Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 21 January 2015
Diversity Denied to Muslims?
The question ‘Appointment Of The Prime Minister : Constitutional Or Not?’ (Sri Lanka Guardian) raised by Dr. Selvakkumaran – former Dean of Law, University of Colombo, is an interesting one. I made my checks on this point, the very moment I read about the pledges made by the Common Opposition Candidate, before the 2015 Presidential Elections. On the face of the provisions of the Sri Lankan Constitution – such an appointment seemed valid. Also, in terms of the Parliamentary Structure that majority Sri Lankans were used to – the position has become more like Vice President’s position. The Common Sri Lankan does not relate to such positions through the Constitutional structure but rather through reality in her/his environment, raised to national level through her/his investment in national level politics. Those with positions above their deservedness relative to the Common citizen – would use such provisions for their own purposes – usually to raise their status to ‘tell’ rather than to share. In Sri Lanka, JVP which attempted to kill the then leader – President Jayawardene and LTTE which killed the Prime Minister of India – are both represented at government level. That is our reality.
The law is like the Budget. Our reality is the Actual. Identifying with this Reality and using Natural Laws to realize our own Truth is the common purpose that unites us as Sri Lankans. One of the Vice Chancellors of the University of New South Wales – who allocated half an hour to meet with me after I successfully set aside through Court Process ( in which I represented myself ) the criminal charges of Trespass against me for Peaceful Assembly – (Australian reality) also said to me that he was acting as per his reality. The meeting helped me identify with the Vice Chancellor’s Truth – through his ‘attitude’ – in this instance the attitude was resigning himself to ‘fate’ – his past. The newly elected President’s attitude towards government structures also seems to be along these lines.
I continue to contribute to the University system extended to National Policy – through my own Truth – as a Governor would do. That is the real structure that supports us anytime anywhere to feel our Sovereignty and to live for our Sovereignty. On that basis – I responded to a Medical Academic about his statements on leadership:
Identity - Leader’s Contribution to the identity of the organization needs to be common to diverse cultures – and not limited to Medicine (law in this instance)
Connections - Where the gap between leader and follower is deep – the mind of the leader needs to be connected to the mind of the follower – as in guru and shishya/disciple relationship. If you claim to be a business leader – then the connection is lateral and the positions are service providers and service receivers. If you are able to value the remotest customer on equal footing as the closest customer – then you are a good service provider. A natural leader is one in whom both positions are present.
Complexity – multicultural issues come to mind. A democratic leader / service provider would invoke response and then observe the outcomes produced by the service receiver. Towards this one needs to not be attached to the outcomes produced by the other. With those of one culture – the vertical path is the more suitable path. Under this path – the mind of the leader connects to the mind of the follower and raises the connection to the leader’s level. Outcomes produced at lower levels would block this path – for example through devolution to avoid conflict.
Modelling ethical behavior – One needs to take one’s true position in one’s mind to be ethical. Those who do not know their Truth would be examples of unethical behavior –especially when the leader holds high position through his past records.
Sri Lankan Head of State needs to be Common Leader to Diverse cultures in her / his mind. Every person who is such a leader in her/his local area is naturally contributing to the National leadership. In democracy – this needs to be ‘seen’ either through Equal participation in affairs of all cultural groups or the leader participating openly only in Common affairs – such as Defence by the new President. To be Common in this portfolio, the President needs to have Equal level of Defence Forces in JVP areas as there are in LTTE areas. The risk through LTTE to the Sovereign Status of the Nation was shown as being high in the mind of the former regime led by Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa. It has been demonstrated by the new regime that this is not as high in the new President’s mind. Indeed as per emerging reports – the risk to Sri Lankan investment in leadership is greater through the former President than through LTTE who have become a side show. The risk was high also because under the old structure – the Prime Minister was responsible for Buddha Sasana. That would then render Buddhism leadership position.
Sri Lanka to have a Common Identity as a self-governing nation – needs to either consciously recognize the need for multiculturalism including multicameral system of Parliament or stay away from ethnicity and religion based structures. The new regime while moving away from the ethnicity and religion based power allocations at the top has included such portfolios down the line. It has however demonstrated poor commitment to Equal Opportunity to be Diverse – by leaving out a ministry for Islamic Affairs while including in their structure – ministries for Hindu Religious Affairs, Christian Religious Affairs and Buddha Sasana. A structure confirms the pathway through which laws flow. To most citizens the structure is the law. . (Note – This has since been rectified - with a ministry for Muslim Affairs being appointed – as per latest news report)
The Law Academic would identify with the law through her/his official position and/or real position. The interpretations by Dr. Selvakkumaran would help strengthen the opportunities for legal academics. But a law, to be of wholesome value must equally strengthen the practitioners’ opportunities. Where the practitioner invests more in the law than the legal academic – including lawyers who speak the law better than they practice – the practitioner’s interpretation has greater validity than the academic’s in that environment. Accordingly, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe is the Administrative Head of State and Mr. Maithripala Sirisena is the Governor. The parallels at provincial level are the Chief Minister and Governor respectively. In a traditional University system – they are the parallels of Vice Chancellor and Chancellor respectively. Under this system, Governors are Facilitators and as facilitators they need to show our Truth to us. Accordingly – Defence is no longer an Administrative function but a facilitating function. Under the American system – the President is seen to be everything and the Governor is not recognized. Like with Sri Lanka – the problems with the University of New South Wales started when the Vice Chancellor was renamed President. This to my mind, is to accommodate lovers of Subjective Powers.
The reality for Tamils is that LTTE was bought over by Mr. Rajapaksa and the structure developed by Mr. Rajapaksa was sold out to balance that karma.
Last night one of the health officers in our area was sharing with me her experience during efforts to eradicate Dengue. One of the ladies served by the health officials had stated that she cannot address the problems the health officials had highlighted and had stated that she would be happy for the officials to fine the head of household – her husband who earns enough to pay the fine! Like this lady, the ordinary citizen of Sri Lanka would urge the global authorities to fine the Sri Lankan Government for failing to eradicate dictatorship virus because there is only that much a citizen can do to help the Government get the good governance certificate!