Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 26 February 2015
Australia is Indonesia’s Big Brother
Last night, after sharing in the pain of a close relative of Myuran Sukumaran who faces the death penalty in Indonesia – I thought more about whether Sukumaran would have been better off had he stayed on in Sri Lanka, instead of migrating to Australia as a child of refugees. Sri Lanka’s death penalty laws have not been used since 1976. In fact even in terms of Terrorism charges the provisions of this authority have not been invoked. Instead, some members of the LTTE have been included on the side of the government. This may not be good governance but it is more humane than ‘life for life’ judgments. Life for life confirms revenge mentality. It is tribal. It is not unjust where both sides are tribal. This is the reason why in terms of Natural Justice – Indonesia should prevent itself from punishing foreign nationals – especially nationals of those countries that have demonstrated more commitment than Indonesia to global governance. This is the reason why Sukumaran’s family came to Australia as refugees. Now they are in a worse situation than would have been the case if they had stayed on in Sri Lanka – where the tribal mentality was limited to lower levels of society. The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) as well as their gurus the Sinhalese JVP taking lives in the name of assumed rights to be the government’s opposition are also of this tribal group. In the process – they killed the democratically elected Opposition – with the purpose of becoming kings in their own territories. Had someone in Sukumaran’s family been killed by the LTTE or JVP – that would have been either accidental or an expression of tribal rule.
Even though I do not identify with death penalty in a civilized society, I am able to appreciate and understand the root thinking of death penalty in Sri Lanka than in Indonesia. As per Wikipedia report on Sri Lanka’s history in this regard:
‘The British restricted the death penalty after they took control of the island in 1815 to the crimes of murder, and "waging war against the King." After independence, the then Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike abolished capital punishment in 1956. However, it was rapidly reintroduced after his assassination in 1959. Opposition to the death penalty started becoming increasingly widespread and the United National Party government modified the use of the capital punishment in its 1978 rewrite of the constitution. Under the new arrangement, death sentences could only be carried out if authorised by the trial judge, the attorney general and the minister of justice. If there was no agreement, the sentence was to be commuted to life imprisonment. The sentence was also to be ratified by the President. This clause effectively ended executions. The last execution in Sri Lanka took place in 1976.’
The Brazilian President Her Excellency Dilma Rouseff is reported to have shown her own stand through diplomatic boycott. Great Lady.
Australians are quite familiar with de facto relationships. They facilitate families to develop through natural pathways than through strict hierarchical systems. In this de facto system - the natural rights of an individual is more important than position rights. Often members of a society who are unable to realize fulfilment through hierarchical structures slip down to de-facto systems for the purpose of survival and continuity. This is the case with rebels as well as nations like Indonesia that are not providers but beneficiaries in the UN system. To maintain one’s sovereignty - one must take one’s true position in a de facto system or its tertiary form – ‘user pays’ facility – that UN is for governance purposes. The alternative is to recognize a ‘relationship’ that is hierarchical in form – and fulfil the role as per that hierarchical form. Given that Australia has been providing aid to Indonesia – it needs to either regularize and recognize its position as a provider or accept ‘goodwill’ as the return for such bilateral flow. Goodwill is like Liquid Cash in a system where Status is like Savings. In de facto relationships – the balance is through this goodwill flow which needs to flow from the person enjoying more benefits that the other from that relationship at that time. In a flat system of Democracy – the Goodwill flow from Indonesia to Australia needs to be very strong. If this is not recognized by the Australian Public – then our Government has the responsibility to immediately cease such bilateral aid or publicly demote Indonesia’s status by listing Indonesia as an ‘unsafe’ destination for any travel by Australians.
At family level, we became victims of such bilateral aid to our younger relatives. We became victims due to our attachment to the old hierarchical system where the parents of these younger relatives were our seniors. At the family level – irrespective of whether we were recognized as seniors / providers or not – we used our status with the community to share our Truth – so that others did not suffer as we did. More importantly – we cleaned up the system of old debris that was polluting our current environment. We believe that when we take our earned position – our mind is healthy and that healthy mind lives longer than our physical body (relationship based on physical body) – to be strong enough to support future generations.
In a democracy – seniority is replaced by majority. Indonesians using Majority threat to receive money from Australians – are damaging the Goodwill bridges built by genuine Australians who provide bilateral aid at various levels including for immigration purposes.
In terms of Sri Lanka, the UN listed the LTTE as Terrorists and gave the Sri Lankan Government time to lift its standards of governance. Now the UN is indicating parallel charges against the Sri Lankan Government which failed to demonstrate investment in Democracy – especially to eliminate race based discrimination. It would be difficult for any government with majority power to embrace democracy by foregoing benefits from the hierarchical system. Until the LTTE took-over leadership by force, Tamil leaders demonstrated commitment to the hierarchical system – not through any one subject but through our traditional values in common. But this was seriously damaged by the LTTE and would continue to be damaged by LTTE supporters taking global-looking positions through the Diaspora. Most would not identify with this Truth due to their own desires to ‘show’ quick outcomes.
Likewise, the Indonesian leaders who take benefits but pretend to be Equal members of global society. Given that Indonesians are not strong investors in Democratic values it is understandable (not necessarily acceptable) that even at government level – they would use death penalty to protect their higher values. One who foregoes earned benefit in any relationship develops a Natural position in a hierarchical relationship. The other side is the beneficiary and the person who forewent is the provider. This is simply identified with through parent-child relationship. To claim equal status – as the parent – the child ought to have completed the relationship as a child. One such way to complete is to be humble with the parent and never finding fault with the parent in relation to that relationship. Irrespective of whether the parent completes her/his role as provider until the child is self-sufficient – the child who completes her/his role would be a good parent – including to her/his own parent where necessary. Likewise between a Government and Citizen and between the UN and its member nations. The contribution by one who completes the relationship is commonwealth.
In both instances – i.e. – where the child completes the relationship and the parent is parented by the child – by being genuinely humble to the provider – the beneficiary gets Equal opportunity to access the commonwealth. Hence, where Indonesia fails to demonstrate such humility, Australia needs to firm up the relationship and provide loans and not aid. It is better for the Australian mind to see this true position than to pretend that we are equal relatives of Indonesia.