The Sri Lankan Crisis, 2016-17
NOTE: Permissision of given to copy and distribute all letters on this page,
and also images of same letters on the TTT Photo Gallery.
A full Account will be provided soon.
Documents below are:
Click Here to view photocopy of following letter. Permission is given to copy and distribute this letter.
Dr. Mahim Mendis
Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
7th February, 2017
Having suffered in silence for the last one and a half years, I am finally communicating with you as God in his mercy has enabled truth to prevail.
The attached letter signed by Mr. Clifford Fedirchuk (Overseer) and Mr. Peter Morrison (Missionary) of the Undenominational Christian Mission, on their official Letter-head, dated 30th January 2017 is self-explanatory. While everything has been witnessed by God, this letter was also signed in the presence of an Attorney-at-law. It negates terrible accusations spread locally and internationally that Lionel Silva and I, as Honorary Trustees, have been stealing mission money in the Snell Trust, entrusted to us to safeguard.
I professed in the year 1985, having heard the gospel through Aunty Mary. At that time, I discovered that my father Leslie Mendis, had professed in 1937. However, he left after he found out that the then Senior Worker, Mr. Jack Trigg who brought the gospel to our land, had sexually molested young boys in professing homes. When my father questioned the workers, they denied this. Later, Jack Trigg himself left the country in shame, without telling anyone, admitting the crime committed.
Anyway, I professed in 1985. Subsequently my father and other family members professed. My father was appointed as Elder by Senior Worker Harry Morgan who knew all about his past. The fellowship meeting was held in our home in Moratuwa for thirty years.
Over the years there have been many disturbing happenings that we unquestioningly accepted, starting in 1999, with the Elder who replaced my father, Professor Dayantha Wijesekera, having an extra marital affair with my Sister – in Law. This resulted in breaking-up my brother’s family.
We also witnessed workers whom we loved and respected suddenly leaving the country – Lloyd Haughan, David Brough, Philippa Scheib, Yasmin, Basith, Elaine Parsons, Craig Wilson and Jocelyn Dippy. We were perplexed and grieved. Yet, we did not question.
The unbearable pain finally struck me and my family when we realized that after the arrival of Peter Morrison, Uncle John and Aunty Mary whom we loved and respected were being persecuted. Malicious stories against them were being spread. Aunty Mary, who had left an affluent home 62 years ago for Gods’ work, was to be sent to a Buddhist Elders Home. A place with meagre facilities and a culture alien to her.
As someone who has always stood for truth and justice, I challenged this. Uncle John was being forced against his will to leave Sri Lanka, where he had labored for over 60 years. They did not want to permit him to end his life on our soil in peace, like his predecessor, Uncle Harry Morgan. At the same time, Uncle John was diagnosed with Cancer. Doctors declared that it is not advisable for him to travel overseas.
Yet, Peter Morrison wanted Uncle John out of the country. He spread a story among professing friends that Uncle John was not suffering from Cancer. To make it impossible for Uncle John to remain, he suddenly took Muni, our professing brother who has been lovingly caring for Uncle John, away to Balangoda, leaving Uncle John helpless. Peter Morrison told Muni’s own children the diabolical lie that Muni had sexually abused Priyanthi, Aunty Mary’s nurse.
Having contacted Muni, I discovered that this was another despicable conspiracy. No inquiry had been conducted. Hence Lionel Silva and I together, took action to bring Muni back to Colombo. Peter Morrison and his companion, Benny Minnar, were invited to Lionel’s office. We questioned them in the presence of Muni and his daughter. Peter Morrison finally admitted the truth and apologized to Muni for the false accusations levelled against him, in the presence of all.
Since then, my family and I have been victims of malicious slander. A Hate Campaign was launched against us locally and internationally amongst our life-long friends, and extended family in Sri Lanka and overseas.
In addition to the Hate Campaign, following are some of the specific acts of vengeance that were carried out against me and my family by Peter Morrison and his companions:
1. My daughter Mahishka was not allowed to partake of the emblems for eight months since marrying a Buddhist- violating the understanding she was given by the sister workers who told Mahishka in the presence of her husband, that she would be restored in 3-6 months if she attended meetings regularly, which she did.
2. Insulting my elderly mother -in - law, Mrs. Gem Karunaratne when she asked him about her grand - daughter’s Communion in the presence of her husband, Mr. Bandu Karunaratne, the Elder of the Church in Nugegoda and Benny Minnar. At this incident, Peter Morrison stood in front of her chair, bent down at the waist and pointed to his buttocks, and said, “If you’re angry with me, give me a kick on my backside.”
3. Few days later, summoning my father – in – law to the Workers Camp and threatening to remove him from his Eldership and remove the meeting from their home without giving a reason. The only obvious reason is that he confided in me as Son in Law and Manique, as his daughter, all what happened.
4. Going to my daughter’s home straight after the fellowship meeting and ordering Dileepa, Mahishka’s Buddhist husband who was also attending meetings, to tell Mahishka not to attend meetings any more.
5. Setting up my dear friend and respected Elder, Rikmal Soyza, to interrogate me in an unfriendly tone as I was entering his home for the fellowship meeting with A Mary, with a false accusation that I have prevented workers in Sri Lanka from getting their visas. Due to God’s grace, I managed to control myself, having told him that his behavior is unbecoming of an Elder towards someone who is attending the Fellowship Meeting. Having said that I stayed in my car in the garden till the meeting ended, and took Aunty Mary back to her home, as she was depending on me for transport.
6. Accusing me over the phone the following day (Monday) of having reported against the workers at the Visa office, claiming that Leon Jayasinghe had overheard me talking against the workers to an official at the Immigration Office with whom I had a meeting. Coincidently at the same time Peter and Benny happened to be at the office with Leon and his wife. On this day, I greeted Peter Morrison when I saw him. As someone working in the Public sector, I have meetings in many Government offices, the Immigration being just one of many. There is no way that anyone can eavesdrop on a meeting in a private office room of a senior official, in a place with tight security. However, without any evidence or inquiry in the presence of Leon for me to prove my innocence, I was condemned as guilty and ordered over the phone by Peter Morrison to stop coming for meetings. I was excommunicated having unreasonably accused me.
7. Confronting my 88-year-old mother Mrs. Miriam Mendis, who is in ill health, straight after a Fellowship Meeting at Koralawella, and disturbing her peace by telling her that I will be punished by God for committing evil, resulting in her weeping in front of him.
8. Garry Prothero tried to poison my own mother against me by sending her a letter (copy attached) alleging that I am giving preference over her (my mother) to Aunty Mary, by taking Aunty Mary, who lives close to my home in Mirihana, to the Fellowship Meeting in my car, instead of coming all the way to Moratuwa to take my mother for meetings. My mother has two other sons with families living very close to her. Moreover, her health does not permit her to travel long distances for meetings. I am motivated by love and gratitude to provide transport to Aunty Mary to attend the Fellowship Meetings, as her fellow workers do not make any arrangements for her. It brings great joy to my mother, who has the same love and gratitude to Aunty Mary, that her son, who although excommunicated from the Fold, continues to help Aunty Mary, who is now helpless, being marginalized and neglected by her fellow workers.
I thank God that after having been subject to severe stress and sorrow for so long, my name has finally been cleared. Truth has prevailed over those who accused me of being dishonest.
I am sharing this with you as you are someone whom I have loved and associated with for a long time. I pray that you will never suffer like my family and I did, for standing up for truth. I believe the main reason for their persecution is that I have cared for and safe guarded two feeble and elderly workers who have done so much for all of us in Sri Lanka and are now in poor health. I thank God for his strength that has enabled me to do this.
The lesson we learned is that as long as you are indifferent and turn a blind eye to the atrocities of those who call themselves God’s Servants, you will be alright. Yet beware…You too may someday be personally affected and may experience similar or even worse pain and sorrow.
If that should be your experience, I encourage you to turn to God and put all your faith and trust in Him. He will keep you and love you and bless you to the end.
My faith in God is stronger than ever. My family and I feel closer to God than we did previously. Although Peter Morrison and colleagues have tried their best to do irreparable damage to us, we do not harbor anger against any of the workers and friends as we face the future in God’s care.
Click Here to view image of letter. Permission is given to copy and distribute this letter.
Dear Aunty Miriam, (Mahim Mendis' mother)
I wanted to send you a quick line before I go to send you some jottings from the convention since you missed it. I feel very sorry when I think of the situation you are in. I remember you in my prayers every day. It puzzles me as to why Mahim is so keen to help Aunty Mary get to meetings but does not want to help you, his own mother to get to the meetings. I hope you keep well. Bennie has been struggling with the after effects of the cold he got during convention and went again to see the Dr yesterday. It sure seems to take a lot to shake it off.
I am leaving for my visit to Australia on Thursday night. I will have the day in Kuala Lumpur where I expect to catch up with Aunty Chella and other workers there before flying on on Friday night to Australia.
Uncle John has been in hospital the last few days to get some more blood. His Hemoglobin had gone down. He says he hasn't felt much benefit from it yet.
I'm enclosing a copy of some jottings I took from convention they are not very comprehensive, but better than nothing. I do hope this new year will be a year of settling and restoration for you all and you will be able to get out to all the meetings again. Keep a strong connection with the true vine Christ don't be deceived by those not willing to fulfill the conditions of God's righteousness in their own lives. May you have a spiritually prosperous year in 2017. Greetings to Vipul and Seetha.
Love and Greetings in Christ,
Click Here to view photocopy of following letter by Clifford Fedirchuk, Overseer of Sri Lanka and Pakistan and Peter Morrison, Head Worker of Sri Lanka. Permission is given to copy and distribute this letter.
Undenominational Christian Mission
Since 1927 in Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
134/2 A, Stanley Tilaakeratne(sic) Mawatha
January 30, 2017
Mr. Lionel D C Silva Trustee - Snell Trust
Dr. Mahim Mendis Trustee - Snell Trust
Mr. Andrew Blair Trustee - Snell Trust
Confirmation that All Matters Connected with the SNELL TRUST have been Managed According to Stipulated Legal Requirements
The Members of the Clergy belonging to the Undenominational Christian Mission officially located at Number 134/2A, Stanley Thilakaratne Mawatha, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka, have carefully gone through all the relevant documents relating to the above mentioned Trust and hereby confirm the following:
(a) The Trustees have duly submitted the relevant documents for independent verification as requested by Mr. Clifford, Overseer of the said Mission and Missionary based in Sri Lanka, namely, Mr. Peter Morrison
(b) The Trustees have ensured that the legal requirements relating to Auditing of Accounts have been carried out through a reputed Auditing Organization, namely, M/s. Hemachandra & Company to our satisfaction.
(c) The work of the Trustees has been above board ever since they have been appointed to fulfill related responsibilities and confirm that properties and Bank Accounts coming under the Trust have been managed to our satisfaction.
(d) We confirm that Mr. John Robert Blair and Miss Mary David will be permitted to reside at the Melder House located at No. 134/1, Stanley Thilakarathne(sic) Mawatha, Nugegoda, till the end of their lives.
(e) We thank the three Trustees for undertaking this Honorary Tasks in accordance with the Constitution of the SNELL TRUST, and carrying out their mandate in an honorable manner without any questionable conduct and any MISAPPROPRIATION OF FUNDS.
Undenominational Christian Mission Christian Mission
Mr. Peter Morrison
Undenominational Christian Mission
January 30, 2017
The declarants having understood and admitting the contents here of to be true and correct signed at Colombo on 30th January, 2017.
T. A. Wickramashinghe
Attorney at Law
Commissioner of Oaths
Ownership Details about Nugegoda, Sri Lanka Convention Grounds
The "Melder House" is located adjoining the former convention grounds in Nugegoda, Sri Lanka. The house was owned by a professing couple, Carmen and George Melder.
When Carmen died, she left the house and garden in a Trust for use of elderly and retired workers and other workers. Trustees were appointed by John Blair. The Trust is governed under the laws of Sri Lanka.
One of the remaining Trustees is Andrew (John Blair’s nephew), a professing man in New Zealand. Others in the Blair family there have been lavishly helping the work in Sri Lanka for many years.
Carmen Melder's brother, who was not professing, owned the convention ground. Meetings were held in tents. Muni a professing friend lived on the premises and served as caretaker. He also functioned as the chief cook for convention and cooked all meals for workers during preps.
The brother workers live in a house also close to the grounds. This too is owned by the Trust.
Cyrus Ferdinandus, an ex-worker and his family live opposite the brother workers’ house.
Subsequently when Carmen's brother wanted to sell the convention ground about 15 years ago, Lionel Silva purchased it and dedicated it to the convention. He even built a nice structure on the grounds where visitors stayed during convention and also special meetings took place.
When Peter Morrison took over from John Blair, 3 years ago, in spite of the grounds and all facilities including Muni as caretaker and cook, remaining for their use for convention, they decided to move the convention to new premises which are hired out. They have to pay for all the facilities and food.
Instead of telling the true reason for the shift, Peter and his cohorts spread a false story that Lionel Silva ordered them to relocate as he wanted to sell the premises.
When Lionel Silva heard this, he was very upset and confronted Peter. Subsequently, Lionel got Peter to write a letter to him giving the real reason for the shift was that the workers felt that they had too much work, maintaining and running the grounds for convention. In the letter he also got Peter to certify that Lionel had never ever asked them to relocate the conv. Lionel posted copies of this letter to all the professing friends in Sri Lanka. Peter wrote the letter on Undenominational Christian Mission letterhead.
John Blair and Mary David continue to live in the Melder house. Both are very feeble. Mary is a heart patient and John in the late stages of bowel cancer. There is a lady carer who looks after Mary and Muni, the former caretaker of the convention grounds, looks after John.
On the 2016 Workers List, Mary David is shown as resting
John Blair's name isnt listed. He has been in the work in Sri Lanka for over 60 years, much of the time the Overseer there.
He wants to die there and not return to his native country NZ. Doctors have given him 6 mos. to a year to live.
Manique Mendis' Exit Letter - Permission is given to copy and distribute this letter.
Sent to Peter Morrison, with copies to all workers and friends who have internet on 30 August, 2016, after he excommunicated my daughter, Mahishka. My husband, Mahim was excommunicated subsequently.
From: Manique Mendis
Sent: 30/08/2016 01:27
To: Peter Morison
Subject: Greetings from Manique Mendis
Dear Peter Morrison,
Trust you are happy and enjoying the fruits of your recent actions in Sri Lanka.
This is to express my sentiments on the spiritually inspired actions you have taken from the date of your arrival as overseer of the church in our country. These actions culminated yesterday in your banning my daughter, Mahishka, from attending gospel meetings or sitting at fellowship meetings. These privileges were sanctioned by the sister workers who were at our field, when Mahishka discussed with them her marriage to a non professing person in December 2015.
My sentiments are shared by our extended family and friends who are professing in different parts of the world, among them are elders
I meant to confine my sentiments to you. However, our relatives and friends from other countries have expressed concern over the reaction of your fellow workers, to your actions. Hence I am copying to them and friends as well.
I refer to your exemplary action in showing your buttocks or whatever you prefer to call it to my 88 year old mother in the presence of her husband who is the elder of the church in the same room that the fellowship meeting takes place. This is indeed a novel gesture for us natives of a third world country.
You claim that my old parents have forgiven you. Yet it baffles us all on how my mother forgave you, without you ever asking her for forgiveness. You only discussed the matter with my father instead . You told him that you only showed her "half" your backside and you used to do the same to your own mother.
Anyway, I guess this is a unique way that you, as the esteemed overseer would respond to the desperate concerns of a very old lady on why her grand daughter's issue was totally ignored by you.
Of course, it was a serious concern to an old grandmother that the child's communion was not addressed even after the lapse of 8 months. The sisters who discussed the matter with her, had assured her that she would be able to participate in meetings within 3-6 months. This has been the case with all other professing people who married outside the truth in Sri Lanka.
She did not realize that you are so busy sowing the seed throughout our country. So, the case of one young girl is too trivial to be addressed by you in a country where less than 100 people profess.
You claimed that you showed my mother your buttocks in jest, alleging that she is mentally unstable. I beg to defer in this verdict by you.
Even at the age of 88, my mother continues to teach English literature to students who come to her home. She is a person with high professional credentials and has been the principal of a Government English teachers Training College. Students will not come to learn from her if her mind is not sound. She also continues to give inspiring testimonies at the fellowship meetings.
Anyway, we are also wondering as to why you summoned my father to your camp the following day. You threatened to remove him from the position of elder post not bring back the meeting which had been temporarily shifted from their home due to house repairs.However, we have learned from you that it is weakness on the part of us sinners to question the actions of the overseer,
I do not want to discuss the interactions with Mahishka that led to her being put out of fellowship by you. It suffices that you told her clearly that "I am responsible for your salvation".
We all believed that up to now that it was God who was the judge for our salvation. Now we are enlightened by you otherwise.
Our family is grateful that Mahishka recorded the whole conversation she had over the phone with you. Hence we too can learn from you.
Although you as the wise overseer have taken this step to banish Mahishka from the fold , both her two very old grand mothers, old grandfather and old grand- aunt are devastated . But we understand that you as the person responsible for the salvation of the friends in Sri Lanka cannot be questioned.
As these old people are nearing their end, I am sure that you are looking forward to presiding over their funerals. You can look forward to inspiring other sinners who will be present at the funerals with your wisdom. However, beware that it is culturally insensitive in Sri Lanka to show off your backside even to the dead.
Mahishka's husband Dileepa gave an undertaking before marriage to attend all meetings. He also agreed to allow any children they may have to also attend meetings. He is deeply baffled about your conduct.
He stated that if a Buddhist priest acted in the way you did, he would be assaulted by the villagers and banished from the ministry. However, we urged him to understand that your virtue. character and position are beyond human comprehension.
As Dileepa is a very nice young man who demonstrated respect for the workers and our meetings, we had a lot of hope that he would profess. We were optimistic that as a young couple who are among the extremely few young people in the fold in Sri lanka today, they would have an open home for God's servants. Such open homes and love for God's way was a hallmark of four previous generations of our immediate family before Mahishka.
In this context, Mahishka and Dileepa enjoyed the fellowship of Benny and Johanne, whom they invited to their home for dinner with great love and respect even though their home was not quite ready for visitors.
However, we see that you do not want to accommodate those you judge as sinners like Mahishka and Dileepa in the fold in Sri Lanka. This is probably due to the fact that you see a lot of potential in a multitude of spotless souls across the country who are waiting to hear you .
As such, we humbly comply with your wishes with unquestioning obedience and reverence to you. We acknowledge you as the Chief Representative of God and Gate-keeper to heaven, for us poor sinners in this poverty stricken island.
We will continue to get strength , encouragement and guidance from your eloquent sermons and exemplary life . We count it a great privilege that you have come as the saviour of our country.
With wishes for continued peace, joy and prosperity
Colombo, Sri Lanka
30 August, 2016
Sent: 30/08/2016 07:24
To: Manique mendis
Cc: Peter Morrison, et al
Subject: Re: Greetings from Manique Mendis
The verse that came to my mind after reading your missive was what our Lord and Master said "Blessed are ye when men shall revile and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in Heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
Central Address: Postal Address:
134/2A Stanley Tillekeratne Mw, P.O. Box 11
Nugegoda, 10250 Nugegoda 10250
SRI LANKA SRI LANKA
Balangoda: Benjamin Minnaar
Kandy: Rochelle Jayesinghe
Periya Kallar & Batticaloa:
Andrew Melville - Home Visit
Elaine Parsons – Home Visit
Mary David – Resting
Jocelyn Dippie – Care of health, New Zealand.
John Blair, aged 89.5, passed away on September 17, 2017. He was born in New Zealand in 1927; started in the work in 1957; and went to Sri Lanka by ship in 1962. When Harry Morgan died in 1988, John succeeded him as Overseer until around 2013-14, when he retired due to health in Sri Lanka where he lived until the end of his life.
The funeral service was conducted by Andrew Melville and Bennie Minnar. He was buried in the Borella General Cemetery (Kanatta). Pallbearers were: Andrew Blair, Ken Blair, Andrew Melville, Bennie Minnaar, Maurice Wambeek (unavailable, and replaced by Rhikmal Soysa), Bandu Karunaratne, Lionel Silva and Mahim Mendis.
Click Here to view his photo
Compiled by Cherie Kropp-Ehrig