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Let Us Begin a Journey of Transformation and Liberation for All
CEYLON 070203-1
February 3, 2007

A National Day Message from the Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] The National Day is an appropriate occasion for a nation to evaluate its quality of life.

Four and a half centuries of Western Colonisation brought us some good, but did much more harm. Our resources were plundered, our cultures suppressed and divisions amongst our people further aggravated.

However, the tragedy of our post Independence history is that while other Asian Countries with similar colonial histories have made significant progress with purpose and dignity, we seem to have steadily deteriorated. In-spite of an abundance of human and natural resources, our people have been deprived of the dignity of life that true freedom brings. Economic growth, political stability, cultural harmony and national unity are still very illusive dreams.

For this we have only ourselves to blame. Many of our political leaders have brazenly demonstrated a greed for power and personal gain. They have repeatedly wasted our resources, spoilt our chances for political stability and misled the people.

As a people we too have failed our Nation; especially our trusting children and the deprived, the poor and the vulnerable. Many have remained selfishly passive in a growing culture of ethnic intimidation, violence, corruption and impunity. Others have co-operated with the designs and devices of divisive leaders by exchanging their integrity for passing rewards and political favours. Consequently there has been very little sustained social pressure to ensure good governance and an integrated and self sufficient Nation. We are indeed a paradoxical people. In-spite of fifty nine years of independence we are still in dire need of Liberation.

It is my earnest hope and prayer that as we commemorate National Day 2007 our beloved Nation will begin a journey of transformation and visible liberation for all, beginning with the weak and the marginalised. Such a journey is only possible through repentance and a change of heart, especially in those called to provide leadership. This is the teaching of Jesus.

May God bless and nourish our beloved Nation.

Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera