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|Ban faith healing to save lives
friend of mine from America sent me a paper cutting titled “House:
No Faith Healing Defence for Murder” appearing in a Northwest Mail
Tribune of March 11, 2011, where it says, “SALEM – Frustrated with
repeated deaths of children whose parents belong to a small Oregan
Church, the State House on Thursday voted unanimously to remove
future healing as a legal defence for murder”.
In our country – Sri Lanka – there had been cases reported of such
prayer meetings and patients have died without medical treatment. We
also read frequently in the press of faith healing meetings being
held openly without any legal recognition or the law turning a blind
eye. My friend in his letter to me says, if there is no adequate
legal provision, the government should earnestly pass such laws to
protect and save innocent children dying without medical attention.
Interestingly, it should also be mentioned that Pope Benedict XV1
too has condemned such miraculous healings by prayer in an article
which appeared in The Telegraph Group London of 14.01.2009 and has
said to investigate the person’s level of education, financial
standing and whether these so called ‘Faith Healers’ suffer from
conditions of hysterical or hallucinatory character or from delusion
It is hoped the Bar Association of Sri Lanka will earnestly pursue
action to have laws passed, if not already in existence and bring to
book such offenders without making innocent children and ignorant
people to be misled to believe in Faith Cure.
G A D Sirimal
|Devolution opens the door to
“Lanka should forge ahead as a single united
Country.” This was what the President said addressing those at the
opening ceremony of the Sambudda Janthi Mandhiraya at Thunmulla,
Colombo 5. “Theravada Buddhism taught us to move forward as a Nation
on the path of kindness, tolerance, humanity, equality and harmony
as the greatest gift we can bestow upon the world. In Sri Lanka,
there is freedom to observe any religion. From ancient times our
kings treated other races with respect. In Sri Lanka, communities
must respect each other and live in harmony. We Sri Lankans have
always respected humanity: We have acted with compassion, kindness
and gratitude,” he further said.
That is what Buddhism has bestowed on this little island in the
Indian Ocean. Originating in Nepal its tenets wafted down to lodge
in Sri Lanka. Prince Siddhartha, son of king Shudhodhana and queen
Mahamaya, like other men married Princess Yashodara who bore a son,
Rahul. Despite it, in solitude he went into prolonged contemplative
moodiness, then on a full moon night he slipped out, gazed at his
sleeping wife and baby son, he called for his chariot and raced
towards the Anupriya forest. On reaching the forest he got off.
Chandak, the chariot driver was horrified on seeing Siddhartha take
off his princely clothes and jewellery. He handed them to Chandak
requesting him to return to the palace. He was shocked to see
Siddhartha speak to him with folded hands, “Brother! I am renouncing
all worldly relationships, return. God bless you.” With that
commenced the saga. The Buddhist romance will spell out the
advancing culture of Lanka inspired by God, but a down to earth
pragmatic philosophy, embracing all aspects of human life. The
appeal of the philosophy to humanity, its humanitarianism, so
appealed to the human psyche that searched for spiritual meaning in
human life, that it spread from Nepal to China, Korea, Japan, but
took root in Sri Lanka. Despite the fervent attempts of the
conquistadors from Europe though armed with sword and shield, the
egalitarian lifestyle and simplicity of the Sinhala Buddhist fought
back refusing to submit.
With the island placed strategically on the trading routes, with
near half the world’s container traffic passing through, giving it
the potential to impede and control trade in the Indian Ocean West
Europe is concerned and its political stability is being tested by
advocating a ‘Political Solution’ that will embrace the Tamil
habitations in the North and East. The hand of the Secretary General
of the UN is visible. Dignitaries of the Church too have expressed
their desire for a ‘political solution’.
However, some schemers have raided the home of the Chief Minister in
the Eastern Province presumably to create bad blood with the
Government which has withstood the onslaughts of those who wish to
destabilise Sri Lanka using the Tamil as the petard, forgetting that
Elara was the last of the conquistadors. The proposed talks on
solutions, if they veer to separation as the final answer, should be
discontinued, and a proposition made in Parliament for a Referendum.
If such a proposition is approved by a 2/3 majority, arrangements
may be made to call for a vote by those eligible to do so.
If successful, the Political Solution will be a democratic decision
of the Nation. The attempt to stealthily smuggle in the divisionary
needs of foreigners could thereby be averted. Devolution entails the
grant of power to the devolved region, opening the door to
separation, a foolhardy, imprudent act. The Sixth Amendment in the
Constitution of 1978 rules out separation.
Only a Referendum, open to the Nation, could approve separation, as
a democratic choice of the people not thought out and foreign
codgers may venture to pressurise the Government, coerced by the
Tamil Diaspora and moon gazers egged on by the TNA and dignitaries
of the Church, as a backdoor introduction of the Eelam demand which
may have materialised following the treacherous Cease Fire-Agreement
of 2002, engineered by the warmongers in Norway. To fully comprehend
Darusman and his accomplices refer up the John Kerry report to the
US Senate a scoop of which appeared in a daily newspaper in 2009.
Its perusal will be a cautious first step to avoid the mire.
I L P Samarasinghe
|Retribution visited US for Iraq attack
The world was flabbergasted when ex President George Bush of the
US declared war on Iraq, though unprovoked. There was no casus belli
to destroy the Mesopotamian civilisation that continued in Iraq led
by Saddam Hussein.
Iraq teetered on peaceably, but George Bush who oiled his industrial
empire using mineral oil that gushed out from the soil in Iraq and
the Middle-East decided that trading with a Moor, a godless infidel
was unwelcome and prepared the ground for a military attack on
hapless Iraq, by declaring that since God was on his side and he had
information that Saddam had a store of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’
he would unleash his Security Forces to bring Iraq to heel.
Despite Saddam’s protests and investigations by the UN and the
absence of any weapons, he ordered war on Iraq, and his idling arms
industry was activated. Victims of that onslaught still abound as
beggars, while those taken prisoner are being utilised for
scientific exploration and experimentation replacing guinea pigs.
Some are in Guantanamo as prisoners who serve the sex need of the
Yankee soldiers. Retribution visited the US for the attack on Iraq
resulted in the twin towers in Washington being bombed on September
11 by pilots serving Islam commanded by Osama Bin Laden. Tit for
|English Manuscript Competition winners not
I am writing this letter with reference to the
“Open English Manuscript Competition” to which entries were to be
sent before April 15, 2010, to the Director of Cultural Affairs.
However, so far the results of this competition have not been
When I made inquiries, an official from the Cultural Affairs
Ministry informed me that due to financial constrains, they are not
in a position to publish the winning entries of this competition.
Incidentally, I have submitted my entry for the above mentioned
competition, a collection of poems titled “The Crisis of
However, I came to know unofficially that my anthology has won the
second place in the category of poetry from this competition.
Naturally, as expected I was very much disappointed, for finding a
publisher for a manuscript of poetry is always going to be a
Anyhow, I hope saner counsel will prevail and the results of this
manuscript competition will be released without further delay, even
if the Cultural Affairs Ministry cannot under take to publish the
winning entries of this competition.
I here by humbly appeal to the Cultural Minister and as a last
resort to the President to look into the affected writers’
grievances, for it has already become a nightmarish experience, as
far as yours truly is concerned.
I am looking forward to witness a miracle in the form of a positive
development, enabling to solve this crisis, which has affected many
writers, whose manuscripts have the audacity to make the grade.
When the bowler sends the ball in the field
His line and length is accordingly placed
Each over, six balls delivered and faced
¬To face the ball the batter is then braced
The batter’s job is to face the bowling
Other side’s wish to see all wickets falling
This when done when playing the game kept in mind
Worth much more than a win or loss to find
Now when ‘out’ the batter has to go ‘in’
New batter is out ready for facing
When a wicket falls it’s time for the call
For a new batter to face the next ball
While the game is played scores seen on the board
Its second team’s turn when other has declared
Pleasing and satisfying the watching horde
When appealed, Umpires word is final word
Even Third Umpire’s verdict depicted
Time now for either team to take the lead
While batting and bowling is taking place
Enjoying by watching is the populace
|Tribute to Murali
You were like a great worrier
When you went round the cricket grounds
Accompanying your dear friend Sanga
On the day you said good bye
To cricket and cricket lovers
You started as a small boy
At St Anthony’s College Kandy
You took a great interest in cricket
When you took Malini teacher
By her hand and practised
Throwing the cricket ball
You practised cricket under coaches
Sunil Fernando and Alfred Coorey
You became the schoolboy cricketer
Then joined the Tamil Union Cricket side
Your performances were outstanding
When you were placed in the National side
You had a great long carrier
With a lot of ups and downs
Yet, you never gave up
And became the world best bowler
Your soft-spoken and humble smile
Has taken you a long, long way
Murali – you are an example
To the whole nation and sports
To say Good Bye to the nation
With your unbroken record
That will exist for a long, long time
Congratulations and all the best
To our young lion Murali
Thank you for your ecumenical vision
The certainty of death has removed from our scene Fr Claver
Perera of Blessed Memory.
Fr Claver left Peradeniya 50 years ago the year I joined what was
used to be a very liberal and enlightened University. Therefore, I
have known Fr Claver for 50 years.
During these 50 years, amongst other matters I remember two
When as the Dean of the Anglican Cathedral in Colombo I had to get a
new organ for the Church. It was Fr Claver who bought the old organ.
I had no hesitation in selling it to him because he was going to
repair the organ and make music for the good of the people.
A mutual Peradeniya friend asked me to handle a funeral with Fr
Despite the differences between the Church of Rome and the Church of
England that evening at the Jawatte cemetery both of us stood
together to handle the funeral.
This spoke volumes for Fr Claver Perera’s ecumenical mind for which
I will be eternally thankful to God.
In a divided Church and broken Sri Lanka, we will miss Fr Claver.
When I went to St Mary’s Church Bambalapitiya to pay my last
respects and participate at the Requiem Mass for his life at All
Saints Borella and thereafter stood at Kanatte to say goodbye to Fr
Claver I was thanking God for Fr Claver’s life and work.
That evening with the sky blue, the sun settling and the moon waxing
with the St Mary’s and St Peter’s choirs in attendance we bade sad
farewell to the only Peterite past student Rector of our times.
Thank you for your ecumenical vision. May your soul rest in peace
and rise in glory! Amen.
|Twenty-third death anniversary of my
death anniversary of my father
Cherished name ‘n fame from eighteen to ninety-three in field of
Humane qualities, noble profession for seventy-five years worthy of
Adorable legend in your time versatile in Latin,French, German,
English, Mathematics ‘n more
Richmondite old under popular Rev. Small in Galle, never known a
Legacy of spirituality ‘ll never part from ten loving aching hearts.
Epitome of simplicity, brilliant talents, perfect fatherhood,
encased in our hearts.
Significant milestone in life, performed seven stages in life
Esteemed personality, moulded, adorned popular figures many a
Disciplinarian, devout Buddhist countless benevolent acts sans
Monumental patience, unquestionable integrity, a guiding star indeed
Unending nostalgic varied memories, I recall how you helped the
desperate in need.
Ninety-three fruitful years well past Biblical span.
Devoted to noble profession teaching, specific systematic plan.
Polymath inimitable, students scattered island-wide, vital personal
matters had to undergo.
Reputed pedagogue at Ananda, Nalanda, Colombo, Trinity Kandy,
Principal Kosgama Vidyalaya decades ago
Immense unwavering courage, lead pupils on proper path, veteran,
Meritorious deeds countless at Mallikaramaya Dematagoda, dayaka
Unflinching faith in Gautama Buddha, daily priority observances
Sorrowful departure, still I mourn, eldest daughter of a father so
‘Kumarasinghe’ fondly known to all irrespective of caste or creed.
Umpteenth times blessed ten of us individually, our decisions you
May whatever you wished for in Sansara genuinely be attained.
Amiable personage by virtue of pious deeds lifelong generously
Regardless of rewards, in silence contributed for charity ineffable
Admirable sterling qualities, irreplaceable vacuum, journalist
Soaring tolerance in your divine heart for unity ‘n togetherness
Imprinted in the sands of time your lucid righteousness.
Numerous reminiscences on your twenty-third Death Anniversary calmly
Genius, linguist, walking Encyclopedia, you’re a living deity, our
Honourably honest, enriched students in the laborious long way
Exemplary calibre, without your succor they would have lost their
Kumari Kumarasinghe Tennakoon
|Mediate in Thai-Cambodian
I wonder how many readers noted that the dispute between Thailand
and Cambodia is over a swathe of jungle containing the ruins of many
Buddhist temples - of which Preah Vihar is but one. May I suggest to
our President Rajapaksa to offer both warring countries Sri Lanka’s
good offices to mediate the dispute. Both countries are Theravada
Buddhist [with percentages much higher than ours].
Both became Buddhist [as did Laos] through the missions of
pioneering Sinhala Bhikkus from Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is superbly
qualified to offer a mediatory mission to both countries - who are
almost sure to accept it. This mission could be composed of renowned
scholars, recognised for S.E Asian Buddhist studies, such as
Professors Rohanadheera and Hema Goonatilake, as well as a small
military contingent led by well educated [and culturally sensitive]
graduate officers. A few professors from Thailand and Cambodia
should complete the team.
In all humility, I would suggest that such a proposal from our
President, in this year of Sambuddha Jayanthi, will find acceptance
in both these firmly Buddhist countries and will enhance his
reputation as a peacemaker, in Asia and the world.
|Will Norway ever ban
|May be agitation to ban LTTE in Norway would never have
crossed the minds of the Sri Lankan governments or any other
worldwide anti-LTTE organisations as Norway has been the
adopted home of LTTE. I may be wrong as I don’t remember
seeing/reading any demand to ban LTTE in Norway though there
were umpteen numbers of letters/articles written against
Norway and Eric Solheim for their cordial relationship with
But it was taken for granted with Eric Solheim
as a peace facilitator who has been appeasing LTTE from the
very beginning, giving LTTE cadres military training, taking
them around Norway’s military installations, providing them
with sophisticated telecommunication equipment and millions
of Krones to LTTE kitty and to TRO and other LTTE proxy
fronts, there wouldn’t have been an iota of chance of LTTE
being banned in Norway. Even during last days of the war,
Eric Solheim, the Norwegian minister has been concurring
with the UN officials (John Holmes and Nambiar) and KP to
save LTTE and his Leader Prabhakaran and his family from
being killed/captured by the Sri Lankan forces.
The latest is a Norwegian newspaper Afterposten alleging and
revealing the involvement of the Norwegian embassy in Sri
Lanka helping a group of 12 active LTTE cadres with air
tickets, visas and escorting them to the airport to escape
The SL Governments over the years were successful in
getting LTTE banned in the USA, the UK, Canada, EU
countries, India, Malaysia except Australia to date after
numerous consultations, negotiations and requests, meeting
rulers of the respective countries. Anti-LTTE organisations
worldwide also played a major role in getting LTTE banned in
these countries. Since Norway was the safest haven for the
LTTE (and still is) and had the Norwegian Governments’
protection and patronage to LTTE, it would have thought that
even requesting the ban of LTTE in Norway would be a
Be that as it may, Perinpanayagam Sivaparan aka Nediyawan,
the LTTE leader in Norway had a plain and safe sailing in
that country as LTTE wasn’t a banned terrorist outfit in
Norway until the Dutch Police wanted him for interrogation
for possible funding of the LTTE from the Netherlands for
some time and he is being interrogated in Oslo District
It is now interesting to note after a couple of decades
in slumber, Chairman of the Defence and Security committee
of the opposition Conservative Party Peter Gitmark has open
the can of worms in Norway and according to BBC reports, he
has expressed it was wrong to allow the Tigers to operate in
Norway. He also alleged to have said that he hoped the
Norwegian Police will also be able to interrogate Nediyawan
and shed light on the LTTE activities within Norway. He has
also alleged to have said: “I think it is not in the
interest of the people of Sri Lanka for the LTTE to raise
money in Norway and other places to renew its violent
struggle against the government of Sri Lanka.”
Gitmark’s good intentions had come rather late as horse
has already bolted from the stable but yet again it’s never
too late as it was coming from a horse’s mouth. Gitmark
should ask these questions from Eric Solheim who is a
minister and closely associated with LTTE to throw more
lights on his comments. Norway is one of the countries that
nurtured the LTTE terrorists, turned a blind eye of LTTE’s
illegal operations, fund raising, extortions, drug
trafficking, procurement of arms and in other words who
oiled the LTTE engine continuously.
However, though it’s too late as hundreds thousands of
lives were lost, it is still not too late for MP Gitmark to
fight the case until LTTE is banned as terrorist outfit in
Norway. The LTTE remnants among the Tamil expatriates in
Norway continue to raise funds for LTTE willingly and
unwillingly, through extortions, drug and human cargo
smuggling to continue until they achieve their “Eelam”. Of
course, it will be a daydream only.
Gitmark needs Sri Lankan Government’s unstinted support in
his endeavour to get Norway to ban the LTTE as a terrorist
outfit by endorsing EU stand, so that their illegal
activities within Norway could be monitored. But will Norway
ever ban her adopted child LTTE?