Jaffna Hate Crime Leadership By CM Wigneswaran

Gujeet Ram Rahim Singh, C. V. Wigneswaran and MP Yogeswaran

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Two news items from India this weekhave parallels to Sri Lanka. First, the persecution watchdog Open Doors reported that Indian Christians experienced almost as many attacks in the first half of 2017 as in all of 2016. Second, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, a self-styled guru was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the ‘custodial rape’ of 2 underage followers by a judge who called him a wild beast. Investigations are pending on 40-50 complaints by other women. Riots by his followers resulted in 38 further deaths.

 

Are we Sri Lankans any better?

 

Attacks on Sri Lankan Churches

Attacks on Christians in Sri Lanka are well-documented. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s surprising denial of such attacks (documented by attorney Lakshan Dias), added tongue-in-cheek (or perhaps foot-in-mouth) “I do not know whether fundamentalist Christian groups may have attempted to establish churches.” An assertion from a Christian leader that fundamentalist groups have no rights!

The Cardinal, recall, worked for the re-election of President Rajapaksaand had his niece Ruwani Cooray appointed second secretary to our French Embassy without passing the required examinations. He also upset Tamil Catholics for urging the US government to go easy on soldiers who engaged in war crimes. Says a US Embassy Cable from WikiLeaks that the Archbishoptold the US Ambassador, “Pushing the government of Sri Lanka too hard on the war crimes accountability issue now could destabilize Sri Lankan democracy and could suffer revolution from the right or a coup by the military.”

The Cardinal and his opinions therefore deserve immediate dismissal. However, following his denial, then Minister of Justice and Buddhasasana, Wijedasa Rajapaksa demanded a public apology from Lakshan Dias, threatening disbarment.  Dias fled the country and is reported to be abroad.

 

Northern Scene: C. V. Wigneswaran

Like Gurjeet Singh’s followers, our Chief Minister in the words of Veluppillai Thangavelu,“Is a devotee of [Matara’s] Premananda who was convicted of raping under-aged orphans living in his [Indian] Ashram and murdering a young engineer Ravi.”His was a doublelife-imprisonment with an I-Rs. 66.4 lakh fine. His victims were Jaffna girls who followed him to India after the 1983 riots.

Wigneswaran shortly after his election (by when Premananda had died in prison) requested PM Modi to release three others convicted for life for raping 13 Sri Lankan Tamil girls, including minors, and conspiring to murder ashram inmate Ravi who objected to the rapes and abortions. Despite the evidence and appeals turned down by the Supreme Court of India, Wigneswaran argued that the convictions were wrong.

In a Thinappuyal interviewon 14.04.2017, Wigneswaran was asked about his being a devotee of a convicted criminal. He answered, Jesus Christ was convicted 2000 years ago but people now worship him as God. He said a lot more damaging stuffbut the ‘website has deleted extremely controversial sections of the interview on Wigneswaran’s request’ as he feared Catholic outrage (Island 10.05.2017).

 

Wigneswaran’s Foot in his Mouth

Wigneswaran continues his anti-Christian diatribes. As the veracity of what I have said before has been questioned, I repeat it here with sources. Speaking at the Thirtieth Anniversary Celebrations of the Department of Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs (Uthayan, front page,19.11.2016), Wigneswaran first talked up Arumuga Navalar’s brilliance. Then hesaid that the missionaries knew that local Christians came to work for them only for the money but Navalar was different so the job of Bible translation was given to him and that his knowledge of the Bible exceeded that of the Christian clergy. In reality, Navalar did not translate the Bible into Tamil. He joined Principal Percival’s college at the age of 12, and was still a student 13 years later when he, accordingto the Morning Star, 25.11.1847, walked out with half the boys objecting to Percival admitting Gabriel Jeroni of the toddy-tapping caste. He founded a school for upper castes, but because the teaching there was deficient, most students returned. This puts Wigneswaran’s history in the mythological genre – faith-based wishful thinking transformed into history, abusing the powers of the majority.

 

Dragging in the Pope

The man cannot help himself. He continues to insult Christians who, comprising 20% of the Jaffna electorate and forming the ITAK-Chelvanayagam base, made Wigneswaran CM. The occasionwas an argument with NPC’sS. Thavarasa, who accused Wigneswaran of not delivering. Wigneswaran thereupon claimed that the Pope makes statements repeatedly to see himself in the news, and Thavarasa is doing just that (102nd NPC sitting, 17.08.2017 around 9:30 am; Virakesary 21.08.2017).

Amusingly,the day I read of this, Wigneswaran’s numerous statements in just one newspaper, Thinakkural, were in three pictured articles.

 

S. J. V. Chelvanayagm Slighted

At the same Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs celebrations where Wigneswaran spoke, he was followed by his partner in religious hate-speech, Batticaloa District MP Cheeannah Yogeswaran. On that day, Yogeswaran outdid Wigneswaran in his hate for low-castes and Christians.

To describe Yogeswaran, it was in 2006 in Vaharai that my present Parish Priest at St. James’ Nallur, Rev. Fr. Gnanakarunyan, was Assistant Priest. Yogeswaran was an aspiring politician. Their paths crossed when attending to displaced refugees. Yogeswaran, disgustingly, expectorated phlegm and spat at him – the case of a marginal Tamil from Batticaloa trying to assert caste-statusby insulting another marginalized Tamil. The irony is that Rev. Gnanakarunyan was unfairly accused under the PTA and spent over a year in jail and yet is called a non-Tamil in Yogeswaran’s speech.

He said (Virakesari, 19.11.2017) that the mark of a race is its religion; that it has been shown that it is Saivites who are Tamils; that the Saivite saints have sung tying up Tamil with Saivism; that all others are Tamil speakers; that only Tamils can be Saivites; and that Navalar’s dreams came true when Wigneswaran, a Saivite, was elected CM. Then the punch-line –obviously referring to the iconic Christianfounder of the ITAK, Samuel J. V. Chelvanayagam: Yogeswaran said, some people had unfortunately been elected violating this Navalar vision as leaders by the people. He added, few come into politics to safeguard Saivism. Navalar’s vision must be upheld. We must follow Saiva culture and eat Saiva food.

Showing his confused mind, he advocated vegetarianism whileat once regretting that few temples now have animal sacrifice and asked if this is fair!

 

The Saiva Juggernaut

The Saiva juggernaut, led by Wigneswaran, is inexorably moving in Jaffna crushing all inits path. A small shrine is built on public land and then expanded – just like the Buddhist temples sprouting up but to which we object. No one dares complain for fear of being accused of being anti-Hindu.

A case in point is the just concluded Nallur Thiruvilla. Point Pedro Road used to run between the temple and its idol’s bath pond. The road was diverted around and the land acquired by the temple. For this year’s festival a largely expanded zone round the temple was fenced off and declared holy ground. To go to my newspaper vendor, I was asked to remove my shoes and walk a large distance, despite the cuds of betel chew spat everywhere.  A Hindu friend who lives in the closed zone had to remove his shoes to get home. He asked the police by whose order he had to remove his shoes. It turns out that Shayanthan Kumaradas Maapaana Mudlaiyar, the son of the temple owner, called the police daily to give instructions, which they obeyed, and in turn had special poojas performed for their families.

Now that the festival is over, it is strangely not holy ground any more and we are allowed to walk with shoes again.A grand long-term scheme is transpiring whereby the Jaffna Municipal Council on temple land (across Cross Road)will be built into a Gopuram, and then the in-between stretch of Point Pedro Road will be taken over, diverting traffic via Cross Road and Navalar Road.

 

Jaffna University

Normally one would expect the university to lead. Yet the insistence that Council meetings should be vegetarian when most HinduCouncil members are voracious carnivores (ironically,the only Christian councilor is vegetarian) shows what little fairnesscan be expected against the naked demonstration of power to assert Hindu culture on others.

The university has a long history of communalism. Letters calledAnglican priest and Senior Lecturer, the lateDr. Jebamohan who vied to be Head of Christian Civilisation, Nalapillai (son of a toddy-tapper) and, contradictorily,even Paraiyah (when he was neither Paraiyah nor Nalavah). Similarly, when Roman Catholic Priest,Prof. Pilendran, contested to be Dean/Arts recently, the campaign witnesseda letter circulated saying that a university that refused to accept Prof. Hoole as VC because he is a Christian, should not now accept a Christian as Dean. Pilendran was defeated.

I have written elsewhere of the UGC Chairman endorsing in writing the university’s new recruitment criteria such as having to be Hindu, and not contesting jingoist myths about Arumuga Navalar.

 

UDA Bans Christian Names as Not Real Names

Recently I bought a plot from my sister Zoe Tamari Hoole. Both Zoe and Tamari (Damaris) are biblical names. When I applied to the UDA in Jaffna for a building permit, it was rejected saying Zoe, Tamari and Hoole are not real names. Are we not allowed to celebrate our religious faith through our own names any more? Must we now revert to Sanskrit names? (The rejection is being negotiated. My lawyer says it may be to get a small bribe and giving Rs. 1000 is easier than trying to stir things up. But the point is that people are free to use our religion against us for whatever reason.)

 

Challenge

Iconic Christians and Christian clergy are under attack. Unable to deliver, Hindu leaders are depicting Christians as the enemy.Dispossessed castes are put down and marginal Hindus are using this for self-elevation. Capacitation by Christian missions is denied. In the name of spirituality, Jaffna is fast losing any semblance of ethics.We need the ITAK to take a strong stand and exercise leadership. Uthayan (31.08.2017) blames Mr. Sampanthan for bringing Wigneswaran into politics and then failing to supervise him. Our franchise is an entrenched right under articles 3 and 4 of the constitution. It cannot be exercised when religion and caste are so freely used to disempower a section of the population.

Tamils have a just struggle for equality in Sri Lanka. Occasionally some Sinhalese admit that we have been wronged. I challenge the Hindus – is there anyone, even one, who would publicly say that we too are wronging our own minorities?

 

5 Comments for “Jaffna Hate Crime Leadership By CM Wigneswaran”

  1. raj

    Since the author is belonged to Tamils and Singhalese, I wonder if the ever practices barbaric culture as part of his inheritance. There are many cultural elements that are considered to be barbaric by civilized world. Only the author knows whether he practice that or not.

  2. raj

    During the Hitler period, there were many writers who supported many of his crimes. Does this author ever spoke against any of the crimes Tamils experienced? Or by keep silence, does he support those crime indirectly?

  3. Wigneswaran is a fanatic. He is hated by christians as well as some Hindus.
    He should be kicked out of PC. It will happen soon, I believe. All right thinking persons please respond to dispose of madmab.

  4. Dadaddaaggyaggydaaggyddddsd

    Christians in the North will soon be worshipping Prabakaran in their Churches.

    It was S.J.Emmanuel who said Velupillai was like Jesus Christ.
    Iconic Christians and Christian clergy did not mind the break of Sri Lanka but not tremors ringing through the basis of their faith.

    It not necessary challenge the Hindus……………. Challenge the Church’s beliefs Mr. Hoole.
    Its not Wigneswaran who is anti-Christian but its none other than S.J.Emmanuel.

  5. Just Society

    Well, S. Hoole has been successful in his portrayal of the presence of anti-Christian sentiments in the North and in the South to the extent Cardinal was brought into this discussion. There is no utopian world anywhere but seething with religious fanaticism is unhealthy.

    Hate in any form and from anybody must be condemned.

    He must remember that it is the Saivite community asked for the leadership of SJV, a Christian, against Saivite GGP 70 years ago; they saw SJV as a principled person, and all this when Sinhala leader’s of SJV’s faith, Soloman Dias B., had to become the protector of Buddhism.

    One cannot see any reconciliation route in this work; and he should stand in front of the mirror look at him carefully. Essentially, being happy to be an anti-’establishment’ note, be that a militant group, a CM or the government.

    Religion is hardly relevant in the modern society; a good charter of rights and freedom will be just fine.
    .

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