Wednesday 17 December 2014

PreviousFormer Prime Minister John Howard visits Martin Place to pay his respects
The Cost of Diversity

My heart is with the loved ones of Barrister Katrina Dawson and Lindt Café Manager Tori Johnson who both got killed during the battle to free hostages on 15 December 2014, at Martin Place, here in Sydney. They are about the ages of my children and as a mother I cannot even think about how I would feel if I lost one of mine during my life time.  When our family lost young ones in the Sri Lankan war – not because they were combatants but because of  civilian extremism on both sides – my heart went out to their mothers. I believe now – that when we feel with others in pain – we are protected from that anxiety  through God’s system of Oneness. I don’t need any external authority to certify me as Australian. When I feel with a fellow Australian not related  to me through family or workplace – and I feel as if I have experienced that pain myself,  it a confirmation that I am Australian. Likewise when I feel for a common Sri Lankan. This to me is true universal power  the realization of which is helped by globalization. These two young ones did not die in vain. They died so Australians would be more global. The more we sacrifice to include others – the greater our energy to protect global values and those who carry those values.

As per today’s news :

[Prime Minister Tony Abbott revealed more about Monis' background in his press briefing this morning.
What we do know is that the perpetrator was well known to State and Commonwealth authorities. He had a long history of violent crime, infatuation with extremism and mental instability. We know that he sent offensive letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan and was found guilty of offences related to this. We also know that he posted graphic extremist material online. As the siege unfolded yesterday, he sought to cloak his actions with the symbolism of the ISIL death cult.”]

If the offender was well known to the State and Commonwealth authorities and the authorities knew that the offender had posted graphic extremist material online, then why was he not kept within the observations of the authorities? Why did the authorities not work closely with the Muslim community to prevent this tragedy? In countries where there is freedom of movement and speech facilitated by law – one relies heavily on cultural management of specific problems affecting a community – so it does not become a common problem. The Australian Muslim community needs to take responsibility for the above deaths, to the extent they had the moral responsibility to discipline the offender within the community. One who takes advantage of Multiculturalism needs to take responsibility to contain problems specific to their community within those boundaries. That is the price one has to pay for enjoyment of Diversity.

Towards maintaining that diversity confirming community sovereignty, every community that considers itself to be self-governing – needs to publish its Balance Sheet – through respective  status allocated to its members by the community. The status elevated above common level must equal the status lost by other individuals from within the same community. That is how sovereignty / independence of a community is confirmed.

 If as reported by the media, the offender Mr. Haron Monis was a self-appointed cleric – there should have been specific evidence of downgrading by the Australian Muslim community – to dismiss such self-elevation by individuals who have not been accepted as leaders by that community.  Mr. Monis should have been ‘included’ by the good within the Muslim community instead being abandoned to the wider system and its complexities that cannot be easily comprehended even by the majority who have responsibility to Administer the whole.

A Sri Lankan of Sinhalese origin stated in this regard:

The reality is that the Muslims themselves have no control over their religion... the moment they become too influenced by their faith there's a bunch of lunatics who think they can demand Sharia compliance in non-Muslim nations... this is one reason why I have objected to halal, Sharia banking, Sharia courts etc... each step leads the people and non-Muslims towards what we have seen happening in Sydney...where armed men think they can rule over the Muslims and non-Muslims...therefore Muslims need to realize that every time they ask for more Muslim demands it leads to a state that has resulted in Sydney with time.”

I responded as follows on the basis of the information known to me at that time:

There was no ‘Muslim’ state influence in yesterday’s problem. It was very much confirmation of Australian health in terms of multiculturalism. The hijacker was an individual – with a very negative past.”

But after reading today’s news – especially the above comments by Prime Minister Abbott, I do feel that it is a community problem. Sri Lankans have not invested in Multiculturalism as much as Australians. Hence the above cannot be applied as is to the Sydney situation. But if we draw up a Balance Sheet for Sri Lanka who through her government claims  to be a Sovereign nation – the higher  status allocated to Buddhists through the Constitution comes from the reduction in status for other religions. Unless therefore there is high level of devolution in terms of religious management  -  any administrative involvement carries the high risk of  unjust discrimination by the majority power. Common belief/faith  is the basis of our authority and therefore status over others. If therefore common cultural belief is stronger than common national belief – then devolution is needed to preserve that belief which is a natural base for sovereignty.

In Australia – there is no religious preference shown in the Constitution or the common law. Hence those of us who operate at policy level – independent of subjects in leading positions – including that of the Prime Minister – would be naturally using the common path to find the reasons why. Our national belief would be at the highest common level due to our use of the common law rather than a subject with strong cultural affiliation.

Today when a minute’s silence was observed by the cricketers and their fans at the start of the Australia v India match – our family observed silence at home.  When the national anthems of both nations were sung – we stood up and participated quietly. I felt more emotional when the Australian National Anthem was sung – probably due to this week’s experience of the Martin Place tragedy which happened despite my investment in commonness. The  ‘status’ I demonstrated to my own mind – was equal to both nations. Cricket is a global sport which has helped Hindu India merge with Christian Australia – specifically because Cricket is global – using global laws and rules in a transparent way.

Within both sides there are  bound to be members who are more Hindu Indian or  Christian Australian respectively, than common cricketer.  But to the extent they play the game in the consciousness of the common laws governing cricket – they would not bring that out while playing cricket in a global environment. Even if they are not – if the majority power in the team is common – it would control the minorities naturally.

Therein lies the solution to the problems damaging our investment in Multiculturalism.  Those of us who feel common – need to elevate ourselves on the basis of our genuine investment – so that the separatists including in government would be defeated. To my mind, John Howard was a separatist when he was Prime Minister.   Hence we had Bali Bombing which cost more Australian lives. Having warned Mr. Howard in vain in 1999 – I felt then as I do now that Mr. Howard failed in his duty to discipline his cultural side of their excesses against a Common Australian such as myself.   Hence I did not feel anxiety but just sadness when the tragedy happened. I continue to pray at the Coogee Memorial for Bali Victims – including Indonesians. To me it was no coincidence that the loss happened in Hindu Bali – to balance the Christian partnership between Mr. Howard and Mr. Bush.  I have not seen Mr. Howard as a civilian at the Coogee Memorial. I saw his picture in the news reports – paying his respects to this week’s victims. The higher duty is to pay respect to Bali  Victims in Coogee which happened during Mr. Howard’s time as Prime Minister. One who owns would never forget. One who is always  conscious of  responsibility for the whole  has natural healing powers. That person is a Sovereign person.

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 17 December 2014

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