferent and started scolding me.

“What did you do, are you out to shame the congregation?”

When they went into the room , the priest was on his chair, speechless and drenched in blood. He was taken to the Kozhikode medical college hospital where it was reported that he fell in the bathroom.

JesusI was the target of tremendous ire after that incident. When everybody walked away from me as if I was a proclaimed offender I prayed hard. But when I realised that it was the way things worked, I really got scared that I was trapped in serious danger. Since then, I was marked; a thorn in the flesh for the congregation.

Opposing wrongdoing was my character and that was the reason for all the conflicts that I faced in life as a nun. I wasn’t ready to blindly accept the priests and the church without looking at their deeds.

Sensing the situation I was in, Father Peter called for me one day. I told him every thing. I cried a lot in front of him. He consoled me and advised me to handle the Church and people with restraint.

But, the other nuns by then had branded me as a rogue. Nobody pointed out what was the ground for my disobedience. Since then, I was a nuisance for them. Sister Betty was the only consolation.

Since I was termed disobedient right from my stay at the novitiate, my nunhood had to wait for six months. The priests believe that they had the complete control of the nuns. They believe that they are the ultimate owners of the Church, its properties and the believers.

When people get sexually exploited, their belief gets affected; that is what is happening now. Some people commit suicide when they are unable to cope with this reality.

The priest who was hit by me is a good friend now and calls me often to enquire about my well-being. He also tells me that my response has reformed him. – Firstpost, 5 April 2012

» Nanma Niranjavare Swasthi, Malayalam, 106 pages, Rs. 85, Kairali Books, Kannur, Kerala 

Priests and nuns being married during the French Revolution.

Indian Catholic Church properties valued at rupees several lakh crores — D. P. Satish

Immaculate Conception Cathedral, PuducherryImmaculate Conception Cathedral: This Puducherry church replaces the Vedapuri Ishwaran Temple destroyed by the Jesuits and the French Governor’s wife Madame Dupleix (as attested by Ananda Ranga Pillai) . The Puducherry bishopric is one of the wealthiest in India and even operates an unofficial money lending business.

D.P. SatishThis report by D.P. Satish was made in August 2009. We are reprinting it here with reference to the RBI’s interest in obtaining gold from Hindu temples to shore up the rupee. The Catholic Church is the largest landowner in India and a conservative estimate of its holdings is Rs 7000 crores plus (2009). Much of its land and wealth was appropriated from Hindu temples during colonial times. Yet there is no government over-site of Church administration, and no interference from the government in the appointment of bishops who are the wealth administrators. This must change. The Indian Church acts like a state within a state in the Indian Union yet gives its feudal allegiance to the Pope in Rome. In a secular democratic republic, there is no reason why Hindu deities must give up their wealth to the state when Christian bishops and their vast, tax-free properties go scot-free. — Editor

Cardinal Oswald Gracias is the de facto head of the Catholic Church in India.A debate in whether church properties in India should be governed by the government. Some leading figures from the community demanded a law at the recently held All India Catholic Union Conclave [in Goa]. But, the bishops are not ready.

The Catholic Church in India owns the largest chunk of non-agricultural land, and is known as the second largest employer after the Government of India. It’s annual budget equals that of the Indian Navy but the Catholic community has been asking where is the money and where is the transparency?

Their conclave in Goa discussed the tangle. “All over the world churches are subjected to the law of the state. There cannot be a state within a state. Religious organisations cannot form a state within a state,” says Catholic leader and former Union minister Eduardo Faleiro.

Eduardo FaleiroBut, the shocked clergy are not in a mood to change their system. They claim that the demand is absurd and allows government interference.

“If you have a Waqf Board you are giving too much control to the government. That will add to large-scale corruption as we have seen where ever government has been in control of religious properties and institutions either in Islam or even in Hindu temples,” claims Catholic community leader Dr John Dayal.

The Catholic Church in India is over 500 years old and has total control over its assets across the country. Some Catholics feel the bishops are not the right people to handle properties worth several lakh crores. But so far, the government has kept quite on the row. — IBN Live, 9 August 2009

See also

Notorious Kandhamal missionary gets UPA’s Minority Commission prize – R.L. Francis

Fr. Ajay Kumar Singh receives award from UPA's Minority Commission

R.L. Francis“By influencing the minority commission to give the award to Ajay Singh, Church has been successful in providing government stamp to Ajay Singh’s alleged conversion activities in Kandhamal area. It has also sent a message that the Congress led UPA government is behind him and he can accelerate his conversion activities as usual.” — R.L. Francis

Fr. Ajay SinghThe Minority Commission of the Congress led UPA government has given Minority Man award to Father Ajay Singh, a Catholic priest, on July 5, 2013 in New Delhi who is known for playing a dubious role in the Kandhamal violence that took place in the year 2008. Ajay Singh was heading Jana Vikas [of the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archdiocese] at that time which was allegedly responsible for inciting riots in Kandhamal area.

The Minority Commission has given award to Ajay Singh inspite of a stiff opposition from the district and senior police officials of Odisha. The officials categorically conveyed to the Minority Commission that if the award was given to Ajay Singh, then it will hurt the sentiments of not only the tribals of Kandhamal, but the entire state because the tribals consider him responsible for dividing them into Hindu and Christian groups. He is known for converting the innocent people of Kandhamal through proselytisation.

According to the reports which appeared in a section of media, two names were cropped up for the award. One was Teesta Setalvad who has fought for justice for the victims of Gujarat riots in 2002 and another was Ajay Singh, recommended by the Church leaders, who are also members of the Minority Commission.  After lot of discussions, the Catholic Church lobby within the Minority Commission prevailed over others and finally Ajay Singh’s name was finalized and Teesta’s name was dropped.

Chairman of the Minority Commission Wajahat HabibullahDefending the decision of the Minority Commission, Wajahat Habibullah, chairman of Minority Commission said that the district administration and senior officials of Odisha have expressed their opinion on Ajay Singh. But, he does not have any criminal record again him.

By influencing the minority commission to give the award to Ajay Singh, Church has been successful in providing government stamp to Ajay Singh’s alleged conversion activities in Kandhamal area. It has also sent a message that the Congress led UPA government is behind him and he can accelerate his conversion activities as usual.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had already opposed the Minority Commission’s decision to give award to the Catholic priest.  In a letter to the Commission, VHP has stated that it was against the decision of Minority Commission to give award to Ajay Singh.

As apprehended by the senior officials of Odisha government, this may lead to resurfacing of disturbance in Kandhamal and the peace process may get disturbed.  And, the communal forces may take advantage of this situation and they may politically polarise the voters before Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly poll due next year.

UPA Chairperson Sonia-G with Christian Vice-Chairman of the Minority Commission Dr. H.T. SanglianaThis kind of situation may also help the Christians organizations to mobiles more funds from the international agencies in the name of persecution of the minority communities.

To conclusion, the Minority Commission has committed a big mistake by giving award to a controversial Christian priest. It has reopened the Pandora box and there is a great threat to the reversal of peace process and the secular fabric is in danger in Kandhamal. There appears to be national and international conspiracy once again to disturb peace and communal harmony in Kandhamal.  And, all need to be vigilant from these forces in the larger interest of India. – Global Free Press, 20 August 2013

 » R. L. Francis is president of Poor Christian Liberation Movement (PCLM).  

See also

  1. Kandhamal: The Real Challenges – R.L. Francis
  2. Kandhamal: Challenging A.P. Shah’s ex-parte verdict – Prasanna Parida
  3. Catholic Church in Kandhamal: Was the alleged rape an ecclesiastical afterthought? – Sandhya Jain
  4. EU Inspection Team To Visit Kandhamal – P.K. Thomas
  5. WORLD VISION: Christian NGO engaged in culture murder not social service – V.K. Shashikumar

Africa, Asia see boom in Catholic priests as numbers fall in Europe – Nicole Winfield

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of MumbaiThe number of Catholic priests in Africa and Asia has shot up over the past decade while decreasing in Europe, mirroring trends in the numbers of Catholic faithful that helped lead to the election of Pope Francis as the first non-European pope in over a millennium.

The Vatican on Monday released statistics on the state of the Catholic Church in the world, showing a 39.5 percent increase in the number of priests in Africa and a 32 percent hike in Asia from 2001 to 2011. The number of priests in Europe fell by 9 percent, while remaining stable in the Americas. Worldwide, priest numbers were up 2.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of Catholics overall — or those who have been baptized — rose from 1.196 billion in 2010 to 1.214 billion in 2011. Given the world’s population increase, though, the overall proportion of Catholics remained essentially unchanged at 17.5 percent. 

For years, the Vatican has been battling a drop-off in vocations and baptisms in Europe and North America, while seeing a boom in the developing world. Retired Pope Benedict XVI spent most of his eight-year pontificate trying to revive the Catholic faith in these once-traditionally Christian lands.

Francis was elected the first pope from the Americas in part riding a wave of demands that the Catholic Church hierarchy better reflect the demographics of today’s church, where two-thirds of the world’s Catholics live in the southern hemisphere. Yet while the pope hails from Argentina, most of the Vatican leadership is European, Francis SJthe majority of cardinals who elected him are European and the bulk of the world’s bishops — 70 percent — continue to hail from Europe and the Americas, not Africa or Asia.

One bright growth spot for the Church in Europe and the Americas is the increase in so-called permanent deacons, who can be married men who can preach: Their numbers shot up 43 percent in Europe over the decade, and in the Americas went from 19,100 in 2001 to 26,000 in 2011.

While the number of nuns rose in Africa and Asia over the past decade, their numbers couldn’t offset the steep, 10 percent global drop in sisters of religious orders, with Europe registering a 22 percent decline, Oceania a 21 percent drop and the Americas down 17 percent.The situation of religious sisters in the United States is particularly dramatic: The Vatican in recent years has launched two investigations into their plight, one focusing on their quality of life to determine how to reverse their decline, and one into doctrinal problems in the main umbrella group of women’s religious congregations. – Star Tribune, 13 May 2013

Benedict returns secretly to his Vatican hideout, hoping to avoid arrest in child abuse cases.

Pope Emeritus Benedict returns secretly to his Vatican hideout from the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo by air, hoping to avoid arrest in the many pending child abuse cases. Pope Francis, who walks to work in boots, has decided to stay in the Vatican’s guest house and not move into the Apostolic Palace.

Was life for Tamils better under the LTTE? – Shenali Waduge

Shenali Waduge“This is a good time for us to know some hard truths. When we speak on behalf of the Tamils against the LTTE and find fault with the TNA for serving as LTTE mouthpiece, we would like to know whether we are wrong to find fault. When we find fault with the LTTE for threatening Tamils and denying them progress for several decades, are we wrong to do so? We would frankly like to know whether our opinion of the LTTE and the TNA is the same as the Tamils’ or whether we are wrong to assume that the LTTE was a terrorist outfit and the TNA nothing but its mouthpiece and now taking over from where LTTE failed?” – Shenali Waduge

TNA LogoGiven that separation of Sri Lanka is out of the question, the Tamils had two choices before them. To be ruled under a de facto armed LTTE, or to remain under sovereign Sri Lanka ruled by a democratically elected Government that comprised representatives of all ethnic groups.

The Tamils did live under the LTTE for well over 25 years and the Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance, openly declared that the LTTE was the “sole representative of the Tamils”, not once but several times. In so doing, the TNA lumped all the Tamils en masse into a terrorist group and stigmatized their own people. How irresponsible for a political party to equate Tamils with terrorism.

The Tamils now need to undo this damage by disassociating themselves from the TNA which continues a separatist agenda if Tamils do not share the separatist agenda of both LTTE and TNA. It is long overdue for the Tamils to now come out and say whether life was better under the LTTE, whether TNA was correct to say LTTE stood for all Tamils, and how life is today different.

Why is separation of Sri Lanka to form a Tamil Eelam out of the question?

Tamil NaduIt is so because when 72 million out of the world’s 77 million Tamils live in a state which has a history of attempting to secede from India on the grounds that it wishes to form a Tamil Nation and that state is named after Tamils (Tamil Nadu – land of the Tamils), where Tamil is the official language, where Tamil culture, traditions etc reign supreme – by virtue of everything being done by Tamils, for Tamils, Tamil Nadu is where Tamil Eelam should rightfully be, and not in a miniscule area in Sri Lanka where none of the world’s 77 million could ever think of congregating.

The whole Eelam-in-Sri Lanka quest was nothing but a ploy to spur the balkanizing of Tamil Nadu from India, which India schemed to perfection. The only confusion came when external forces hijacked that plan to create a grander plan which ultimately led to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. His death carried out by LTTE bore signs of a contract killing. India may well do to find out who exactly ordered the killing. The “new” The smoking gun!state is likely to comprise Tamil Nadu and north Sri Lanka which will end up nothing better than the brothel state Philippines has been reduced to. It is a challenge for the Church to prove that the assumption that they supported the LTTE is wrong, instead of simply calling those that pose the questions as racists, hate mongers and what not simply to avoid answering questions.

Who actually suffered under LTTE rule?

It is time we know who amongst the Tamils actually suffered:

1.      Tamils living amongst the LTTE in the Vanni (Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi)

2.      Tamils living outside of LTTE “territory” in Sri Lanka

3.      Tamils living outside of LTTE “territory” overseas

LTTE leader Velupillai PrabhakaranThe number of Tamils living in the Vanni amongst the LTTE through three decades of LTTE rule is miniscule compared to the Tamils who live outside of LTTE “territory” amongst Sinhalese and those now living overseas.

It is from this miniscule number that LTTE made their manpower. Some of its cadres were taken from impoverished areas of the East too. What essentially has to be remembered is that the Tamil members that LTTE “recruited” were kidnapped and forcibly taken from impoverished Hindus whose women had to supply LTTE throughout the conflict. Did LTTE kidnap its cadres from rich high-caste Tamil homes in Jaffna or Colombo – NO. This is an area that has not been looked into, but is extremely important in order to derive at the manner in which LTTE selected its cadres. If there were high-castes in the LTTE, they all held senior posts and were privy to the LTTE kitty which was US $300 million.

Areas of Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi never even had electricity; children never went to school and the people had lived thinking that life was all about LTTE. Today, over 60% of these areas already enjoy electricity, schools are functioning, teachers can teach and there are students to teach.

Fr. S. J. EmmanuelIt is these miniscule number of Tamils suffering under the LTTE that now sees a brand new life where none of the rest of the Tamils cared to speak on their behalf – ever. Did the TNA ever ask the LTTE not to kidnap these children to manufacture them into killers, training them in pretentious orphanages set up in the middle of the jungles visited by Father Emmanuel, raising questions as to why the Church would watch one of its leaders encourage children to be turned into killers?

Deriving at exact numbers is cumbersome in view of no proper census taking place in the areas that LTTE controlled for over two decades. It must also be pointed out that LTTE, humanitarian organizations having close links to LTTE, including religious groups, gave false figures of civilian populations in view of the Government of Sri Lanka sending food and essential supplies to the north, which was a crafty means of hijacking these essentials to be used by the LTTE.

Figures are confused in the likelihood of “illegals” coming from Tamil Nadu and now posing as Sri Lankan Tamils. These “illegals” need to first be identified. Then there is the visible numbers of Tamils making their way southwards to live amongst the Sinhalese whilst others made use of the opportunity to cry discrimination and see asylum overseas. Therefore, with Tamils comprising 12% of the population of a 20 million total populace – Tamils can at most be 2.4 million only.

MV Sun Sea carrying Tamil refugees to CanadaThe estate Tamils numbering 5% are never part of any discussions proposed by TNA or the LTTE, therefore they should not be included into the statistical figure simply to make Tamil representation 18%. As things stand with Tamils now living legally and illegally overseas, the 12% has come down to about 10% if not less. The Sri Lankan foreign missions should be asked to do a statistical analysis of the legal numbers of Tamils living overseas, whilst help should be sought from host nations to find out the illegal ballpark figure too.

Therefore, what needs to be clearly stated is that the Tamils living amongst the LTTE were the real sufferers. All the other Tamils shared the same fears that the Sinhalese faced since it was Sinhalese civilians who became the targets with every bomb and suicide attack. Yet, the Tamils living in Colombo and the suburbs went about their employment and did everything they would normally do alongside the rest of the communities, but obviously sharing the same fears. There was nothing exclusive that they feared different to what the other communities feared.

Tamils overseas, however, whether openly pro-LTTE or not, had to make monthly payments to the LTTE kitty and had to participate in demonstrations and other events that LTTE front organizations organized. With time, this arrangement bore much monetary benefit, Pro-LTTE Tamil protest in Londongiving many positions in these front organizations, opportunities to travel overseas, rise in financial situation and moreover, a chance to move around with VIPs and dictate terms to even Sri Lankan politicians. For most Tamils, whether they like to admit or not, there were some reasons to thank the LTTE, while a handful of others were open enough to admit to LTTE atrocities but at great risk to their lives. The handful of moderates who openly denounced the LTTE was silenced and understandably that warned others into silence.

But this is a good time for us to know some hard truths. When we speak on behalf of the Tamils against the LTTE and find fault with the TNA for serving as LTTE mouthpiece, we would like to know whether we are wrong to find fault. When we find fault with the LTTE for threatening Tamils and denying them progress for several decades, are we wrong to do so? We would frankly like to know whether our opinion of the LTTE and the TNA is the same as the Tamils’ or whether we are wrong to assume that the LTTE was a terrorist outfit and the TNA nothing but its mouthpiece and now taking over from where LTTE failed?

Srilankans celecbrate the defeat of the LTTESomehow somewhere something is not right. After the victory over the LTTE, we as citizens of Sri Lanka expected the Tamil community to join us in the victory over terrorism, and given the fact that the LTTE had been denying Tamils a host of human rights and violating Tamil human rights, we thought the Tamils living amongst the Sinhalese and those overseas would be happy that LTTE was no more and would press for action against the TNA since they were the only survivors of the separatism linked to LTTE. We would like to know why our assumptions have been proved wrong by the Tamils themselves.

Genuine reconciliation cannot take place until these loopholes and gaps are given genuine and honest answers. – Vijayvaani, 25 April 2013

» The author is a keen observer of contemporary affairs and a Sri Lanka national.

Srilankan Catholic priests demonstrate in support of LTTE terrorist leader Prabhakaran!

The Christian Church is the root cause of Tamil separatism in Sri Lanka.

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No genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka, Mr Yashwant Sinha – Shenali Waduge

Shenali Waduge“The Tamil chief minister is now openly calling for Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. This should rightly be in Tamil Nadu and India should openly invite Tamils to live there if they are truly unhappy in Sri Lanka and do not wish to live in a multicultural society. After all, the state is already named Tamil Nadu, its official language is Tamil, and it is ruled by Tamils! Only it lacks full autonomy as yet.” – Shenali Waduge

Yashwant Sinha

The speech by former foreign minister Mr. Yashwant Sinha recently to the members of the Lok Sabha was moving and drew attention to genocide of Tamils by Sri Lanka. However, Sinha’s accusations and recommendations need to be analyzed .

Let us take his recommendations first:

1] Sinha urged Sri Lanka to withdraw its army from the North; the war ended four years ago and Lanka should already have had law and order established; let them not run the north on a daily basis.

Our Response:

Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation and India cannot ask Sri Lanka where to move or remove its forces. We don’t urge India to withdraw its army from Kashmir! More pertinently, Sri Lanka would first urge India to remove all factors that continue to carry the LTTE slogans locally, overseas and in India in order to remove the “risk” factor that these elements will again start fresh insurgencies in the island nation. India may recall how it transported school dropouts, including Prabhakaran, and trained them in India. We can’t allow a similar situation to be repeated.

2] Sinha said Colombo should sincerely implement the recommendations of the LLRC

Our Response:

LLRC is an internal set of recommendations which the Government is not duty bound to implement in toto just because a foreign nation requests Sri Lanka to do so. Moreover, LLRC cannot be implemented if it violates any clauses of the constitution of the country.

3] Sinha said that Sri Lanka should implement the provisions of the 13th Amendment as promised in its discussions.

Our Response:

The 13th amendment to the Constitution along with the Provincial Council system was forced upon Sri Lanka by India and does not have the consent of the People of Sri Lanka. Hence the elected President is mandated to seek approval of the People of Sri Lanka.

The Provincial Council system should be abolished completely given that it provides no relief or services to the people of the provinces, of which the large scale of crimes committed by provincial councilors is proof. A better idea is district level governance where it is easier to devolve day to day administrative needs.

The Tiger's Den4] Sinha demanded that an impartial inquiry be held into charges of genocide of civilian Tamils by Lankan forces during the Eelam war, by people outside Sri Lanka.

Our Response:

We agree wholeheartedly. The world needs to know the “crimes” and the crimes cannot cover a selected period only because a crime is a crime and the guilty must be exposed. A Presidential Commission of Inquiry is thus recommended. International inquiry members should comprise a representative from China, Russia and Pakistan – nations that have openly shown solidarity to Sri Lanka without succumbing to Western pressure. Nations that Sri Lanka can rely on. And a Presidential CoI should rightfully cover the entire conflict from the very first crime committed as those victims cannot be overlooked in violation of Sri Lanka’s constitution giving “equality” before the law. This inquiry cannot include India in the international observer team as India is a key player in the conflict, having trained LTTE and other school dropouts and turned them into professional killers, giving arms and financial support for the purpose of destabilizing Sri Lanka. These criminal acts are tantamount to India’s role as a state sponsoring terror and must also be officially acknowledged. The world must officially know what India did to its “friend” Sri Lanka.

5] Sinha demanded a clear commitment on the part of the Sri Lanka government to punish the guilt after the inquiry.

Our Response:

This is a tricky issue as India’s guilt is not something Sri Lanka can punish unless the West agrees to take action against India. Instead, the Sri Lankan people will accept an apology by India and acknowledgement of its role in training the LTTE and helping them and other militant groups financially and with weapons.

6] Sinha urged India to not merely vote in UNHRC but take a lead in drafting the language of the resolution in UNHRC

Our Response:

It is India’s prerogative whether it takes a leading role or plays a role behind the scenes as India is normally used to doing. Given India’s past record, we are not surprised at being stabbed in the back. Hence, the language used has little relevance for us as the UN and the UNHRC is just a puppet of the West.

7] Sinha concluded that India must convey in no uncertain terms to the other nations in our neighborhood and the world at large any undue inference with Sri Lanka will not be tolerated.

Our Response:

This looks like a threat to other nations that are engaging Sri Lanka. We should engage with these nations and also build greater ties with the States of India in the likelihood that these States could end up “autonomous”. There are no permanent friends in politics, only permanent interests. Hence, Sri Lanka’s new foreign policy strategy should be to first realign with our natural historical allies and to next align with the geopolitical realities.

Conspiracy to kill Rajiv GandhiSinha’s party, the BJP, ruled India from 1996 to 2004, taking over from P V Narasimha Rao who ruled from 1991 to 1996. In 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on Indian soil, in Tamil Nadu, by the very organization his mother created to destabilize Sri Lanka, exactly a decade after India trained that very group in India. The Jain Commission found the LTTE guilty of Rajiv’s murder, Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman were incriminated for the crime and the Commission also named a former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister as having links with the LTTE.

Yet justice for Rajiv Gandhi meant that India did nothing against the LTTE, nothing against the Tamil Nadu leader, nothing against Tamil Nadu-LTTE ties. The greater damage was filing action in the Supreme Court to demand the Jain Commission expunge the period 1981-1987 because it revealed India’s role in training LTTE and many other Sri Lankan militant groups in India by Indian army and Indian intelligence. The Indian Government also sought to remove reference to the LTTE for the crime. These actions post-Rajiv’s death indicated that his murder was insignificant for a greater Indian objective. We see that continue as his widow bows down to every demand made by the very State where Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, which has been planning to break away from India since the early 1930s.

Fr. S.J. EmmanuelThis reinforces a belief that Eelam is a Christian political strategy. Sri Lanka’s separatist agenda started with Christian import Chelvanayakam and not Christian-turned Prabhakaran. The Sri Lankan Hindus have been sidelined by the Church which acts as a self-appointed spokesman for the Tamil people. The LTTE-Diaspora is led by Father Emmanuel which further strengthens this notion.

The BJP [1996 to 2004] was part of the 2002 Cease Fire Agreement managed and supervised by Vajpayee’s Advisor Brajesh Mishra. The Agreement all but ceded territory and power to the LTTE and is regarded by Sri Lanka as one of the most treacherous agreements the country signed. We hold all politicians and public officials inclusive of the present foreign minister accountable for betraying the nation and the armed forces. The CFA was unilaterally withdrawn in January 2008.

So when Sinha says “the tragedy of the Sri Lankan Tamils is one of the greatest tragedies of our times”, we demand to know in what ways he is qualified to claim so. Yes, the Sri Lankan armed forces have been in the North for four years now. What is the genocide that has taken place? How many Tamils have been shot dead since 2009 to the present?

Possibly Sinha has not seen LTTE crimes over 30 years. If he has not seen pictures or videos of the LTTE crimes upon babies, children, pregnant mothers, the old, and scores of other civilians asleep or in their homes, someone from Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry should send him a copy of the last 30 years of LTTE crimes.

Sinha used his allocated time in Parliament to speak of a “young child, eating a biscuit and next found lying on the ground” to come to the conclusion that the Sri Lankan armed forces murdered him [Balachandran, Prabhakaran’s son] when there was not a speck of blood found on the body! Nor is there any evidence that the Sri Lankan army shot him.

The reference to the IPKF is noteworthy as for the first time we are told that Indian military casualties in the IPKF operation stood at 2900 and not 1200. Sinha laments in 2013 that the IPKF soldiers have no memorial in India; why didn’t BJP erect a memorial given that it ruled from 1996 to 2004 and IPKF left Sri Lanka in March 1990?

Perhaps it would be a good idea for the families of the jawans and officers to take legal action against the Indian Government for arming the LTTE that ended up killing the IPKF soldiers because there is evidence to prove that India supplied arms to the LTTE whilst IPKF was in Sri Lanka!

We would like to know what “untold atrocities” were committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces, with instances, dates and names of victims. All we get are preposterous figures that get inflated at every international event. Where are the families of the victims, where did they live? Sri Lanka has every right to feel “triumphalism” – we suffered 30 years of terror for which India is also culpable in training the LTTE. India cannot clean its blood-soaked hands from this fact. Didn’t the Americans celebrate when the US President announced that Osama bin Laden was killed? Osama’s role in 9/11 is yet to be even proven. LTTE crimes lasted 30 years and they have accepted their atrocities.

M. KarunanidhiSinha claimed that the center piece of India’s policy is “no military solution to a conflict”. Still, India cannot grudge Sri Lanka for adopting a Just War solution after having weathered countless ceasefires, peace negotiations and agreements which failed, but gave VIP treatment to terrorists and allowed them to fly overseas to forge wider associations and purchase weapons. The CoI should reveal all these sins and the names of the people associated with that failure, even if it leads to the exposure of public officials currently holding portfolios.

If the President of Sri Lanka organized a “troika” to keep India informed of all that was happening during Sri Lanka’s Just War, the primary reason was that in 1987 when Prabhakaran was cornered in Vadaramachchi and would have been caught, India not only intervened but threatened to invade Sri Lanka! To save a terrorist India had trained.

JayalalithaaThe Tamil chief minister is now openly calling for Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. This should rightly be in Tamil Nadu and India should openly invite Tamils to live there if they are truly unhappy in Sri Lanka and do not wish to live in a multicultural society. After all, the state is already named Tamil Nadu, its official language is Tamil, and it is ruled by Tamils! Only it lacks full autonomy as yet.

A Presidential Commission of Inquiry with participation of China, Russia and Pakistan investigating all crimes committed since the inception of terror in Sri Lanka will enable real reconciliation in Sri Lanka. India’s role in Sri Lanka’s terrorism cannot be suppressed or kept hidden any longer. “Facts of history are facts of history” and cannot be denied – we agree with these words of Yashwant Sinha. – Vijayvaani, 8 April 2013

» Shenali Waduge is a keen observer of contemporary affairs and a Sri Lanka national.

Speech by Yashwant Sinha to the members of the Lok Sabha

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