Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 10 May 2015
Jaffna Tamil Woman
Today is Mothers’ Day. Today my attention was drawn to the following:
[Tamil women, nay Eelam Tamil Women have reached the zenith in their professions and business the world over, and, particularly in the West! Many have taken silk, summited the heights of academia; there are tens of thousands of surgeons, physicians, and, of course multi-millionaire entrepreneurs. Their children attend schools such as Eton College (England, whose alumni include several hundred royal princes), Geelong Grammar (Australia, Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Packer et. al.), Phillips Exeter (many American Presidents), Raffles Institution (Singapore’s elite) etc. etc. Tamil wives in the twenty first century, even in dysfunctional families do not countenance being battered and raped by their husbands, or, being violated by their husband’s family. Yet this is exactly what happened to tens of thousands of them at the hands of their Sinhalese “husbands” if you believe Wigneswaran’s definition of the relationship between the Tamils and Sinhalese, in an interview granted to Meera Srinivasan of India’s Hindu newspaper. He says, “We will fight, but sometimes we come together. The next-door neighbor must not come and say ‘you must divorce, you must divorce’”. The neighbour according to Wigneswaran are the politicians of Tamil Nadu. Of course, in saying so Wigneswaran seeks to instill in perpetual bondage the Tamil people in the abusive hands of their Sinhalese “husbands”. Perhaps in Wigneswaran’s myopic worldview, eighty million Tamils in Tamil Nadu may be just “neighbours”, but to Eelam Tamils they are cousins, family. And, when they see one of their own being egregiously violated in an abusive relationship, they recoil with natural instinct and seek decree nisi –or divorce.] Tamil Diaspora Activist at https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-perverse-domestic-arrangements-of-colombo-wigneswaran/
The article was published in September 2013. But our attention was drawn to it yesterday through Tamil Araichchi group. To me it is a Mother’s Day call.
My question is where were these Eighty Million Tamils when Indonesia unjustly killed a Tamil – Myuran Sukumaran? In fact where was the Tamil Eelam Diaspora when Myuran’s Rights to live were denied? Australians overwhelmingly demonstrated that feeling of Oneness for Myuran. But where were the above mentioned Eelam Tamil women when Raji – Myuran’s mother needed their vote in support ? Of what good are these professional titles when they were not used to raise the status of a community member in trouble?
Myuran also demonstrated he was Australian. This confirms that the Eelam Tamil Diaspora is very local and works for its own survival. If it were global – through Myuran, it would have fought for the rights of LTTE who engaged in similar acts and earned Terrorism label from external governments. Those who fight for ‘Common’ rights – would have not hesitated to dilute the damage to our Community through such labels.
We do not always follow the law of the land. But if we are true to ourselves – we are not sinners. Until that happens – we cannot get released from Natural karmic punishments, even if we got high grades through the laws of the land. We naturally reward and punish ourselves through the Universal path of Truth. If we do it of our own free will – we are free of the karmic returns. Myuran paid his dues of his own free will. Hence his mind will continue to live with all those who recognized him as part of themselves. The body will perish anyway. Raising the mind beyond the physical and the intellectual determines whether we have led a successful life. Yes, Myuran’s life as a total has been successful. Even though the Indonesians killed his body – the mind serves all those to whom Myuran became real family through their feelings.
The writer states about Mr. Wigneswaran – the Chief Minister of Northern Province of Sri Lanka:
[What he conveniently forgets to mention is that young Tamil women, who had no appetite to be tied in an abusive marital bond with the Sinhala supremacist state, martyred themselves in the their thousands to win their freedom. And, Eelam Tamils got “hit” long before Tamil Nadu politicians started standing up for them and would have been totally and utterly ethnically cleansed if not for them!]
As per my knowledge, based on direct sharing with parents of Tiger Women – a large proportion of ‘Black Tiger’ section of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) were females. Yet – at the leadership level – proportionate representation was lacking.
In 2003, when I worked with the LTTE – through a UNDP project – the young guy who was distributing documents did not give me a set but handed one out to each of the males on either side of me. During the meeting – I complained about this to Chairman Mr. Joy Maheswaran – who on a one-to-one basis – did demonstrate respect for women. But Mr. Maheswaran as chairman failed to address the point. The official head of the Women’s wing – Ms Thamilini said she would look into the matter but that did not go further. But I learnt that LTTE were using women as ‘servants’ and not as ‘shareholders’. If Racial Equality was important to the LTTE then gender Equality also would have been. If gender Equality was important to the LTTE – they would have addressed that issue then and there when they had the opportunity – through this ‘woman’ who fought in Australia for her earned leadership as a profession. Mr. Balakumar of EROS - Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students – showed recognition – due to common belief in Nallur Murugan.
I therefore do not identify with the above claim that ‘young Tamil women, who had no appetite to be tied in an abusive marital bond with the Sinhala supremacist state, martyred themselves in the their thousands to win their freedom’
Most of these women did not know Sinhalese. Their knowledge was from the male leadership most of which also did not live with Sinhalese. The male leadership ‘told’ these women what to do. The women of LTTE were the parallels of Tamil civil servants working under Sinhalese leadership. They were no freedom fighters. To be independently grouped as ‘freedom-fighters’ there ought to have been separation of powers between the two groups concerned – the males and females. The Basis existed/s within the Thesawalamai Law – through which male inherits from male side and female from female side. The practice of Dowry within the Tamil community confirms this separation and equality. Unless therefore there was a separate structure within the LTTE for women – which ran parallel to that of the men – there could have been no separate identity for women or their achievements. They died as servants of male leadership and not as Equal Shareholders.
Once the mind is lowered to blindly follow – there is no validity to Equality through separation. Once the Tamil mind was lowered through majority force – there was no validity to claim of Racial Equality. Sathya Graham as practiced by our Tamil elders – did demonstrate that Equality – as per our assessment. Not so the armed power through which the mind of ordinary citizens were lowered and then one was required to applaud the cleverness of such armed leaders!
The way I see it – LTTE lowered the minds of civilian Tamils and in turn their minds were lowered by Indian Tamil Politicians. As for which came first – it is like chicken and egg – with LTTE being the egg. Truth and Common Belief will bring us the support we need any time anywhere. This therefore will keep happening whenever either the chicken or the egg is in need of support. But in terms of human structures – it is far better for Sri Lankan Tamils to uphold their Equal status under Sri Lankan structure than to play second fiddle to Tamil Nadu politicians. As Sri Lankan Tamils – we would be equal to not only Sinhalese but also Indian Tamils. Why would I give up either for lesser status?