Catholic News Sri Lanka

Fr Sunil De Silva, is a Catholic priest, belongs to the Archdiocese of Colombo. This page is an independent Church-related news page, provides a wide variety of news from Sri Lanka, Vatican and from the world

Operating as usual

Photos from CSR Sri Lanka's post 09/07/2021

Photos from CSR Sri Lanka's post

08/07/2021

වයසත අම්මාව බස් එකට ඔබපු හැටි අපි දැක්කා....අම්මා නැති අවජාතයෙක් ද

ඉඳගන් කොටුවේ බෝධිය ළඟ ඔයිට වටී 🤮

08/07/2021

ඉඳගන් කොටුවේ බෝධිය ළඟ ඔයිට වටී 🤮

08/07/2021
08/07/2021

අද දියවන්නා වේදී පූසා මල්ලෙන් එළියට පනී
THE CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG TODAY - 08.07.2021

අද දියවන්නා වේදී පූසා මල්ලෙන් එළියට පනී
THE CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG TODAY - 08.07.2021

08/07/2021

குருத்துவ அருட்பொழிவு - 08.07.2021 மன்னார் மறைமாவட்டம்.

Photos from Catholic News Sri Lanka's post 08/07/2021

මාධ්‍ය මර්ධන යනු රජය විසින් තම අතින්ම තම ආයුෂ කෙටි කරගැනීමකි - ගරැැ සිර්ල් ගාමිණි පුනාන්දු පියතුමා - 08-07-2021
Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando on Media control by the Government

08/07/2021

ජනතා හඩ මර්ධනය - උද්ගෝෂණ මර්ධනය ආරම්භ වේ
Keeping the Voice of the People, silent - Control of Protests !!

ජනතා හඩ මර්ධනය - උද්ගෝෂණ මර්ධනය ආරම්භ වේ
Keeping the Voice of the People, silent - Control of Protests !!

08/07/2021

ජනතා හඩ මර්ධනය - උද්ගෝෂණ මර්ධනය ආරම්භ වේ
Keeping the Voice of the People, silent - Control of Protests !!

ජනතා හඩ මර්ධනය - උද්ගෝෂණ මර්ධනය ආරම්භ වේ
Keeping the Voice of the People, silent - Control of Protests !!

08/07/2021

මීගමුව කුරණ ශා .ආනා දෙව් මැදුරේ පැවති මාධ්‍ය හමුවේදි, කොලඹ අගරදගුරු පදවි කමිටුවේ සාමාජික ගරු. සිරිල් ගාමිණි පියතුමන් පළ කල අදහස් ....

08/07/2021

මීගමුව කුරණ ශා .ආනා දෙව් මැදුරේ පැවති මාධ්‍ය හමුවේදි, කොලඹ අගරදගුරු පදවි කමිටුවේ සාමාජික ගරු. සිරිල් ගාමිණි පියතුමන් පළ කල අදහස් ....

08/07/2021

Selfish Political Purpose & gains & positions are clear today as to WHY the Easter Sunday Attack was executed, isn't it ?
පාස්කු පුහාරයේ අරමුණු අද හොදටම පැහැදිලියි නේ ද

Selfish Political Purpose & gains & positions are clear today as to WHY the Easter Sunday Attack was executed, isn't it ?
පාස්කු පුහාරයේ අරමුණු අද හොදටම පැහැදිලියි නේ ද

08/07/2021

පාස්කු පුහාරයේ අරමුණු අද හොදටම පැහැදිලියි නේ ද
Selfish Political Purpose & gains & positions are clear today as to WHY the Easter Sunday Attack was executed, isn't it ?

පාස්කු පුහාරයේ අරමුණු අද හොදටම පැහැදිලියි නේ ද
Selfish Political Purpose & gains & positions are clear today as to WHY the Easter Sunday Attack was executed, isn't it ?

08/07/2021

Why did YOU Execute the Easter Sunday Attack ?
අද අප විමසන්නේ පාස්කු පුහාරය එල්ල කලේ ඇයි කියලා

Why did YOU Execute the Easter Sunday Attack ?
අද අප විමසන්නේ පාස්කු පුහාරය එල්ල කලේ ඇයි කියලා

08/07/2021

අද අප විමසන්නේ පාස්කු පුහාරය එල්ල කලේ ඇයි කියලා
Why did YOU Execute the Easter Sunday Attack ?

අද අප විමසන්නේ පාස්කු පුහාරය එල්ල කලේ ඇයි කියලා
Why did YOU Execute the Easter Sunday Attack ?

08/07/2021
08/07/2021

අනුර පාර්ලිමේන්තුව දෙවනත්කරයි

මේ මර්දනය ආරම්භ වෙන්නේ අපෙන් වෙන්න පුළුවන්. හැබැයි මතක තියාගන්න අවසන් වෙන්නේ ඔයාලගෙන්.
- අනුර පාර්ලිමේන්තුව දෙවනත්කරයි

08/07/2021

🔺ආචාර්ය පදවි තිබ්බට, දන්නේ නැති දේවල් කතා කරන්න එපා.

ආචාර්ය පදවි තිබ්බට, දන්නේ නැති දේවල් කතා කරන්න එපා. මුතුරාජවෙලට අත තියන්න එපා! -කාදිනල් හිමිපාණන්-
▶️ https://youtu.be/PqcrkOiQXAE

Haiti President Jovenel Moïse killed in attack at home 07/07/2021

Haiti President Jovenel Moïse killed in attack at home

Haiti President Jovenel Moïse killed in attack at home
සන්නද්ධ පිරිසක් එල්ල කළ ප්‍රහාරයකින් හයිටි ජනාධිපති ජීවිතක්ෂයට
July 7, 2021 4:30 pm 0

හයිටි ජනාධිපති ජොවෙනෙල් මොයිස් ගේ (JOVENEL MOISE ) නිවසට සන්නද්ධ පිරිසක් එල්ල කළ ප්‍රහාරයකින් ඔහු ජීවිතක්ෂයට පත්වී ඇති බව වාර්තා කරනවා.

එම ප්‍රහාරයෙන් ජනාධිපතිවරයාගේ බිරිඳ තුවාල ලබා ඇති බවද විදෙස් මාධ්‍ය වැඩිදුරටත් සඳහන් කර තිබෙනවා

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-57750358

Haiti President Jovenel Moïse killed in attack at home Jovenel Moïse is shot dead and the first lady injured by gunmen in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Mobile Uploads 07/07/2021

Mobile Uploads

07/07/2021

Parliament 07.07.2021

අමුම අමු මාධ්‍ය මර්ධනය ආරම්භ වේ

[07/07/21]   Funeral Service of Rev. Fr. Stan Swami SJ, who died in jail in India.
දේශීය දිළිදු ජනතාවගේ අයිතිවාසිකම් උදේසා සිරගතව සිටි අවුරැැදු 84 වැයසැති ජේසු නිකායික ගරැැ ස්ටෑන් ස්වාමි පියතුමා සිර භාරයේම මිය යයි

An Indian Jesuit priest died on Monday at the age of 84 after having spent the last eight months of his life jailed on terror charges for his activism on behalf of Indian society’s lowest castes.

Fr. Stanislaus Lourduswamy, popularly known as Fr. Stan Swamy, died days before his scheduled bail hearing in the High Court of Bombay, which had been postponed due to his deteriorating health.

“We are deeply saddened at the passing away of Fr. Stan Swamy. We give thanks to God for Fr. Stan’s life and commitment to the poor indigenous people and their struggles,” wrote Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay in a brief statement. "Fr. Stan’s arrest was very painful,” lamented the cardinal who is President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI). “Under the Indian criminal law, one is innocent until proved guilty,” he wrote. “Fr. Stan’s case did not even come up for hearing. We were eagerly waiting for the case to be taken up and the truth to come out," the cardinal wrote.

Arrest

India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) that is tasked with fighting terrorism and sedition under the controversial Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), arrested Father Swamy on October 8 from Bagaicha, a Jesuit social action centre on the outskirts of Ranchi, the capital of the eastern state of Jharkhand.

The following day, he was lodged in Taloja Jail, near Mumbai. He was arrested for alleged links with Maoist insurgents who were said to have been behind the caste-based violence in Bhima Koregaon village in Maharashtra state in January 2018, in which one person was killed and many others injured. Fifteen others, including scholars, lawyers, academicians, cultural activists and an ageing radical poet, have also been implicated in the same case.

The elderly priest, who also suffered from Parkinson’s disease, had been placed on a ventilator at Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai (formerly called Bombay) over the weekend, more than a month after he was admitted to the hospital under court order with COVID-19, according to UCA News.

In a statement announcing Swamy’s death, Fr. Jerry Cutinha. the provincial of the Jamshedpur Jesuit Province, honoured the priest for his “work among the Adivasis, Dalits and other marginalized communities so that the poor may have life and life to the full with dignity and honour.”

“On behalf of the Jesuits of Jamshedpur Jesuit Province, I express my deepest condolences to the family members, friends, lawyers, well-wishers, and all those who stood by Fr. Stan Swamy and prayed for him during this moment of trial and suffering,” Cutinha said.

Swamy was arrested on Oct. 8, 2020, by the National Investigation Agency, India’s counter-terrorism task force.

The Jesuit priest was accused of being involved with a Maoist group, and inciting violence in the town of Bhima-Koregaon on Jan. 1, 2018. One person was killed and others injured during mob violence that day. Swamy denied all charges and said that he had never even been to Bhima-Koregaon.

Following his arrest, Catholic bishops, Jesuit provincials, and world leaders called for Swamy’s release.

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, Burma, compared Swamy’s “cold-hearted incarceration” to the “treatment meted out to Mahatma Gandhi when he stood up for the rights of the Indian people.”

Swamy’s health deteriorated during his time in Mumbai’s Taloja jail. His application for interim bail on medical grounds was rejected in October, after which he applied to the court to request a straw and a sipper because he was unable to hold a glass due to Parkinson’s disease. The court eventually granted his request 50 days after his arrest.

He tested positive for COVID-19 on May 29 after having been admitted to the hospital under court order.

Indian Church remembers Fr. Swamy

In his statement, Cardinal Gracias noted that “Fr. Stan worked tirelessly for the underprivileged and downtrodden, giving them a sense of dignity and upliftment.” The CBCI president said he personally witnessed the priest’s “dedication to the exploited tribals”. “This work had its own challenges, but Fr. Stan worked single-mindedly for the poor.” He hopes that “the truth will come out soon and his name will be cleared of all criminal conspiracy”.

The Archdiocese of Ranchi where Father Swamy served hailed him as “a champion of tribal rights, a fighter for justice and a symbol of courage”. “The fact that this sick man suffering with Parkinson disease was arrested at the age of 84, refused bail for over 7 months, not even allowed a sipper and finally contracted COVID in jail, itself is a sad reflection on those who got the innocent man arrested and the courts that refused to give him bail,” said a statement signed by Archbishop Felix Toppo of Ranchi and Auxiliary Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas. “The ‘caged parrot’ now sings in heaven but its blood is on our hands," they wrote, “May the hand of God intervene to bring justice to all innocent victims of insensitivity, vindictiveness and injustice. We have lost Fr. Stan Swamy but we still hope in the God of justice,” they added.

Swamy was born into a farming family in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

He joined the Jesuits after turning 20. After his ordination, he served as a priest for more than 50 years.

Swamy advocated for the rights of indigenous tribes in Jharkhand and served as the director of the Indian Social Institute, a training school for marginalized communities in Bangalore, for more than a decade.

He was the co-founder of the Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee, an organization assisting those held in prison without having been convicted of a crime because they are still undergoing a trial. It is estimated that 70% of India’s prison population falls under this category.
Swamy said in a video recorded before his arrest that it was common knowledge that figures from all walks of life -- from lawyers to student leaders -- were jailed for expressing dissent or questioning “the ruling powers of India.”

UN 'Deeply saddened and disturbed': We are saddened & disturbed by the death of 84-year-old human rights defender Father StanSwamy, after prolonged pre-trial detention. With COVID-19, it is even more urgent that States release every person detained without sufficient legal basis.

The priest said that he was “ready to pay the price, whatever be it.”

Political leaders express outrage

Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren in a tweet said that the Central government should be held accountable for the absolute apathy towards Fther Stan Swamy, adding he was shocked to learn of the priest’s demise.

CPI General secretary Sitaram Yechury said he was “deeply pained and outraged”. “...A jesuit priest & social activist he tirelessly helped the marginalised. Draconian UAPA custody, inhuman treatment since October 2020 with no charge established. Accountability must be fixed for this murder in custody,” he said in a tweet.

Political leaders from Kerala also expressed their condolences over the death of Father Stan Swamy. While chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said such “travesty of justice should have no place in our democracy”, former chief minister and Congress leader Oommen Chandy said Swamy would remain a “painful memory” in the conscience of India, the largest democracy in the world.

Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “Sad to learn of Fr. Stan Swamy‘s passing. A humanitarian & man of God whom our government could not treat with humanity. Deeply saddened as an Indian. RIP”.

Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba M***i mourned the death of the late activist and said, “Deeply disturbed by the passing away of 84-year-old tribal activist Stan Swamy. A ruthless & callous government that deprived him of dignity even while he was alive has blood on its hands. Absolutely shocked & appalled. May his soul rest in peace”.

“Criminal charges should be filed against all responsible for Stan Swamy’s tragic and unfortunate death including the jail authorities for failure to provide proper medical support and against NIA officials for neglecting his deteriorating health,” Raijor Dal chief Akhil Gogoi said in an interview on Monday.

Source – CNA News / 05.07.2021, Vatican News & India News,

06/07/2021
06/07/2021

මුතුරාජවෙලට අත තියන්න එපා! – අති උතුම් මැල්කම් රංජිත් කාදිනල් හිමිපාණන් වහන්සේ - 05-07-2021

COLOMBO (News 1st): මුතුරාජවෙල ආරක්ෂිත ප්‍රදේශයේ අක්කර 100ක භූමියක් මුහුදු වැලි වලින් ගොඩ කිරීමේ සූදානමක් ඇතැයි කොළඹ අගරදගුරු අති උතුම් මැල්කම් කාදිනල් රංජිත් හිමිපාණන් පවසයි.

රට අයිති ජනතාවට බව ජනාධිපති, අගමැති සහ මැති ඇමතිවරු දැනගත යුතු බව කාදිනල් හිමිපාණන් සඳහන් කළේය.

එබැවින් මුතුරාජවෙලට අත තැබීමෙන් වළකින්නැයි කොළඹ අගරදගුරු අති උතුම් මැල්කම් කාදිනල් රංජිත් හිමිපාණන් වැඩිදුරටත් අවධාරණය කළේය.
කාදිනල් හිමිපාණන් මේ බව සඳහන් කළේ අද පැවති මාධ්‍ය හමුවකදීය.

Newsfirst.lk / කර්තෘ Chathuranga Rajapaksha 05 July, 2021 | 8:33 PM

මුතුරාජවෙලට අත තියන්න එපා! – අති උතුම් මැල්කම් රංජිත් කාදිනල් හිමිපාණන් වහන්සේ - 05-07-2021

COLOMBO (News 1st): මුතුරාජවෙල ආරක්ෂිත ප්‍රදේශයේ අක්කර 100ක භූමියක් මුහුදු වැලි වලින් ගොඩ කිරීමේ සූදානමක් ඇතැයි කොළඹ අගරදගුරු අති උතුම් මැල්කම් කාදිනල් රංජිත් හිමිපාණන් පවසයි.

රට අයිති ජනතාවට බව ජනාධිපති, අගමැති සහ මැති ඇමතිවරු දැනගත යුතු බව කාදිනල් හිමිපාණන් සඳහන් කළේය.

එබැවින් මුතුරාජවෙලට අත තැබීමෙන් වළකින්නැයි කොළඹ අගරදගුරු අති උතුම් මැල්කම් කාදිනල් රංජිත් හිමිපාණන් වැඩිදුරටත් අවධාරණය කළේය.
කාදිනල් හිමිපාණන් මේ බව සඳහන් කළේ අද පැවති මාධ්‍ය හමුවකදීය.

Newsfirst.lk / කර්තෘ Chathuranga Rajapaksha 05 July, 2021 | 8:33 PM

06/07/2021

මුතුරාජවෙලට අත තියන්න එපා! – අති උතුම් මැල්කම් රංජිත් කාදිනල් හිමිපාණන් වහන්සේ - 05-07-2021

COLOMBO (News 1st): මුතුරාජවෙල ආරක්ෂිත ප්‍රදේශයේ අක්කර 100ක භූමියක් මුහුදු වැලි වලින් ගොඩ කිරීමේ සූදානමක් ඇතැයි කොළඹ අගරදගුරු අති උතුම් මැල්කම් කාදිනල් රංජිත් හිමිපාණන් පවසයි.

රට අයිති ජනතාවට බව ජනාධිපති, අගමැති සහ මැති ඇමතිවරු දැනගත යුතු බව කාදිනල් හිමිපාණන් සඳහන් කළේය.

එබැවින් මුතුරාජවෙලට අත තැබීමෙන් වළකින්නැයි කොළඹ අගරදගුරු අති උතුම් මැල්කම් කාදිනල් රංජිත් හිමිපාණන් වැඩිදුරටත් අවධාරණය කළේය.
කාදිනල් හිමිපාණන් මේ බව සඳහන් කළේ අද පැවති මාධ්‍ය හමුවකදීය.

Newsfirst.lk / කර්තෘ Chathuranga Rajapaksha 05 July, 2021 | 8:33 PM

මුතුරාජවෙලට අත තියන්න එපා! – අති උතුම් මැල්කම් රංජිත් කාදිනල් හිමිපාණන් වහන්සේ - 05-07-2021

COLOMBO (News 1st): මුතුරාජවෙල ආරක්ෂිත ප්‍රදේශයේ අක්කර 100ක භූමියක් මුහුදු වැලි වලින් ගොඩ කිරීමේ සූදානමක් ඇතැයි කොළඹ අගරදගුරු අති උතුම් මැල්කම් කාදිනල් රංජිත් හිමිපාණන් පවසයි.

රට අයිති ජනතාවට බව ජනාධිපති, අගමැති සහ මැති ඇමතිවරු දැනගත යුතු බව කාදිනල් හිමිපාණන් සඳහන් කළේය.

එබැවින් මුතුරාජවෙලට අත තැබීමෙන් වළකින්නැයි කොළඹ අගරදගුරු අති උතුම් මැල්කම් කාදිනල් රංජිත් හිමිපාණන් වැඩිදුරටත් අවධාරණය කළේය.
කාදිනල් හිමිපාණන් මේ බව සඳහන් කළේ අද පැවති මාධ්‍ය හමුවකදීය.

Newsfirst.lk / කර්තෘ Chathuranga Rajapaksha 05 July, 2021 | 8:33 PM

06/07/2021

uit Priest, Fr. Stan Swamy dies, awaiting bail
දේශීය දිළිදු ජනතාවගේ අයිතිවාසිකම් උදේසා සිරගතව සිටි අවුරැැදු 84 වැයසැති ජේසු නිකායික ගරැැ ස්ටෑන් ස්වාමි පියතුමා සිර භාරයේම යිම යයි

An Indian Jesuit priest died on Monday at the age of 84 after having spent the last eight months of his life jailed on terror charges for his activism on behalf of Indian society’s lowest castes.

Fr. Stanislaus Lourduswamy, popularly known as Fr. Stan Swamy, died days before his scheduled bail hearing in the High Court of Bombay, which had been postponed due to his deteriorating health.

“We are deeply saddened at the passing away of Fr. Stan Swamy. We give thanks to God for Fr. Stan’s life and commitment to the poor indigenous people and their struggles,” wrote Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay in a brief statement. "Fr. Stan’s arrest was very painful,” lamented the cardinal who is President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI). “Under the Indian criminal law, one is innocent until proved guilty,” he wrote. “Fr. Stan’s case did not even come up for hearing. We were eagerly waiting for the case to be taken up and the truth to come out," the cardinal wrote.

Arrest

India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) that is tasked with fighting terrorism and sedition under the controversial Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), arrested Father Swamy on October 8 from Bagaicha, a Jesuit social action centre on the outskirts of Ranchi, the capital of the eastern state of Jharkhand.

The following day, he was lodged in Taloja Jail, near Mumbai. He was arrested for alleged links with Maoist insurgents who were said to have been behind the caste-based violence in Bhima Koregaon village in Maharashtra state in January 2018, in which one person was killed and many others injured. Fifteen others, including scholars, lawyers, academicians, cultural activists and an ageing radical poet, have also been implicated in the same case.

The elderly priest, who also suffered from Parkinson’s disease, had been placed on a ventilator at Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai (formerly called Bombay) over the weekend, more than a month after he was admitted to the hospital under court order with COVID-19, according to UCA News.

In a statement announcing Swamy’s death, Fr. Jerry Cutinha. the provincial of the Jamshedpur Jesuit Province, honoured the priest for his “work among the Adivasis, Dalits and other marginalized communities so that the poor may have life and life to the full with dignity and honour.”

“On behalf of the Jesuits of Jamshedpur Jesuit Province, I express my deepest condolences to the family members, friends, lawyers, well-wishers, and all those who stood by Fr. Stan Swamy and prayed for him during this moment of trial and suffering,” Cutinha said.

Swamy was arrested on Oct. 8, 2020, by the National Investigation Agency, India’s counter-terrorism task force.

The Jesuit priest was accused of being involved with a Maoist group, and inciting violence in the town of Bhima-Koregaon on Jan. 1, 2018. One person was killed and others injured during mob violence that day. Swamy denied all charges and said that he had never even been to Bhima-Koregaon.

Following his arrest, Catholic bishops, Jesuit provincials, and world leaders called for Swamy’s release.

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, Burma, compared Swamy’s “cold-hearted incarceration” to the “treatment meted out to Mahatma Gandhi when he stood up for the rights of the Indian people.”

Swamy’s health deteriorated during his time in Mumbai’s Taloja jail. His application for interim bail on medical grounds was rejected in October, after which he applied to the court to request a straw and a sipper because he was unable to hold a glass due to Parkinson’s disease. The court eventually granted his request 50 days after his arrest.

He tested positive for COVID-19 on May 29 after having been admitted to the hospital under court order.

Indian Church remembers Fr. Swamy

In his statement, Cardinal Gracias noted that “Fr. Stan worked tirelessly for the underprivileged and downtrodden, giving them a sense of dignity and upliftment.” The CBCI president said he personally witnessed the priest’s “dedication to the exploited tribals”. “This work had its own challenges, but Fr. Stan worked single-mindedly for the poor.” He hopes that “the truth will come out soon and his name will be cleared of all criminal conspiracy”.

The Archdiocese of Ranchi where Father Swamy served hailed him as “a champion of tribal rights, a fighter for justice and a symbol of courage”. “The fact that this sick man suffering with Parkinson disease was arrested at the age of 84, refused bail for over 7 months, not even allowed a sipper and finally contracted COVID in jail, itself is a sad reflection on those who got the innocent man arrested and the courts that refused to give him bail,” said a statement signed by Archbishop Felix Toppo of Ranchi and Auxiliary Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas. “The ‘caged parrot’ now sings in heaven but its blood is on our hands," they wrote, “May the hand of God intervene to bring justice to all innocent victims of insensitivity, vindictiveness and injustice. We have lost Fr. Stan Swamy but we still hope in the God of justice,” they added.

Swamy was born into a farming family in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

He joined the Jesuits after turning 20. After his ordination, he served as a priest for more than 50 years.

Swamy advocated for the rights of indigenous tribes in Jharkhand and served as the director of the Indian Social Institute, a training school for marginalized communities in Bangalore, for more than a decade.

He was the co-founder of the Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee, an organization assisting those held in prison without having been convicted of a crime because they are still undergoing a trial. It is estimated that 70% of India’s prison population falls under this category.
Swamy said in a video recorded before his arrest that it was common knowledge that figures from all walks of life -- from lawyers to student leaders -- were jailed for expressing dissent or questioning “the ruling powers of India.”

UN 'Deeply saddened and disturbed': We are saddened & disturbed by the death of 84-year-old human rights defender Father StanSwamy, after prolonged pre-trial detention. With COVID-19, it is even more urgent that States release every person detained without sufficient legal basis.

The priest said that he was “ready to pay the price, whatever be it.”

Political leaders express outrage

Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren in a tweet said that the Central government should be held accountable for the absolute apathy towards Fther Stan Swamy, adding he was shocked to learn of the priest’s demise.

CPI General secretary Sitaram Yechury said he was “deeply pained and outraged”. “...A jesuit priest & social activist he tirelessly helped the marginalised. Draconian UAPA custody, inhuman treatment since October 2020 with no charge established. Accountability must be fixed for this murder in custody,” he said in a tweet.

Political leaders from Kerala also expressed their condolences over the death of Father Stan Swamy. While chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said such “travesty of justice should have no place in our democracy”, former chief minister and Congress leader Oommen Chandy said Swamy would remain a “painful memory” in the conscience of India, the largest democracy in the world.

Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “Sad to learn of Fr. Stan Swamy‘s passing. A humanitarian & man of God whom our government could not treat with humanity. Deeply saddened as an Indian. RIP”.

Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba M***i mourned the death of the late activist and said, “Deeply disturbed by the passing away of 84-year-old tribal activist Stan Swamy. A ruthless & callous government that deprived him of dignity even while he was alive has blood on its hands. Absolutely shocked & appalled. May his soul rest in peace”.

“Criminal charges should be filed against all responsible for Stan Swamy’s tragic and unfortunate death including the jail authorities for failure to provide proper medical support and against NIA officials for neglecting his deteriorating health,” Raijor Dal chief Akhil Gogoi said in an interview on Monday.

Source – CNA News / 05.07.2021, Vatican News & India News,

uit Priest, Fr. Stan Swamy dies, awaiting bail
දේශීය දිළිදු ජනතාවගේ අයිතිවාසිකම් උදේසා සිරගතව සිටි අවුරැැදු 84 වැයසැති ජේසු නිකායික ගරැැ ස්ටෑන් ස්වාමි පියතුමා සිර භාරයේම යිම යයි

An Indian Jesuit priest died on Monday at the age of 84 after having spent the last eight months of his life jailed on terror charges for his activism on behalf of Indian society’s lowest castes.

Fr. Stanislaus Lourduswamy, popularly known as Fr. Stan Swamy, died days before his scheduled bail hearing in the High Court of Bombay, which had been postponed due to his deteriorating health.

“We are deeply saddened at the passing away of Fr. Stan Swamy. We give thanks to God for Fr. Stan’s life and commitment to the poor indigenous people and their struggles,” wrote Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay in a brief statement. "Fr. Stan’s arrest was very painful,” lamented the cardinal who is President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI). “Under the Indian criminal law, one is innocent until proved guilty,” he wrote. “Fr. Stan’s case did not even come up for hearing. We were eagerly waiting for the case to be taken up and the truth to come out," the cardinal wrote.

Arrest

India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) that is tasked with fighting terrorism and sedition under the controversial Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), arrested Father Swamy on October 8 from Bagaicha, a Jesuit social action centre on the outskirts of Ranchi, the capital of the eastern state of Jharkhand.

The following day, he was lodged in Taloja Jail, near Mumbai. He was arrested for alleged links with Maoist insurgents who were said to have been behind the caste-based violence in Bhima Koregaon village in Maharashtra state in January 2018, in which one person was killed and many others injured. Fifteen others, including scholars, lawyers, academicians, cultural activists and an ageing radical poet, have also been implicated in the same case.

The elderly priest, who also suffered from Parkinson’s disease, had been placed on a ventilator at Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai (formerly called Bombay) over the weekend, more than a month after he was admitted to the hospital under court order with COVID-19, according to UCA News.

In a statement announcing Swamy’s death, Fr. Jerry Cutinha. the provincial of the Jamshedpur Jesuit Province, honoured the priest for his “work among the Adivasis, Dalits and other marginalized communities so that the poor may have life and life to the full with dignity and honour.”

“On behalf of the Jesuits of Jamshedpur Jesuit Province, I express my deepest condolences to the family members, friends, lawyers, well-wishers, and all those who stood by Fr. Stan Swamy and prayed for him during this moment of trial and suffering,” Cutinha said.

Swamy was arrested on Oct. 8, 2020, by the National Investigation Agency, India’s counter-terrorism task force.

The Jesuit priest was accused of being involved with a Maoist group, and inciting violence in the town of Bhima-Koregaon on Jan. 1, 2018. One person was killed and others injured during mob violence that day. Swamy denied all charges and said that he had never even been to Bhima-Koregaon.

Following his arrest, Catholic bishops, Jesuit provincials, and world leaders called for Swamy’s release.

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, Burma, compared Swamy’s “cold-hearted incarceration” to the “treatment meted out to Mahatma Gandhi when he stood up for the rights of the Indian people.”

Swamy’s health deteriorated during his time in Mumbai’s Taloja jail. His application for interim bail on medical grounds was rejected in October, after which he applied to the court to request a straw and a sipper because he was unable to hold a glass due to Parkinson’s disease. The court eventually granted his request 50 days after his arrest.

He tested positive for COVID-19 on May 29 after having been admitted to the hospital under court order.

Indian Church remembers Fr. Swamy

In his statement, Cardinal Gracias noted that “Fr. Stan worked tirelessly for the underprivileged and downtrodden, giving them a sense of dignity and upliftment.” The CBCI president said he personally witnessed the priest’s “dedication to the exploited tribals”. “This work had its own challenges, but Fr. Stan worked single-mindedly for the poor.” He hopes that “the truth will come out soon and his name will be cleared of all criminal conspiracy”.

The Archdiocese of Ranchi where Father Swamy served hailed him as “a champion of tribal rights, a fighter for justice and a symbol of courage”. “The fact that this sick man suffering with Parkinson disease was arrested at the age of 84, refused bail for over 7 months, not even allowed a sipper and finally contracted COVID in jail, itself is a sad reflection on those who got the innocent man arrested and the courts that refused to give him bail,” said a statement signed by Archbishop Felix Toppo of Ranchi and Auxiliary Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas. “The ‘caged parrot’ now sings in heaven but its blood is on our hands," they wrote, “May the hand of God intervene to bring justice to all innocent victims of insensitivity, vindictiveness and injustice. We have lost Fr. Stan Swamy but we still hope in the God of justice,” they added.

Swamy was born into a farming family in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

He joined the Jesuits after turning 20. After his ordination, he served as a priest for more than 50 years.

Swamy advocated for the rights of indigenous tribes in Jharkhand and served as the director of the Indian Social Institute, a training school for marginalized communities in Bangalore, for more than a decade.

He was the co-founder of the Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee, an organization assisting those held in prison without having been convicted of a crime because they are still undergoing a trial. It is estimated that 70% of India’s prison population falls under this category.
Swamy said in a video recorded before his arrest that it was common knowledge that figures from all walks of life -- from lawyers to student leaders -- were jailed for expressing dissent or questioning “the ruling powers of India.”

UN 'Deeply saddened and disturbed': We are saddened & disturbed by the death of 84-year-old human rights defender Father StanSwamy, after prolonged pre-trial detention. With COVID-19, it is even more urgent that States release every person detained without sufficient legal basis.

The priest said that he was “ready to pay the price, whatever be it.”

Political leaders express outrage

Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren in a tweet said that the Central government should be held accountable for the absolute apathy towards Fther Stan Swamy, adding he was shocked to learn of the priest’s demise.

CPI General secretary Sitaram Yechury said he was “deeply pained and outraged”. “...A jesuit priest & social activist he tirelessly helped the marginalised. Draconian UAPA custody, inhuman treatment since October 2020 with no charge established. Accountability must be fixed for this murder in custody,” he said in a tweet.

Political leaders from Kerala also expressed their condolences over the death of Father Stan Swamy. While chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said such “travesty of justice should have no place in our democracy”, former chief minister and Congress leader Oommen Chandy said Swamy would remain a “painful memory” in the conscience of India, the largest democracy in the world.

Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “Sad to learn of Fr. Stan Swamy‘s passing. A humanitarian & man of God whom our government could not treat with humanity. Deeply saddened as an Indian. RIP”.

Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba M***i mourned the death of the late activist and said, “Deeply disturbed by the passing away of 84-year-old tribal activist Stan Swamy. A ruthless & callous government that deprived him of dignity even while he was alive has blood on its hands. Absolutely shocked & appalled. May his soul rest in peace”.

“Criminal charges should be filed against all responsible for Stan Swamy’s tragic and unfortunate death including the jail authorities for failure to provide proper medical support and against NIA officials for neglecting his deteriorating health,” Raijor Dal chief Akhil Gogoi said in an interview on Monday.

Source – CNA News / 05.07.2021, Vatican News & India News,

From Fr. Sunil De Silva,

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