The Secretary of States,
We, the whole Tamil Catholic Community, in particular the direct victims of war are very much concerned over the scheduled meeting of the Holy Father with the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. We believe that you are aware of the past and present situation in Sri Lanka. This is the time when we are trying to get at least the maximum rights. But the Present President is not ready to give anything at least the basic rights. Our sole hope is the international community. In the recent past, understanding the reality the international communities are trying to promote a better life. But the present government under president Rajapaksa is just playing out with the sentiments of the minorities. The multi faceted government of Mahinda is totally oriented toward promulgation of Buddhist and Sinhala chauvinist idea. What is taking place in the war-affected north and east, under the highly militarized authority, are the inhuman behaviours which totally deviate from the international laws and norms. The media and the human rights movements are oppressed.
Those who are voicing for the people and their rights are threatened. What happened to Our Bishop Rayappu, the Bishop of Mnnar, is one among the many oppressions that are undergoing in Sri Lanka. This is how the International community is made to be ignorant of the human right violations.
At this scenario, many international leaders of the international communities avoid meeting the President in order to express their concern and give a pressure upon the government. But we are disappointed that the Holy See, which has a big role to play in the burning issues of Sri Lanka, is just giving itself to a unethical President and to some of his goons who obviously play politics even in the Church matters. One may argue that this is also another way to promote a true reconciliation.
But our experience firmly affirms that this would lead to a international recognition of Mahinda’s presidency for which , in fact, he is in need of. Already the campaign in local and foreign media has been initiated to portray this visit as a “Triumphal one”. He is not just a war criminal who is responsible for the killings of more than 40, 000 people within a period of three months in 2009 and the disappearance of many other, but a threat to the peace lovers. Many peace and human rights activists are still suffering in Prisons or in exile. The killings, kidnappings and mass arrests of innocent civilians are continuing rampantly. Though the war is over, yet the peace has become an unrealized reality under Mahinda’s presidency.
All the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and in exile are very much concerned on the movements of the Catholic Church. The present trauma that the Church is undergoing, doubles our agony. We always render our support to our Holy Father who never hesitates to oppose any attempt that destroys the humanity.
We also hope and pray that this visit of President Mahinda to the Holy See would not become a scandal to the Church and a recognition to his Presidency. Our Catholic community in Sri Lanka which is strengthened by the martyrdom of many priests and the continued dedicated service of many Priests and Religious, would not like to see the Church is being accused for its support to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
(TCSFOTE is the Forum of the Tamil Catholic Students who have witnessed and experienced the brunt of the War. We form this Forum in order to promote the Christian values in our society and to advocate for peace, justice and better human life for all communities in Sri Lanka)