Page 6, 7th March 1958

7th March 1958
Page 6
Page 6, 7th March 1958 — 'Bonds of intolerance and ... tyranny'

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People: Cooray, Bandaranaike


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'Bonds of intolerance and ... tyranny'

IN Ceylon, the Archbishop of Colombo, Mgr. Cooray, speaking on the 10th anniversary of Ceylon's independence from British rule said that his nation's long-cherished objective of independence is now endangered by the "bonds of intolerance and totalitarian tyranny."

Freedom means more than independence of the State from foreign rule, he said. It runs the grave risk of extinction if it is not tempered by " tolerance and respect for the just claims of others."

" After winning one's right over the might of foreign domination, one may tend to crush the rights of others under the might of majority rule," he added. " Has Ceylon escaped this danger ?"

Archbishop Cooray's message came after a series of events in Ceylon which have been commonly regarded as disturbing the confidence of minority groups, primarily the Catholic and Christian communities.

These include a widely discussed proposal which asks the government to nationalise the Catholic schools. In the wake of this proposal allegations have been made against the Church in Ceylon. Some Buddhist leaders whose followers number more than 60 per cent. of the population have branded Church authorities as " foreign agents."

Ceylon's Catholic Union has told Prime Minister Bandaranaike that it rejects outright the latest proposal by Ceylonese Buddhist groups for nationalisation of private schools.

The Catholic Union labelled the so-called compromise proposal put forward by the Buddhist Advisory Council and the Buddhist Congress which calls for nationalisation of all private schools in which over half the students are of a different religion than that of the school administration as little better than the earlier move to have the government take over all private education in Ceylon.

The Catholic group's memorandum, its third on the issue, decried any suggestion for taking over Catholic schools as an " injustice and a "gross violation of our fundamental rights."

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