Charity funds are sacred - Father Jeyanesan must submit his accounts

"After Father Jeyanesan was transferred to the east, for nearly ten long years Bishop Subramaniam Jebanesan who succeeded Bishop Ambalavanar was unable to persuade Father Jeyanesan to submit his accounts."

By Paul Manuelpillai in Colombo

Author’s Introduction:

(July 01, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Father Sellathurai Jeyanesan gets a third of what VeAhavta in the US raises as donations to charity and his US colleague Eric Parkinson, an attorney, gets two-thirds for operating this charity founded by him in 2001. It is claimed this charity is one of the few NGOs functioning in Sri Lanka to provide aid to those affected by the war claiming that more than 300,000 people are being held in detention camps against their will.

Father Jeyanesan has not still submitted his accounts to the JDCSI for all the operations he has handled in the east when he was in its employ; these could run into several millions of rupees. Evidently, he takes advantage of the extremely slow process of the law and also his ability to wheedle and sweet-talk certain politicians to help him to corrupt the course of it. Justice delayed is justice denied and no court should be guilty of it.

He has his US patrons too, the types who are vulnerable to the charms of flatterers and sycophants. These patrons live in a world of their own patting themselves as the ones who brought civilization to our lands and forever breathing the stupor of make-belief enlightenment with which they blessed us. This brings in the shekels to the types of Father Jeyanesan who evidently practice the fawn and the grovel strategy to impress on their patrons that whatever comes from the US is the ultimate manna, even beyond the heavens. Open Sesame this may be to Father Jeyanesan but he has a Caesar’s obligation; after all he is an ordained priest who sought the bishopric of the JDCSI and not Cassim whose greed cost his head in the fable Alibaba and Forty Thieves.

In sheer desperation to get the bishopric, he even tried to bribe a high official of the parent church unashamedly with a bottle of single malt whiskey, chocolates laden with macadamia nuts and some crisp US green backs. The good lady promptly showed him the door; this happened at the Church of South India headquarters in Chennai.

Father Jeyanesan must honour his obligation as an employee of the JDCSI until he broke away and submit his accounts. He owes millions to the JDCSI and the community this church serves. Secondly, his attorney colleague in the US, Eric Parkinson must take note of this as well as those who are partners with Father Jeyanesan of financial fraud overtly and covertly. Attorney Eric Parkinson has the additional obligation to reveal to the Government and people of Sri Lanka as to how his organization VeAhavta, as is being claimed, is one of the NGOs helping 300,000 people displaced by the civil war “detained against their wish” in the IDP camps.

FATHER SELLATHURAI JEYANESAN until he broke away from the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JDCSI) over the question of bishopric that he feverishly aspired for had an obligation to submit his accounts for all the activities for which he was in charge in the Eastern Province.

Prior to that he was in charge of the Wanni Region. When he was asked to submit the accounts of his Wanni operations by the late Bishop Jeyam Ambalavanar, the books of accounts got mysteriously burnt in a hole which was obviously dug for that purpose. Around that time, a church jeep which needed an engine to be fitted got mysteriously burnt too; the claim was made that the new engine was fitted the previous day.

There is also a horrific tragedy of an official of the Kilinochchi YMCA in the Wanni who was found dead under suspicious circumstances. This may have had some links to deceased’s demands for the organization’s accounts to be transparent. Father Jeyanesan was in charge of the YMCA at that time and police inquiries into this tragedy appear to have been abandoned no sooner a certain individual was helped to flee the country.

After Father Jeyanesan was transferred to the east, for nearly ten long years Bishop Subramaniam Jebanesan who succeeded Bishop Ambalavanar was unable to persuade Father Jeyanesan to submit his accounts. In fact he conducted himself as one beyond these obligations. He traveled a great deal overseas and raised funds in the US, Netherlands and Israel and in other places too, all in the name of the JDCSI. He took undue advantage of Bishop Jebanesan’s meekly, kindly and quick to forgive nature.

More than anything it became necessary for Father Jeyanesan to take full charge of the JDCSI especially with his failure to account for the finances he had received from various sources which would certainly be in the millions. This is the principal reason why he must have sought the bishopric position so bitterly and in the process caused a split in the church and also unlawfully took possession of some of the properties of the JDCSI.

Some Americans especially those from the Wider Church Ministries of the United Church of Christ (WCM-UCC) think they have perpetual rights to the properties of the American Ceylon Mission that have passed on to the JDCSI long time ago and Father Jeyanesan attempted to appropriate them for himself along with a few others. There is an interim judgment against him in the District Court and his fellow group, one of whom is now believed to have jumped bail and left the country. There is a general feeling in Jaffna that the court proceedings are more on the drag than the expedite and what impedes it leaves much for conjecture.

Father Jeyanesan knew it would be mandatory for him to submit his accounts if some one else became the bishop. When he failed, he broke away and even took the name of the founding mission of the JDCSI, the American Ceylon Mission. This was an illegal act; he has been prohibited from using it but he has continued to use it no doubt taking advantage of the slow process of law. The public has the right to expect the courts of the land to be prompt and expeditious.

If not the victims may be ravaged, raped and ruined out of justice they are entitled to, not only by the delay but also the colossal sums they have to bear by way of legal fees and other expenses. An essence of a democratic state is that justice should not only prevail and be available to every citizen, poor or rich, but also must be apparent as real and effective.

A feature in a popular US website a few days ago has expressed a great deal of concerns about Father Jeyanesan’s relationship with a charity named VeAhavta founded in 2001 by attorney Eric Parkinson. The mission statement of this organization claims its aim is to lovingly nurture the physical, emotional and spiritual well being of orphans and destitute elders in a secure home.

Officially VeAhavta donations are intended for the Grace Care Center, an orphanage and home for the seniors which were part of the activities of Father Jeyanesan who was at that time an employee of the JDCSI. The question here is as to why Eric Parkinson was dealing with Father Jeyanesan who would not submit any accounts to his employers instead of with his employer, the JDCSI. Being an attorney in particular, Parkinson should have known better.

Reactions to the feature in the US website by Karen Velie has not only opened up a can of worms wriggling out with disgusting postures but also from some obvious Parkinson buddies who have rushed to clear up the mess for him. The core element in the feature is that over 60% of the donations received by VeAhavta are retained by Eric Parkinson for himself and the rest perceptibly portioned over to Father Jeyanesan who either keeps no account or his management of these charitable funds is consigned to the dark room to which no other has entry. He has never submitted his accounts to the JDCSI not even when he broke away from it.

Father Jeyanesan’s deputy in the breakaway church is the Rev Annappah Jeyakumar. Some years ago he defrauded the JDCSI by helping himself to some donations received for the church from Switzerland. Although there was pressure for his dismissal at that time, Bishop Subramaniam Jebanesan forgave him accepting instead an apology from the pulpit at a Sunday morning service.

Early this year, the Rev Jeyakumar was found to have defrauded the Jaffna Christian Union to the tune of one million rupees drawn illegally on a single cheque leaf made in the name of a non-existing shop. On an earlier occasion, his brother-in-law who was running an orphanage funded by a German organization was submitting accounts with receipts from a shop that never existed.

There are also reports that Rev Jeyakumar’s brother Annappah Jeyarajan who functioned as a treasurer of the JDCSI under Bishop Subramaniam Jebanesan has not submitted the books of accounts and other key instruments to the JDCSI yet. He is believed to have made unauthorized grants as loans to several individuals and helped himself to them as well.

The exposure in the US of Eric Parkinson and his relationship with Father Jeyanesan who holds a bogus doctorate from Netherlands is timely especially at this juncture when funds may be raised in the name of internally displaced persons following the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka.

No one has any idea how Father Jeyanesan managed the tsunami funds and he was at that time in the employ of the JDCSI. It is now known that at least one warehouse of tsunami gifted material ended up with pavement hawkers in Colombo some 250 miles away. He had told one of his fellow workers that the moneys from such a sale could be utilized better for the victims of nature’s horror. Of course he keeps no accounts.

One of the persons reacting to the feature by Karen Velie says that there are an estimated 7000 internally displaced people in the area around Grace, the centre supposed to be funded by VeAhavta. He goes on to say: “There are an additional 300,000 people being held in detention camps against their will. VeAhavta is one of the few NGOs functioning to provide aid to those affected by the war.”

This is a false representation of the reality that casts undue aspersions on the Government of Sri Lanka, and Father Jeyanesan is one of those people who persuaded his parishioners in the Wanni to join the human shield march towards the eastern coast when they could have escaped to Vavuniya.

VeAhavta is not the only organization from which Father Jeyanesan has received grants. His orphanages are mere fronts and now it is claimed that VeAhavta is also meeting the needs of the thousands of displaced people, a claim that has no basis. It is said that it is easy to raise charity funds in the US especially for developing countries. Many well meaning people part with their funds and sometimes a considerable amount of their savings too. Many elderly and lonely people in the US get stung and swindled by telemarketing scams too.

Merely having fronts like orphanages and senior homes to raise funds is evil. It must be the other way. When a need is recognized then funds can be raised provided they are managed efficiently and are transparent. No such system exists with Father Jeyanesan who gets a third of what VeAhavta raises and the rest obviously stays with attorney Eric Parkinson.

Some fund organizers in the West also see this as an opportunity for holidays for themselves in exotic surroundings and amidst people who would serve them right royally as servile minions and cater to their proclivities and appetites that may even be questionable.

It is sad Eric Parkinson who keeps over 60% of charity donations for himself was even compared with Mother Therese. What an insult to the Saint of the Destitutes of Calcutta! She never had the types of Father Jeyanesan in her team; everyone one of hers led an extremely frugal life and were totally dedicated to their cause. And every cent of support they received was transparent and went miles.
-Sri Lanka Guardian

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