Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 03 March 2015
The bus in which I was travelling had the message ‘Racism; it stops with me’. Most of us think that the message is for others and not for me. Victims feel so more strongly than do others. The same event would be viewed by different minds through different paths. The path that leads us to the Truth would be right for us even though it may not be right for others.
Yesterday, in response to my article ‘Tamil Chief Minister’ which article was also about clemency for Bali 9 leaders facing death sentence, a Sinhalese member of the Sri Lankan Diaspora wrote to me ‘This would carry more weight if Andrew Chan’s name also has been included.’
My response was ‘My feelings for Myuran are deeper than they are for Andrew. Hence I
am able to invoke the feelings of others - especially within our diaspora, to connect and comfort. It is not an intellectual exercise.’
Through my own experiences in Australia where the legal system is more regulated than it is in Sri Lanka – I have learnt through the Grace of God – that when we continue to hold on to our Truth despite failures even in fairly orderly systems – we enter into the world of Natural Justice. The test is to know that we continue to believe despite the failure grades by others. These days I often recall a message I read in my desk calendar message. It goes likes this:
“When you are 20 you are concerned about what others think about your looks. When you are 30 you are concerned about what others think about your status. When you are 40 you know that they have not thought about you at all!”
I think I realized that others had not thought about me at all – when I was around 50. Hence my legal actions to register what I thought about myself – using not my personal thinking – but the Australian law applicable to migrants – the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 – as interpreted by me. Had I been represented by a lawyer it would have been largely her/his framing of the experience – as per her/ his interpretation of the law. The value of such would have been very temporary even if I had won. The root of our respective interpretations is our Truth. Those who have mere knowledge would tend to be not consistent with their interpretations. Socially they would show one interpretation and for the purposes of their income they would show some other interpretation. One whose Truth is strong – would be consistent.
There were a few instances when all concerned in Court knew that I had proven my case. Yet the verdict was ‘dismissal’ – because the other side lawyer was able to use cultural connection to influence the judge to not deliver the just verdict. In one case the judge asked me whether to my mind the alleged racial discrimination was conscious or subconscious? I said ‘subconscious’. The Judge took a short break and when he returned after lunch – he delivered the dismissal verdict. I went to St Mary’s Cathedral and cried. I did not feel revengeful. I just felt pain that the Judge did not uphold the Truth he knew – the Truth I knew he knew. But the Lord heard me and hence my clarity of mind in such issues.
We express judgment at basically three levels:
2. Knowledge through a balanced system in which we have invested
3. Truth experienced by us.
The Bali 9 Death Sentence was largely ‘hearsay’ for the above person – so he was gambling with ‘why not this and why not that’. To the lawyers and others in the respective cultural systems – the judgments are as per their own investment in the principles and laws through which they frame the picture in their mind. If one’s income from work is more important than one’s contribution to social justice – then one’s social status needs to be separated from one’s work related status and v.v. Discussions must not flow through indiscriminately from one to the other. Hence the Doctrine of Separation of Powers between the Judiciary and the Executive Government. This seems to be not the case with the Indonesian leaders. It was this failure to separate that led to the former Sri Lankan Government losing its status with World Leaders. Where both areas are Equal – there needs to be conscious separation of Powers. They become Equal when a matter comes to the Public forum through Due Processes of one system or the other. That’s also when media power works. When a reader connects the news to her/his own Truth – and feels for the victim or the winner – there is instantaneous empowerment for both. But to get to that stage one has to have exhausted the other avenues available and needs to continue to be conscious of her/his own Truth. Such a person would be able to communicate with other believers – without being conscious of it. That’s usually called intuition. Those who are driven by their own Truth are continuously supported by their intuition.
While most of us work for money and status – there are some who work more for service – including in very low paid jobs with low status. That service component – big or small – goes to the root that empowers knowledge and actions. Such contribution goes towards social cohesion.
The Indonesian legal mind in this regard would be different to the Australian legal mind, due to their different pathways. But where the service / social contribution is strong and is demonstrated by citizens without vested interest – both systems would merge at the root to form regional/global community. Where the cultures underpinning the legal systems are strongly diverse such merger skips the regional formation and goes direct to global formation.
One who is able to go beyond any such system and feel that the person being punished is part of her/himself – and therefore does not find fault with that person – but embraces that person as part of her/himself – would work the system of Natural Justice. I was able to do this with Myuran Sukumaran more than I could with Chan – for the simple reason that Myuran’s family members have demonstrated high respect for me and continue to do so – even though I am not a blood relative. Family and Community pathways are more regulated and are express ways to Truth. Whatever happens to Myuran would also happen to the whole group. So even if others thought I was a racist – I did not give up on my genuine investment in humanity which does not see any color difference. But making the connection – Truth to Truth – at times is more easy to an institutionally regulated mind – through one’s own ‘domestic’ laws that are not in breach of laws believed in by others’ concerned. The separation is temporary because the problem is serious.
In terms of Tamils of Sri Lanka – Mothers who lost sons in the war especially through no fault of theirs – and are not compensated for their loss and pain – and continue to feel that pain of loss even now – carry the power to influence other mothers in the system. All who feel for juniors / minorities / citizens naturally as if they were children – are Mothers. If there are enough such mothers in the Indonesian Leadership – they would become messengers of God and manifest the right outcomes in regards to Bali 9.