21 January 2019
The small believer in Democracy
Today is Thai Poosam day on which Hindus celebrate of Mother’s/Shakthi’s heritage power is shared with the Son Muruga. Muruga is recognized as the Lord of Democracy. In Democracy, victory / success is measured through objectively measurable outcomes produced.
The message from Sri Venkateswara Temple, Sydney presents the significance of Thai Poosam as follows:[The ‘Vel’ (lance) was given to Lord Murugan to eliminate the three demons,
Surapadman, Singamugan, and Tarakasura, who represent the forces of hatred, greed, and arrogance.
The mighty ‘Vel’ was invested with the ‘Shakti’ or power of Goddess Parvati and used by
Lord Murugan to kill the three asuras. Thus, it has come to be regarded as a symbol of purification.
The ‘Vel’ also serves as the protective and purifying force of Lord Murugan and
the occasion of Thaipusam is celebrated to glorify these benign forces.]
The form in which we remember the significance would change as per time and place. In democracy, the demons are separation extremism, possessiveness of common manifestation and top-down telling to those of different culture to us.
Yesterday, Dr Alan Keenan of International Crisis Group wrote to me as follows – which I interpreted as ‘telling me’:
From: Alan Keenan
Sent: Sunday, 20 January 2019 11:47 AM
To: gaja param
Subject: Re: Constitutional Rights of Minorities
Sent: Sunday, 20 January 2019 11:47 AM
To: gaja param
Subject: Re: Constitutional Rights of Minorities
Dear Gaja Param
Once upon a time, many years ago, emails sent from one person to another were assumed to be private and were treated as such.
Alas, those days seem to have passed, at least among some people I deal with on Sri Lankan affairs.
I don't know you, I know nothing about you, I never gave you my email address and I never asked anyone else to send me your writings.
Please stop writing me.
Thank you very much,
Since Dr Keenan confesses to knowing nothing about me – I conclude that we are of different culture – meaning our beliefs are of different form. Dr Keenan did not think I was important enough to do a Google Search to know my contribution to Democracy in common and Sri Lankan Democracy in particular. I responded as follows:
Dear Dr Alan Keenan,
Once upon a time, we were not as global as we are today; nor as democratic as some of us are today.
Once upon a time, you and I would have been strangers; and you would not be expressing opinions as you do about Sri Lankan governance
If you know deep enough about Sri Lanka you know me as a caring Sri Lankan. The other side of your Sri Lankan work is your Sri Lankan Common Customer. If you do not feel that way then you do not qualify to provide public opinions on Sri Lankan governance. You did – during the October issue – and I was upset that you would expect Ranil to be magnanimous enough to facilitate MR to remain PM. It did not happen that way and I believe I also contributed to preventing such. I believe that when one seeks genuinely – one finds the right pathway. Even though I had been responding to your articles from time to time – largely through Sri Lanka Guardian, I did not look for your email address in particular. But after you made the above suggestion, I got your email address from a member of the Tamil Diaspora. It was part of a group email. I don’t know any of them as individuals but I took it that the sender considered me to be a common member of that group also. The information came to me because the issue sought me to keep you informed of how the common Sri Lankan felt.
As you know, we Hindus celebrate Thai Pongal in January. You were reported to have stated during your Thai Pongal dinner speech in 2013 , as follows:
[My central message tonight is that Sri Lanka’s two political crises – the crisis the long-standing denial of the rights of the Tamil people and the crisis of Sri Lanka’s liberal democracy – these need to be analysed and understood together and they need to be addressed together. There is no way to respond effectively to one crisis without responding effectively to the other. Sri Lanka as a whole, and that means the Sinhalese majority, can never have a meaningful and stable democracy so long as the Tamil people are abused and humiliated and denied their individual and collective rights.’]
I responded to that through my own article headed ‘Are you Trespassing Mr. West?’ published by Sri Lanka Guardian.
If you had practiced what you preached to Sinhalese – you would have recognized me as a very democratic person – more democratic than you. In democracy, we do the work ourselves. All you had to do was block me as a sender. By ‘choosing to tell me’ you have confirmed that you are autocratic.
I am in the middle of writing about how Truth has shown me Its manifestations before those with official power. The Hindu example we have is Saint Poosalar who built a temple for Lord Shiva in his heart. The Lord said to the king who was building the visible temple – that He had to first visit the one who was enshrining the Lord in his heart. That is how Dr Keenan, Truth comes to me before It manifests Itself through officials with external power. It happens all the time when I seek genuinely. If you truly care about the Common Sri Lankan, you would read and know how some of us influence outcomes through natural belief.
If you really want to get rid of me – you need to take legal action against me and that would be interesting. You may know of Professor Damien Kingbury of Deakin University. He actually threatened to take legal action against me and I asked him to go ahead. He did not. I contributed to email policy at the invitation of the Australian Government – Senator Richard Alston when he was minister for communications. I believe I was invited due to the role I played in challenging ABC MD Jonathan Shier. My complaint was dismissed in court but I accumulated credit with the government on the basis of my genuine contribution. Dr Keenan, I believe strongly in ‘knock and the door shall open’ philosophy.
Hence I urge you to please do the right thing and take legal action against me. If there is no such avenue – then learn from us – the doers.
As stated above, truth was known to me before ‘facts’ were manifested through officials. In terms of democracy, I identified with the disorder at the University of NSW and did what I could to bring back democratic order. One of the first major manifestations through which I identified with the parallel of Saint Poosalar’s experience was my complaint to the authorities about Racial Discrimination happening at the UNSW – a couple of years before staff and students from Liverpool Clinical School went to ABC with their complaint – except that theirs was labelled Scientific Fraud by the ABC. I learnt about the problem at the funeral of Dr David Garlick when two academics were talking about it. I believe that David was common to me and the relevant academics and hence the place of communication.
Dr. Garlick stated during the investigations into my complaints: ‘He considers her to be an extremely ethical and moral person . He said that she had almost a touch of genius and that this, together with her other characteristics made her so unusual that it could be possible to misinterpret her comments and suggestions.’
David would never have ‘told me’ as Dr Alan Keenan and Professor Damien Kingsbury did. David’s was belief based due to sharing in each other’s pain. To Dr Keenan I was merely of hearsay value – like most rural voters are to Sri Lankan politicians, including Tamil politicians.
More recently in terms of Sri Lankan politics I shared my democratic wisdom in the matter of Dual Citizenship by Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 18 January 2019 in which I included the following:
[….But does it hold true when the citizen has been part of a group that is alleged to have committed human rights violations in Sri Lanka, based on which the American Government sponsored UN Resolution to investigate into war-crimes allegations. The American Government is taken to have sponsored the resolution as per its belief. Until there is clearance of such allegations, it would be immoral of the American Government to treat the individuals concerned on ‘normal’ basis. The right thing would be for American Government to honour its own recommendation and not clear Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa as if he was free of possible wrongs when he was American citizen. American Government owes this to the global community and more importantly to Sri Lankans. Without such higher moral responsibility one would conclude that the American Government was using its power to show its strength to wider world for which Sri Lanka became the medium.]
Two days later Economy Next published the following:
[Gotabaya is still not qualified to become a candidate at Sri Lankan elections because he is yet to renounce his US citizenship. He has previously said it could be done within two months, but this week he told reporters that giving up the foreign nationality was a personal matter.
He argued that Washington could not block him giving up the US citizenship and referred to the United States as the “father of democracy.” “A person cannot be tied to US citizenship,” he added.
However, diplomatic sources said there was a time consuming process to renounce US citizenship and that can be done only if there was no outstanding taxes and litigation against the person trying to renounce US nationality.] - Gota’s entry splits Rajapaksa-led Sri Lanka opposition
Reading the above, I appreciated that the matter is being dealt with by the forces of Nature – even though there have been no moves to inquire into allegations of war-crimes. In natural justice, the punishment happens through blocking of or identifying with opportunities and/or further manifestations of the same wrong or right as the case may be.
Those who pray / work for particular outcomes, without need, confirm lack of belief. Their contribution even if successful – would not spread itself through natural common belief.
Be it Tamils or Sinhalese – the quickest pathway to Democracy is through common belief. Given that majority Sri Lankans are driven by religious beliefs, that is the quickest pathway through which Democracy would be learnt by Sri Lankans. Buddhist leaders have created their own ‘block’ by rendering Buddhism political and administrative status. Hence the Buddhist citizen would need to do more work than say a Hindu, to take each other as equals until known otherwise.
The latest news report confirms this as follows:
[We hear a few members of the UNP defensively saying that the proposed new Constitution will accord to Buddhism the foremost place as at present and that the unitary status of the country will remain unimpaired.] Island article ‘Achieving Tamil aspirations through Sinhala leaders’
Buddhism foremost causes eustress in the person driven by emotions – which majority Sri Lankans are. If such is within the Buddhist community when the Politician close to Buddhist monks goes up with excitement the citizen who shows least status – would go down and experience depression. This maintains the balance of sovereignty where both are genuine at the same wavelength.
If there was no separation of powers between Buddhists and non-Buddhists – and the Buddhism foremost principle causes eustress, the first victims would be the one with zero investment in Buddhism. Hence TNA is being blamed for the Constitutional problem:
[Where the present constitution-making process went wrong is that it was not driven by any of the principal partners in the government but by the Tamil National Alliance.] Island article ‘Achieving Tamil aspirations through Sinhala leaders’
With equal status to diverse forms of belief, Democracy has room to grow and bloom. But with Buddhism foremost clause – the most backward group in terms of Democracy would be Buddhists who believe in the Buddhism foremost clause. Customary laws are developed bottom up and if that is confirmed by Article 9 – then the government is fooling the People about Democracy.
The author of the above article C. A. Chandraprema states:
[The merger of the north and east can never happen through democratic means. Then why include such a thing in the new draft Constitution? TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran was shown speaking at a public rally stating that their stance was that the north and east should be merged and that there was a provision enabling this to take place in the Constitution. Given the chance that there is very little chance of this taking place in reality, why does the separatist/federalist lobby keep harping on this merger of the north and east? If the Tamil people of the East were told that Sri Lanka was to be turned into a federal state with nine semi-independent provincial units which was to have complete and unfettered control over everything that related to the day to day lives of the people, they would be among the front ranks of those demanding the retention of the unitary state because of their unwillingness to live under Muslim rule in the east.]
By belief – Northern Sri Lankans are already merged with others of similar forms of belief – especially through religions. They do not have the parallel of Article 9 disturbing this commonness. More importantly, majority Tamils being Hindus – the more we believe in Lord Murugan, the more democratic we become. Recently, my work in Vaddukoddai was appreciated in terms of the departure from that area of a guy who was unprincipled in enjoyment of sexual pleasures. That is what family, community and nation are about. Common belief helps us to confidentially clear weaknesses through strengths of other members.
The October political revolution confirmed that Tamils are more democratic than Sinhalese in National level politics. Where my contribution is not received as intended, by those through whom Truth manifested – I am entitled to conclude that it was through belief and not intellectual merit. That is how as Sir Winston Churchill said - the little believer praying to the Lord of Democracy in her/his little home saying a little prayer, empowers the politician who feels connected to her/him through the common electorate.
It is the duty of the Sri Lankan government to facilitate mergers of non-Buddhist cultures to balance Buddhism foremost article. If Muslims also develop such adjoining electorates where they are the majority they also are entitled to such privacy to develop Democracy as sovereign communities. The whole must be sovereign through measures of Democracy to qualify for such separations due to diversity in the form of belief. It’s not different to the separation between the Judiciary and the Executive using different pathways to practice the same law. Belief makes all the difference. Diversity in form of belief automatically entitles one to Equal status. That is the fundamental principle of democracy.