By Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe
Father Sleemanpillai Joseph Emmanuel is back in Sri Lanka and appealing to the immigration for leave to remain. He wants to die in Sri Lanka, a country that he spent the last three decades demonising. In spite of his record of supporting the LTTE and glorifying violence by Velupillai Prabhakaran, the generous people of Sri Lanka have decided to accommodate his plea.
The foundational culture of Sri Lanka has been compassion, mercy, and forgiveness. Buddhist thinking permeated moderating all other traditions permitting an environment for those with diverse views to coexist. It has been abused from time to time by Velupillai Prabhakaran who was influenced by the Tamil Nadu separatism and Zaharan Hashim by Wahhabi ideology of attacking other faiths.
Father Emmanuel created the Global Tamil Forum, the premier LTTE international organisation to project Sri Lanka as a human rights violator and white wash the LTTE. To promote the LTTE message in Geneva, Father Emmanuel worked with Gary Anandasangari of the Canadian Tamil Congress that came up with the idea that there was ‘genocide’ in Sri Lanka. Gary Anandasangari was in contact with LTTE chief procurement and shipping officer Kumaran Pathmanathan and planned to visit him in Malaysia. After KP was arrested and deported to Sri Lanka, Father Emmanuel assumed LTTE global leadership and worked the British Tamil Front, Canadian Tamil Congress, and the Australian Tamil Congress, and other LTTE fronts. Father Emmanuel (87 years), spent the latter part of his life in Europe.