Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 27 March 2016
Lifestyle Choices by Jaffna – their Sovereign right?
While higher thinking Sri Lankan Tamils are struggling to develop a strong common pathway through which Tamils could uphold their diversity – one is often tempted by ‘quick’ money – including through aid. A simple example that comes to mind – is the ‘gifting’ of fancy mobile phones by emigrants to locals - in Thunaivi – a village of majority low caste Tamils. In contrast I am yet to gift any such gadgets, in return for favors and/or status. Those in my structures have to ‘earn’ them – just as I do – even now. Often I am ignored while the donors are praised in action and / or words. From that point onwards they become common outsiders to my structures. Eliminating them is necessary to feel the Truth of my own life, and give it form in my birthplace.
Hence I believe that a house which does not carry that Truth as its nucleus would not be a ‘home’.
Through the Hindu article ‘Sri Lanka's housing programme for North, East caught in row’ reporter T Ramakrishnana highlights this very problem. Included is the following:
[The Sri Lanka government’s ambitious project of building 65,000 houses in the civil war-hit Northern and Eastern provinces in five years is embroiled in controversy, much before it can gather momentum ……To be built through a prefabricated method, each house will have 550 sq ft. It will have facilities such as the provision of gas for cooking, solar panel, WiFi and furniture. The unit cost is estimated at about Rs. 2.1 million. Arcelormittal Construction, a leading company, has been selected to implement the project. The unit cost has been arrived at after taking into account the facilities.
As of now, two model houses under the project have been put up in the capital of the Northern Province and the process of seeking feedback is under way. “There has been a good response,” Rehabilitation and Resettlement Minister D.M. Swaminathan told Parliament on Thursday.]
Response from whom? – the beneficiaries? In an area that has been strongly damaged by war – such modern amenities would tend to cover up the Truth. When I first went to reside in Thunaivi – there was no electricity or running water facilities in most parts of Thunaivi which as per my observations was treated by the Sri Lankan armed forces as a high risk area. I myself took it step by step – as if I was native of Thunaivi – known as Toddy Tapper village. Most of them accepted their caste and practiced a similar hierarchy within their village. We in turn are developing an institutional system that would gradually override the caste system but without damaging the investment in its core values. The UN report states for example:
[The term 'caste' refers to a strict hierarchical social system often based on notions of purity and contamination. The expert report describes how people from 'lower castes' are often limited to certain occupations which are often deemed 'polluting' or menial by others, including manual scavenging, sweeping and disposal of dead animals.]
The above as per the original caste system is in the same order as the Vice Chancellor of an Australian University not going to the office of the cleaner – nor even talking to the cleaner as much as s/he would to an academic. The cleaner’s family is not likely to produce a Vice Chancellor the same way a toddy tapper community is not likely to produce a principal of Jaffna College nor an Aborigine living within her/his community becoming the Prime Minister of Australia. The reason is – as highlighted by our immediate past Prime Minister the Hon Tony Abbott - the ‘lifestyle choices’ made by those communities.
When I first started my development work in Thunaivi & Vaddukoddai – I was also under the impression that they would be better off with more modern facilities – including computers and wi-fi. But I realized that I was doing more active work than they towards this. Given that I earned the wealth I own – I needed to establish the structure that would confirm the values of my family. In Thunaivi the common faith was through our family temple and in Vaddukoddai through the education system that our common family invested in. Not one person has been given mobile phone for nothing. I myself used a phone purchased locally in Jaffna for Rs 3,000, until recently when I started using my more sophisticated Sydney phone.
The above pathway is developed on the basis of the following hierarchy:
Common Policy based on my own discovery of Truth apportioned as follows:
2) Human Relationships
3) Money related enjoyment
Where the value of work done by a person calculated at money level – is less than the amount s/he receives – the paying person has authority over the receiving person. In my case, in Australia – I received less than the value of the work performed by me which was often of higher value than my counterpart groomed in Australian system. Even though this was painful – I accepted it on the outside and renounced the rest towards harmony as Australian. Now I realize that the excess value got stored as Energy and renders me feeling of ownership. THAT is the built in Natural system which is celebrated by Christians on Easter Sunday.
Unless there were complaints from the lower caste – the UN did not have a mandate to ‘judge’. By joining rebel groups – to declare their ‘ownership’ – these lower castes already expressed their Equality and the higher castes by accepting the Rebel groups have accepted the lower castes as ‘higher class’ soldiers.
Tamils must now be facilitated to develop their own systems – including the diffusion of the caste structure except where it is still practiced for job purposes. In people intense countries the hierarchy through human relationships is healthy and one such system is the caste system. In Sri Lanka it is usually practiced ‘bottom-up’ by the older folks who developed the higher mind-order through the caste system. The UN has no right to interfere with this natural voluntary hierarchy to promote its own theory of Equality which is largely theory even in Australia which is more money-rich than Sri Lanka.
All natural hierarchical social systems are wealth of heritage value. They must not be ruthlessly removed to make way for modern wi-fi facilities – used largely for entertainment purposes in Sri Lanka.
The fact that Tamils are an Equal Opposition in Sri Lankan Parliament – even though we are minority in numbers – confirms our rich Energy that gets shared naturally. Like Gandhi who was dedicated to Truth – even one Tamil who is so dedicated would influence Natural forces to bring about such outcomes.
The richer parts of Tamil areas need to be facilitated to develop themselves and take their places as leaders of the Tamil Community. Those who accept ‘housing aid’ must first renounce ownership in Vaddukoddai Resolution before they accept welfare monies. A true Sri Lankan Tamil will earn every Rupee s/he has custody over. Those who do not have the opportunity to earn it directly – have the opportunity to share in common with their families which is the basis of family reunion facility in Australian migration programs. Those who accept money from Central Government as ‘aid’ are no longer entitled to claim Independent Tamil State. In Northern Sri Lanka the Customary Law of Theswalamai is a rich heritage from our ancestors. The Thesawalamai Law clearly distinguishes between inherited wealth(Muthusom), dowry (seethanam) and acquired wealth (Thediya Thettam). A daughter marring is given dowry – so she would not be distracted by attachments to her biological family. The dowry must represent the consolidated value of the family she is leaving behind. Devolution is of this kind. Children who do not get married and/or continue to actively take responsibility for their parents and siblings – inherit the wealth which even though it may be less than the dowry – would be deeply rooted in ancestry and therefore ownership Energy.
There are abusers of the Dowry system as there are abusers of the Caste system. But even if one member of the community genuinely practices it - it is worth preserving as our Heritage. Those who seek Equal distribution of wealth – as per the system of democracy – after receiving dowry - are likely to want the benefits of both systems. Likewise those who take handouts from Central Government and at the same time claim Devolution of Power.
Tamil areas have the duty to honor the dead as those who fought to preserve our Sovereignty as a Community. Home built with this as the nucleus must be built by Tamils and if the Government is genuine it would give priority to this – over ‘imported’ cheap housing – built to ‘show’ outsiders. The gadgets may be expensive in terms of money value but that is like a big body without soul.