Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 13 Sept 2015
Delegation, Business Unit Approach and UN Report on War Crimes
The Sri Lankan Government has publicized its commitment to moving towards Zero Base Budgetary systems. This is part of a system based on Devolution of Power. If therefore we get the Zero Base Budgetary system right then we would use the system of Devolving Power to strengthen our self-sufficiency. Such achievement requires both sides to know their limits.
Recently, I had the experience of a local Electricity authority in Vaddukoddai demonstrating its difficulty to move towards Devolution of Power. I tried my best to act within their interpretation of the rules due to my respect for the Position they held – not only in terms of official structures and their priorities but also in terms of social status which motivates young ones to aim for such positions. As per my interpretation as a user – I could have acted to use the facility as per my interpretation – on ‘Customer is Right’ basis. But out of respect for the position that is seen to be part of the Government and its authority – I refrained from doing so and forewent my own comforts to do without electricity in our Seminar room. But later due to training Business personnel who have been funded by the UNDP – I had to interpret the law independent of the Authority and I connected from our office area – which is like connecting to one room from another in one home building. But the Electricity authority of that area took it as illegal connection and threatened to cut off our Electricity supply – which would have left us dysfunctional. I tried to help them ‘see’ from the Customer’s point of view – and explained that we WERE paying for the Electricity and that they were two rooms within the same building. When they continued to accuse me of illegality – I said ‘ok, you go ahead and disconnect; I will then take the matter to Court – including for Defamation for accusing me of illegality.’ Within hours two senior officers came to inspect the extension that was transparent and left without disconnecting. Until then they were like the blind men describing the elephant – each one as per the part he pictured as per the part he touched. I wrote to them – that there were three ways to interpret the law:
1. Subjective interpretation by the senior-most person to develop and maintain communication with the Public through the educational process. In such areas Saraswathi - the Goddess of Education is the Presiding Deity.
2. Bottom-up Independent interpretation for the purpose of particular outcome – including profitable outcome through Business approach which would tend to vary from (1) above and needs to be almost for least status and most money outcomes. Here Lakshmi the Goddess of Money Wealth is the Presiding Deity
3. Go to Courts and see how they interpret for their own purposes.
The UN report on war-crimes is in category 3 above. Going by my above experience – those in Northern Sri Lanka are largely in category 1 above. Those asking for Devolution need to be able to work as per category 2 above – which was the position I took in the above situation.
In his interview with Thamilthanthi – Mr. S.V.Kirupakaran of Tamil Center for Human Rights – France, declares that the war-crimes investigation at UN level was the consolation prize by the USA to eliminate with the help of India, China’s influence from Sri Lanka. One can identify with this to a degree. That is like the Judge in a Court of Law (category 3 above) punishing a lawyer or a lay litigant – who seems to not submit to the Judge but has her/his own interpretation of the law. Such lawyers and litigants would generally be of category 2 above.
If former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had moved towards Business approach and/or had genuinely devolved power and assisted those groups that declared their Independence / Sovereignty – to be self-sufficient – the war-crimes threat would not have happened. But then the question is whether the Devolved groups would have been any better off?
According to Indian Express on this matter ‘The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will be sending a lawyers’ team to the coming session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva at which the UN Human Rights High Commissioner’s report on war crimes allegedly committed in Sri Lanka is to be presented and acted upon.
TNA leader and Jaffna MP Mavai Senathirajah told Express on Saturday, that the team will be headed by Supreme Court Senior Counsel, M.A.Sumanthiran, who is also a fellow MP from Jaffna.
“A TNA delegation, as such, might be sent after reading the High Commissioner’s report and the Sri Lankan government’s response to it. The task of Sumanthiran and his team of lawyers will be to examine the High Commissioner’s report and the Lankan government’s reply, and chalk out a line on which the TNA leadership will base its final decision,” Senathirajah said.’
One needs to ask as to why Mr. Sumanthiran with credits in the Business of Law and not Mr. Wigneswaran with credits as a Judge upholding Policy? These are their true makeups. Minority powers need to rely on their Truth rather than position – when the matter goes out of their direct control.
In his above mentioned interview – Mr. S.V.Kirupakaran of Tamil Center for Human Rights – France states that ‘Since 2010 when TNPF declared itself independent of TNA - under the leadership of Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam - Tamil Nationalism has become Business issue for both groups’
True. But that is the way of Devolution. Vaddukkoddai Resolution was all about Self-Devolution – as per category 2 above. Our children do it all the time and we accept that. Unless juniors feel hopeful that they could step into the seniors’ shoes ( so long as they do not spoil their names ) – juniors would start looking for their own areas where they would be kings and queens and rightly so. Developing and maintaining that hope in young ones is the DUTY of a senior under category 1 above. Rebellions in Sri Lanka happened due to failure of seniors to develop this in their juniors. In Northern Sri Lanka – Political Leaders were not ready for Business Unit approach and hence were ‘taken-over’ by rebels who could ‘show’ outcomes by using brawn power.
TNPF – the group being criticized by this member of the Diaspora – Mr. Kirupakaran – (who is due to participate in a discussion this evening here in Sydney ) - is the best fit for Political Business structure. To my mind, it comes from the natural heritage of Mr. Gajendarakumar Ponnambalam – whose grandfather gave us the 50:50 Business solution which the Sri Lankan government is now moving towards slowly – largely due to International pressure.
Mr. Kirupakaran who himself criticizes TNPF – says that we Tamils are lacking in intellectual capacity but at the same time we accuse Sinhalese of lacking in Brain Power. In concluding the interview – Mr. Kirupakaran states that ‘we must accept whatever political solution we get and move on’. Such acceptance would effectively lead to ‘welfare’ status which would further isolate the Resident Tamil Community. This is the risk that TNA may subconsciously promote if it does not have definite plans of its own.
Mr. Wigneswaran would be a good candidate to lead the Tamil delegation to the UN because of his Distance from the Sri Lankan Government. Thinakkural reports that Mr. Wigneswaran said ‘I am not a politician. I had accepted the post of Chief Minister only to see that the war-affected people of the North get their due. I am not interested in anything else’. This confirms renunciation of Political advantage from the exercise and hence would make him more of an Observer – which he would have been to be a good Judge. This is also the strongest representation of Grassroots victims of war – being the parallel of Ms. Navi Pillai – a Tamil who would have accessed the Truth through natural forces. This connection is through our inner god – who then connects to the Universal God.
Most of us intuitively know that each one of us is Sovereign. In Hinduism our elders expressed this as the god within. When we are true to this god within – we realize our Sovereignty. That Sovereignty then communicates naturally with Universal Sovereignty. If therefore the Subjective system is that Big God – then Devolution and Business Unit approach works through the god within the individual/small group.
Tamil Customary laws have recognized this as Dowry and Heritage respectively. Dowry for the daughters and heritage for the sons. Those who are not able to hope to get to the higher positions – despite having the merit as per their parallels – would need to be facilitated to be answerable to their god only. That is the true basis of Devolution. This is the parallel of dowry to daughters. The condition of course is that once dowried, daughters must not exercise status above any member of the birth family. Our Vaddukoddai family is now going through this test on the basis of our claim that dowried daughters were not entitled to share of heritage and more importantly that they could not Administer sons of the family that gave them dowry.
A Devolved Unit therefore foregoes its authority to criticize the parent unit. This is necessary to form new relations through the husband’s family and in the case of Devolution – with wider society of Equal status. This happened in the case of Tamils through immigration to more Democratic nations. But often there is direct interference with the parent unit – through criticism of the process and/or attempts of enforcement. The parent unit in turn often fails to take Equal position but habitually tends to lead. Mr. Wigneswaran himself is guilty of this due to having come down to Provincial level from National level. At Provincial level he is answerable only to his Provincial god and not to National or International Deities. Lord Muruga renounced parental wealth to set up His own empire because he could not hope for the inherited leadership position and therefore lead others like Him with junior status.
Those who have found their own closures by completing the war experience through ‘ownership’ – would be self-governing within their own areas. They would not interfere with their parent units nor would they copy the very leaders whom they found fault with. Mr. Wigneswaran may have joined TNA on the basis of Devolution for Tamil areas. If true – within TNA this separation of powers needs to be demonstrated and Mr. Wigneswaran should not be interfered with in Provincial affairs which would include war-issues.
The war issue is not the sole-territory of National leaders within TNA. The internal structure of TNA needs to facilitate Devolution wherever there are groups capable of producing their independent outcomes. One who expects Devolution from Higher level must be ready to Devolve to junior level on merit basis. At Policy level, priority needs to be given to respecting and valuing those who found their own closures through their own god within.
The UN report would communicate diverse messages to various sections of Sri Lankan society. So long as we act on those parts applicable to us as per our own investments – we would use the report to identify with the International Community within us. Those who do not have an International god within – would find no real direct value in the report. Those who have already completed their closures – and learnt their lessons – would use it merely to confirm what they already know as ‘insiders’. Not many Sri Lankans are part of the Big god covering the whole – which includes many International Governments. So long as we keep accounting to our god within – we would not become another Middle East – a victim of money power.