28 June 2020
Covid-19, the LTTE & Buddhist Clergy
As per Thesawalamai law applicable to Tamils of Northern Sri Lanka, there is a clear distinction between current earnings and inherited wealth. Former is recognized as Thediya Thettam and the latter as Muthusum for boys and Dowry for girls when they get married. These are the structures that we inherited from our Tamil ancestors of Northern Sri Lanka. Right to use Thediya Thettam is determined by the current costs that contributed to earning the wealth. Structurally speaking they are taken as the current structure during that time of earning. Accordingly Thediya Thettam is shared equally by the spouses and the residual value is inherited equally by the children. One has no right to distribute inherited wealth as per one’s wish. To the extent one ignores this – one loses connection with elders and their consolidated mind.
The law of Thesawalamai is inherited. Secular laws made by the Lankan parliament are current laws.
During a court battle in Northern Sri Lanka, in relation to a testamentary case of a bachelor, his sisters who were given dowry, claimed that they were NOT given dowry but that it was a donation. The judge asked for documentary evidence. Since the sisters did not deny that they received wealth – the evidence needed was whether it was out of the then current earnings as reward for doing more than their duty or as per the structure of Thesawalamai customary law. If latter it was dowry and in their case it was confirmed by the sisters living in the property they received from the parents. But the judge eventually did not ask for evidence but ruled as requested by them.
Judge Elanchellian who is recognized as one of the better judges in Northern Sri Lanka – did not see anything wrong with the above judgment. These were discoveries I made by studying the applicable law and applying it before taking my contribution to Court. Even though they failed me – my ancestors have blessed me and hence I wrote Jaffna is my Muthusum and not Dowry – largely in the language of the current folks of Vaddukoddai where the first political declaration of independence was made. Without such reinforcement, such declarations would lose value quickly.
Karuna Amman who declared that he killed thousands of soldiers during the war is from Batticaloa and therefore is not an heir of Thesawalamai mind. In terms of armed fighting, he did accept and demonstrated respect for the leadership of Northern LTTE leader. But when he separated himself from Northern power – he lost the right to inherit and hence was limited to his own Thediya Thettam/ earned wealth. The structure decides which category our wealth belongs to. With heritage – all we need to do is to respect those from whom we inherited it. From then on that heritage leads us. Current exertion is thus reduced to that extent. Likewise status.
The then President, Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa shared the status of SLFP – a party that he inherited – with Karuna Amman by making him Vice President of SLFP. Then he lost the blessings of all those who sought separate identity for Sinhala Buddhist leadership of Sri Lanka. In terms of current wealth in combat – LTTE lost power and eventually lost itself. But to the extent the LTTE respected politicians – their contributions merged with politics – largely through Northern structures due to the Vaddukoddai Resolution that empowered the Northern LTTE.
There are now calls from Buddhist clergy for the President of Sri Lanka to bring war-crimes charges against the LTTE, through UNHRC:
President must press war crimes at UN against LTTE
[The National Bhikku Collective (NBC) has urged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to create the necessary framework to prove to the United Nations (UN) that based on the recent statement attributed to former LTTE militant Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, war crimes had been confirmed as having been committed by the LTTE. Karuna claimed that he had murdered close to 2,000-3,000 soldiers during the Elephant Pass battle.] – Ceylon Today
As per the common mind of the Global media, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa became president on the basis that he would withdraw from the commitment made by the previous government to the UN in this regard. This meant that the pathway through which wider world could invest in Sri Lanka’s harmony was truncated. Likewise – the pathway through which Sri Lankans would invest in the global community. This promise has been strengthened by the election mandate to repeal the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which is strongly underpinned by global values. At the moment the connections in both directions are largely intellectual. With the withdrawal that part of the brain becomes passive or become overly excited under a local structure – as was demonstrated by the President himself who has installed Army leaders to civilian positions – making the global investment by civilians redundant and dispensable. One example is the manifestation of the mind of ASANGA ABEYAGOONASEKERA – of Observer Research Foundation who wrote under the heading ‘Rajapaksa’s leadership in Sri Lanka’s domestic politics amidst regional instability’:
[The efficient leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was demonstrated in managing the recent Covid-19 pandemic crisis. It is a proven leadership which will be a significant factor to ensure a landslide victory in the upcoming election for the Rajapaksa front.]
Whether it was against the LTTE or the Covid-19 – the credit is to the Armed Forces and their leader Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Civilian positions were downsized to suit this leadership. Otherwise the armed forces would become as idle as Karuna Amman – the former LTTE eastern leader. Relative to global levels, both were blown way out of proportion to impress the less literate voter.
The UN for its part is reported to have communicated as follows, by News 1st:
UNHRC calls for an investigation on ‘Karuna Amman’
[The United Nations Human Rights Council, in a twitter message on Thursday, called for an investigation on former LTTE Commander and Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, alias ‘Karuna Amman’, over the recruitment of child soldiers for the LTTE.
The UNHRC said, quote “We note that ‘Karuna Amman’ is being questioned for his alleged past crimes. He should also be investigated for wholesale recruitment of child soldiers, a crime under international law. Accountability should apply to everyone,” unquote.]
This in essence requires the government to investigate the allegations made by every Sri Lankan war victim – including victims of war against the JVP. When victims of both groups connect through their pain – the government that makes idle promises – as if it were god – becomes dysfunctional.
The current government has every right to bring about laws through its position in National Parliament. But it has no right to damage the heritage of any other group – cultural and/or political. Sri Lanka’s history has demonstrated more than once – that when heritage is damaged – the return happens naturally – including through diseases over which we do not have control. The claim that the President controlled the spread of covid-19 confirms that the victory over ‘terrorism’ claim also was false.
To be true – one needs to believe in the measure being used – even if it were not a measure included in the written law. That belief needs to be deeper than the belief by the non-judicial participant’s belief in what happened and/or why it happened. Otherwise one does not have the moral authority to judge, leave alone deliver the judgment.
According to the above mentioned Ceylon Today report:
[Co-Convener of the NBC, Ven. Medagoda Abhayatissa Thera said he had personally spoken to the President over the phone concerning the controversial remarks made by Karuna Amman. He claimed that the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland, was continuing to level baseless allegations against the security forces for having allegedly committed war crimes during the war. He noted that the recent comments made by Karuna Amman, could be effectively used to counter those charges made against the security forces by the UNHRC.]
The above confirms lack of faith in Buddha Sasana which ought to be the highest common law scripture between two Buddhist leaders. This kind of idle use of laws largely for the purpose of status – is the real enemy of Sri Lankan harmony. Once Buddhism foremost is repealed – the ordinary citizen would become more active in the use of common laws and values. The more dependent one is on the past that one does not respect – the more idle and disoriented one becomes. That is what has happened to the current Lankan President.