Monday 12 March 2018

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

12 March 2018

Geneva or University of Jaffna?


As per the latest news report from Ceylon Today:


[President of the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam left for Geneva on Friday (9), to hand over a petition, bearing 200,000 signatures, urging the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to engage in investigating war crimes allegations]


The authority of the TNPF is as per the political mandate confirmed at local government level. The parallel of that in the judicial hierarchy is the Magistrates/Local  Court. As per my direct experience,  Northern Province Local Judiciary at that level, is seriously lacking in judicial logic. Taken at the urban level, the University of Jaffna confirmed this through its abuse of Section 45 (2) (xii) of the Universities Act No. 16 of 1978  by dismissing an academic on the basis of the authority of this section which prohibits the delegation of power to the Vice Chancellor for such action in the case of Teachers and Officers.


As per the letter of Dismissal signed by the Vice Chancellor as Vice Chancellor, the decision was made by the Council. Following, as per my knowledge, is a list of Members of the Governing Council – University of Jaffna:

List of Members of the Governing Council – University of Jaffna


1.Prof. R.Vigneswaran,Vice Chancellor, University of Jaffna,
2.Mr. Mano Sekaram,Council Member (External), University of Jaffna; 99X Technology, No. 65, Walukarama Road, Colombo 03.
3. Prof. V.Tharmaratnam,Council Member (External), University of Jaffna.  Sampanthar Candy, Karainagar.
4. Prof. S. K. Sitrampalam; Council Member (External), University of Jaffna; Araly South, Araly Vaddukoddai.
5. Mr. D.K.P.U. Gunathilake; Council Member (External); University of Jaffna,
C/O The Vice Chancellor, University of Jaffna, Jaffna.
6. Dr.P.Lakshman; Council Member (External), University of Jaffna.
 Consultant Cardiologist, 375A Muthuthambi Lane Navalar Road Jaffna.
7. Dr. S. Sivasegaram; Council Member (External), University of Jaffna.
No.02, Rheinland Place Colombo 03.
8. Dr. N.Jeyakumaran; Council Member (External), University of Jaffna.
Consultant Oncologist, No28, 3/1, Madankawata Road, Colombo 06.
9. Prof. S.H. Hasbullah; Council Member (External), University of Jaffna.
Department of Geography, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya.
10. Dr. Aru Thirumurugan; Council Member (External),University of Jaffna.
246, 4/A Temple Road, Nallur, Jaffna.
11. Mr. V. Kanagasabapathy; Council Member (External), University of Jaffna,
C/O The Vice Chancellor, University of Jaffna, Jaffna.
12. Mr. S. Rangarajah; Council Member (External), University of Jaffna.
No. 07, Muthalliyar lane, Chundikuli, Jaffna.
13. Dr. Devanesan  Nesiah,Council Member (External), University of Jaffna.
19/1, Col. T.G. Jeyawardena Mawatha, Colombo 03.
14. Mr. N. Vethanayahan,Council Member (External), University of Jaffna.
District Secretariat, Jaffna.
15. Mr. M. Kanapathippillai,Council Member (External), University of Jaffna.
24/3/1/1, Frankfort Place, Colombo 04.
16. Ms. S. Abimannasingham,Council Member (External), University of Jaffna,
C/O Bar Association of Jaffna; New Court Complex ; Jaffna.
17. Mr. V. Kandeepan,Registrar, university of Jaffna.
18. DR. T. Mangaleswaran,Rector, Vavuniya Campus, university of Jaffna, Vavuniya.
19. Prof. (Mrs.) T. Mikunthan,Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, university of Jaffna.
20. Dr. K. Suthakar,Dean, Faculty of Arts, university of Jaffna.
21. Dr. A. Atputharajah,Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Jaffna.
22. Prof. G. Mikunthan,Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Jaffna.
23. Prof. T. Velnampy,Dean, Faculty of Management and Commerce, university of Jaffna.
24. Dr. S. Raviraj,Dean, Faculty of Medicine, university of Jaffna.
25. Prof. J.P. Jeyadevan,Dean, Faculty of Science, university of Jaffna.
26. Dr. A.Pushpanathan,Dean, Faculty of Business Studies - Vavuniya Campus,
University of Jaffna, Vavuniya.


One is entitled to conclude that each one of these members of the Council made the decision and therefore each member’s ‘logic’ could be worked out from the above decision. The decision made had no connection to the law. The name of the law therefore was abused for personal purposes.


Members of the Tamil Community, who escalate the war-issue to the UN must believe in the UN as a global body and/or know through logical understanding of the Global Law – that Tamils have been wronged. As insiders of the Tamil Community TNPF must satisfy themselves that :

(a)   The damage claimed, net of LTTE attacks – is strong enough to be escalated to the UN

(b)  If they win at the UN level – the Jaffna Tamil Community is capable of using it for the community as a whole and not for selfish reasons – such as position in institutions with significant status.

To the extent LTTE and other militant groups contributed to the damage through armed attacks, the inquiry needs to be local – towards which the TNPF now has strong opportunity, due to its wins at the local government level.


As indicated through the above decision by the University of Jaffna, it would take a very long time for Jaffna to catch up with Global standards of Justice. Hence I conclude that the list of 200,000 signatures is towards pulling the wool over the eyes of the Tamil public whose self-esteem is low. Below is an excerpt of a  lesson I recorded for the younger generation who inherit my values:


[Bringing the structure into me meant that I inherited the opportunity.  Delayed enjoyment makes the benefit an inheritance.  I appreciated this more and more through the testamentary matter in relation to my brother in law – Yoganathan.  Yoganathan‘s  sisters who to my mind were  pampered on the basis of Thesawalamai – the customary law of Northern Sri Lankans which included the allocation of dowry to daughters when they got married, sought to influence their brothers to sign over the brothers’ share of the estate of Yoganathan to the two sisters.  Initially I had no opinion on this but took the stand of an observer. But after Param said that Thesawalamai was applicable I decided to get involved. I believe that Param said this due to his past disappointments with his sisters whose children migrated to Australia due to Param and I, but were ungrateful due to their selfishness. Hence as per my experience with them I also  felt that they were wrong.

Ms Shantha Abimannasingham  a leading lawyer in Northern Sri Lanka, whom I consulted with - paying a fee – expressed the opinion that she did not think that  only the brothers were entitled, but said that the system recognized such entitlement, if the wealth was passed through the parents.  But the law of Thesawalamai was very clear – that the wealth of  a bachelor was inherited by males while unmarried daughters’ wealth was inherited by females.  Param’s assistance to his family fell within this Thesawalamai code. Hence his move to oppose the sisters when the matter came to court. I believe that by regulating it at family level – I added structure to Param’s sharing. Without the difficulties we faced in the process, and our acceptance of them,  it is highly likely that  estate would have been seriously lacking in heritage value, as per the users habits. Given that Yoganathan forewent simple pleasures that his siblings enjoyed , despite the wealth he had, his position in the family is of heritage value. The money is the lowest level confirmation of that respectable position. Given that Yoganathan,  despite the wealth he had,  forewent simple pleasures that his siblings enjoyed , his position in the family is of heritage value. The money is the lowest level confirmation of that respectable position.]


Would a win against the Sri Lankan Government, in terms of war-crimes, carry heritage value for all heirs of the TNPF? If no, these are distractions that dilute our development investments. I do not identify with, in the leadership of the TNPF -  the investment that the Hon GG Ponnambalam made, in intellectual pathway to Independence. This Grandfather of  Mr Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam was a National player of International standards. The heritage seems to have been lost to the family and party down the line.

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