Buddhist Professionals’ Forum to Pro-LTTE Tamil Bishops
We are a group of senior Buddhist professionals in Sri Lanka whose mission is to promote religious and communal harmony among the various segments of the country.
We are much perturbed over the news item appearing in the Island of 5th March 2014 with banner head line ‘Mannar Bishop leads for call for international war crimes probe”. According to the news item the ‘appeal is made by a group of Catholic priests and Rev. sisters from the Northern and Eastern provinces urging the Geneva based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at its 25th session to adopt a strong and action oriented resolution on Sri Lanka. The move is led by the Bishop of Mannar Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph who has been in the forefront of local Tamils, for an international war crimes inquiry.’
The Buddhist Professionals’ Forum notes that the two bishops represent only 194,716 , a small fraction of the total Catholic population of the Island which is 1,297 033 which in turn is only 6.1% of the entire population of Sri Lanka the majority 70% constitutes of Buddhists.
This is in spite of the efforts made by the Portuguese to convert the local population to convert the Buddhist and Hindus into Catholicism, sometimes committing worse crimes as reported by Portuguese historians such as Fr. Queyroz and Robero and Faria e Sousa.
In spite of the persecutions the Buddhists acted with tolerance’. “And the best example of this Buddhist tolerance was that when the Portuguese Catholics chased away the Muslims, the Sinhala King gave them new lands and settled them in the interior away from the reach of the Portuguese. When the Dutch Protestants arrived to replace the Portuguese , they in turn banned Catholicism and its practice ,The Sinhalese King gave these Catholics protection and allowed their priests to operate from areas controlled by him as at Vahakotte
What the two Bishops advocate is something which is not only deplorable but contrary to the wishes of the Cardinal , Malcolm Ranjith who is the head of the Catholic hierarchy in the country . In addressing the CHOGM delegates quote “His eminence Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith says that undisciplined international meddling are a threat to the sovereignty of the country. The Rt. Reverend Cardinal adds that proposing to conduct international investigations into the human rights violations in Sri Lanka amounts to an inappropriate foreign intervention into an internal problem. Such meddling will pave the way for the destructions of the economic and spiritual co-existence” unquote.
Buddhist Professionals’ Forum fully endorses the views expressed by His Eminenence. It is for the clergy of all religions to join hands and continue with the development work commenced in the country.
Finally we wish to say that let not the Devils rush in where the Angel fears to tread
Buddhist Professionals’ Forum