Wednesday 29 September 2021


Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

29 September   2021

Death Drive in Sri Lankan Psyche?

Recently there has been active discussion about the concept of Sitrinpam/pleasure and Pehrinpam / bliss within family and community circles. As per my understanding, pleasure has limited lifespan but Bliss is eternal. Hence the worship of Lord Shiva through phallic symbol known as Lingam. To my mind, the science known as Kamasutra is the way to bliss through the art of sex. One needs strong discipline to reach that destination.

The above came to mind when my attention was drawn to the ‘DECLARATION OF COMMON PRINCIPLES OF TAMILS’ included in the Tamil Guardian article ‘US Tamil organisations unite to call for referendum and Sri Lanka to be charged with genocide

The reason for my connection could be the slip made recently by the current American President who referred to our Australian Prime Minister as ‘That Fella Down Under’. There was also the following information from BBC:

[It was 1988 and the then-vice president, George H. W. Bush, was on a routine visit to Idaho. He was supposed to give a dry speech on agricultural policy and praise his successes alongside President Reagan, live on television. Then he said: “We’ve had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We’ve had some sex... uh... setbacks.”]

Later George Bush senior’s name was dragged in relation to sexual misconduct.

I interpret these through my own cultural values that have stood the test of time and place changes. I therefore identify with secular values more easily than I otherwise would have:

For example - Sigmund Freud’s claims -  "patient cannot remember the whole of what is repressed in him, and ... is obliged to repeat the repressed material as a contemporary experience instead of ... remembering it as something belonging to the past:" 

As per my cultural value – pleasure is relative and therefore at the primary level – one who enjoys pleasure must pay for it one way or the other. Within family this happens through the barter system. Then it gets balanced and is healthy. When this pleasure is renounced by the owner – pleasure transcends to the higher level towards the sweetness of bliss. This is facilitated through higher positions within the institution for those who renounce pleasures through self-discipline. But when it is repressed including by the self towards another enjoyment – it surfaces in a ‘free’ environment. Both American presidents mentioned above confirmed such repression. The current President confirmed it in terms of position power where he had to pretend to be Equal to other heads of states. The true position allocated to Australian head of state slipped through when he could not remember – and hence the Freudian slip.

As per my culture,  pleasure = pain at equilibrium / breakeven state. More pleasure and less pain leads to instability of the brain. But when we renounce pleasure or accept more pain than the pleasure we recieve – there is automatic formation of  a structure – which becomes the container that  preserves ‘position power’. The final destination is ‘ownership’. The power of renunciation is often carried in laws and Due Processes that connect us to each other. Essential is the feeling of ownership by the maker.

The above has been known to me for sometime now. But that which was new was the Death Drive principle presented as follows by Wikipedia:

[In classical Freudian psychoanalytic theory, the death drive is the drive toward death and destruction, often expressed through behaviors such as aggressionrepetition compulsion, and self-destructiveness. It was originally proposed by Sabina Spielrein in her paper "Destruction as the Cause of Coming Into Being"]

I identified with the above through my own conclusions about LTTE (Tamil) as well as JVP (Sinhalese) rebels of Sri Lanka. The above mentioned ‘DECLARATION OF COMMON PRINCIPLES OF TAMILS’ – given shape by Americans, has been signed by the following:

Seetharam Sivam, President United States Tamil Action Group(USTAG)

Meena Ilancheyan, President Tamil Americans United PAC

Viswanathan Rudrakumaran, Prime Minister Trans National Government of Tamil Eelam

Rajendra Nadaraja, President Ilankai Thamil Sangam

Ravi Subramaniam, President World Tamil Organization

Shanthini Jeyarajah, President North Carolinians for Peace

Included in the above declaration is the following:

[Noting that the Vaddukoddai Resolution was adopted on 14 May 1976 by the Tamil United Liberation Front seeking to work for the creation of an independent State of Tamil Eelam, which received an overwhelming mandate at the subsequent 1977 Parliamentary Elections. ]

I have frequently made this connection between cause and effect in my articles. This measure is now a natural part of me. The TGTE as per my knowledge claimed to be the heir of the LTTE. The LTTE killed the parents of Vaddukoddai Resolution 1976. The LTTE thus killed the parents to occupy the leadership positions through military force. Their heirs carry that sin. Hence they lack the political credibility to include the above in their declarations. The Sinhala parallel of the LTTE is King Kasyapa I,  known as Pithru Ghathaka Kashyapa (Kashyapa the Patricide).

The LTTE became a self-destructive when we apply Sigmund Freud’s theory :

the death drive is the drive toward death and destruction, often expressed through behaviors such as aggressionrepetition compulsion, and self-destructiveness

So, how would Tamil culture measure this?

The only suicidal event in Mahabharatham that comes to mind is that of Prince Abhimanyu who fought as per the rules but was killed outside the rules of war by the Opposition leaders. But that was not the case with LTTE who fought ‘free’ of common rules. To the extent their cadre was oppressed – including through denial of sexual pleasures - they would have developed the urge to self-destruct. Sex is creative and its opposite  death is destructive. Whoever becomes the heir of LTTE would inherit this self-destructive Energy which cannot be managed by the new generation – especially those in civilian life.

A good example is Mrs Ambihai Selvakumar who claimed to honor Thileepan as a Martyr and went on a hunger strike in the UK. LTTE’s Thileepan followed the local system which was in breach of Sri Lanka’s laws. Mrs Ambihai Selvakumar was claiming recognition at UN level – which is wishful thinking. Likewise, others who keep desiring public credit through LTTE pathway. If they are successful the loss would be our collective higher intelligence. This then makes us slaves to those whose status we use towards this. Then Joe Biden is likely to refer to Tamils as ‘those morons from the underworld.’



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