26 May 2019
Sri Lankan is Surname and Muslim is Given name
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister is reported to have promised a more common Sri Lanka including through marriage. This is reported as follows:
[Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is reported to have informed the diplomatic community in Sri Lanka yesterday that the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act would be amended to increase the age of marriage to 18 for Muslim women in a move aimed at unifying the personal laws as far as possible.]
This confirms the negligence of the Muslim community – especially politicians, lawyers and judges to bring about commonness and therefore equal footing on which diversity is to be practiced. The health of diversity is relative to the strength of commonness. Those with greater contribution to commonness are part of management in any institution/family. Others are dependant beneficiaries who have to say thank you and demonstrate respect for seniors. Those who feel thank you are naturally empowered to work the whole. That is how the value of the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts. Once they do so they are equal to/common with seniors. Hence the voting age of 18 by which one is expected to have become the common senior. But then how many Politicians treat the voter as being common to her/himself until known otherwise?
In any case why should the Prime Minister explain to the diplomatic community ? Is the government doing this to ‘show’ commonness that does not exist in Sri Lanka? The law maker needs to ‘believe’ and has no requirement to prove. The Minister for Islamic Affairs – Mr M H A Haleem has the responsibility to discuss this in parliament – on the basis of his belief. As a Hindu woman I value both – the minority status of the wife as was practiced largely in India and the equal status of woman as was practiced by the Indigenous community of Sri Lanka and structured in Thesawalamai Law applicable to Jaffna Tamils. The law on Equal footing separates at common level. From then on the two sides are diverse. A Muslim woman becoming eligible for marriage before 18 must be read within the ratio of women working in wider world to those women who are largely homemakers. Where majority are homemakers – and men are facilitated to practice polygamy gender based equality is maintained through a combination of age and numbers. It is interesting that the Tamil militant group LTTE relative to Muslim militant groups consisted of a high proportion of women. One is entitled to conclude that Tamils practiced as law, gender based Equality more than Kandyan Sinhalese or Muslims whose men by law were facilitated to practice polygamy.
Enforced commonness is likely to weaken our investment in order. Laws of marriage help us regulate our enjoyment to recognize our rights as per our contribution to the structure that the laws confirm. The caste system allocated high status to those who forewent immediate pleasures towards common wellbeing. A woman who contributed to commonness at equal or greater level as her male counterpart was recognized as Shakthi / Energy which spreads Itself through Its own powers. The man who relied on his status tended to limit himself to the fortresses where he was king. Energy / Truth is universal power. A Muslim woman who quietly contributes to commonness would tend to have more power to invoke the traditional powers of her culture more than man like the leader of the Easter bombing group who needed the high status of ‘clergy’ to think like a king. With changes to the law to ‘show’ equality may weaken this link through traditional powers that come on their own to protect the believer.
Our family also practiced the dowry system until me in my family and our children’s generation in general. In lieu the son got the status of the surname and the residual of the common wealth. The law of Thesawalamai spelt out the rules. In the case of my husband’s family, the sisters who received dowry claimed that it was ‘donation’ once they knew that they were no more entitled to share in the commonwealth of the family. I represented my husband in the testamentary matter and that was how I learnt about the beauty of Thesawalamai law which had perfect order for the families that practiced the dowry system as stated in the law. The Jaffna courts failed to uphold the values of Thesawalamai law but my genuine investment – especially in terms of order of thought – of our Thesawalamai ancestors – translated as Administrative wisdom which blocked the common law distribution by Mallakam District Court – after Jaffna High Court ruled that the Mallakam District Court’s verdict was interlocutory. The Mallakam District Court did not have the jurisdiction to carry out the order which was ruled as being interlocutory. All this happened during the reign of king of law – Mr C V Wigneswaran. He had the status and I had the Energy to invoke our ancestral power in the form of Legal Administration. The Energy was developed due to true commitment to the laws of marriage – customary law in first marriage and common law in second marriage.
Women who complete their customary law marriage experience may take rebirth in common law system and v.v. But when parts of the marriage law are removed – as proposed by the Prime Minister – it would bring about calamity at exponential level due to denying practitioners the enjoyment of the ancestral-protection through their traditional pathways.
If Muslim women are ‘told’ to raise their level of independence – through the 18 year limit – then men also ought to be ‘told’ that they can no longer practice polygamy. This would mean that the law enforcement officers could walk into a home where the man is polygamous and charge him with unlawful conduct. It would also mean that the children of consorts would be bastards. Then we would need to expect more bombings.
This government has treated Muslim women as minorities to be ‘told’. At first it was the hijab and now it is the marriageable age but without removing the law of polygamy for men. The mayor who wears a hijab brings great value to her community and more importantly to the foundation that supports that community in the UK – the Commonness. This lady confirms that not all common laws lead to commonness. In Sri Lanka where common law is often overridden by personal thought structures even at presidential level – commonness is achieved at the destination of true diversity. The Common Government failed because it was more for show and less for real. The parallel of that is likely to happen between Muslims and Buddhists – through men in both religions who carry their religious names as surnames instead of Sri Lanka as the common Surname.
Those who lack the courage to repeal article 9 which affords Buddhism foremost status – as if it were the surname of Sri Lanka – have no moral authority to correct Muslim laws and cultures.