Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph, the Catholic Bishop of Mannaar, who boldly voiced for the number of people went unaccounted in the Vanni war, is being harassed by Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) this week under instructions from the genocidal regime, informed sources in Mannaar told TamilNet. The Bishop’s House has declined to comment on the situation. However, informed sources say that two Sri Lankan CIDs have been ‘visiting’ the Bishop on Tuesday after the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Mannaar Police had met the Bishop in person, informing him the decision from his superiors in Colombo. The Bishop didn’t oppose the move, but civil society representatives said the move was a calculated psychological operation to silence independent civil voices in the North and East, now fully occupied by the SL military run by presidential sibling Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
The Bishop of Mannaar, while testifying at Sri Lanka’s LLRC proceedings, boldly brought out the fact with official statistical evidences that 146,679 people went unaccounted in the Vanni war. He was cited in various international reports and media accounts related to the genocidal war.
The Bishop was also an active member of the civil society movement of Eezham Tamils that cautioned the international community before the March sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva, about basing the LLRC recommendations for solutions.
“With deep regret we take note of the fact that the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation (LLRC) has become the point of reference in the discussions on Sri Lanka in Geneva. We wish to emphasise that it is important to give preeminent status and importance to the UN Secretary General’s Expert Panel Report on Sri Lanka in the discussions and particularly to highlight the unbridgeable gaps between the LLRC report and the UNSG’s Expert Panel’s report,” a statement of the civil movement said on 10 February 2012.
Earlier, the civil movement has cautioned the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) against compromising with the fundamentals in finding solutions.
“[W]e cannot give up on our fundamentals for the sake of strategies. If we give up on these fundamentals the question does arise as to what and for whom we do politics,” the statement of the civil society to which the Bishop of Mannaar was the first signatory said in December 2011.
Colombo government has been threatening civil activists who were voicing for Tamil rights and has now begun targeting religious dignitaries and civil society representatives, deploying various methods to silence their activities.
The Bishop of Mannaar, under whose territory of religious jurisdiction the genocidal war took place, was uniquely different from the religious dignitaries of the other regions in standing up to the needs of his people.
While the Sinhala Catholic Archbishop for Sri Lanka, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, who is close to SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was calling for people to forget what had happened, his genocidal government was not accepting that it had done anything wrong.
Silencing the Bishop of Mannaar through isolated targeting is also in the interest of the abettors of the genocidal war, who now try to bury everything under the carpet and force the nation of Eezham Tamils to accept structural genocide and subjugation in the guise of ‘reconciliation’, ‘development’ etc., and by hoodwinking ‘political’ solutions, Eezham Tami political observers in the island said.