Senior Journalist D. B. S. Jeyaraj had written an article to a weekend English newspaper. The article was based on the disappearance of Father Thiruchelvam Nihal Jim Brown from a Catholic church in the North. At a moment when laws have been prepared to establish an office to inquire into disappeared persons, it was stated in this article that it was the responsibility of the Maithri-Ranil government to look into the disappearance of this clergyman as well. On the very same day Jeyaraj had written this article, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith had given an interview to a Sunday Sinhala newspaper.
The Cardinal had criticized the Bill on the opening of an office to inquire into disappeared persons, during this interview. He had criticized the manner in which this Bill had been passed. It is a puzzle as to why the Cardinal is opposed to a mechanism being established to inquire into the disappearances of Catholic civilians as well as clergy who belonged to the Catholic Church of which he is the leader. While D. B. S. Jeyaraj, the journalist, was trying to get justice done for the Catholic Father who had disappeared, it is a joke that the Cardinal defines, establishing of an office to inquire into disappearances of individuals as bending down to foreign countries.
Prior to this, the Cardinal had declared at a function held at a temple, that the new Constitution which the Maithri–Ranil Government was going to prepare would deprive Buddhism of its position in this country and that, it cannot be allowed. Generally followers of other religions in this country believe that, leaders of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka speak about a certain problem with good knowledge. They always say that Buddhist monks do not understand the question and give impulsive opinions, and that leaders of the Catholic Church express their views with discipline and knowledge and with extreme care. The Maithri–Ranil Government has not made a statement that they will deprive the position Buddhism deserves in this country. The Constitution to be drafted that will allegedly deprive Buddhism of its position has not been planned yet and neither has even a discussion been initiated regarding this Constitution, as yet. If that is so, why is the Cardinal who is the leader of a different religion stating and crying out in a loud voice that the place Buddhism deserves is going to be lost in this country?
Leader of the Buddha Sasana in this country, the Chief Prelate of the Malwatte Chapter had stated that President Maithripala Sirisena had assured him that the position that Buddhism deserves will not be harmed in any way. Therefore, in a public statement the Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter had said that there was no reason to fear about it at all. He issued a public statement thus, probably because the Rajapaksas subsequent to their defeat in 2015 lost their power and privileges and were struggling to cover up the accusations of corruption against them and because the Mahanayake was aware of the fact that the Rajapaksa’s were looking for slogans to inspire opposition against the government, while capturing temples accused of having kept stolen elephants.
What is regrettable is the fact that the Cardinal has become similar to their ‘cat’s paw’. He is dancing to the tune of the Rajapaksa alliance which is protecting thieves. If the most important leader of the Buddha Sasana, the Chief Prelate of the Malwatte Chapter says that there is no danger of Buddhism losing the place the religion deserves in this country, as to why the leader of the Catholic Church is worrying so much about Buddhism remains a mystery.
Generally those who attempt to protect thefts under cover of Buddhism and patriotism are persons who have engaged in thefts and been deprived of their privileges. The temples which stand up on behalf of Rajapaksa are the temples which have been accused of theft of elephants. We do not know whether, the Cardinal too joined them because the news item published sometime ago in the Colombo Telegraph website site was correct. The privileges that the Cardinal has now been deprived of are the privileges he received during the Rajapaksa regime and we do not know whether due to that anger the Cardinal is looking for ways and means to bring back the Rajapaksas to power. If not, we do not know whether the Cardinal wants to contest an election in the future through Wimal Weerawansa’s party or not.
The news item which appeared in the website is given below:
Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith bought over by DPL post to Niece
Serious doubts have been cast on Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and his political agendas to support Mahinda Rajapaksa at the upcoming elections with the revelation that his niece has been given a political appointment to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris.
Ruwani Cooray, niece of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has not passed the Foreign Service examination nor been recruited to the Foreign Service through any accepted procedure. However, she has been appointed as the second secretary to the Sri Lanka Embassy in France.
Ruwani does not have any relevant qualifications for this appointment other than her relationship to the Cardinal. Earlier Ruwani Cooray was posted to the Sri Lanka Mission in Manila, Philippines on the request of the Cardinal. With the significant role played by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith to ensure the visit of his Holiness the Pope to Sri Lanka, his niece has now been given a more opulent posting in Paris.
“The visit of the Pope has been a key political gimmick of the Rajapaksa candidacy which hopes to swing many Catholic votes it had lost during the years due to the anti-minority, extremist elements within its ranks. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith who is a close confidant of Gotabaya Rajapaksa has assured the government that he will deliver on the promise of the Pope’s visit despite the Pope’s very clear policy that he will not visit a country within two months of an election being declared,” a member of Cardinal Ranjith’s inner circles told Colombo Telegraph.