Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 25 June 2015
Tamil national liberation movement flag flies over Geelong Trades Hall building. (Green Left Weekly)
Citizen is Right
It is understandable that Governments would have anxieties when faced with strong opposition – especially from those who are culturally different to the majority in government. It is understandable that towards protecting the position of Government, a Government would from time to time introduce laws to warn and/or punish citizens so we would travel along the Common pathway. At the fundamental level, the cultural principles and values of most communities would be within those Common Laws. Government of a multicultural society therefore has to ensure that such laws are not in breach of the fundamentals of those community values.
Unless these laws are carefully implemented – they could damage the very Governance power that they are claimed to protect. Every self-governing person adds strength to Governance of the Nation. I explain my discovery in this regard, as follows :
‘Given that Australian Government has embraced the Policy of Equal Opportunity – my shareholdings in Governance through Self-Governance happened largely due to Publicly funded enterprises and Professionals who failed to uphold Equal Opportunity policies, despite the Government’s policy to do so, and yet I performed at the level of my professional standards – thus earning in real terms the equivalent of the benefits earned by a White Australian delivering that service. Had I reacted and reduced my work standards to match the benefits received – I would not have accumulated this ownership reserve which is the nucleus of Self-Governance. Sri Lankan rebels of both ethnicities reacted and hence failed to earn and accumulate this Self-Governance Reserve on behalf of the citizen. Hence they fought for Separation – Tamils for Separate State and Sinhalese for isolation. Gandhi did perform at the highest standards and hence he earned and accumulated those reserves and succeeded in Common ownership. ’ (Beyond Consciousness)
Be it in Sri Lanka or in Australia, majority race tends to be suspicious of minorities who portray Equality. In turn, minorities who are busy proving themselves to be ‘right’ miss out on the Opportunity to develop self-governance. Premature expressions of rights tend towards Separation instead of Self-Governance. To me Australian Tamils raising the Tamil Tiger flag is a way of mourning the death of their own work. This morning, I wrote to a majority Sinhalese group in this regard:
‘I am a Tamil and I am not for separation. But I do accept that there are some within the
Community who have had very little exposure to Sri Lankan Commonness. Likewise within
Sinhalese Community. They oppose each other.
The flag itself is symbolic of the group through whom they identify with their
Commonness. It has been nothing more than that to me. It's not different to the
Graduation Group photo of my husband's batch of Engineers, we have in our home.
Every morning my husband pays his respects to that University of Peradeniya through
that photo. When we are physically away - we tend to use such Memorabilia more than
when we are physically close to the place.
If a Sinhalese raised the JVP flag as part of the Memorial Service - that also would
have been acceptable to me - because I am NOT affected by external influences as much
as I am by my own Truth.
The lowest common measure is WORK. The more we value the work everyone has done and the sacrifices everyone has made – the less wars we would have. Most wars are due to selfishness to which the other side reacts. One Tamil asked:
[What is "Terrorism"?. No one has defined it in a way acceptable to everyone. IF I kill the "policeman" in an encounter it is "murder. IF the policeman kill me in an encounter it is not "murder". One is "legal" murder while the other is "illegal" murder. So, what is the definition for "murder"? No one investigates as to reason or cause which made me to kill the policeman" and then "pass" their verdict. "Birds of the same feather flock together"]
In other words – one rule for Government and another for the citizen. If Government proactively started off with the Citizen’s version as being right and then merged its own with it – that would be Affirmative Action and be confirmation of Equal Opportunity required in Democratic Government. That is the application of ‘Customer is Right’ principle. The past inequality is eliminated through this Affirmative Action at the beginning. From then on the platform is level.
Likewise where two Communities come to the Common Forum – the side that is close to Government needs to first facilitate the ‘other’ side to be heard in full – before adding its own to make a common conclusion. That is ideal in Democracy. But most majority forces don’t have that time for minority. If minority are guilty of violence – as the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) were considered to be – that violence needs to be negated but not the person/group itself. Eliminating the group and its positive contributions is the parallel of Death Sentence and therefore denial of Opportunity to eliminate the wrongs before coming to the common table. In any case, once the Sri Lankan Government accepted as part of itself – the LTTE leader of East – morally, it lost its authority to list LTTE as Terrorists. No Sri Lankan could thereafter legitimately claim that LTTE were Terrorists by Sri Lankan law. If they are – then the Government itself acted unlawfully and abused Global Authority of the UN for selfish purposes. These are important analyses that we need to undertake to identify with the Truth – so WE would be self-governing. When we are self-governing – the nation that we feel a part of is self-governing. There can be no better citizen than a self-governing citizen. Without this power of the citizen – the Government is Government, only at body level. It does not add lasting heritage value to the nation.
As explained above through my own experiences – if we accept reality and use the Opportunity to work at the highest standard known to us – we become self-governing. The more we do something because the whole is important to us – the stronger our self-governance power. This connects naturally to others and brings us the combined Energy when we need it. It is in the interests of Governments to promote this self-governance reserve and punish those who damage it in any way.
Australian Tamils who raise the Tiger flag in remembrance of their own loss are no threat to fellow Australians. We as a Community are finding our own way out of this mess. By prematurely condemning the mourning of our own losses where there has been no acts of violence against the Australian Public or the Australian Government – those doing so are killing our work values and disrespecting the sacrifices we made. Even if one member of our Australian Tamil Community has been genuinely robbed of her/his rightful earnings and savings – of Human Goodwill followed by status and money – there is just cause for us to mourn and heal.
The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination came about after the Sharpeville massacre. The Sharpeville gathering happened as a protest against pass-laws. Tamils who even expressed opposition were included in the Terrorists list by Sinhalese who played the Government’s role – as some White Australians also do from time to time. So long as the protest is peaceful – it is an expression of Self-Governance to protect one’s own intrinsic/ inalienable Sovereignty. This should however be within their own ‘privacy’ and not for ‘show’. When majority powers damage or disrespect such expressions – they weaken their own powers to Govern. The flag symbolizes nationalism and when it is flown in Australian territory it enriches Australian Sovereignty through Australian Tamils.