Tuesday 17 February 2015

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 17 February  2015

Sri Lankan Enlightenment

Tonight is Maha Shiva-Raathri – Great Night of Lord Shiva – the Lord of the Mind. Hindus maintain vigil throughout the night and as a young adult I often observed this sacred vigil at Ramakrishna Mission in Colombo – thanks to the elders in Myuran Sukumaran’s family - about whom I wrote earlier this morning. (Indonesia – Demoting Itself - http://austms.blogspot.com.au/ ). At the time of writing the article I did not know that tonight was Maha Shiva-Raathri. But after writing that article I felt really good and kept thanking Lord Shiva as I lovingly polished the statue of Dancing Shiva while listening to Shiva Music. Lord Shiva is invoked to kill speed – so the mind is steadied. Later I received email from Ramakrishna Mission informing me that tonight was Maha Shiva-Raathri. This was followed by mail from a fellow Australian Tamil with the following message:


A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door!

He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, 'What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?' The young boy was apologetic. 'Please, mister....please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do,' He pleaded. 'I threw the brick because no one else would stop...' With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car.. 'It's my brother,' he said, 'he rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up.'

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, 'Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me.' Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay 'Thank you and may God bless you,' the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.

It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar.. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: 'Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!' God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It's our choice to listen or not.

I felt deeply moved when I read the line ‘God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts.’.   I felt that the feelings I was experiencing after writing the above mentioned article were due to me hearing the Lord within. Lord Shiva is the Lord of the Mind. Lord Shiva is known to govern us by killing the speed of the surface thinker. When the passage between our mind and our heart is cleared of desires we hear the Lord within. 

Today, for the first time, I received a message which confirmed that I was finally included in the email listing of  Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka.  On Friday, 13 February I wrote in relation to Sri Lankan governance issues  ‘I received the message about the Resolution  through the Sri Lankan Diaspora, independent of Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke who unlike many others has not reciprocated my gesture of including him in my email list. I concluded that to him I am not a cow with a bell – like Chief Minister Wigneswaran is.’  Given that the cow is associated closely with Lord Shiva – to me it is significant that I received the above confirmation today- confirming the mind connection.

Dr. Jayatilleka’s article was also  about Sri Lanka’s Foreign Relationships and it started with the line:

[“…we’re going to talk today about President Sirisena’s thoughts about how to move Sri Lanka away from 30 years of war with the Tamils…”– Secretary of State John Kerry, Feb 12, 2015]

Dr. Jayatilleka  explains his reception of the above as follows:

[US Secretary of State John Kerry’s welcoming remarks on the occasion of his meeting with Sri Lanka’s new Foreign Minister revealed two basic truths. Firstly, that even at its most friendly, the US has a slightly prejudiced, if not warped perception of Sri Lanka. Secondly that Foreign Minister Samaraweera is no Lakshman Kadirgamar, the man he succeeded during his first stint in the post under President Rajapaksa.]

First of all Truth stands on its own rights. If the above statements are taken as expressions of Truth – they must stand the test of all genuine investors in this issue.

US prejudice against Sri Lanka

America is known to have invested in common principles of Democracy & Equal Opportunity, much more than Sri Lanka has.  The way the war in Sri Lanka is assessed would be relative to such investment by other governments. The assessments of Mr. Kerry as an individual is not for public consumption. Likewise the position taken by all of us. Those like Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, who take a position beyond position portfolios – are governors and they have the responsibility to speak the Truth and nothing but the Truth.

Position of Minister for Foreign Affairs

In terms of Minister Samaraweera – he should not be expected to form pictures in the same manner as Mr. Kadirgamar did when the latter was Minister for Foreign Affairs. The expectations from that restricted position needs to be different to our expectations from the position during Mr. Kadirgamar.  Minister Samaraweera’s performance needs to be assessed as per the requirements of the current position in the new picture of governance drawn after 08 January Presidential Elections. If the individual is taken without his position responsibilities – then our assessments are speedy and lacking in balance.
Dr. Jayatilleka goes on to state ‘ So, either the US views the LTTE as being representative of the Tamils or it thinks that Sri Lanka waged a war for 30 years against the Tamil community.’

Further reading of Dr. Jayatilleka’s analyses leads us to :

[For his part, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera not only failed to diplomatically correct the utterly false perception of and unfair reference to our country and implicitly its armed forces, he failed to mention the 30 years of war at all!]

If reference to Sri Lanka’s war implied the armed forces – then reference to Tamils includes the LTTE.  Neither represents the whole.  Both include the armed forces in their Political representation and rightly so. In addition – let’s not forget that the previous government included LTTE leadership in its own government picture.

Dr. Jayatilleka goes on to state:

1.      we’ve been peaceful and prosperous for five years, on President Rajapaksa’s watch
2.      Sri Lanka is not in transition from a military or any other kind of dictatorship or autocracy. It was always a multiparty democracy in which competitive elections were held. This time the Opposition won and there was a smooth transfer of power following a peaceful election.

These are largely on paper. While President Rajapaksa may have believed that he needed force beyond democratic levels to match and eliminate the Tamil armed force – it could by no measure be referred to as being ‘peaceful and prosperous’ during the 30 year war. Five years of relative harmony – was maintained by exercise of subjective powers and not through the path of Democracy.

To my mind, Sri Lanka has been running on military basis over the past 30 years – due to both sides – the LTTE and the Government.  Most of us accepted that as the only way known to the Sri Lankan Government.  To state that it was not autocratic / dictatorial is an insult to all of us who cooperated with the just expectations on both sides – each as per their Truth.

Finally – about the Indian influence:

[India can play a very constructive role in the economic, political and diplomatic arenas. Just recently the elected semi-autonomous Northern Provincial Council of Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority area passed a Resolution with the outrageous and aggressive allegation that successive Sri Lankan Governments since Independence in 1948, committed “genocide” against the Tamil community. India can help Sri Lanka’s rehabilitation process by helping oppose trends towards political and ethnic radicalization and polarization. It can do so by making it very clear to Sri Lanka’s and South India’s Tamil politicians that Delhi strongly opposes such a Resolution and will not countenance such anti-Sri Lankan and potentially separatist postures on the part of the Tamil politicians. ]

To my mind, as a Tamil – Northern Sri Lankans need this influence of Tamil Nadu to balance the majority power by the Sinhalese in the minds of both sides. When majority power is openly used by one side as Administrative power  - one needs a subjective opposition power to diffuse the excess. Tamils are entitled to this – so long as it is not in breach of Sri Lankan laws. Used appropriately it would contribute to globalization of Sri Lanka as a nation.

If we are truly committed to Truth we must seek within ourselves. Once both sides accept their side’s weaknesses as their own and present themselves as One community  standing on its own rights taking  its true status – Sri Lanka would be democratic and would heal itself. The more we point fingers at others – the less likely we are to cure ourselves inwardly. The Global Community led by the UN has facilitated this internal healing by delaying the International assessment.  As per Tamil Diaspora, the next report is due not in March but in September this year.  Someone within the UN must have heard the genuine Sri Lankan voice. Haste through political games would result in opportunity cost in terms of developing Democratic Administration that would make it easy for other Democracies to read us. 

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