While the new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosting Rajapaksa to his swearing-in on Monday has enraged Tamils, Pope Francis on the same day has announced to media about his visit to Sri Lanka, the very State of which is accused of genocide, on-going genocide, and has been rejected by Eezham Tamils since 1972. The Papal visit would give recognition to the genocidal State, blunting the calls for genocide investigation, and for that matter any international investigation at all against the State and the Rajapaksa regime, Tamil activists for alternative politics in the island commented.
The Pope’s announcement has been received with delight, reported Asian Catholic News Source, UCA News, with a cliché, “Sri Lanka’s ‘great joy’ at news of papal visit.”
“After many years of fighting and bloodshed, the war in your country has finally ended,” the Pope was cited telling to ‘Sri Lankan’ bishops, adding that what remain are, “to promote reconciliation, to respect the human rights of all the people and to overcome the ethnic tensions.”
The Pope announced his proposed visit to the island next year, while returning to Rome from his Holy Land visit, the news report said.
The Pope has also proposed to couple his visit to the island where the Eezham Tamils face a national question, with a visit to the Philippines where the Muslims face a national question.
The announcement of Pope Francis to visit Mahinda Rajapaksa’s genocidal Sri Lanka in January 2015 is not a small matter. It is like giving a ‘spiritual finishing touch’ to the temporal conquest achieved through genocide cum agent State paradigm by current imperialism. What is actually meant by the idea, ‘reconciliation’ for a united island after genocide, hatched by the US State Department in 2009, is explicitly evident in the last five years in the form of Sinhala militarisation, colonisation, structural genocide and annihilation of the nation of Eezham Tamils. The Pope now visiting the island carrying the banner of ‘reconciliation’ is not going to reverse the process, but will only confirm the process.
The Pope’s proposed visit in January 2015 has to be viewed in the light of the cosmetic resolution passed by the USA at the UNHRC in March 2014. The matter will again come to discussion in March 2015. While the Pope’s visit will be a trendsetter for next year, the announcement of his visit itself will mar whatever little investigation slated for this year.
The design of the US resolution with its pre-emptive loopholes, absence of demilitarisation and suppression of the mention of the genocide-affected nation but twist giving weight to religions; the yes votes, the no votes, and more importantly the abstention of the New Delhi Establishment – all are parts of the same game.
The game of the world Establishments is to bailout at any cost the Rajapaksa regime and the genocidal Sri Lankan State that worked and is working as agent, so that global engineering through genocidal militarism and annihilation of small nations would be an accepted paradigm of world statecraft and tradecraft.
The proposed papal visit is in tandem with the process. Vatican never raised a finger when the Vanni War was turning into genocide. On the contrary it was gracious to receive the Rajapaksas after the war. The latest was Pope Francis receiving Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Vatican last November.
The ‘Hindutva’ BJP hosting Rajapaksa and the Pope announcing his visit on the same day are not merely a coincidence.
If mega policy planners steering global dynamics of imperialism scapegoat the nation of Eezham Tamils to favour Sri Lanka, compromising with the State’s genocidal orientation, the Sinhala Catholic Church in the island played no small role in locally orientating the State into a genocidal one and in buttressing that State in the international arena.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s line of shielding Rajapaksa and the genocidal crimes of the Sinhala State and his connections with the SL military appropriation of Tamil lands are well known.
The Sinhala Catholic Church is a pioneer in the structural genocide of Eezham Tamils, as over a century it connived with the conversion of Tamil Catholics of the Western and North Western part of the island into Sinhala Catholics. The Muslims of that part of the island didn’t change their language as the Catholics did, finally culminating into conducting masses in Sinhala.
The Eezham Tamil communities of the West and North West that came under the language replacement were largely the coastal folk that had millennia-long affinities with the communities of the coastal parts of Tamil Nadu.
It was mainly after the language replacement, the seasonal fishing of the northwest coast communities in the northeast coast became an issue. Besides, citing the needs of the migrant fishermen, the Sinhala Catholic Church started building Sinhala churches and permanent settlements especially in the East.
Sinhalicisation is a common orientation of both Sinhala-Buddhism and Sinhala-Catholicism. Hence, the Pope now casting his weight on the ‘reconciliation’ paradigm backed by the Sinhala bishops, without recognising the territory, sovereignty and self-determination of the genocide-affected nation of Eezham Tamils, is in essence not going to be different from the ‘Army and Archaeology’ Sinhala-Buddhicisation.
It is an acid test for the Eezham Tamil Bishops of Jaffna, Mannaar, Trincomalee and Batticaloa, as how they are going to respond to the Pope is a matter of historic as well as global significance.
The Archbishop of Tamil Nadu should come forward to cast his weight, if vision needs edification in The Holy See.
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