The Devil is at the gate !!

Truth be told, I have been very un-civic minded, totally unconcerned about the forthcoming Presidential elections. Did not want to waste my time.

The UNP that I have traditionally backed has failed to deliver.  They have failed to deliver justice for crimes of previous regime as promised and have created their own.  Ranil is intent on hanging onto power with no compunction whatsoever.

The imncumbent President is intent on making the most of his position.  He cannot decide which camp he falls into, or which horse to place his fortunes on. Although elected with much hope, he has turned out to be devious and scheming.  We realise now that he showed his true colours in ousting/betraying the President of his own party.

Rajapaksa himself is always tainted by scandals whilst in and out of office  by continues blithely in his own bubble. Appointed PM in a questionable action by a scheming President, and then ignominiously taken out by the Courts, Mahinda continues to hold onto his grin and his red scarf, biding his time to return his family to power to operate the money machine of this country.  Actually, he does not even have to return to power to siphon resources and ignore laws. Witness fiasco of naval appointments to his offspring whilst members of the family jostle to ascend the throne.  Which one would be nominated – sons or brothers?  Which brother?  Gotabaya seemed the logical heir apparent but how MR was going to dupe party members and voters to get his brother nominated beats me.

With so many pending criminal charges and investigations against him both here and in the USA, would he be nominated?  The question rather was, how could a man with such a record be nominated under the Election laws and Constitution of the country? Well it appears that either our laws our flawed, or the people deciphering the laws are deaf and dumb and blind – or bought over – for no man should be allowed to contest the highest office in the land until he is cleared of all criminal and bribery charges –  and until it is an undisputed fact that he holds the required citizenship of our country.

But that’s only my opinion.  It seems that he has ‘bypassed’ all such obstacles and is a nominated Presidential Candidate.  For now at least.

And what of the opposition?  The man in green was wavering and dithering, unable to decide,  and nominated Sajith at the eleventh hour. was nominated.  Anyone would think that RW was trying to scuttle his own man or his own party.

If he had not nominated Sajith, I would have moved from Green.  They have been given too many chances.  Numerous other worthy candidates have come forward.  Any one of them would be preferable to the power-hungry, money grabbing Rajapaksa family who are a law unto themselves.

Still, even after hearing of Sajith’s nomination,  I was apathetic.  I would vote for him and let the chips fall.  The country after all deserved the President they chose. If they had no more sense than to place their fortunes in the hands of those who would transfer it to their own pockets, that was the problem they would have to live with.  My fortunes are not of this world, so I was listless.  The country has gone to the dogs anyway.

And then this morning, when I looked at my phone, the news article with the You-tube clip was right on top.  Again, truth be told, I did not even recognise the speaker – I am that disinterested in party politics !!! – but since I could not go back to sleep (jet lag) I watched the video. His words set off alarm bells.  The death knell would ring for Sri- Lanka if we do not watch and pray.

The devil was indeed at the gate. Knocking with empty promises to the economic elite; the same genre of promises that Satan tempted our Lord with … I will give you all the riches of the world, I will develop your country, I will make your businesses flourish …

We seem to be in danger of forgetting that you cannot serve two Masters.  You cannot serve God and Mammon.  You have to choose.  It is black or white. It is that simple.

The Devil offered Prosperity, Power and Prestige.  We cannot fall for these promises; we have to stand for what is right: for truth, justice, honour and integrity;  for genuine concern for the widow and orphan; compassion for the homeless, the economically deprived rather than the economic elite.  That is the only way to start to build a better Sri -Lanka.

Sajith has apparently challenged anyone who can accuse him of taking a bribe or influencing a contract or tender to come forward. Given the massive corruption that prevails, this level of integrity is a qualification of the highest order.  Beyond that, he is a worker.  He rolls up his sleeves and works for the people without vested interest in filling his own pockets. These two are enough qualification for me.

Whilst there may be others too on the nomination list, the words of the speaker in the YouTube hit home. The devil is indeed at the gate and there is only one option to save our Country.

Many choices but only one option.   That option is Sajith.

…PS.  the video that jolted me awake was a news report Youtube clip titled :  United Left Front to support Sajith Premadasa.

Led to Christ by ISIS — A Lawyer’s Prayers

I pass along to you an amazing story by Yuliya Talmazan of NBC News about how ISIS is – inadvertently – leading Syrian Muslims to Christ. Praise God! “Four years have passed since the Islamic State group’s fighters were run out of Kobani, a strategic city on the Syrian-Turkish border [northeast of Aleppo], but the militants’ […]

via Led to Christ by ISIS — A Lawyer’s Prayers

This post by Anna Waldherr strengthens and encourages a community reeling and grieving from horrific bombings – three churches and three hotels targeting those celebrating the Easter message.

“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not put it out.” John 1.5

 

 

 

 

Sri Lanka I cry for you

Fairest of lands

Graced with azure skies and  tranquil seas – Rolling hills and green gold – tea.

Leopard, elephant, whales blue – fauna of every hue;

Tainted now with shades of red, where innocent blood was shed.

Pearl of the Indian Ocean, you were just beginning to raise your head

after the civil war drained you of your very life

with bullets and bombs filled with lead

over foolish egoist ethnic strife.

Pearl of the Indian Ocean, you were just beginning to raise your head,

to shine to glow to beckon –

“2019 Destination”  Lonely Planet said.

with rave reviews from far and wide, well deserved oh Land of mine – 

for peace brought out the best of you, paradise isle by God’s design.

And one cruel morn was all it took to dash our hopes and smite our hearts;

8.45 am one sacred Easter morn our very souls were torn apart

For with vicious taint unknown in a land that had seen it all –

Evil exploded heinous bombs for my Christian brothers and neighbours to fall,

In pools of blood, their breaths stilled, or breathing still with loss of limb.

The dead, the wounded intermingled

Along with the blood of the perpetrator.

Sacred space profaned as you entered to test the faith.

Grieving souls, holding on, letting go.

What were your thoughts I wonder as you tousled the head of the little girl?

Humanity unwittingly slipped through your zombie like action

that left destruction in your wake

as you pursued your brainwashed ideology.

A nation mourns for we have lost our children

and once again we have lost

Our innocence, our peace, our hopes and dreams

I cry for you Sri Lanka.   Do you cry with me ??

I pray for you Sri Lanka, that you may overcome;

that you will meet hate with love and understanding

to turn back the tide of evil snatching our youth and our lives;

I pray for you Sri Lanka,  that you will not again

traverse the road we travelled before.

and that our children may continue to dream, and hope, and build.

I pray for you Sri Lanka, that we will “fight to maintain the peace”

if there be such an expression ….

Fight within our inner beings to rise above judgement

of the misguided youth who let zeal overthrow love.

I pray for you Sri Lanka, that you guard your children well

so  they will not stray into the folds of evil ones –

but will choose good over evil, peace over war and love above hate.

If this too be your prayer, will you pray with me Sri Lanka?

Easter carnage in my land

We are shattered, numb with shock.  The spectre of hate and war has raised its head again in my land and on this holy of holy days. Easter Sunday, when thousands were gathered in churches to worship the Risen Lord,  bombs exploded in three of the most visited Shrines – and in three hotels celebrating Easter brunch.

The death toll in the first 3 hours has risen to 180 and hundreds more injured.

The day started off as a day of peace and promise as we had a simple traditional meal around the breakfast table.  We had participated in a beautiful vigil service last night.  Since we do all seven readings in our church,  it is a long service but we did not even feel the passing of time so absorbed and elevated were we in the history and wondrous mystery of our salvation.

We had fellowship after service and then quite spontaneously, invited Clifford and Anne  who were celebrating their wedding anniversary for Pizza.  Cliffy’s brother had just retired from the Sri Lankan army.  As a General in the front line, he had been the target of many attacks and was seriously wounded by shrapnel and mortar on four occasions. And so very very uncannily- after ten years of peace – we found ourselves discussing the repercussions of the war and our deliverance from the 30 year ethnic conflict that had ravaged our land and our people. 

We also heard how Cliff’s family had found the 91st Psalm inside his mother’s pillow when clearing up her belongings on her demise.  She had unfailingly and unwavering prayed Psalm 91 for close on 26 years on behalf of her son, inscribing his name on all the prayers.  We were reminded of the Psalmists words  .. “though many fall all around me no evil shall touch me”  … a mother’s plea that had saved her son.  And we thanked God that the horrible war that claimed so many sons and daughters of our soil was behind us.

And then today the shattering news.

And the questions.   Is it the LTTE again? …We thought they had been defeated ??

More questions. This does not tie in with an ethnic hate attack.  Easter Sunday ???  It seems from all indications at present to be targeted towards Catholics and Christians?

I surprised myself by being relieved when I heard that.  Yes … relief !!  for we Catholics and Christians are in the minority.  It cannot – and with the Christian spirit of forbearance – will not, be a massive blood shed.  We won’t retaliate or be drawn in like the general population was in the ethnic conflict.  Even if all Christians in our land have to die … the  general populace of around 20 m will be spared.

Am I a masochist seeking persecution? Of course not.  But you cannot help breathing a sigh of relief that the ugly spectre of LTTE terrorism may not be behind this. Our earnest prayer for our country is that God will not take us down that road again 🙏.

It is also timely that this happened on Easter Sunday when we are filled with the Resurrection hope and can hang onto the words of our Lord :

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. …

If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also…”

John 15.20

God give us the strength, the wisdom and the discernment to act as you did and to follow your lead and the example of love you set in your life and in your death.   Amen.