14 September 2021
Devolution or Separation?
Democracy ‘happened’ because Autocracy failed. When democracy fails – autocracy creeps back to continue along its old path. Then reverse pyramid happens. The Spirit is that of the killed Autocracy but the body is the young generation who inherit the fruits of Autocracy. Those who are driven by brawn power tend to enjoy at the physical level while holding high positions of power as per which they have the duty to ‘share’ the physical on merit basis. The measure of Merit is crucial to reliable distribution of the physical. In autocracy, it is measured through cleverness of the ruler. In Democracy it is measured through belief in oneself in one’s home environment. If we continue to use the ‘cleverness’ measure then we set aside democracy to that extent. Likewise, if we use belief based democracy, then we set aside cleverness measures to that extent. Until we transcend and lose sight of the physical, what happened / physical manifestations are essential. More essential is the measure used which are often inherited and therefore are exponential in power– be they positive or negative. The Corona Virus is such an example. It confirms the that costs also spread exponentially when they are ‘free’ of their physical form.
Following is an excerpt from the Update on the human rights situation in Sri
Lanka, at the 48th session of the Human Rights Council
Statement by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in Geneva on 13 September 2021:
[The current social, economic and governance challenges faced by Sri Lanka indicate the corrosive impact that militarisation and the lack of accountability continue to have on fundamental rights, civic space, democratic institutions, social cohesion and sustainable development. ]
The measure used is the global secular measure. The measure that ought to be used is the Constitution of Sri Lanka. That constitution is incapable of measuring ‘facts’ due to the constitution being relative and not sovereign. As per science based measure the logic needs to be balanced at the total level. As per belief based measure the measure is ‘yesterday’s experience’ that has no residual form at present.
The update proceeds as follows:
[A new state of emergency was declared in Sri Lanka on 30 August, with the stated aim of ensuring food security and price controls, amid deepening recession. The emergency regulations are very broad and may further expand the role of the military in civilian functions. The Office will be closely monitoring their application.
I note with interest the President’s recent meeting with some civil society leaders, and I encourage broader dialogue and steps to open Sri Lanka’s civic space. Regrettably, surveillance, intimidation and judicial harassment of human rights defenders, journalists and families of the disappeared has not only continued, but has broadened to a wider spectrum of students, academics, medical professionals and religious leaders critical of government policies. Several peaceful protests and commemorations have been met with excessive use of force and the arrest or detention of demonstrators in quarantine centres. ]
When the LTTE was eliminated in 2009, it was after a physical fight/war. But 12 years later - the root cause of the war is yet to be discovered and shared with the People of Sri Lanka and beyond. Each time ‘victory’ is taken by either side – including through UN sessions, finding the root-cause is sent to the back-burner. That is why the government without policy changes, fought against Islamic fundamentalists after the elimination of the LTTE. Fundamentalism confirms attachment to the physical form of power. So long as this is exercised within the boundaries of belief – it is harmless and would diffuse itself with time. The current example is lockdowns within our home areas.
The UN’s approach indicates that the pathway used is ‘inquisitorial’ whereas in Sri Lanka – the war was through the ‘adversarial’ system which was naturally established on the basis of the 1972 Constitution. Article 6 of that constitution stated:
6. The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster Buddhism while assuring to all religions the rights granted by section 18 (1) (d)
18. (1) In the Republic of Sri Lanka (d) every citizen shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and the freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching;
The Rights under article 18 are in the Fundamental Rights section.
These articles have been carried through to the 1978 Constitution.
Article 6 is relative and is NOT sovereign in terms of religion. Article 18 is Sovereign. Hence those covered by article 6 are outside the cover of article 18. The parallels in the current constitution are articles 9 and - 10 together with 14, - respectively.
Where those in the military are largely Buddhists – the government has the duty to use the inquisitorial system. Hence Executive Powers are needed by the President.
The other side to the war are non-Buddhists. They are entitled to the adversarial system.
At UN level the Buddhist side needs to state the Buddhist tenets through which the Constitutional Rights were upheld. Likewise the Non-Buddhist side needs to confirm its belief based measures and then self-assess and present its own case. The UN lacks jurisdiction to use secular base where religion is part of the constitution of a country. It can take an impartial observer position by facilitating both sides to present their cases through UN’s Due Processes.
Within a country - a judge has to go down to the sovereign part of the Constitution to measure fundamental rights on Equal footing.
As per my experience, when ‘Buddhism foremost’ article was introduced – there was hardly any show of opposition by non-Buddhist leaders or even educated leaders within the Buddhist community. The measure was my previous experience of opposition to Sinhala-only policy which led to riots in Colombo in 1956 and in 1958. Language is the body of our communications. Belief in the common value is the natural soul communication. Even after the war no Tamil politician is known to have presented a Bill to repeal article 9 – the Buddhism foremost article. This means they are looking for separation and not devolution.
The 13th Amendment failed to include the repealing of Buddhism Foremost article – so Buddhists also would enjoy the blessings of Buddhist ancestors who realised their sovereignty through Buddhism. Any value has to pass the test of ‘zero relativity’ to qualify as a sovereign value and only such value becomes a heritage. A heritage based law is a naturally just law. Relativity based law carries the risk of unjust discrimination.
The 13th Amendment effectively opposed Sihala fundamentalism through physical separation. This had the effect of rendering a pathway to Tamil Nadu whose political leaders initiated the support for armed rebellion by Tamils. It did not cure the relative value by opposing Buddhism foremost article, through Equal status article – similar to the language related article which is article 18 in the current constitution. Apparent Equality tends to hide lack of belief in the common whole. Belief works the system naturally.
The above mentioned report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights includes:
[Despite various inquiries, the victims of the Easter Sunday bombings in 2019 and religious leaders continue to call urgently for truth and justice, and a full account of the circumstances that permitted those attacks. ]
The question here is which pathway would be used – given that both sides are non-Buddhists and the current government shows attachment to Buddhist leadership? In fact the previous President also became a fundamentalist by ‘showing’ strong attachment to Buddhist looks. In natural justice – this government lacks the jurisdiction to take an impartial position that would be common to both communities. It has the jurisdiction to punish as per objectively measurable evidence through secular pathway but no more. The UN is expecting that which is not deliverable as a true outcome. Only a true law can deliver a true solution that would spread itself naturally.