PTA & MARRIAGE LAWS
Item 9 in the list of Don’ts from the directorate of our group of Volunteer Tutors included the following:
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD A TUTOR OFFER ANY FORM OF FINANCIAL FAVOUR TO THE STUDENT OR THE STUDENT’S PARENTS AND OR SEND ANY MATERIAL GIFT WITHOUT THE EXPRESS APPROVAL OF THE PROJECT DIRECTOR
This reminded me of my own reputation in Northern Sri Lanka – of not giving anything ‘free’. I therefore responded as follows:
‘I feel that item 9 is essential and confirms your wisdom in teacher-student relationships. Any form of handout, including knowledge, damages the relationship. The structure is not ours to do as we please.’
The Northern Tamil community of Sri Lanka is bound by its on cultural structure. Anyone who claims to be leader of the whole – has to climb through that structure and declare their leadership once they have mentally reached the top. The best example of this known to me is the Vaddukoddai Resolution 1976, by Northern Tamil Politicians. Its validity was confirmed through the 1977 election outcomes through which the leading Tamil political group became the leading Opposition in National Parliament. This confirmed that we Tamils were capable of working the Political structure developed by our ancestors.
But lower level investors in that culture resorted to ‘show & tell’ and hence the armed rebellion led by the LTTE. By killing the Tamil Political leaders – the LTTE and its heirs were disowning our political heritage.
The Guardian article ‘Tamils fear prison and torture in Sri Lanka, 13 years after civil war ended’ at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/26/tamils-fear-prison-and-torture-in-sri-lanka-13-years-after-civil-war-ended , presents the following reality:
[In recent years some of the worst abuses that were rife in the years after the war, from white-van abductions, torture and sexual crimes against Tamils, have abated. What never disappeared was the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Since it was passed in 1979, the PTA has been a stain on Sri Lanka’s human rights record, enabling arbitrary arrest, detention without charge or evidence, forced confessions and torture of anyone suspected of terrorism.]
If the above was against Tamils only, then it would be an unjust law – as unjust as the Christian only marriage act of South Africa against which Gandhi organised the folks to protest:
Excerpt from The Selected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (Vol. II)
Many married men came to South Africa from India, while some Indians contracted a marriage in South Africa itself. There is no law for the registration of ordinary marriages in India, and the religious ceremony suffices to confer validity upon them. The same custom ought to apply to Indians in South Africa as well and although Indians had settled in South Africa for the last forty years, the validity of marriages solemnized according to the rites of the various religions of India had never been called in question. But at this item there was a case in which Mr. Justice Searle of the Cape Supreme Court gave judgment on March 14, 1913 to the effect that all marriages were outside in pale of legal marriages in South Africa with the exception of such as were celebrated according to Christian rites and registered by the registrar of Marriages. This terrible judgment thus nullified in South Africa at a stroke of the pen all marriages celebrated according to the Hindu Musalman and Zoroastrian rites. Many married Indian women in South Africa in terms of this judgment ceased to rank as the wives of their husbands and were degraded to the rank of concubines, while their progeny were deprived of their right to inherit the parent’s property. This was an insufferable situation for women no less than men, and the Indians in South Africa were deeply agitated.
According to my usual practice I wrote to the Government, asking them whether they agreed to the Searle judgment and whether, if the judge was right to interpreting it, they would amend the law so as to recognize the validity of Indian marriages consecrated according to the religious customs of the parties and recognized as legal in India. The Government were not then in a mood to listen and could not see their way to comply my request.]
By becoming De Facto group, the LTTE had its own laws – including for marriage. This then nullified the rights of lawful marriages. Likewise the laws in relation to fighting against the Sinhalese government.
Laws lead us to Truth structured at the higher level. The risk of lower level interpretation is high if we separate and fight not for the whole but for only a part. Recently this was confirmed by me in the case of a book, purported to be about a true LTTE combatant:
‘War Journey By Malarvan: Diary of a Tamil Tiger’
Bittersweet, fresh and
lyrical at times, War Journey is a testament to the Tamil longing for a
homeland and the wider conflict that once engulfed the island.
The child you threatened once, the young shoot you stepped on, the Tamil you teased, is standing with a gun in front of you.
This short diary was recovered from Malaravan's kit after he was killed in action in 1992, when barely twenty. In it, he recounts his unit’s journey to Maankulam, the islands granary, to fight a critical battle where they routed the Lankan military. The LTTEs planning and tactics, the fervour and camaraderie of the young Tigers, and the actual combat are minutely chronicled. As a foil to the violence, Malaravan brings out the beauty of the Tamil forest and countryside and the humanity and support of the common people for them, despite their suffering under army rule. ]
To one who promoted the book – I wrote at group level:
[If Xxxx does believe then in the passage ‘The child you threatened once, the young shoot you stepped on, the Tamil you teased, is standing with a gun in front of you.’ the perpetrator must be a Tamil, because Malaravan as a Tamil living in rural North, would not have had the experience of being punished by Sinhalese. Likewise, majority LTTE, including the leaders. The real reason was caste?]
The LTTE used the Racial aspect as the measure and did so without the moral authority of their soul. In their ‘artificial intelligence’ they had the ‘race’ measure which was the weapon of the Politicians who were killed by the LTTE. The fear of ‘prison’ . The same weapon would kill or cure as per the true purpose of the user. A Separatist would kill so s/he would rule. Those who separate need to renounce that which is common – including the right to expect from the Common government.
The 1983 pogrom affected Tamils in multicultural areas. It is being hijacked by those who elevated themselves to leadership level – as if Tamils were political orphans.