The Indian Influence
I read with interest the article ‘Who Will Rule? A Question From An Undecided Voter’ by
Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, forwarded to me by a leader of the Sri Lankan Diaspora. In many ways it felt as if Dr. Jayatilleka was speaking more as a Diaspora leader than as a local voter. The level at which a voter thinks is very different to the level at which a governor thinks. The vote – like the human being has three levels at which value is calculated: The physical, mental and the ownership / soul levels. In terms of work – they are Money, People and Ownership. In terms of Government it is Politics/Voting, Administration and Governance. Through the vote we place ourselves in the Government – also at the three levels. The stronger the Governance component – the stronger the Administration and weaker the need for politics.
Dr. Jayatilleka shares with us his mind:
“My father Mervyn de Silva used to characterize me slightly critically, as “a Romantic”, and the romantic in me would like to vote for change. But right now, I cannot make that decision because the Realist in me raises a fundamental question: “who rules?” Or rather, who would rule, if Mr. Sirisena wins?”
The first connection I made for Dr. Jayatilleka to form this question in his mind – was through his own surname. As stated above – Dr. Jayatilleka’s father’s name was Mervyn de Silva. As per public records Dr. Jayatilleka took on his mother’s maiden name as his family name. Yet Dr. Jayatilleka through his current work - is following in the footsteps of his father who was an outstanding journalist. So who ruled / governed Dr. Jayatilleka – mother or father?
This is very important in terms also of the role of Tamils in this election. The Tamil Diaspora has been shaping the external influences on Sri Lankan Government and its internal structures. Like Dr. Jayatilleka’s surname - they say Tamil Eelam but like Dr. Jayatilleka following in the footsteps of his father – they are working for Equal status that Sri Lankan Tamil politicians sought and worked towards and achieved. Those rights were confirmed through elections in 1977 when Tamils became the Equal Opposition to the Government.
Through the Executive Presidency system 1978 - created by the then President JR Jayawardane the opportunity to show such Equal Position at leadership level was dramatically reduced for Tamils – the largest minority group. By Policy – the playing field was made uneven. This resulted in the issue becoming global due to the global systems through which Tamils have invested in Government structures all over the world. The 1977 outcomes happened in a different form in 2014 – when the UN decided to inquire into alleged abuses in the Sri Lankan war. Escalation of the Conflict to UN level was largely due to the Tamil Diaspora.
Through my inner search – I have discovered that the status I allocate myself through my work on the basis of my assessment of the needs of a group - is much higher than the status allocated by others in family, workplace and community groups. I learnt also – that if I waited around for the custodians of power of that group to provide the returns – I would not have identified with the returns that came from a higher or wider level. The more I stay within my experiences as I received them – the more awed I am about the role of Higher Powers of Divine system of Truth which always delivers to US as per our Truth. Once we identify the connection between us as the end that received the effects and those who caused those effects – ( through the seen and the known ) and the gap is attributed to Nature/God - we complete the experience, learn the lesson and get promoted to the higher level.
The difference between the LTTE outcomes after 1977 until 2009 and the ones produced in 1977 and recently in 2014 is this ‘gap’ filled by a force beyond the seen and the known through a particular local system. In the case of Tamil Diaspora who feel deeply for the loss experienced and do what they can to compensate – the atrocities by the LTTE get overridden at community level. They should be beyond the reach of direct players/voters/shooters – if Sri Lanka is to strengthen itself through this war, by eliminating identified negative forces. To the extent the Tamil Diaspora becomes the opposition of the Government of Sri Lanka for this purpose – the purpose of identifying the negative forces – the Tamil Diaspora is healthy for Sri Lanka. Any excesses above that level would lead to disorderly thoughts and conduct within the Tamil Diaspora – as happened within the Sinhalese community – resulting in the likes of Dr. Jayatilleka rejecting the current regime under Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s leadership. The value of such rejection is far stronger than the vote against Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa by someone with economic interest only – even though the two have equal outer value to elect the leader. The leader is only a medium through whom we make our own contribution to governance.
In his Sri Lanka Guardian article – ‘Implementing 13A, India And International Commitments’ - Dr. Jayatilleka states :
“It is in his concluding chapter that Weiss describes my role: “Dayan Jayatilleka, one of the most capable diplomats appointed by the Rajapaksa regime, had outmaneuvered Western diplomats to help Sri Lanka escape censure from the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. (p256-7)””
In light of the credits taken by Dr. Jayatilleka through his position in the UN as representative of Sri Lanka, Dr. Jayatilleka has the Accumulated Responsibility to use the Administrative path to analyze the current situation in Sri Lanka. His thoughts as a voter need to be confidential – as confidential as they were kept during the 2009 UN Resolution which Dr. Jayatilleka was very much a part of. Now he is abandoning the Administrative ship when it seems to be sinking.
Administration is certainly the weak point in the Rajapaksa Government. But how strong is the Administration of Mr. Sirisena – the Opposition candidate? According to Dr. Jayatilleka’s assessment – not a strong one. In terms of Administration – and Economy, Sri Lankan Government is strongly influenced by the International Community – not because anyone says so – but due to the conduct of the Sri Lankan Government during the war when China’s influence was brought in. Between China and India – in action – Chinese have supported the Sinhalese-Buddhists and Dr. Jayatilleka quotes Gordon Weiss as follows:
“But of the veto-wielding ‘perm five’ in the Security Council, it was China...which was the largest stumbling block”
The above is contradicted by the following statement by Dr. Jayatilleka in the above article:
[As Mervyn de Silva, whose 14th death anniversary falls this weekend, cautioned in a lecture at Marga Institute on ‘External Aspects of The Ethnic Issue’ in 1985, two years before the airdrop, the Accord, the IPKF and 13A, “Sri Lankan foreign policy must be centred on a non-hostile relationship with India”. ]
Language is an outer aspect of belief. The stronger force influencing belief in Sri Lanka is Religion – Buddhism and Hinduism in this instance. As per my knowledge – based on published statistics - China’s Buddhists are only a quarter of India’s Hindus. In this instance – at regional level - the Highway between Hindus is much wider than the Highway between Buddhists.
True belief is a natural force – the effects of which when manifested are often seen and known before the causes. On that basis – Mr. Rajapaksa has demonstrated more commonness with Hindu India through Lord Muruga than any other Presidential candidate identified so far. If Dr. Jayatilleka were to access his paternal heritage – he might find enough independence of the pen to discover whose governance would uphold his work of global standards. It is his duty to Sri Lanka to uphold and give form to that work as a priority. That’s when the voter would mature as governor. Then and only then it would matter not which person wins – for a governor would structure her/his work with whatever is available as medium in the current environment – be it the UN or Colombo Polling Booth. The voted person is only a medium through which a governor expresses her/his work.
Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 28 November 2014