Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 10 Sept 2015
Obama & Sampanthan
As per published reports – the 50:50 (50% for the Sinhalese, 50% for all other ethnic groups) – proposal by Tamil Political Leader G.G. Ponnambalam– in the language of his times was rejected by ‘British Governor General Lord Soulbury as a "mockery of democracy". As per the system of Democracy, decisions are made through majority vote at two levels – at the primary level by general voters and at the tertiary level by Governors. In a Sovereign group one would represent the other.
Between the two votes the latter is expected to use Common Administration to think on behalf of the whole. If there is no participation in developing the Common Pathway from votes to law-making – usually through reliable Administration and Management - then that group gets disenfranchised. That which is General needs to become Common to confirm Good Governance.
If a group continues to participate in Governance through the little spaces it has then Divine Intervention happens to uphold that minority group’s Truth.
Buddhism as the State religion was Constitutionalized by Sri Lankan Buddhists as follows:
9. The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).]
The parallel of this in terms of Language is:
18. (1) The Official Language of Sri Lanka shall be Sinhala.
(2) Tamil shall also be an official language.
(3) English shall be the link language.
(4) Parliament shall by law provide for the implementation of the provisions of this Chapter].
Like Traffic Laws and Rules, each one of us would interpret the above as per our own needs. So long as there is no accident / conflict – such interpretations would work in harmony. But there is a higher purpose of these Laws that we often do not give recognition to. That is the ‘mind-connection’. If the above provisions in the Constitution were introduced by minds that were driven by majority rule as General Voters and not as Common Governors, then the very presence of these provisions would separate where the other side believes that any pain and/or loss happened due to discrimination on the basis of the above factors. If one were not aware of such Differences – one would attribute some other reason. That is the science of the brain.
In his Colombo Telegraph article ‘Electing Obama & Selecting Sampanthan’ Mr. Dinesh Dodamgoda who is described in social records as - a Fulbright scholar, a lawyer, M.Sc. - RMCS, Shrivenham (Cranfield University) on Defence Management and Global Security, former MP, Civil Society Activist, asks:
‘There is no doubt that leading the opposition by a minority Tamil leader in a country which has a Sinhala-Buddhist majority is a victory of Pluralism. However, is it really a victory of pluralism similar to electing Mr. Barak Obama as the President of the United States by the American democracy?’
My response is that the Sri Lankan outcome is in fact a Higher outcome through Natural Forces than that of Mr. Obama’s Presidency. Most of us recognize – that the Buddhist clergy have been strongly influencing the current outcomes. If even one member of the Minority races believed in Lord Buddha such person would have invoked the Buddha in this clergy and Buddha in turn would have invoked the provisions of article 9 to award the person who upheld the above provisions AS A DUTY – the position of Head of State. I believe I did; not just during these elections – but since 2009 when I had to work the ‘Buddhist’ system to go to the camps without pleasing the officers in charge – which to me is a form of bribe. I believe I am Sri Lankan and I believe in Buddha. That is all that is needed to work the Buddhist system. Hence if one must blame someone for the current outcomes – blame the Buddhist Clergy in Politics.
If Sri Lankan Public Service is Democratic – a practitioner of Democracy would be able to invoke Democracy in the officers in the system. Given that it is not – including in Jaffna – one has to resort to the investment one has in Common with them or risk becoming victims of their Subjective power. This is true also of Australia but to a much lesser degree due to conscious investment in Democracy at Government level. I expect such to be the case with USA also. The above mentioned comparison by Mr Dodamgoda and others like him, therefore is without common base – confirming the need of Tamils for Sri Lanka to be Democratic.
Our thoughts need to be channeled through Common Principles and Values – of which Truth is of the highest Order. Those connected to their Truth – would connect naturally with others – often without knowing those other/s. That is the value of Common Laws and Rules. One who follows the road rules and respects the laws they flow from, would naturally be connected to the minds of others like her/himself. Hence before judging whether someone is right or wrong – we must ask ourselves as to which system we are assessing them through? Unless we have official position – which Mr. Dodamgoda does not have in this instance – we need to believe that we have invested more in that system than the one being assessed/judged. Otherwise we get the return karma if the other side is innocent.
Right now there is active Debate on the lawfulness of Australia joining American Leadership in bombing Syria to save civilians. Did we have such debate in relation to Tamil Sri Lankans? NO . How can someone with conscience compare the two leaderships – as if Tamils are as rich and influential as Americans?
Leaving alone all else and taking Mr. Sampanthan as a Sri Lankan and the Parliamentary Leadership position as being Equally available to all Sri Lankans through Due Processes – the outcomes confirm that he achieved it on the basis of Truth – after following Due process. It is the duty of every society that we are part of, to confirm valuation of the contribution made by its members. As per my assessment, on merit basis Mr. Sampanthan is not second to Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe or Mr. Maithripala Sirisena. Mr. Dodamgoda has not pointed to any such deficiencies. Former President Mr. Rajapaksa on the other hand has been clearly proven to be seriously lacking in merit to work a Democratic system of Governance. Not so Mr. Sampanthan.
If therefore the likes of Mr. Dodamgoda have their way – no non-Sinhalese would be Prime Minister of Sri Lanka - the way Sri Lanka is today with its heightened ethnic divisions. THAT is NOT Democracy. Americans learnt their lessons, including through 9/11 suffering and developed the current system to suit their investments in Common. This has been confirmed by Mr. Obama being elected to the position of President. It did not happen overnight. One day a non-White Australian would be Prime Minister of Australia if we continue to invest genuinely in Democracy. Multiculturalism / Pluralism – is a strong base for Democracy and at social level – we Sri Lankans have been investing in Multiculturalism in many ways. But when it comes to ‘Benefits’ that can be had without giving form to this investment – we pick the easy way and hence the separatism on all sides. Without Tamils as Equal Opposition – it would be extremely difficult to work Sri Lanka under a Unitary system.
If Mr. Sampanthan is denied his earned position as Leader of the Opposition – then Sri Lanka would repeat the 1977 riots and effectively witness the repetition of 1983 resignation of Tamil Political Leaders rejecting the changes to Law to suit majority race and effectively blaming Tamils for Separatism. Tamils reacted to the effects of the Separatism by Law – introduced by Sinhalese Leaders. As stated above – one who ‘judges’ another must be less guilty than the one being judged.
Ultimately Truth will prevail – so long as we Believe in our Sovereignty through one path or the other. Mr. Sampanthan has personally crowned his Political career at the age of 82 due to his Truth as well as the belief other self-governors like myself have in him. It was the duty of the Tamil Community to demonstrate this appreciation for the continued leadership provided by Mr. Sampanthan under very difficult circumstances. The truly self-governing would continue to add value to Sri Lanka – whichever system may be ‘shown’. We may Bend when there is a need but we do not Break.