Statement of Repentance on behalf of the Nation

God is love, He is kind and He is patient. Yet He is also the God of justice who hears the cries of those crushed by oppression and injustice. It is noted throughout history, that nations have come under God’s judgment for their wrong-doing, when they take God’s patience for granted. From the Bible we observe that when people acknowledged their wrong-doing and turned away from it, an action which is called repentance, God intervened and His kindness was extended again. In like fashion, we as a group of God’s people who are part of the nation of Sri Lanka perform this Act of Repentance on behalf of our nation:

We repent on behalf of our nation for having rushed towards the shedding of innocent blood. We have denigrated the sanctity of human life. In our partisan pursuits we have not considered the agony and the tears of those who will be  , orphaned, left maimed or the parent who will not have the care of their children. Having understood that the spilt blood of many is crying out from the all parts of this land, we let our hearts be broken and cry out for mercy and forgiveness so that the Almighty will forgive us and heal our land.

We repent on behalf of our nation for we have benefitted from modern-day slavery. We have encouraged our mothers and our daughters into vulnerable situations abroad despite knowing that some will come back in bags and boxes packed as collateral damage in pursuing a better balance of payments position for us through the dollars they earn. Our eyes have been blinded to the damage done in homes where daughters do not have mothers to protect and sons do not have the fathers to guide. We ask the Almighty to forgive us for the blindness of our collective greed and ask that our minds be open to the possibility of more holistic enterprises and economies.

We repent on behalf of our nation for the countless many who have disappeared. Those left behind have been frustrated, for their loss has not been acknowledged causing them to weather the elements on highways and byways, driving them from pillar to post so that the shrills of their lonely voices can be heard through the cacophony with which we pursue our own wondrous futures. We have elevated perpetrators and increased the suffering of those seeking answers. We mourn the sight of bodies that have been washed down our rivers and the burial pits of the unknown who lie in unmarked graves. We ask the Almighty to give us the strength of character to say together as a nation ‘Never Again’.

We repent on behalf of our nation for the perversion of justice and the exploitation of the poor through wicked schemes that have been devised to gain power. We repent of the lies that falsify the truth, and the lies that are presented as truth in public communication and the closed hallways of justice. In repentance, we decry the lack of commitment to investigate the truth and the ease with which our leaders utter falsehoods which have become the curse now being felt in every nook and corner of this resplendent isle. We ask the Almighty to make the citizens of our nation more discerning and to seal the mouths of those perpetuating falsehoods in high places.

We repent on behalf of our nation for the stirred up dissension amongst the communities, for having encouraged brother to rise up against brother by deriding him as ‘the other’; for trying to limit the gifted amongst us so that the vile may prosper at the cost of the nation. For having negated the richness of diversity and encouraged the heaviness of monotony which has made us beggars and hustlers.

We repent on behalf of our nation for the historical elites of the nation who could not empathize with the masses and the creation of a new elite at the cost of the very same masses. We are broken at the few who have acquired more than they need for generations to come at the cost of the many who stand angry and hungry for their daily essentials. We repent of the bribery and corruption which has replaced our identity as a hospitable and caring people.  We entreat the Almighty to repair the damage done to our souls and the soul of our beloved Sri Lanka.

We repent for the lack of accountability at all levels of society, fully understanding that it has resulted in inequalities that have made the powerful insensitive to the needs of the people. This culture of impunity has crushed and quenched the aspirations of young and old alike. We ask the Almighty to forgive our pride and arrogance.

And when we have repented and when our ways change, we entreat the Almighty to bless this fair nation. O Lord, bless its humble people and let our fields bring forth an abundant harvest and our seas feed us one more time. Let the work of our hands and the ingenuity of our minds be evidenced one more time. Let the weary of the world come one more time to enjoy the sun and the sand, the people and their culture. We beseech thee Almighty to hear our cry.

We invite all to join in this act of repentance.

Rev. Dr. Errol Chrissokumar Handy (Chairperson)
With The Executive Presbytery
Assemblies of God – Sri Lanka.