Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

21  August  2019


A Sri Lankan Tamil asked me here in Jaffna a s to why I had written the book ‘Jaffna is my Heritage and not my Dowry’. My immediate response was– ‘so others would not get cheated by relatives.’  I thought about it more later. I then realized that it was to preserve Jaffna’s Diversity. The importance attributed to higher education by the Jaffna People of my generation is confirmed by that intellectual analysis in support of Thesawalamai Law which also confirms diversity of Jaffna Tamils. It is by going through painful experience that I learnt to appreciate that Thesawalamai Law upholds gender based Equal Opportunity. As per my experience, once we experience freedom from discrimination on the basis of physical differences we are free of such ignorance through all forms of unjust discrimination – including in Sri Lanka’s case – race and religion based discrimination.
Diversity also separates. At first glance Diversity and unjust discrimination may seem the same. But diversity is rooted in tradition. In his Ceylon Today article headed ‘From Kovils to Devales’ Mr P K Balachandran presents as follows:

[However, empirically,  the Kovil-Devale dichotomy is not clear-cut, whether one looks at it from a contemporary perspective or from a historical perspective argues Sujatha Arundathi Meegama in her thesis submitted to the University of Berkley in 2011 titled From Kovils to Devales; patronage and influence at Buddhist and Hindu temples in Sri Lanka’]

As per my experience – the suppressed tend to invest more deeply in tradition as their savior. They cannot afford multiculturalism. The deeper the pain of discrimination the greater the tendency to withdraw into ‘specialty’. To go deep, one has to continue within the structures and laws that one has been supported to that stage. That is when one becomes that system and identifies with its strengths as well as weaknesses. The weaknesses that resulted in our pain would give us pain but when we become the system we also identify with the strengths in that system that would cure the weaknesses.
Genuine Pain due to true weaknesses is like meditation. Other pain is temporary and is easily discarded by a genuine seeker. Genuine pain takes us to the depth where root cause is. Yesterday, at Nallur temple, they sang the songs of Saint Nanthanar who was born into Pariah caste and yearned to ‘see’ Lord . His employer of high caste ends up taking lower relative to Nanthanar – who experienced the Grace of the Lord by seeking the Lord from outside the temple as per the caste based structure of that time. I melted when I listened and had the experience of the pain of ‘outcast’ most strongly at the University of NSW. Then singer Sriram Gangatharan who visited Australia from India – sang Nanthanar songs. I was in deep pain of alienation and hence identified with Nanthanar’s feelings. Even now when someone seems to alienate me I experience a bit of that pain but with sadness and no anxiety. That sadness is positive and cures the place.

Jaffna’s diversity is its protection from assimilation which results in losing connection with the roots. The Sunday Observer article headed ‘Provincial Councils, nothing more than another unwanted layer in politics!’ presents the following:

[Apart from the North and East, Provincial Councils have functioned in the rest of the country for over thirty years. If they had a real impact, these regions should have fared spectacularly better than the North and East which were also beset by war. That hasn’t happened either. So, the evidence appears to be mounting to the effect that Provincial Councils are nothing more than another unwanted layer in politics which allows politicians to throw their weight around at a different level at a cost of billions of rupees.]

In North & East –  Councils in leading temples and Churches have strongly influenced self-governance.  The Provincial Councils that came after – confirm and symbolize this Diverse Development. In Sri Lanka most of us govern through our belief in religion. So long as we pay our respects to the dominant religion in that region including by staying out of their areas where we have disagreement – we would enjoy natural harmony.
The Kovil-Devale dichotomy is not clear cut  to Buddhist leaders who assimilate politics with religion because they do not believe in either.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

17  August  2019


Yesterday at the hotel, my bag was checked by a lady security officer from the Prime Minister’s   team. I was satisfied that my complaint had been heard by whoever was responsible. My complaint was that the previous night my bag was checked by a male officer. After me was a family – and the lady said words to the effect ‘there is …. and some vibhoothi’ (holy powder). The accent said that they were Malaysian Tamils. The dynamics were different. The security officer seemed more official with them whereas with me the lady officer  was friendly in her attitude.

This morning I read the article ‘Diaspora not spared in Sri Lanka’ published by The following excerpt is of interest to me:

[Journalist from Norway arrested
The latest victim is a journalist from Norway, Mr Nadaraja Sethuruban. He attends the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and reports news concerning Sri Lanka to media in Norway and other countries. He visited Sri Lanka on 17th July to have his daughters ‘age attainment’ (puberty) ceremony in Jaffna. Unfortunately he was arrested on 3rd August by the Police in Point Pedro on a fabricated accusation and produced in a Court in Killinochi. He was remanded in the Jaffna prison and released on bail on 6th August.]
All those who take part in UN proceedings without strong institutional backing and speak out against a government that is accused of extra-judicial actions against citizens – need to expect such returns. I myself was so arrested in Australia for peaceful assembly against Central Administrators of the University of NSW.  One who is deeply affected will have the courage to face any injustice and establish the way of Dharma/Righteousness. So I do from time to time expect government officers to be hostile towards me. Unlike in Australia, here in Sri Lanka I am able to quietly communicate with most of them – for most at individual level do identify with me. In Australia only a few do. But in Australia more follow the law than do Sri Lankans.
As per the above article - Mr Nadaraja Sethuruban came to Jaffna to celebrate the puberty ceremony of his daughter. One of the false avenues through which members of the  Tamil Diaspora ‘show off’ their wealth is this puberty ceremony. The origin as per my understanding was to announce to the wider world that there was a young lady eligible for marriage. If Mr Nadaraja Sethuruban felt the need to so celebrate today – then one is entitled to conclude that his daughter is being groomed to live as a homebound home-maker for which he would need to give her a dowry. The introduction below to my book ‘Jaffna is my heritage and NOT dowry’  includes the note that as per Thesavalamai Customs of Jaffna Tamils Dowry does not include any liability but heritage does.

Those who continue to indiscriminately mix the money-making and home-making roles confirm lack of blessings from our ancestors in Northern Sri Lanka. I write practically every day and I am not backed by any group power. I rely on the universal power of truth. If I am genuine in serving Jaffna and Sri Lanka – the land looks after me. The first step is to position ourselves vis-à-vis the other party – as junior, senior or equal. So long as such positioning is true as per our conscience – it is the duty of the system of truth to deliver. One who goes to UN about unlawful conduct of Sri Lankan soldiers if s/he is genuine – would be a ‘foreigner’ if s/he is celebrating at family and community levels.
It is when we share in the pain of other Sri Lankans – that we are morally entitled to question those who seem to have caused that pain – as internals. The families of Sinhala soldiers who died in combat are entitled to the same honor as families of Tamil combatants who were in a disciplined armed group such as the LTTE.

The Island editorial headed ‘Drinking tea with suspects’ states as follows:
[The yahapalana leaders, came to power promising, among other things, legal action against those who they said had bribed the LTTE to engineer the 2005 polls boycott, but nobody has been sent to jail for that. President Maithripala Sirisena has started drinking tea with the Rajapaksas!]

That debt of honor created by the LTTE – became part of my group’s inheritance of Jaffna. If we settle the debt – through contributions to good governance during the period Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe – the victim of the 2005 coup – is in power – we clean Northern Sri Lanka and save it from sins that unsettled debts become. The fact that I happened to be here at North Gate by Jetwing hotel – when the PM was here – not once but twice – confirms that Jaffna is now free of that debt. We are now equals and so long as Mr Wickremesinghe is genuine about Jaffna – Jaffna will return his investment exponentially – including through Diaspora that is free of debt to Jaffna.

Tourism is important to Jaffna where many self-employed workers – starting with tuk-tuk drivers to hotels by Jetwing group are affected through violence including in Colombo. Orderly conduct by every citizen and visitor would make this a sustainable activity. Whether the Diaspora come as tourists or contributors – they need to ensure that they conduct themselves accordingly. Yesterday I noticed a couple of young scout guys in uniform chatting when the priest was chanting. After the main procession moved on from the spot – I walked up to the boys and said that they were in uniform and it was unbecoming of them to ‘chat’ when the priest was chanting. I said we needed to respect others’ work for us to develop our own employment opportunities. The boys nodded and I felt they had understood. They would if they considered me as a ‘senior’. I was satisfied by their response. The discipline that LTTE instilled does live through genuine workers. 

Friday, 16 August 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

16  August  2019

Common Security for the Prime Minister and  the Citizen

The tuk-tuk driver who brought me back to the hotel from Nallur temple asked me whether I would be checked when entering the hotel (North Gate by Jetwing) – which has been common residence for the Prime Minister and I over the past two days. I said I did not think so because they had so far not done so. Within a minute I was proven wrong. One security officer in the PM’s team said ‘bag’. The other looked at me and said ‘sorry madam we have to check your bag’. I opened the little sling bag for their inspection. The second officer took a quick look – and said it was ok. I was not in any way upset that I was put through the search process. What bothered me was the inconsistency. Whether such inconsistency is based on persons or time – it confirms lack of reliability in process. Yesterday’s with me was time based.  I was not checked before but I was checked last night and by male officer. They did not check the  body. They checked my personal bag. If I were a - terrorist – I would note this and carry any device on my body – as LTTE’s Thenmoli who killed India’s PM did. Where common belief is weak – our energies are channeled through narrow pathways of cleverness. If I were not common Sri Lankan – I would have beaten the Security Officer who initiated the search through clever game of ‘catch me if you can’. Where we know that the other is cleverer than us – we need to develop strong belief to influence the mind.

Yesterday, I wrote as follows about my previous night’s experience - in my article headed ‘Sri Lanka’s One God confirmed by the Elephant’ :

[During the festival, while I was listening to the Divine rendering by Prasanna Aiyer one of two little boys standing next to the Lion started talking. I was disturbed by these boys yesterday and hence decided to stand in front. They came after me and climbed up for vantage view. That was ok – so long as they were praying. But one of them kept talking and I turned around and said to him to be quiet during poojah. The mother said ‘he is a kulanthai/little child’ I turned back around and said to her in my mind – that if he was old enough for the authorities to ask him to remove his shirt – then he had the duty to be quiet during the ceremony.
That ‘talk’ I had with this mother was silent – mind to mind. To the extent of her own belief in Murugan she would have read my mind in her own form.]

Last night I went to the same spot where I had the above experience. A little later a lady carrying a little girl of about the same age as the above boy was standing in front of me. The little girl was asleep. I made way for the mother to sit on the Lion-platform where the boys stood the previous evening. One of my mind talks was that the mother of the boy who said her son was only a little child ought to have then carried him. I was therefore touched by the sight of this mother carrying the little girl.  The young mother declined the seat and continued to stand. Then the young mother started saying ‘I forget your exact name…..’ I then said ‘I am Gajalakshmi’. The young mother said ‘I could not make you out at first but when you smiled – I was sure it was you’. Then the penny dropped! This young lady was the one who in 2010 alerted me during Nallur festival procession  that I had not taken off the ‘sleeves’ pinned to the top I was wearing. The practice here is to pin  the sleeves to the back – so we had the option of wearing it as sleeveless or with sleeves. I was new to that practice and hence did not notice the sleeves. I asked the young lady to take it off for me and she did. I felt a surge of appreciation that this young lady cared about me to alert me. The following day I waited for her and gave her my business card. Her name is Kavitha. I did think often about Kavitha when I went around Nallur temple this time also. It’s like an anniversary to remember that I had caring extended family in Jaffna. Yesterday Kavitha came to the spot to confirm that I had been ‘right’ in disciplining the boy and his mother who was of about the same age as Kavitha. The boy came yesterday – but with an older looking lady who left him on the Lion platform and went to stay at a distance. The little boy prayed for a little while and later when he started playing – I tapped him on his back and said ‘be quiet and pray’. The boy listened and followed. I thought to myself that that was because his pampering mother was not with him.

If Jaffna mothers had been as disciplined as Kavitha who is a teacher – our investment in education would have been better preserved. Order in Due Processes confirm the heritage that we carry within us. It was the disorder in Jaffna Courts that led me to write my book ‘Jaffna is my heritage and not dowry’. This means I inherit the liabilities with any assets residual after the previous structure changed.

I read in news that the war-time President – Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa had stated that LTTE leader was highly disciplined. But both – the LTTE leader and President Rajapaksa lacked investment in intellectual discipline. Now there are reports in intellectual circles that inequality and mental illness are connected. Those of us who fought against intellectual inequality outside merit become strongly balanced mentally. But it must not be used selfishly if it is to benefit our whole environment.
It is this sharing that was lacking in the government which lacked common belief in lawful (intellectual) governance. Usually belief happens through the express pathway when we suffer together. That I believe is what really protects me in Sri Lanka and particularly in Jaffna where the education system is the worst affected common victim of war. Through this article written in Jaffna – I belief I am making strong contribution to repairing and restoring that system. It is the duty to of the Prime Minister to open the channels of listening to such folks whose belief actually protects the good governor. If he is indifferent to it – and the believer in commonness hurts – he would become the victim due to lack of belief.  To the extent the security is for him – it ought to be also for the citizen in the PM. Hence the PM ought to not have more than the citizen in him. Then Belief will naturally take care of the PM through the citizen in him.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

15  August  2019

UNP Blessed in Northern Sri Lanka
I was happy that I was able to find a place in the front row to mentally participate in the poojah/altar ceremony at Nallur temple, in Northern Sri Lanka. All priests were in black veshti with gold border. Nallur Murugan is known as Alangkara (decorative) Kanthan. We had to make way for the vehicles carrying the Lord. Each day there is a different vehicle. When I noted that yesterday it was my mind said ‘Oh! Yaanai/Elephant’ . I really melted because I was happy that UNP Government ministers were in Jaffna in support of Development work. To me it was no coincidence that they were staying at the same hotel as I – North Gate by Jetwing. This happened in February this year also.
Yesterday was more special because it was elephant vehicle. As per my realization the vehicles are the opposite of divine qualities personified inside the altar.  Lord Murugan personifies beauty without any ego. His usual vehicle – the Peacock personifies pride  - as in proud as a peacock. Yesterday the elephant – the most intellectual of all animals – became the vehicle of Lord Muruga who preached to His father at Swami Malai/Hill. The symbol of United National Party (UNP) is also the elephant. It could not have been planned and to me – a believer in both – Nallur Murugan and true Good Governance – it was no coincidence but auspicious wscommonness.
During the festival, while I was listening to the Divine rendering by Prasanna Aiyer one of two little boys standing next to the Lion started talking. I was disturbed by these boys yesterday and hence decided to stand in front. They came after me and climbed up for vantage view. That was ok – so long as they were praying. But one of them kept talking and I turned around and said to him to be quiet during poojah. The mother said ‘he is a kulanthai/little child’ I turned back around and said to her in my mind – that if he was old enough for the authorities to ask him to remove his shirt – then he had the duty to be quiet during the ceremony.
That ‘talk’ I had with this mother was silent – mind to mind. To the extent of her own belief in Murugan she would have read my mind in her own form. This is a better way than openly engaging with her and disturbing the environment. But it did bother mather prae that this Tamil mother was lacking in respect for others’ privacy of mind – as facilitated by common rules. In our home in Jaffna – when our father prayed – all of us would be very quiet. I believe that it is one way of paying our respects to the Lord invoked by prayers. I appreciate that some do come to the temple for entertainment. But then they ought to keep their distance from the ceremonial environment. For myself I focus with the priest who performs the main poojah; the guys who carry the Lord on their shoulders; the musicians and most importantly the fellow devotees who are focused in the ceremonies. The guys carrying the Lord have big lumps on the back of their necks. But they seem to be natural about it. Unless they are focused – they would disturb their fellow workers and also distract others including the priests. That is what came to my mind when I saw this picture this morning:
Back at the hotel, I asked the security officers near the lift, whether it was ok for me to use the lift. The guy said ‘of course’. I had in my palm – one of the flowers from the poojah that fell on me. On the first day I gave one to the tuk-tuk driver who has been reliable. Yesterday, I thought of giving it to the Prime Minister under whose leadership Jaffna has progressed into better order. Whether UNP returns to power as government or not depends on how the People identify with them. But this UNP government has earned our ‘thank you’. So, like Poosala Nayanar – who built in his heart and mind a temple for Lord Shiva – following the laws of temple construction – step by step – I became the governor needed by Jaffna. I had in hand the flower from the poojah – to be given to the Prime Minister. The PM was not to be seen but just as I was about to step into the lift –Mrs Vijayakala Maheswaran – State Minister for Education stepped out of the lift. I already had knowledge that the lady was a Shridi Baba devotee and hence felt commonness. I gave the lady the flower and asked her to give it to the PM – stating it was from Nallur Murugan. I stated also that the vahanam / vehicle was Elephant. One of the guys in the group – beamed – appreciating the significance.

The Lord answers the prayers of true devotees – who when they provide selfless service – become the Lord’s media.  I was happy to become that messenger for UNP yesterday. It was also full moon Poya day where in Kandy – Buddhists were celebrating Randoli Perehera which is presented by Wikipedia as follows:

[The Randoli Perahera begins after five nights of the Kumbal Perahera. Randoli refers to palanquins on which the Queens of the ruling Kings traditionally traveled]
UNP deserved blessings of gods for working towards commonness. They received it in Jaffna.The News First reported ‘A number of foreign nationals have also arrived in Kandy to witness Asia’s most colourful pageant.

To me Alangkara Kanthan is most decorative and loveable. Many foreigners come to Nallur festival every night of the festival. The men respectfully take off their shirts and all of them follow the rule – not to take photos inside the temple. If the reports about security are reliable  - those in Kandy must have been more anxious than those in Nallur. Thank you Swami for curing us.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

14  August  2019

Military Rule is Foreign Rule in Democracy

I ran and caught up with Prassanna Aiyer – the priest who sings the praise of Lord Murugan at Nallur. When this priest sings it melts my heart. I completed the experience by expressing appreciation. To me, having that experience is confirmation that I am self-governing at Nallur. I was able to because my own mind was not concerned about security risks. The government that facilitated this has my vote of thanks. It is that vote that would promote all responsible to the higher level of governance, including through elections but not limited to elections.

To listen to that Divine music in a crowded area, one needs strong focus. Initially I tended to discipline those around me who were noisy. But yesterday, after sharing my appreciation,  I was able to focus above the noise. All genuine devotees facilitate that kind of experience. To me that is the specialty of festivals. At Nallur, I was able to self-govern more than in previous years. To me that is the value we have derived from the current government.

My attention was drawn today, to the letter written by Ms Ahimsa Wickrematunge, the daughter of slain journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in which the lady states as follows:

[Yesterday, in a political speech, you referred to my father, and your close friend, Lasantha Wickrematunge, who was murdered on 8th January 2009. Responding to a claim by Gotabaya Rajapaksa that as president, he would create an environment without fear, you asked whether Rajapaksa would apologise for my father’s murder and several other gruesome crimes.
Let me put your mind at ease. No. Gotabaya Rajapaksa will never apologise for my father’s murder]
As a journalist, Mr Wickrematunge would have appreciated the greater level of self-governance enjoyed by the media under this government – largely due to Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe’s leadership. It’s not something that one needs to prove. Every true journalist would naturally identify with  it. Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe would have known that Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa would not. It was the responsibility of the then President and hence the question now that Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa is seeking to hold that position. Many leaders including LTTE leaders were responsible for the killing of Mr Wickrematunge – the journalist.

Many years ago, I was caught between the crowd and the group carrying the idol of Lord Muruga on their shoulders on Theertham (Holy bathing) day. One of the guys carrying Swami felt anxious for me and said ‘why did you come into this area?’. I shouted back at him words to the effect ‘you ought to have cordoned off this area’. He facilitated for me to move out. The main reason for that problem was the unruly behavior of young guys who messed about in the Kerni (water tank) area and this resulted in the priest getting pushed into the water. When a small group become strongly violent – it affects all of us and all of us have to pay our own price to redeem good order that we enjoyed before. This is highlighted by Ms Ahimsa as follows:

[In television interviews over the last 10 years, he has made no secret of the fact that he was proud of it. He has made up his mind not to apologise. But have you, Prime Minister? Will you apologise for spending the last four and a half years protecting and cavorting with the man you today call a mass murderer?
From the day my father died, you have invoked his name to win votes. My father’s murder was a prop in the 2015 presidential and parliamentary election campaigns that made you Prime Minister. You brought President Sirisena to power and won control of Parliament for the UNP, all by promising justice for my father’s murder. As soon as you came to power, your priorities changed. When I met you at Temple Trees in February 2015 to appeal for your support in making sure my father’s killers saw justice, you told me that there were “other priorities” and that justice was “not just about Lasantha.”
Lasantha, as a true journalist has earned a permanent place as a positive contributor to Press Freedom. Many others including politicians added their own contributions to self-governance to redeem the media from its imprisonment. Punishing through the Administrative process would have been difficult due to lack of evidence. If Mr Wickremesinghe had focused on punishing Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as an individual that would have been unfair to all others who lost loved ones in the war for the simple reason that they were doing their jobs. That is NOT why Mr Wickremesinghe got the mandate to be democratic PM.

Whether it is Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa or Mr Wickremesinghe – as leaders – they have the duty to address any matter at ‘issue level’. The fact that Ms Ahimsa is intensely active at this time – confirms to me that the lady is also using the political pathway. As they say  In  politics - there are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends, only permanent interests.
The way I see it – successful politics is about belief based emotions. One does not need to think logically and yet a belief based vote would be perfectly logical to the mind that cast it. Hence politician or voter needs  to focus  above the background noise – to identify with the issue that is most important to her/him. To me this is self-governance in Sri Lanka and so far my prayers have been answered because I have done my best before seeking the Lord’s blessings.  
The Island’s editorial under the heading ‘Elephantine turmoil’ concludes as follows:

[Many were those who expected Gotabaya Rajapaksa to come under a hail of barbs from Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, after being declared the SLPP presidential candidate. There is no love lost between them.
Fonseka has acted with restraint—for once. He says the SLPP has given priority to the task of safeguarding national security, and that was why Gotabaya was chosen to run for President. Curiously, he refrained from launching into a diatribe against Gotabaya.

True, national security is Gotabaya’s long suit and he earned a name for himself mostly as an efficient Defence Secretary. Fonseka would have us believe that Gotabaya’s security background is the sole reason why the SLPP has named him its presidential candidate. Reading between the lines, one sees the Field Marshal’s point which he has chosen to leave unstressed; the UNP, he seems to say, has to convince the public that it is also serious about national security. How could it do so? It, too, has to field, as its presidential candidate, someone with the same background as Gotabaya. Only Fonseka fits the bill! (Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is also a former soldier, but he has not fought any war.) Fonseka told the media, yesterday, that he was willing to run for President!
The UNP may not be able to secure the backing of enough voters to win elections, but it does not seem to be short of presidential hopefuls!].

The editor confirms his desire for an armed fight which these personalities are capable of invoking. The permanent interests of true journalists ought to be to prevent armed fighting by continuously raising the problems to the level of intellectual fighting.

The positives for UNP through Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s nomination is that all Sri Lankans who reject war – would reject Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa just as they rejected Mr Fonseka in 2010.Northern Sri Lankans rejected Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa by voting for Mr Fonseka. But more to the point – majority  did not participate in elections – confirming their pain due to the war. When participation in voting is low, the risk of separation from politics is high. One needs to become a member in politics to have a political say in-between elections. That participation was pretty low in Jaffna for the 2010 elections . From around 26% this rose to 66% in 2015 Presidential elections.  If this has risen now – then the government that developed this participation is the winner of ‘Uniting Sri Lanka’ program. Weaning Jaffna Tamils out of war is a full-time job.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

13  August  2019

Hindu Muslim Unity

Most of us like to think that ‘Love  at first sight’ is true. The Hindu example is in the epic Ramayanam – through divine couple - Rama & Seetha. To my mind, Déjà Vu experiences happen when our previous experience was true and we are currently in a parallel deep experience. In a way, growing up in a culture that believes in horoscopes and having had the personal experience of my horoscope readings ‘happening’ from time to time, I do believe in Déjà vu experiences. But yesterday, I was surprised by the discovery of many common  features between Myanmar and Sri Lanka – which to  me was not time based but place based. Time and Place are change agents and if we freeze one we are better able to read the influence of the other. Déjà vu as we know it freezes the place/person and confirms having had the experience at a previous time. But yesterday’s discovery was by freezing time through which two places seem to have had déjà vu experiences at the one time.
This identification may have happened due to my deeper than usual appreciation of my mother when we were in Jaffna. My mother was born and groomed in Burma and was always appreciative of her grandfather A M Pillai who according to my mother was the truly great common head of an extended family. According to my mother – Great Grandfather A M Pillai continued to support education in Jaffna – after migrating to Burma. Staying at North Gate by Jetwing – a few blocks away from our ancestral home (rented by us) in Jaffna – I do meditate on my mother and the difficulties that my mother endured to educate us. This could have taken me to the depths of my common ancestry and hence the discovery about Burma in relation to ethnic minorities. I recall also – the dream-vision  in which I was asked by Shridi Baba ( Hindu-Muslim Saint) to help Tamils and Muslims. That led me to begin a petition to release pro-LTTE persons held in custody by Australian government under terrorism charges. They were released thereafter and I thanked Shridi Baba. I have shared this through my books. Back then when I shared this with my mother – my mother said that my Great Grandfather A M Pillai believed in Shridi Baba and gave preference to employing Muslims in his commercial enterprise. This morning I felt that the Burma connection to Lanka was brought to my attention through my faith in my Great Grandfather.

I asked myself why it was important to know this commonness? The timing gave me the indicator. The Rajapaksa regime is trying to create false déjà vu picture – by fielding war time team’s army personality Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as their Presidential candidate. The evening before my premonition – I prayed  to Nallur Murugan - for continued Peace in Sri Lanka – so we could experience the beauty of Jaffna the way we are doing now. Yes, we do get searched by uniformed officers before entering temple premises but we know one to one – that the officers do not suspect us – as they did previously. I was happy with myself that I felt that way and also that I was able to pray for Sri Lanka as a whole. This is possible only when we limit ourselves to Opposition and not become enemies.  

As Opposition we see a side that the other side does not see. As enemies we do not recognize one picture but two different opposing pictures.

This morning my attention was drawn to communication from - PEARL (People for Equality and Relief in Lanka which  uses research, advocacy, & activism towards protecting  the human rights of Tamil people in the North-East of Sri Lanka. 

As per their stated mandate, the above group is the Opposition of the government because it sees the side that the government does not see.
The heading of the communication was ‘Black July: Remembering The Genocide, 36 Years On’. One paragraph presented the following picture:

Understanding Black July As Premeditated 

Ahead of Black July commemorations, we launched a thread deconstructing the events that "sparked" the anti-Tamil pogroms. The often-repeated myth around the pogroms conveniently reduces the violence to a reaction by Sinhala mobs to the LTTE's attack on 13 Sri Lankan soldiers. Through analyzing newspaper reports months leading up to Black July, our thread exposes the degree of state-inflicted violence against Tamils at the time. It becomes wildly apparent that Black July was a well-planned, coordinated genocide against Tamils.
As documented previously – I had a dilemma in 2009 – when I was waiting for clearance to help the victims in war camps. It was important for me to know which side was more wrong than the other – so that my healing energies were channeled accordingly. I was praying during group prayers at Sathya Sai Baba Center at Barnes Place, Colombo. Then a question came to my mind – as to who was more at fault and the response was the 13 soldiers incident. At that time a flower from the picture at the altar fell and I took it as true direction that I needed. I believe that the success of my service to help the needy – was primarily due to truth within me. As a law abiding citizen, I would not have disrespected a uniformed officer. I would have fought against such an officer – as I do all the time at my levels – but not insult her/him. If one side was more wrong – then I would respect them less.  The above indicator helped me identify that the LTTE was at fault in this case. The direct accounts I heard later in Vavuniya from those who were recruited by force and were fleeing to save themselves confirmed the above picture.

LTTE celebrates as heroes those who died in combat. That is their work-Dharma/Ethics. Those who die are raised to Divine level where they have absolute value. At that level they have no ethnicity. By treating them differently to the Tamil soldiers who died in combat – LTTE invoked their disorderly conduct against which the LTTE claimed to fight. Once we invoke the dead – the common negative is invoked indiscriminately. Hence the fighting at that level went into a loop. Rights and wrongs using current measures become punniyam (virtues) and Paavam (sins) beyond their current environment.
To be true opposition – Tamil groups need to take close to 50% involvement. This is not in numbers but equaling the government’s side by work and sacrifices. Minorities who sacrifice more become more powerful than their parallel numbers in majority group. This is the basis of meditation. It takes us close to absolute value.

If majority Tamils seek to have war – then they would vote for Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. In a way in 2005 when LTTE influenced Tamils not to vote in the Presidential elections, was to disenfranchise the Tamil community and to continue with military governance. That failure on the part of Tamils would continue to travel with us like debilitated Saturn in the horoscope. This can be offset by valuing those who were opposed to armed combat but continued to oppose through quieter pathways.
If majority Tamils seek ‘no more war’ they need to invest more in intellectual  pathways. Attachment to the past takes us backwards and history is likely to repeat itself. Where Tamil-Muslim unity is strongly demonstrated – then even Mr Gotabhaya Rajpaksa would become like Mr Sirisena. The simple reason is the 19th Amendment to the Constitution through which many intellectual Sri Lankans invoked the blessings of  pre-war leader leaders. Intellectual leadership is closer to absolute value than armed leadership is.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
12 August  2019

Aung San Suu Kyi & Lanka’s Common Presidential Candidate

For the first time in my life I was searched by Officers before entering the grounds of Nallur Temple  in Northern Sri Lanka, where we are celebrating the glory of Nallur Murugan. I was happy about it. I was satisfied to note that male uniformed officers who were mostly Sinhalese also demonstrated respect for majority rule at that place and were without their shirts  in the temple. I was most impressed by Sinhalese civilians doing likewise. This is NOT a rule down South at Kathirgamam where even the Sinhalese priests are in their cultural attire which includes long top. Our prayers, language and clothing may be diverse but genuine faith is One. I felt that this ‘experience’ was the real reward for my work in discussing and debating the lack of logic in article 9 of the Sri Lankan Constitution – which requires Buddhism to be given ‘foremost’ place. In real terms it was Hinduism that was given foremost place in Jaffna where Nallur was the capital of Jaffna Kingdom. True believers invoke this power of Nallur as per their needs. Those who use that history to claim current benefits would be defeated by that very power that blesses believers.

This morning when I read the communication that directed me to the article headed ‘What Happened to Aung San Suu Kyi’ by Ben Rhodes of the Atlantic – I identified with many common aspects of Myanmar with Sri Lanka – starting with Theravada Buddhism being the dominant religion and Muslims being persecuted on the basis that they came from Bangladesh (the parallel for Sri Lankan Tamils is that they came from India). Other interesting commonness is Arakan (one driven by physical force – in Tamil) and of the category of King Ravanan of  Ceylon / Sri Lanka. About this area Ava / Arakan which was known also as Ratanapura Wikipedia states as follows:
[Another theory states that it is derived from Innawa - meaning "nine lakes" in the area. The city's classical name in Pali is Ratanapura ("City of Gems")].

The commonness with Sri Lanka is the Gem city  of Ratnapura.
Both governments are pro-China and are strongly controlled/influenced by the Army.
The most interesting political commonness is Aung San Suu Kyi whose Sri Lankan parallel is the combined version of Mr Sirisena and Mr Wickremesinghe – during whose regime – Muslims have experienced conflict with Buddhists. Colombo Page reports as follows about Mr Wickremesinghe’s latest statement:

[The Prime Minister pointed out that Rajapaksa regime, which was in power for 10 years, could not develop the country and although they have changed clothes and returned once again, same old ways will prevail. He asked how they could fix the economy in the next five years if they failed to do so during the ten years of their rule.]

Now that Mr Gotabhya Rajapaksa has been named as the Rajapaksa side’s Presidential candidate – economic development becomes secondary to development of armed forces. Together – Sri Lanka’s Aung San Suu Kyi (Mr Sirisena + Mr Wickremesinghe) have played politics with the common candidate position. It takes sacrifice to develop commonness. Ravana Satellite-1 was launched in April by Sri Lankans. This was closely followed by the Easter attacks.

Ravana was clever but he desired ‘foreign’ queen Seetha – Rama’s wife. The parallel of that is Mr Gotabhaya Rjapaksa who desired American citizenship but renounced it when he thought he could be king of Lanka – like Ravanan. Believers in Sri Lanka would be able to identify with this commonness and would be protected by their belief in the whole. Those who are distracted by ‘showing’ economic prosperity would continue to divide.