Friday 20 July 2018

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

20 July 2018

Sovereignty & Mental Health


The message ‘ First ever International Mental Health Nursing Conference in Sri Lanka begins today’ came with the following comment from a member of the Tamil Diaspora:



That is a very valid question. But this person is speaking as an outsider to the problem. The question could be asked also of Tamil Politicians, Hindu leaders, Armed rebels and most importantly members of the Tamil Diaspora. As per the ‘Colombo Page’ report on this:
The three-day conference from 19th - 21st July is being held with the aim of improving the quality of mental health services in the country will cover a multitude of topics related to mental health with symposiums and guest lectures with the participation of eminent local and foreign speakers in mental health.
A special lecture on 'Researches of Mental Health Nursing Service' will be delivered by Prof. Athula Sumathipala from University of Keele, United Kingdoms at this conference.


Mental Health means a still mind and/or order of thought. In common terminology they are Truth and/ or Law, respectively. Law here is law that is personal to the home environment of that person.


Given that there are no Tamil experts highlighted by the above message – one must conclude that they are either not part of the cause or that they are seen to have caused the mental health problem and but are not capable of finding their own cure. The parallel of Vaddukoddai Resolution 1976, is for minorities led by Tamils to conduct their own Research and find their own cures. That Research into oneself is the natural cure.


Let’s take for example Professor Somasundaram and Dr. Hoole – both of Jaffna Tamil origin. The following were part of the questions that were asked of the representative of the University of Jaffna (UOJ)  in dismissal matter on the alleged basis of ‘Sexual harassment and Academic Misconduct’. The questions were asked by the Academic on behalf of all stakeholders of the University of Jaffna – including the apparent but not limited to them. The Academic was the medium through whom I escalated the issue to the level that Jaffna had earned:


Q to the UOJ representative:
1.    Would you please confirm that you DO NOT specialize in
(a)  Music
(b)  the science of psychology or psychiatry in general and of women’s psychology or psychiatry in particular
2.    Would you please confirm that there is a Department of Psychiatry within the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Jaffna
3.    Are you aware that Professor Daya Somasundaram, who is listed as Senior Professor of the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna  regularly publishes papers in relation to war related damages in the minds of  victims of  the Sri Lankan war D1
(i)            and in particular he co-authored a paper published in February 2003, on the topic of  - ‘Addressing the psychosocial problems of women in a war ravaged society..’
(ii)            and  that Professor Somasundaram, in association with Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole  published in 2007 -  Push and pull factors affecting the retention of university students in a climate of civil war. Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development: Vol. 4, No. 2, Special Theme Issue – Recruitment, Retention and Placement: Progressing the Knowledge Economy’,
Exhibit – D2
(iii)         I draw your attention to the following sections of this paper :
“Table 1: Psycho-social problems in students in a war zone in rank order.  N = 625 (100%)
Loss of concentration  297 (47.5%)
Hostility  279 (44.6%)
Loss of memory 275 (44%)”

“The populations in strife-torn countries face a high level of stress. What is often not realised is that the stress on civilians is usually much higher than among combatants since their safety and support structures are often much weaker. The late teens and early adulthood are also a time of significant stress even in the normal course of events, and therefore university students who belong to that age group when in the midst of war are especially vulnerable, particularly as they could be a specifically targeted age group.

In strife-torn countries, the support networks are often under enormous pressure. Students who are attending university may be sometimes viewed as a pampered elite by society, and the community may not be aware of the stress that they bear.

This paper has focused on students in war-torn countries. Nevertheless, some of the analysis done here may be applicable to some students in developed countries as well. Minority students may perceive some university campuses as hostile territory. They may experience tension between adopting mainstream values as being a traitor and retaining their group’s values and culture as a matter of heroism.

The academic community in a strife-torn milieu is itself under enormous stress from the conflict. Furthermore, university staff, with their often international qualifications, find it easier to move overseas when there is strife, and thus the continuity needed to develop sound systems is often not possible.

In such an environment, the classical strategies for reducing student attrition do not work. Institutions may try to pull up the drawbridge, and pretend that universities are isolated, cloistered, safe enclaves. However, the purpose of civil strife is to create a destabilised environment for political ends, and combatants do not like calm oases as they could develop into areas out of their control and send the wrong message. 

The civil infrastructure in war-torn countries is almost invariably in disarray. The institutional protocols for recruitment, retention and placement are treated as low priorities. The environment becomes a vicious circle. The predicament faced by universities in strife-torn countries is that they are trying to build a bastion that is being torn down more quickly than it is being built. (Pages 75 & 76)”

Current reports on the higher than acceptable level of crimes in Northern Sri Lanka are highlighted by the following conclusion in the  above report:
[What is often not realised is that the stress on civilians is usually much higher than among combatants since their safety and support structures are often much weaker. The late teens and early adulthood are also a time of significant stress even in the normal course of events, and therefore university students who belong to that age group when in the midst of war are especially vulnerable, particularly as they could be a specifically targeted age group. ]

Neither of the above Academics who USED the name of University of Jaffna for their purposes made the above a ‘current’ problem of theirs to participate in the inquiry from either side – as caring owners. Like immediate past Minister Mrs Vijayakala Maheswaran, they also used part of the structure for their own purposes and became part of the ‘problem’ while allegedly find the cure. Likewise the above group which claims to be conducting the ‘first-ever’ mental health conference. The above paper published by Tamil Professors – also is a conference in the virtual reality of war.

Some of the politicians in National Parliament also accused Mrs Maheswaran of mental instability. I identify with that for the purpose of helping other Sri Lankans like Mrs Maheswaran including those politicians who accused the lady – preventing themselves from becoming mental victims of war. The law of Nature is that one who owns the problem owns the cure. THAT is what self-governance is about. One who ‘sees’ the problem more than is needed for the cure  – returns the effect on her/himself. Pleasure and Pain exist as twins even though we separate them through time and place based boundaries. The urge to ‘see’ stems from the desire to ‘show’. Some who is true to her/himself on the other side has the Natural power to return the fear to one who ‘shows’. Often neither side knows that this happens due to that Positive Energy. Meditation and Abstinence raise our work values to Energy level. The mind is a combination of this Energy / Truth and the matter that we recognise through our bodies influenced by others and/or objective outcomes that seem to be ‘orphans’ – for example Taxes known as Public Monies.

Without Energy – there is no mind.

Let us for example take the statement by Mr Wigneswaran – the Chief Minister of Northern Province – to the Police who inquired into the outburst by Mrs Maheswaran:

[They asked me about my thoughts on some  questionable  parts of the speech by Vijayakala.  I said that ‘yearning for yesterday’ is not wrongful. When the lady stated that we are fighting for the return of  the Tigers that was about the safety of the area and not return of violent ways. The lady has been loyal to her party. If action is taken against her it would effectively be to curtail our  freedom of speech.]
LTTE is a person when we take them as a whole. When we bring them into us we bring them into us as a whole. We cannot divide them as Safe person and Violent person as Mr Wigneswaran has done. When we do – they became various parts of that person and therefore are matter.
Only those of us who have made high levels of contribution to non-violence through deep sacrifices have the power to absorb that which has become uncontrollable by the LTTE and the community that they ruled over.  Mr Wigneswaran due to his investment in law has the ability to divide and rule. But the measure needs to be as per the law and/or as per the needs of the People of Northern Province. They should not be as per his desires or those in his current environment with whom he is popular due to his position.
Mrs Maheswaran likewise, may have divided and ruled to please the UNP. But by mentioning LTTE through a small aspect relative to the violence, Mrs Maheswaran not only made them into matter in her custody but also acted in breach of the Spirit of the Law that lists LTTE as a Terrorists organization. Mrs Maheswaran has the right to talk of individuals even if they are LTTE supporters or were part of LTTE. But not take the benefit of the whole the easy way.  When that is done that would be to mislead the people by inviting them to wage war.
Most of the time, when someone tries to ‘justify’ themselves – they apply the personal measure rather than the higher common measures. If indeed LTTE were not wrong but right for Jaffna / Northern Province as per their net value – then we would have looked within and found the cure through LTTE in our hearts and minds. Then the mothers who are crying out for their lost sons and daughters would be comforted by the LTTE in their minds and LTTE supporters alive.
The problem with living together in a free environment is that unless the Energies are consolidated through a common structure – we show the weaknesses of the other and eventually we become like them. Mrs Maheswaran for example, got into her current position due to her husband’s death. Hence the lady is not likely to have the wisdom of experience of being part of political governance, leave alone Administrative / Executive governance. Then it is highly likely that the person would say ‘yes’ to both sides – especially when the two sides do not see other.  While in Colombo the conflict between Mr Sirisena and Mr Wickremesighe on behalf of their respective parties – would have been the pathway that Mrs Maheswaran was most comfortable with. The most convenient tool available towards this was the war in which Mr Sirisena was the Opposition to Tamils including civilians. It is easy to ‘show’ that picture in an environment that is still living off war outcomes. As Mr Wigneswaran also highlighted – Mrs Maheswaran was loyal to her party – the UNP – long longstanding opposition party to Mr Sirisena’s party. In her mind, she was opposing Mr Sirisena in favour of UNP. But using it in Jaffna that is still hurting from the war – in real terms was cruel.
Had the University of Jaffna and / or the medical professionals looked into the mind of Jaffna – we would have prevented such outburst – knowing what would follow when they reach the ears of those who are ‘waiting’ for another armed war or at least an invasion excuse.
Talking about invasion the person whom I advised in the above University matter – became the parallel of Mrs Maheswaran in taking the matter to the Labour Tribunal in Jaffna. Despite my advice, to respond to the University in Tamil – he went to Sinhalese lawyers who have now provided an amended Application in Sinhalese – stating that was out of consideration for the Council Member – with a Sinhalese name. In contrast when I gave evidence in Colombo District Court over a land matter – my evidence in English was published by the Court in Sinhalese. I had to pay for an English translation of the proceedings!
The above is in direct violation of the spirit in which the University of Jaffna was established to diffuse  the protests by Tamils against the Quota system to enter University. University of Jaffna is a Tamil University and symbolises the feelings of those who due to the Quota system ‘lost’ their rights to enter University on current merit basis. Even though that was not ideal – Northern Tamils continue to produce outstanding results in higher education. A person who becomes the medium of those who have ‘invasive’ tendencies – the Sinhalese lawyers in this instance and Sinhalese politicians using the likes of Mrs Maheswaran – are  damaging the pathways through which Diversity is used to preserve Traditional Heritage. Justice K Ariyanayagam rejected in Mallakam District Court – the English Application by our relatives in a Testamentary case and rightly so. The reason to my mind is  that as per the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, Tamil is also an official language and English is a link language. Our Appeal in Jaffna High Court was heard in English. I concluded that that was the link-court. His honor Justice Ariyanayagam upheld the core value of  self-determination for those to whom Tamil is mother tongue and that land is their motherland.
In contrast those who are looking for quick outcomes knowingly or otherwise become the media of invaders. 
Sinhalese who exceeded their belief in Sri Lanka – and dictated through laws that disadvantaged minorities – have developed ‘invasion’ genes and often they are not conscious of it themselves. When they mind-merge with those looking for quick outcomes – it damages the structures that represent our diversity – resulting in us looking more and more like indigenous communities that seek to isolate themselves.  Jaffna is withdrawing towards this and so is Sri Lanka in terms of the global picture.
In my yesterday’s article I highlighted the Tamil song ‘Kurai ondrum illai, Maraimurthi kanna  by Indian politician, freedom-fighter and Governor-General of India, his excellency Chakravarti Rajagopalachari dedicated to Untouchables / Harijans. This song is analysed by a deep mind as being ‘unique because it does not assume the tone of devoted prayer as most Hindu devotional songs but one of thankfulness to God.’
THAT is the value of Diversity through which the buck stops with that group’s form of Divinity in this instance Dark skinned Krishna. The problem with the war is that we now access outsiders who ‘show’ power to insiders but claim that the buck would stop with us – through armed power bought out of other people’s earnings. The more we deal at visible outcomes level – as if we did it – the more disorderly we become – like filing cabinets that look like wastepaper bins inside. Energy has perfect order and needs to be facilitated to travel on its own – if it is positive or when we no longer have the ability to absorb the negative in a closed environment – such as family, community and nation. If we keep negative energies within and we are ‘free’ those with negative energies would exchange – take benefits and we are left with the losses/costs. That is when separation is needed by the higher mind that would be more valuable at wider level.  

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