Atheist Centre 1940-1990 Golden Jubilee
International Conference Souvenir
Vijayawada, February 3, 4, and 5, 1990
[OCR, Tim Sullivan; HTML, editing, Cliff Walker]

Greetings from Sri Lanka
Mervyn St. S. Cassie Chetty
President, Sri Lanka Rational Association

Let me congratulate you on your proud record of having hosted two world Atheist Conferences in 1972 and 1980 with international participation and again in 1983 at Helsinki with the co-operation of the Freethinkers' Union of Finland. It is in recognition of your consistent and effective work in spearheading the attack on religious superstition and ignorance throughout the globe that you were given the International Humanist Award in 1986. May you carry on the good work with renewed enthusiasm in these dark days when the world seems to be sliding back to false beliefs, rituals and the powerful evil influence of Rishis, Babas and godmen.

Unfortunately, our Association in Sri Lanka has been forced to remain inactive owing to the terrible paralysis caused by the violent social and political upheavals which have overtaken us during the last decade. Massacres, murders, abductions, rape and violence with weapons of sophisticated kinds destroying human lives and valuable property, destabilising society and turning the country into an armed camp. In these circumstances a justifiable fear psychosis has gripped the public and all human rights and freedoms and civil liberties have been suspended with Emergency Laws. Subversive activities and inter-racial and political clashes prevail. The political leaders of the Country and the religious hierarchies are combining to implore their different gods to intervene and resolve the economic, social, and racial conflicts. The media of course reflect their master's voice. In this context none dares to criticise the hypocrisy and futile approaches to a solution.

I am sorry I cannot join you in the Celebrations but my good wishes go with you and your crusade.