02 October 2020
Redeeming Sri Lanka from Insanity
‘The end of powerful leaders is marked in the very incidence of acquisition of such power.’ Mr Harsha Gunasena – Colombo Telegraph article ‘The Beginning Of The End’
Today is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi had true power and true status. It came through self-sacrifice. Mr Nadarajar Kandeepan – who is a lawyer-politician in Northern Sri Lanka, effectively claimed in a recent TV show that LTTE hero Thileepan who fasted unto death was a Thiyagi / self-sacrificing person and that Gandhiyam was dead in Sri Lanka when ban was placed on publicly celebrating Thileepan. This is NOT true as per my experience. To identify with such commonness – one needs to have experienced both – Thileepan as well as Gandhi as if they were part of themselves. If Kandeepan was fighting for truth as a lawyer – I would accept that he had the authority to speak publicly about Gandhi. But as per my observations in Northern Sri Lankan courts – he did not fight for truth nor for Thesawalamai law particular to Northern Sri Lanka. If he were – he would have held a protest against the ruling of Equal Distribution of wealth to sisters and brothers in breach of Thesawalamai law which devolves power on gender basis and hence early distribution to daughters as dowry. There was no such protest against such a ruling by District Court of Mallakam which was upheld by the Civil Appellate High Court of Jaffna. Injustice in Jaffna that damages Traditional values ought to be first repaired before we have a genuine claim at greater common level. To a lawyer – that commonness needs to happen by upholding the law as if s/he were the judge. It was this commonness with Gandhi that I experienced and shared as follows:
[Months later when searching through Google – I came across my response (Appendix 16) to Justice C. G. Weeramantry, former Vice President of the International Court of Justice, published by the Daily News (Sri Lanka) on 01 November 2004 – the day Dr. Peter Vaux above stated that I was like Gandhi. I wrote the response in October when I went to Sri Lanka at the invitation of Airlanka and was accommodated at Galadari Hotel. Their vehicle was sent to pick me up and I included my conversations with the driver (a Buddhist) also in my response. To me that is the way to share Gandhi’s values. I was able to, through my interpretations of the message of a Judge of International standards, take Non-Violence message to the ordinary folks. To me this is also what I was doing in terms of workplace and laws to the common Australian. Sri Lanka honored me and Australia punished me on the same day. How can Australian Government therefore lead Sri Lanka in anyway to eliminate Racial Inequality? Without actual practice of it – whatever knowledge and / or money that is paid by Australia is a handout. Ultimately the law is for the people to bring their minds together. To the extent it does not reach society – these are merely for employment and business purposes. ] – Chapter 25, Naan Australian.
More recently, Sri Lankan Judiciary upheld my claim against a Sinhala Buddhist in a Colombo land matter. These confirm to me as to whose world I belong in. In terms of current Jaffna – it is certainly not politicians. They are my opposition. I oppose so that the truth will get registered in the books of Natural Justice as the culture of that area at that time. Any outcome above that is globally common which confirms the boundaries of separatism – the interpretation of Tamil Nationalism by the young, the restless and the idle.
In law there is often reference to the Common person/Commoner. Various pictures are drawn about this common person. To me someone who without portfolio feels the pain or pleasure of another person not known to her/him in particular is a common person. This morning for example, when a lady who was walking in across to the other side of the pedestrian crossing, stumbled and I – standing outside the circle of physical influence, felt that I was about to have a fall – it confirmed to me I was a common Australian. Gandhi gave up his professional portfolio to have the experience as an Indian Commoner. Hence when Gandhi fasted – Indian commoners felt the pain. I know of no such sacrifice by Thileepan. Hence Kandeepan does not represent me – a Jaffna Tamil Sri Lankan by law and by belief.
The wonderful way of Commonness is that it comes to us when we are in true need.
In contrast, to Kandeepan, Mr Harsha Gunasena takes a common position and reveals his insight as follows, through the article, mentioned above:
[It was said that 20A is an interim amendment and a new constitution is on the way. Rulers with 2/3rd majority cannot and will not make a constitution acceptable to all. Mrs. B could not do it and her constitution marked the origin of Tamil rebellion. JRJ could not do it either. As he has pointed out in retirement his constitution would be defended by those in power and opposed by those who are not in power. In addition to the power the present ruling party has, with the strong bias of the President towards the ideology of Sinhala Buddhism it is extremely unlikely that they can produce a constitution acceptable to all which is a must of a constitution of a country.]
As a Common Sri Lankan, I identify with the above. If the majority votes were based on belief – the government would confirm intellectual logic in terms of law it makes. Mrs Bandaranaike’s constitution which empowered the Sinhala Buddhist was not one that upholds the truth and therefore the balance of intellectual logic applied by independent persons and groups. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution eliminated the language based discrimination by law but not religion based discrimination which exists as Article 9 of the current constitution. To the extent rulers and their race is conscious of greater powers because they are Buddhists and they express this as per their ruling status – they distance themselves from identity with the commoner – anywhere. This includes the Buddhist only areas. They will always be relatives and eventually become strangers to each other like the five body senses that are unregulated by belief and/or the brain’s logic. The sense regulated by the brain is the commoner/common sense.
An intellectual Sri Lankan Tamil responded as follows to my article ‘Is Velanwita Village an Orphanage?’
[Dear Gaja, I agree mostly with your point of view. Red tapes in SL is a curse and unless you can bribe or know someone, nothing will move. For the poor it is endless. So GR has a vision here though sounds unconventional It sounds unconventional Because we are used to a corrupt system. Do or get out.]
I responded back as follows:
[We need to also not lose sight of the good parts of this system which must respond to the more genuine person. It is also about the educated in the system, mind merging with wider world]
The above person identifies with Common poor in Sri Lanka. I identify with the Common educated Sri Lankan who has the rich heritage of intellectual logic through Kandyan law, Thesawalamai law, Muslim law as well as Roman Dutch law and English law. To the extent we complete experiences with the boundaries of a particular culture as per its laws – we would naturally mind merge with those who are bound by a higher common law of that area. The problem is that most politicians who get status power tend to make laws that would promote their status and hence do not satisfy the balance of logic. No Commoner would identify with such laws and hence the frequent changes to the first set of laws. We the Commoners will mind merge through our truth and thus redeem Sri Lanka from insanity.