Gajalakshmi Paramasivam- 21 July 2016
Return of Black July Karma?
The forces manifesting the weekend attack at University of Jaffna would be identified with by various sections of Sri Lankan society – each as per their own Truth and given form through a combination of need and desire – Truth & Maya (delusion) respectively. The least visible reason is the karmic return which is often not identified with by the very instruments that manifest that karma. Karma is beyond rights and wrongs as per human measures. Karma is Cause generated by us and Effects that return to us. When we operate as a group – the return path becomes more complex to identify with. But at any time – if we identify with our Truth – as to what the manifestation meant to us – we would have inner peace – however wrong we may seem as per others’ yardsticks. That is what Sovereignty is all about. As a group we often have cultural pathways that would lead to shared karma.
The measure that is strongest at group level is the one that needs to be used for lasting solution to a problem. The identifiable groups at local level are:
1. Tamil student union of University of Jaffna
2. Sinhala student union of University of Jaffna
3. University of Jaffna
4. Jaffna’s Armed forces
5. Jaffna’s Media
Then we have the national parallels of the above groups. The more ‘local’ a problem is the more autonomous the institution concerned is. Given that the University of Jaffna has the core responsibility to be autonomous – it would be healthy to analyze at that level.
Given that Black July attacks spread to University of Peradeniya also – we need to work out the more complex pathway of Truth.
The Daily News article ‘Cultural dance ends in uncultured behaviour’ reports as follows:
1. Tamil student union : “We came to their welcome program because the organizing committee informed me that the Sinhala students were preparing to disrupt the traditional Tamil dance welcome with their own Kandyan dance program. They told me that this was not a request but they were forcing their dance on them. The committee was helpless so they wanted me to come and sort out the problem," said Santheswaran.
2. Sinhala student union: Similar to Santheswaran’s story, Chanaka said, they were informed on Friday evening that the Tamil students from the Arts Faculty were not going to let the second year students perform their dance, for the ceremony.
“We were surprised at this sudden move and we told them that they could not do that without a valid reason. We met the Dean and Vice Chancellor regarding our problem and the Dean asked us to continue with the dance as planned. He told us not to add or delete anything. So we went on as usual," said Chanaka. He said, as the dance troupe readied for their turn to escort the freshers, a group of students from behind pushed the dancers aside and hit two of them.
“They were from the Arts faculty union. Around 20 of them first surrounded us and started attacking but soon left as we started fighting back. We stopped the dance and took the first years away and sent them to the boarding."
3. University of Jaffna Administration : The Science Faculty Dean at the time, S. Shiva Sathgunarasa in a statement to the media informed that there was no communal basis to the clash and it was merely a fight between two student groups. The University since the incident has been trying its best to remove the ‘racial’ colouring to the problem.
Jaffna University Vice Chancellor, Professor Vasanthy Arasaratnam, who is to supervise the re-opening of the University reiterated, “In my view, this is a problem between two brothers. We have sorted out the problem. We have never wanted to separate Sinhalese and Tamil students. We ensured that our hostels are mixed; they stay together, eat together and have classes together," she said.
Professor Arasaratnam hoped to re-open the rest of the university, apart from the Science Faculty by the end of the week.
4. Jaffna’s Armed forces: Commander Security Force Jaffna- Major General Mahesh Senanayake however, refuted any army involvement in the incident,
“There are around 1700 Sinhalese students at the university and they are the ones who come to us for assistance. Whenever the VC and lecturers have asked for our assistance, we have supported them. Sinhalese students have more requirements as they are not from here. Tamil students are mainly day scholars, they very rarely request something from us," said Major General Senanayake.
“We never go into the university. It is the police who are involved in handling the law and order within the university," added the Commander.
Major General Senanayake is also aware of the prevailing suspicions among the Tamil populace with regard to the army and is working on building trust with the community.
“We get down lecturers from the University to lecture on Tamil culture, caste issues, religion and values. It is part of our training here. 80 percent of the soldiers under my command were born after I joined the army and 20 percent after the war. So there is a big generation gap."
"The army was removed from the public for a long time, it is high time that the army gets to know more about the public it is serving," he said.
Major General Senanayake was also positive that the Jaffna public’s faith in the army was increasing by the day.
“There are political elements who are trying to keep us away from the public. The media here and even in the South are trying to cause problems. Especially in the South, they are taking advantage of this isolated incident. It is not as if all the Sinhalese are fighting with the Tamils in the University," said the Major General.
5. Jaffna’s Media: The main political party in the North, the TNA in a statement issued soon after the incident stated,
“Whilst inviting the students who have been evacuated to return to Jaffna, we urge the other students who remain, to welcome them and assure them of their safety as they resume their studies. We call upon the students and the authorities to work together in creating the right conditions for students from different backgrounds, to live and study together in the University of Jaffna in the future."
The picture that I see is as follows:
1. Tamil students were under the influence of a force – consciously or subconsciously - to pick a fight
2. Sinhalese students were demonstrating that they lacked the special qualification required to live harmoniously in Jaffna where Tamil monopoly power has reigned for centuries. Unless they are specially trained – they would tend to behave the same way they would at a University in their home-area. Who but the unwise and /or the challenged, would come unprepared to an area that was the womb of Terrorists and was under the control of ‘Terrorists’ for 30 years? Surely the mind of the People in that area must reflect the causal mind-structure of Terrorists or of the victim mind-structure of Terrorism! Did the Government give these students special training to find out which reason influenced them to come to Jaffna ? Obviously not. In that case, these students are confirming that LTTE were not Terrorists and that the Government was lying. Every Sinhalese who comes to live in Jaffna voluntarily during this period is certifying that the Government lied about Terrorism – that it is at its highest violence that they – the People are capable of managing.
3. The University Administration has demonstrated that it is living in denial of the Truth about the University and is pretending to be like any other University in Sri Lanka. In other words – they are yet to serve their local area by seeking and finding the Truth through Research within Science Faculties and sharing that Truth through art forms – using the Arts faculties. The Science faculty contribution would go towards formulating new policies and laws and/or strengthening existing ones. The Arts faculty contribution would go towards healing without judgment. Given that the majority in Science faculty are now Sinhalese – they have the responsibility to use this manifested problem to seek and find the Truth about Terrorism and Racism in Jaffna and Sri Lanka. As Henry J. Kaiser said ‘Problems are Opportunities in work clothes.’ The University Administration needs to work more and get their students also to work more in this area related to the science of human mind.
4. Major-General Senanayake who states: ‘“We get down lecturers from the University to lecture on Tamil culture, caste issues, religion and values. It is part of our training here.’ is confirming that without this training – they lack the capacity to identify with social problems and therefore to heal through natural partnerships. They are the parallels of ‘Foreign Judges’ who are being rejected by the Sri Lankan Government.
5. The only local coverage that came to my attention has been through TNA’s political declaration which in substance is very different to the Vaddukoddai Resolution 1976
For myself – I see that the unresolved pain and loss of at Perdeniya University in May 1983 followed by the attacks in July 1983 due to excesses on both sides to the war – is surfacing yet again confirming the Pithur Kadan/Ancestral Debt which awakens itself to haunt those who failed their ancestors through abuse of power. If one were to invoke what happened as it happened in 1983 – Sri Lanka is assured of another war in which the worst affected would be Jaffna Tamils whose hopes through higher education have been seriously shattered. The higher education investment made by us did not protect us from our own nor the opposition. Each one of us – as individuals and/or as groups – can settle our debts to that part of the Land that contributed to who we are today. We need to do it for that Land and the more Common that Land is – the greater the settlement of Debt. Until we settle our debts – we do not own the structures that facilitated us to become who we are today.
Graduates of the University of Jaffna could for example fund Research into how the mind works when it is not lifted to the higher Common level. We need it for ourselves to prevent damage to our self-confidence by reacting to majority force. We need to get Even through higher pathway to Truth common to all of us. In Sri Lanka Tamils do not have strength without Sinhalese who give them competition even in war. Instead of reacting at the low level, we need to Respect problems and escalate them to policy level – so we would stand tall through our Higher Education. The Jaffna University attack was reaction at the lower level due to copying Sinhalese. Higher Education must heal us from the wounds of our own desires manifested at the lower level. The higher mind would resort to armed retaliation only as a last resort.
Let’s remember Black July to pay our own dues and honor those whom we cheated by using the lower path. That is when we will be able to live with ourselves anywhere anytime.