Bishop Rayappu condemns Keheliya’s comments

rayappu joseph     Mannar Bishop, Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph, condemning the comments made against him by Cabinet Spokesperson, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, at the weekly press briefing on Thursday said the minister, who deals with the media should be extremely cautious when commenting on a person of his standing.

Rt. Rev. Joseph, responding to the comments made by Minister Rambukwella about him told Ceylon Today, the minister has made unfavourable comments about him saying he has requested the voters in the North not to take part in the Northern Provincial Council polls, if police and the land powers are removed from the 13th Amendment.

“I have not said this anywhere. Being a minister responsible for media, he should have contacted me and verified whether I had said anything like that and he should have mentioned how he received that information. However, without contacting me or without any reliable information, the minister has just bluntly accused me on the basis of false information he received,” Bishop said.

He also said he would like to remind when the LTTE prevented the people from the North and East from voting at the Presidential Polls in November 2005, he had immediately contacted the LTTE’s late Political-Wing Leader, S.P. Thamilselvam, and warned him the outfit was doing a wrong thing by preventing the North and East voters from voting.

“Along with the Catholic Bishops of Jaffna and Trincomalee, I even made the announcements through the churches in the North and the East to the voters in the regions to cast their votes in the November 2005 presidential polls. Of course, I believe the 13th Amendment could be a good basis for a political solution. But I have never, ever asked the voters in the North to keep away from voting, if police and land powers were not vested to the province. Therefore, I challenge the minister to prove where I had requested the northern people not to take part in the NPC polls. Before talking about media ethics, the Media Minister should know the ethics of media.

He has also compared me, again, with LTTE Leader Prabhakaran. I don’t know what’s wrong with the minister. I have said already I am a spiritualist and Prabhakaran was a militant. I have been emphasizing on democratic values and I am for peace and integrity of this country. Therefore, the minister should mind his language whenever he says anything about me. Even if he is not in a position to contact me, he could have approached me through the Bishop’s conference in Colombo to verify the comments I had in fact made,” Bishop Rayappu Joseph said.(Ceylon Today)

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