By Ranjan Jayakody, Mohan Gunaratnam and Ranjit Surendran
(April 04, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Desperate situations call for desperate measures and desperate measures can leak out material factors that may have begot or moulded certain movements, their hidden agendas and even ultimate intentions. It has been suspected for a long time that the powerful force behind the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was the Catholic Church continuing with the Catholic Portuguese colonial traditions of atrocities and carnage that was led by this church in Sri Lanka.
This is not strange or peculiar to Sri Lanka. This is what the Catholic Church has been doing in South America, in the Philippines and other countries where murder and mayhem were the methods used for brutal subjugation of people. The fact that the Catholic Church played a major role in the genesis of the Tiger movement under the cover of Tamil liberation is widely known. But this was hardly suspected that it was a powerful force of such magnitude that it has turned out to be and with such overseas clout that Prabhakaran’s role is an utter minimal factor centred on Sri Lanka and perhaps South Asia.
The real power is certainly overseas and signs of it are now leaking out in a major way. The Catholic Bishop of Jaffna, the Rev Father Thomas Soundaranayagam has unashamedly made several false accusations about conditions for Tamils in Sri Lanka with absolutely no conscience whatsoever.
How can a cassocked guy like him and that too a Bishop of the Realms lie wantonly to claim that Tamils in Sri Lanka suffer extreme privations even without water, toilet and food and other essentials? Suddenly one morning, while in Tamilnadu recently, he must have realized he was in Sri Lanka and wondered where the toilets were. What he saw outside his window must have shocked him.
Bishop Soundaranayagam, who has kept his peace all these years, has suddenly roared into the circus arena like a show animal determined to safe the Tigers. He has no concern for the civilians who, it is now known, were persuaded by the Catholic clergy like Father James Pathinathar to become human shields. Is this a last desperate move by him to save the Tigers? How dare he utter such falsehoods in Tamilnadu?
Talking about toilets, surely Bishop Soundaranayagam is aware how well provided people of Sri Lanka are and in contrast, he should have come to know what this situation is like in Tamilnadu. A feature some months ago proposed to Gopalaswamy that he must get involved promoting toilet facilities in Tamilnadu instead of helping the LTTE to promote terrorism in Sri Lanka.
Now that the LTTE is virtually finished in Sri Lanka, Father Soundaranayagam appears to have decided to sow seeds of desolation and despondency in Tamilnadu working around the corrupt politicians there. At a time when politicians like Gopalaswamy and Nedumaran are suspected of being privies to the assassinations of Rajiv Gandhi, Amirthalingam and several others, it is outrageous that the people of Tamilnadu are tolerant towards such people who can create Tiger terrorism in their state and the ones in the neighbourhood like Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Tamilnadu is certainly the inevitable option for the Catholic Church to help father this ruthless terrorist force, and for the mini-politicians of Tamilnadu all that matters are the funds that will flow to them. Prabhakaran will be gone but the underworld network he has helped to create will survive and along the southern coasts are settled people from the smuggler village of Valvettiturai who have mastered the art of smuggling over the decades. There is no doubt about the fact that what this movement will opt for is International Terrorism as hired killers for there is lot of money in it. It is to be observed with much concern, the Catholic Church is a dominant factor along the southern coast of Tamilnadu.
Even before the Government of Sri Lanka demands an explanation from the Catholic Church to explain and identify their relationship with the LTTE, it must come out into the open and explain their stand. This should be directly related to the LTTE that has no political ideology whatsoever but only wanted to set up a mafia state and towards which indulged in several killings of Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim political leaders and intellectuals.
When the Muslims were ruthlessly chased away from Jaffna, the Catholic Church remained silent. Most of the Muslim families in Jaffna lived in close proximity to Catholic families. It was the Catholic Church that became the loot keepers of the LTTE especially whatever was heisted from the banks. It was also known that during the early days arms were imported into Jaffna and this was aided by the Catholic Church. It was also suspected church premises were used as torture chambers as well.
Reports meanwhile are fast pouring in from angst-ridden and tortured Wanni residents who have managed to escape from the claws of the Tigers having been forcibly marched and herded as human shields, a major weapon far too often used by this terrorist group. On more than many occasions they were aided in this horrendous act by the clergy of the Catholic Church.
Time and again, the Sri Lanka Guardian has warned that the Catholic Church is heavily involved with the LTTE right from the 1970s. Unfortunately, these warnings were not heeded. Today, desperate moves are being made to save the LTTE and even countries like Mexico and Puerto Rico whose citizens may not have heard of Sri Lanka, are being pressed into service. They are of course Catholic states.
Just before the current crisis erupted in Wanni into a large scale catastrophe, the Rev Father James Pathinathar was actively involved in persuading, even to the level forcing, Wanni residents to flee to Mullaitivu, obviously at the behest of the Tigers to create a massive Human Shield for them. The Tigers knew they would need this as the last hope to achieve a ceasefire. People like Father Pathinathar and the Catholic Church also know that if forced to the ultimate, the Tigers will subject the civilians to slaughter which would give a terrible name to Sri Lanka.
While the Non-Catholic Church remained aloof to this horrendous conspiracy to their honour and credit, there were a couple of foreign-funded fundamentalist protestant priests with massive funds from the US who worked closely with some INGOs and NGOs many of whose representatives have conducted themselves against the Government of Sri Lanka and the people.
One such claiming to represent a phony church appears to have helped Father Pathinathar with the herding of the civilians and also provided certain communication equipment to Pottu Amman. He is also reported to have sought the help of Minister Douglas Devananda on a different matter altogether. Minister Devananda was obviously not aware of his two-timing nature; rather multi-timing activities. He should have checked the antecedents of this priest.
We have confirmed news that on March 27, a group of parents who have escaped from the Tigers reported to the military a horrendous account of their experience focused on a priest who was living with them in the No Fire Zone (NFZ) in Puthumathalan. He forcibly helped the Tigers to recruit more than 550 children and young people.
In order to ensure the safety of their children, some 600 of them were sent to a church just south of Puthumathalan to protect them from the Tigers who were on a ruthless rampage to recruit children. The priest resident in the church, which we presume was Father James Pathinathar, had promised the parents that he would not allow the LTTE to take away their children.
However, when on March 24, a large group of Tiger cadres most of them females arrived, despite the parents informing him about this, the priest allowed them to go into the church. When they ordered the children to go with them, the priest vanished from the scene.
In sheer desperation, several teenagers attacked the Tiger cadres followed by some of the parents. While some fifty children managed to escape, over 500 of them were forced at gun points and taken away in Tiger vehicles. A grandmother told the Daily Mirror that she was able to save her 17-year old grandson after overcoming a female cadre. This youngster, the grandmother who saved him and their entire family have managed to escape to the protection of the armed forces.
The grandmother said: “The life in this area is like living in hell, the priest is openly helping the LTTE to recruit youth. In the night the priest in LTTE uniform used to go with other LTTE cadres to forcibly recruit youth.”
She also said that most other parents are still in the church although they had a chance to escape, hoping the children will come back. It has been well known that the female cadres are the most ruthless of the fighting force having looked up to Prabhakaran as their hero. It is also known that their induction into the force begins with the devastation of the qualities that make women the natural genre of tender loving care. As a result, they become animals.
As horror stories unfold, it is becoming more and more evident that there was a dastardly conspiracy headed by the Catholic Church in which many of the INGO and NGO volunteers were fully involved. The kingpin in this conspiracy appears to be the Catholic Bishop of Manner, Rev Father Joseph Rayappu, who was often the first person consulted by foreign visitors to Wanni and whose fellow workers or volunteers were active there.
One has to also wonder why the Catholic Bishops in other parts of Sri Lanka are silent in this matter of very grave concern. Whoever has the ultimate responsibility and obligation to The Vatican should have taken to task, the Catholic clergy that has given comfort to the brutal Tigers. Since they have not, it would certainly be presumed that either the Catholic Church is an ally of the LTTE or worse, they certainly begot this terrorist movement which means that Vatican has not dispensed with The Inquisition and wants to have the Third World under its thumb at all times.