Letters to the Editor

24, August 1997

Mudliyar's views very true

The problems and difficulties mentioned in the letter by 'A Group of instructing Attorneys' in the Mudliyar column of The Sunday Times of August 10, are simply unbelievable. Many would have thought that such plight was the lot of the lay litigant.

It is not just the harassment they face at the hands of 'petty clerks' and even the KKSs, but their fear of reprisals if they divulge their names - even while acting as a group - shows the seriousness of the matter. If a lay litigant complained of such things - as is usually done and ignored - it is understandable. But coming from a group of attorneys and as happening in the court houses it is shocking.

The practices mentioned are puzzling. If clerks and KKSs, demand money to carry out their duties, then, in plain language, it is bribery. Also, if some attorneys succumb to these demands it is not just shameful but humiliating as well - humiliated by 'petty clerks' and 'even KKSs'. The suggestion to allow clerks to earn extra money after office as a remedy for poor emoluments simply confounds - unless what is meant is legitimate overtime.

However, the letter is not without some rare consolation for a layman. The high company sharing in his plight will undoubtedly tickle him to say, 'serves him right'.

M.Z. Abdeen,


Nehru's unknown hero was K. C. Nadarajah

I was pleased to read the article titled Nehru's Southern Holiday in 'The Sunday Times' of August 10.

The passage quoted by you in thick letters from the speech delivered by Jawaharlal Nehru on the occasion of the celebration of 50 years of independence by India, fits in well in the present context when Sri Lanka is scheduled to celebrate its 50 years of independence .

You have also published an extract from Nehru' s autobiography which portrays his thoughts on Sri Lanka after his holiday in Sri Lanka in 1931. I was thrilled to read the following passage in his autobiography. "One little incident lingers in my memory , it was near Jaffna, I think. The teachers and boys of a school stopped our car and said a few words of greeting. The ardent, eager faces of the boys stood out and then one of their number came to me, shook hands with me and without question or argument said "I will not falter." That bright young face with shining eyes full of determination is imprinted in my mind. I do not know who he was, I have lost trace of him.

But somehow I have conviction that he will remain true to his word and will not falter when he has to face life' s difficult problems".

I hasten to clear the cloud surrounding Nehru's mind in relation to the name of the school and the name of the young man with a bright face and shining eyes. In 1931 when Nehru came to Jaffna, I was not born and my father in his teens was a student at Vigneswara College, Karaveddi. My father who is no more was one of the students who greeted Nehru having stopped his car. The young man with a bright face and shining eyes was the late K . C. Nadarajah the leading criminal lawyer in Colombo. He was also the Attorney General of Nigeria and Supreme Court Judge of Bermuda. In 1931, he was just 13 years old and he was one among the first batch of students of Vigneswara College who did well in the London Matriculation Exam.

I am also an old student of Vigneswara College, Karaveddi which is reputed for producing eminent personalities in all walks of life. K . C . Nadarajah was the Manager of Vigneswara College. This statement of Nehru regarding the school and the young man's utterance "I will not falter" was read to us and explained at a function held by the school to felicitate K . C . Nadarajah on his appointment as Manager, Vigneswara College.

There is no vestige of doubt that K . C . Nadarajah has done justice to the conviction and expectations of Nehru. He was definitely a shining star and he is the elder brother of the world famous Dr. Siva Chinnathamby.

V. Vimalarajah

Colombo 8

Tissa Balasuriya and the Catholic Church

For the past year, I have followed both with interest and regret the numerous articles and letters over the excommunication of Sri Lankan Catholic priest Tissa Balasuriya. First and foremost I must confess that I am neither a supporter of priests, who write controversial books instead of spreading the good news in the Gospel, nor am I a defender of any given clergyman in the governing body of the Church.

However it has been disgusting to note the manner in which some articles, written under the guise of searching for the truth, have undermined the Church and its teachings. Some of it could be embarrassing even to the condemned man Tissa Balasuriya, who I believe like a true Christian searching for the truth, would some day seek God's mercy.

Reading between the lines of some of these articles only indicate that some of the writers are perhaps using the Tissa Balasuriya issue to settle a score with either the Pope or the Bishops in Sri Lanka. Let me quote the words of Christ on the cross." Forgive them Father for they know not what they do".

In my opinion, the Tissa Balasuriya issue is of a spiritual nature and if not the Pope, it is only the One God who can judge us all. Making use of the secular press to shall I say "wash dirty linen in public", only brings discredit to the Church and help to create anti-Christ elements. I would also like to know on what grounds some anti- Catholic elements say the excommunication of Tissa Balasuriya has brought widespread condemnation and caused a rift in the Church of Sri Lanka. Is it a figment of their imagination or wishful thinking to say that the Catholic church in Sri Lanka has been split in the aftermath of the excommunication of a priest.

This is nothing but spiritual ignorance. Let me quote here once again the power in the words of Christ: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". So whoever says the Church is falling is only acting against the will of God. As for the book "Mary and Human Liberation", I am quite happy not to have read its contents for I am pleased to have studied the Gospel of Jesus Christ by four great apostles Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. I don't think there is a need to read any books written by priests of this century or the forthcoming century. I am not referring to any particular priest, but it is a crying shame to note that some priests of today have forgotten their primary task of taking care of the flock like good shepherds. Instead, their actions and that of their supporters have made a mockery of what Christ wants them to do.

C. Jude


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