13 August 2020
Minorities Recognized in the Lankan Cabinet
A Vaddukoddai (Sri Lanka) relative rang yesterday to ask whether I could sponsor him to Australia. He said he was not getting paid by his employer in the private sector. The guy has inherited property through which he can get a comfortable life in Vaddukoddai – of a higher standard than those living in the toddy tapper village of Thunaivi – just a few kilometres away from his home. But the culture is different. In his shoes – I would have ‘sold’ the property and developed a business as another relative does down the road has been doing for years. The reason why this young guy does not think along those lines is the way his brain has been structured by those on whom he has been dependent. As per that structure – one ‘finds fault’ with those who seem to have lesser status than oneself. When such fault finding – including through caste and/or money – is unjust – our minds get ‘blocked’ to taking examples from their lives. Hence this guy fails to recognise the ‘alternate’ possibilities available to him. He just wants to shift his dependence from one to the other.
In terms of Sri Lanka’s new government also – not one member of the Tamil Diaspora appreciated the Ministerial places allocated to Tamils and Muslims in the new cabinet also. Like the above mentioned Vaddukoddai guy they have become dependent on their Rebel elders who themselves did not carry the genes of multicultural living that our ancestors developed through civil relationships – especially workplace relationships regulated by secular laws. Many highlighted the nomination of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential Nominee. One who is a strong supporter of armed rebels followed by Mr CV Wigneswaran’s run for membership in Sri Lankan National Parliament, forwarded to me also an email from Brady PAC to congratulate Ms Harris. My mind rejected totally this blind following by those Tamils who have lost the connection with our deeper roots. Many of them emigrated as opposers of armed war by the government.
May be they are planning on another UN Resolution against the current Sri Lankan government – but the pathway we take needs to make sense if we are to be an independent community. Even one member of such a community would add the power of sovereignty to her/his environment in any part of the world.
The lack of truth in the case of the above member of the Tamil Diaspora is apparent from the objective of Brady PAC who according to their declaration :
[will create a safer America by enacting, improving and defending gun violence prevention legislation by supporting and electing champions to represent us.]
How can someone who claims to be an heir of armed rebels become a supporter of a group that claims to oppose gun violence?
Such members of the Diaspora fail to identify with the progress that is happening in Sri Lanka in which they have lost focus by living off the past. They are blind to the opportunities that are evolving through current formations to which they are not able to connect – unless it comes from someone in high status with just Tamil in their name.
The Tamils and Muslims in the new cabinet confirm the acceptance of Tamils at Ministerial level. The appointment of Dr Ali Sabry as Minister of Justice, would seem by some in the judiciary to be lacking in merit. But structurally it confirms connection to our past heritage of multicultural leadership. More significant is the fact that Maithripala Sirisena who ‘donated’ the Premiership to the current PM was not allocated any Ministerial portfolio. This confirms that the current leadership is committed to upholding the value of work and therefore workplace relationships.
We need to learn to read manifestations as per our truth and not carry on blindly the stated mandate of those who seem to be in power. Below is my discussion on the basis of my yesterday’s article – headed ‘Buddha Sasana or Yuddha Sasana?’
It’s a lesson on intellectual opposition with a member of the Sinhala Diaspora - young Eranda Ginige:
1. Eranda: I'm Replying All, because I would like to show a common misconception about the Article 9.
Gaja: Like different religions leading to one god we would each conceive the article as per our own belief in Sri Lanka and the system of Justice.
2. Eranda: Article 9 does NOT say that "Followers" of Buddha Dharma (Buddhists) should be given the foremost place and protection. If it did, then it contradicts with Articles 10 and 14 which explicitly enforces complete and equal religious freedom to all citizens of the Republic.
Gaja:Article 9 says [The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place]
Foremost is relative and not absolute. I did not interpret Buddhism as Buddhists. Hence your response is not acceptable. In terms of articles 10 and 14 – they are about our beliefs including through religion and other common civil activities. Article 9 being relative contradicts these two articles. In pure science – you cannot use the relative measure and the absolute belief at the same time. When you believe right and wrong is as per that belief – through your conscience. The actions as per article 9 can be measured because they are relative.
3. Eranda: It is important to understand why the term "Buddha Sasana" was used instead of Buddhagama. Buddha Sasana is the "Body of Knowledge and Practices" believed to have been taught by the Buddha. It was the role of the King to protect it since the time of King Devanampiya Tissa according to the Mahawansa. That tradition was then followed by the British Emperor during the British rule. But then when we became a Republic the Sovereignty was equally shared by ALL Citizens, thus the above role is now vested on the Republic. The purpose of Article 9 is just that.
Gaja: The difference applies to all religions. Once realised the wisdom is Universal. If you acknowledge that it is the special role of the government to foster Buddha Sasana you are acknowledging also that no non-Buddhist can be in Government.
4. Eranda: The teachings of Buddha are universal. They are not the property of one group of people. Anybody from anywhere is free to study it. But that is only possible because those teachings were in fact protected by our ancestors. So the least we can do is to protect it for the future generations.
Gaja: All teachings that have stood the test of time and place are Universal in value. Hence why allocate foremost place to Buddhism? It is like saying that Maths is more important than Physics. Once you limit it through relativity – you cannot call it Universal. To qualify as Universal you need to believe in its Independent travel and not feel that it needs to be fostered.
5. Eranda: One such teaching of Buddha is to be "rational". You have used the word "Yuddha" as a rhyming word to "Buddha". While I take no offence from your often meaningless usage of words, I see no rationality behind that usage. Buddha and his teachings are consistently against "Yuddha" as in wars between people for land and power. So it's really an irrational claim as many of your claims. What normally happens is when such irrational claims are taken by equally irrational people as offensive, then you in fact create an unnecessary "Yuddha". Unless of course that's what you really want...
Gaja: If you take no offence – then why dispute it? Have offence – have the right to dispute. In Hinduism there is Yuddha Sasana as well as Family Sasana. It refers to the scientific pathway. The original Buddha Sasana would have been scientific. But its application has been polluted in this instance by making it relative – as if it needs to be pampered.
5. Eranda: Choose is peace, love and kindness over war, my friend.
Gaja:Why did your heroes then choose to wage war against Terrorism? Did they not have enough love to educate as I am doing including to those who rebel and/or likely to rebel?
6. Eranda: May the Dhamma guide you!
Gaja: Yes it was that Dhamma that guided me to contributing to saving Sri Lanka from foreigners. High time YOU did something about it