Herald: Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

23 Apr 2019 04:55am IST
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23 Apr 2019 04:55am IST

PM and serial blasts 

in Sri Lanka

With the eight serial bomb blasts that claimed for more than two hundred lives on Easter Sunday at different locations in Colombo, Sri Lanka is now facing a fresh and far more virulent threat posed by a radical Muslim group in the form of the National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ). Six members of the NTJ were reportedly arrested when the police homed in on their hideout in the city. If Islam is the religion of peace, then why should its followers embrace terrorism? 

It may be pertinent to note that a warning by Indian Intelligence that NTJ, a virulently anti-Buddhist group that was linked to the vandalisation of Buddhist statues would target churches in Colombo as well as the Indian High Commission and possibly the Indian owned Taj Samudra hotel - was sent to the Sri Lankan authorities on April 7. Unfortunately, the warning letter was not adequately paid attention to by the Sri Lankan authorities. If they had taken precautionary measures, casualties would have been reduced if not completely avoided.

Condemning the serial blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to people to vote for his party to strengthen the fight against terrorism. Modi said, “India is standing by Sri Lanka and is ready for any help in the time of crisis.” It was a good gesture from the part of our Prime Minister that India is prepared to offer to Sri Lanka any help. Sri Lanka is our neighbour country and historically speaking, we have a bond with them. So, we must do all we can at this time of crisis to them. 

TK Nandan, Kochi

Will terrorism be ever wiped out?

Sri Lanka was a peaceful country and a tourist paradise till the LTTE came on the horizon in the mid-1970s demanding for the right of Tamils and wanting a separate state called Tamil Eelam, which ravaged the country under a civil war till the uprising was silenced in 2009, steadily showering lasting peace in the island nation.

Sadly and most shockingly, a decade later on this glorious Easter Sunday morning a series of terror strikes including some suicide attacks on a couple of churches and luxury hotels have wreaked havoc in the country killing more than 200 people and injuring another 450 making it the bloodiest attack in Sri Lankan history. The saddest thing is that the attack was aimed at the innocent church goers who had nothing to do with any of the terror outfits in the world and had only gathered to offer prayers. Strangely, no group has claimed responsibility for the reckless act.

That leaves us deeply anguished as to who is behind the reprehensible assault and what is the motive behind it. The fact that the brutal act was carried out in the churches and on the great solemnity of Easter is a candid indication that the Christian community was under the target. 

The matter should be thoroughly investigated. The tiny country should avail of any assistance from other major powers and try to unfurl the clandestine design of the terrorists. The entire world should unanimously resolve to uproot terrorism without giving any protection to any country once it is unveiled that there is some connection with the terror groups. A striking example is that of Masood Azhar, the mastermind behind several terror attacks, who has been reckoned as a global terrorist by major countries but is steadily shielded by China and has found safe refuge in Pakistan.

Michael Vaz, Merces

Terrorists have no fear of God

It was shocking to read about the bomb blasts that hit Sri Lanka churches and hotels on Easter. It was so sad to hear and see that terrorists had killed more than 200 innocent people and injured more than hundreds. None of our religion teaches us to do or think wrong bad about other religions. Why are these destroyers out to destroy the peace in this world?

This ‘satans’ are all out to finish our churches and our religion by killing our Christian community people. Oh terrorist, please fear god and not people. All these terrorists do not have any religion and they do not have any god. Please act as human beings and not worse than animals; even the animals are far better than you.

We strongly condemn these attacks on civilians and express our condolences of those who have lost their loved ones, family, relatives, neighbours and friends. May their souls rest in peace and may this Easter, our risen Lord Jesus bring us love and peace. Let us all get together and respect each other’s religion and live in this big world as one big family like brothers and sisters.

Ronnie D’Souza, Chandor

Minority paranoia

The BJP has shown its true colours of having minority mistrust by filing a complaint of hate speech inside the Church premises against Fr Conceicao, the Parish Priest of Raia.

The myth of the supposedly age old harmonious relation between the majority Hindu community and the minority Catholic community existing in Goa has been now truly revealed by this complaint against a religious leader of the Catholics by the Hindutva forces.

The priest in question is neither addressing a political rally in a public venue nor belongs to any political party. So he may have been disciplinary incorrect whilst preaching the wrath of God in a retreat, but when the shepherd is addressing his flock in the private Church premises, he is legally absolutely correct.

Besides, as seen from the video which has been mischievously circulated, Fr Conceicao has uttered no words of spreading hatred amongst communities. Rather a religious leader of a minority community has every fundamental right of freedom of speech as enshrined in the Constitution of India.

The model code of conduct is legally enforceable from the date of the public announcement of the schedule of elections till its culmination only to politicians, political parties and government servants and political meetings in public venues, temples and churches.

Thus rushing him to apologise by using a pliable Catholic official, who was earlier trapped by the Hindutva elements in Central government, is a clear attempt by the civil administration to create fear in the minds of the minorities that if they speak against the saffron ruling party they will be dealt with in a fascist manner.

The priest may have crossed the line of discipline imposed on them by the Church authorities, but he is well within his right to address his children of Catholic faith of the truth in terms of the Old Testament of the Bible. 

The ECI expressed its helplessness of taking coercive action of hate speeches of the saffron ruling party politicians, to the extent that the Supreme Court called it a toothless body, but in Goa the CEO/DEO rushed in to freeze the minority community with additional dentures without legal sanctity due to suffering from minority paranoia.

Rui Ferreira, Panjim

Protect our heritage churches

After the barbaric incident of explosions in Sri Lanka on Easter in churches which killed hundreds of people and wounded I pray their souls to rest in peace.

Now coming back to Goa where our newly elected CM Dr Pramod Sawant took quick action by taking review of Goa Police and instructing to keep strict vigil on all the main churches is very good welcome move. My question is does the robber inform us that he is going to break and rob? So why not Goa govt keep police watch on all important churches, temples, mosques, around Goa?. 

I have been going for Mass at St Francis Xavier Basilica church Old Goa. Many times I hardly see any security personnel guarding the World heritage Church which is uniting us Goans of all religions.      

Jerry D’Souza, Divar
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