| by Pearl Thevanayagam

(May 14, 2014, Bradford UK, Sri Lanka Guardian)
Lord Jesus Christ, Lord Buddha, Prophet Mohamed, Guru Nanayak of the Sikhs et al never envisaged their preaching and precepts would be hijacked by their followers for selfish commercial interests.

Lord Jesus Christ vent his anger at the commercial vendors in Jerusalem Temple and up-ended the tables when he saw it was used to sell wares by the Pharisees who were the pillars of society. Vatican is implicated in its own Bank Ambrosiano scandal associated with BCCI, founded by two Pakistani brothers who with the help of Arab Sheikhs procured money from the Italian Mafia and Columbian drug cartels in the late ‘80s and ‘90s.

Closer home, the Mahanayakes are receiving state funds and driving Mercedes Benzes and indulging in meat fiesta provided by the devotees. Sai Baba who is venerated by both the Hindus and Buddhists and who produced magically gold chains from his wrist was investigated by the BBC and proved beyond reasonable doubt he was a paedophile.

Former Heads of State JRJ, Premadasa and Sirimavo Bandaranaike not to mention the latter’s son Anura Bandaranaike made regular pilgrimages to invoke blessings from this sadhu who amassed a colossal amount of wealth including his own private airport.

Now there is a proliferation of Christian cults in the UK which while professing to convert vulnerable Tamils who are mostly Hindus to come for Bible studies in real terms make profits for themselves catering and asking for donations. These services provide food at a cost to their attendees.
Those struggling from mortgages with children enticed by peer pressure into taking drugs, early pregnancy out of wedlock, husbands increasingly dependent on alcohol as an escape route from the humdrum of slaving for minimum wages seek divine intervention and the Bible toting preachers have an easy way to earn their living all at the expense of these poor victims.

My former landlady often urged me to attend the Bible classes which I stubbornly resisted and she was forever cooking large cauldrons of rice, meat and vegetables and initially I thought she must be a very benevolent lady until I realised she was paid for the catering by the hall in Kenton. She also brought home food to last her and her two children for the rest of the week.

Those mesmerised by these Bible classes stood on the podium and gave testimonies of their drug addiction, divorce, extra-marital affairs, debt problems and shouted that Jesus saved them for all and sundry to hear. All the while our Sri Lankans went about their merry way spreading gossip about these hapless people and profiting on their weaknesses to contribute towards their nouveau Christian cult.

On any given day Ealing (SKATT) Skanda Kanaka Thurkkai Amman Temple in the heart of London is filled with devotees who are neither poor nor destitute. It is not uncommon to see obese children and their parents who arrive in four wheel sedans sitting down to the meals comprising rice vegetables, pappadam, payasam and plantains provided by the temple and taking home extra portions.

There are scores of Hindu temples in and around London which offer free food but it comes with a price. The temples are maintained by businessmen, solicitors, doctors and accountants who prey on vulnerable devotees and extract large sums of money by way of darshans, ceremonies to mark birth, marriage and deaths, age atsttainment, house-warming etc,.

Whereas lesser human beings who neither have refugee status nor gainful employment depend on food banks run by the council and Christian churches and the benevolence of their brethren on the rare occasions they are fed in turn for working in their households as baby-sitters and domestic servants 24/7.
Charity Commission is unable to apprehend these miscreants since they are not registered with the Charity Commission. But due to numerous complaints surfacing it will not be long before these vultures are apprehended and brought before the courts.

This includes my former employer and a trustee of Sri Skanda KanagaThurkkai Amman temple in Ealing Gaithri Kathirgamanathan who as immigration solicitor has been struck off by The Law Society for fiddling and mis-appropriating funds from asylum clients.

There are just a handful of Sinhalese solicitors who can access legal aid and almost all Tamil immigration solicitors have been blacklisted.

(The writer has been a journalist for 25 years and worked in national newspapers as sub-editor, news reporter and news editor. She was Colombo Correspondent for Times of India and has contributed to Wall Street Journal where she was on work experience from The Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley, California. Currently residing in UK she is also co-founder of EJN (Exiled Journalists Network) UK in 2005 the membership of which is 200 from 40 countries. She can be reached at thevanayagampearl@yahoo.co.uk)