Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 09 June 2015
Vattapalai Kannagi Amman
What Do We Want?
Politics Or Administration?
The active topic within the British Tamil Diaspora is around the meeting in London, of some British Tamil Group leaders with the Sri Lankan Government’s representatives and the representatives of the main Tamil Political Group – the TNA of Sri Lanka. Questions have been raised about the appropriateness of the claim that the Global Tamil Forum of UK, describing itself in actin as the ‘sole-representatives’ of British Tamils of Sri Lankan origin – including through the following Press Release published at Tamil Aarachchi site:
[The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) continued their informal dialogue over the last two days in London with various stakeholders to enhance confidence building measures between all communities within and outside Sri Lanka. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Mangala Samaraweera was also present.
The need for constructive engagement by the Sri Lankan Diaspora was discussed, including the needs of displaced people. It was agreed that a further meeting will be called to present the requirements to various High Commissioners and Ambassadors based in Sri Lanka, with the aim to raise funds for housing of over two thousand families in these newly released lands.
The release of prisoners held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in the light of the review by the
Ministry of Justice was also discussed. The TNA and the GTF further raised the issue of listing of Diaspora organisations and individuals by the previous Government.
Ideas of ways in which the Sri Lankan Diaspora could assist by bringing its exceptional capacity and capabilities were explored.
Member of Parliament - Tamil National Alliance
Director of Strategic Initiatives - Global Tamil Forum]
It is interesting that a fellow UK Tamil Diaspora Group – the Non-Resident Tamils of Sri Lanka (NRTSL) group is seeking recognition as follows:
[Impressed by what India has done for its large diaspora, influential Sri Lankan Tamils have come together in Britain to seek from Colombo a "Ministry of Overseas Sri Lankans". ] at http://www.newkerala.com
I find these to be the natural pathways through which the respective groups empower themselves. The pathways through which we traveled become our laws – personal to us. Our natural expressions would confirm the pathway through which we actually traveled. The consolidated value of it is called our ‘Karma’. During the meeting I attended in Colombo, GTF was also the group recognized by a senior member of the Friday Forum. I concluded that this GTF was the group that the Government recognized as its Opposition. I was asked whether I attended meetings of the GTF? Hence, the above coalition between the TNA and the GTF does not surprise me. They are both Political groups of the Tamil People of Sri Lanka. But the high risk here is the way in which GTF has represented itself along-side TNA – taking Equal position as the Government by forming coalition with the TNA. Leaving aside the principles covering such coalition structuring, one needs to ask as to what picture in the past identifies with this ? That would help us project the destination that this kind of coalition would lead to. Unless we consciously override our past habits – they would continue to travel with us to form the basis of our natural expressions.
By effectively self-representing themselves as the Sole Representatives of UK Tamils of Sri Lankan origin, GTF has confirmed that in terms of Administration they are like the LTTE. This then confirms that they are weak in their investment in Global principles and laws as structured by the UN. Hence they use the political pathway for their own identity. Using LTTE terminology – the GTF therefore has the authority to describe itself as Eelam Tamil Forum – UK and not as Global Tamil Forum. The Sri Lankan Government engaging with them is therefore giving recognition to Eelam Tamils above Sri Lankan Tamils.
As per the above press release:
[The TNA and the GTF further raised the issue of listing of Diaspora organisations and individuals by the previous Government]
Each Government is entitled to list as per its interpretation of its responsibilities. If GTF was listed by the previous regime as a banned organization – that is the heritage brought into the current structure by the current Government – the same way GTF has inherited from the LTTE - the shortcuts to leadership through declarations. Heritage cannot be dealt with on the same basis as current merit. Former needs Confidentiality and latter Transparency. Until GTF is cleared by Law by the current Government – the Terrorism label continues as the official label and all law-enforcement officers have the responsibility to abide by those decisions. All other interactions need to be ‘confidential’ and not added to current activities. They could have been under the Rajapaksa regime. The leading subject’s belief-based power is included in such decisions. Hence where the subject changes – the previous outcomes become part of our fate/karma/heritage/genes and cannot be directly dealt with. Decisions through Objective assessments are valid so long as the measures used do not change. Hence Objectivity requirement in global decisions beyond local borders.
The decisions by the above group do not qualify as being lawful on behalf of Sri Lanka. They may help in sharing of intelligence but they do not have the authority of Law for the Sri Lankan People - to place their official stamp. GTF has the responsibility to first apply for a lift of the ban through the lawful process to have the official stamp to operate within Sri Lanka. A truly Global Administration would have done that before meeting officially with the Sri Lankan Government in relation to those issues. Once it is law – the ‘position’ owns the outcomes. If GTF is to use the current merit basis – it needs to renounce all status inherited due to the war and use only its current activities to credit itself with status. It then does not qualify to form coalition with any political group in Sri Lanka in relation to war issues.
There are laws that folks at the primary level cannot relate to. LTTE was able to ‘takeover’ such folks by providing them with employment, accommodation etc. Every government in that area will inherit the LTTE as coalition or opposition due to this real pathway. If not for LTTE there is no status for GTF and other organizations banned by the previous regime in Sri Lanka. The international opportunity happened due to LTTE being listed as a Terrorist organization through the UN. Using Global principles they are still on the wrong side of the law. But as per locals – they were the government in areas where they administered without the help of the government. It’s like Customary laws over which locally powerful leaders have first authority to interpret – including in District Courts. Ultimately each individual is answerable to her/his own Truth. How can one expect an individual who has no knowledge of global laws to mark her/himself wrong through those laws? The closer down we go to the level of the individual only – the pathway of the individual is the morally applicable law for that individual.
Tamils from areas without access to knowledge of wider common laws, understandably looked to their politicians’ interpretations of the laws and rightly so. By killing those politicians the LTTE killed that political leadership before taking over power through guns. One who is able to go deep into the way their minds worked – would find the Truth that the people and therefore to the extent LTTE believed in them, were not wrong as per these politicians who made the Vaddukoddai resolution. But the mistakes LTTE made were:
(1) to structure that Tamil State as per its current merit and not as per the Total investment including inheritance from the past – especially through our political leaders who until then used the non-violent pathway. The leader needs to endorse her/himself as right. LTTE shrunk the community to suit their height.
(2) Went outside that State – to attack instead of waiting until attacked to Defend.
One who uses the Truth would be a natural administrator. The pathway of Truth is the highest law and it never fails the owner-user. Tamils of Sri Lanka were recognized, including by the British, for their deep investment in Good Administration. GTF has compromised on that pre-LTTE heritage which continues to support the higher leaders in the Sri Lankan Tamil Community. It is that height that makes of for the gap of physical minority status along the lateral pathway.
They say in Tamil that the crop of the young does not reach home. LTTE was such an example. Just because a Security Officer of a home does his job well, he does not become the Head of a family that has invested in higher education. But by taking his place and doing his duty within that portfolio – the Security Officer would naturally be a part of the Big Picture and enjoy the experiences as per the higher leadership.
The Sri Lankan Tamil Community’s investment in education is at the core of its struggle for self-governance. We must first value that and continue to show that heritage through our structures. The following message through a news report forwarded by a Sri Lankan highlights the weakening of that heritage and ‘security heritage’ taking over towards ‘free speech’:
[Ahilan Kadirgamar, a researcher and political activist based in Jaffna told The Sunday Leader that clearly there were a lot of expectations with the change of the regime and indeed, certain steps have been taken forward. He noted that there is more freedom of movement, freedom of speech and association in the North and East. “We can see different types of protests in the North and East and people are able to come out and voice their opinion much more openly. However, at the same time, some of the crucial issues related to land, disappearances and releasing political prisoners have not been given enough attention,”]
Lawful occupation of and development of that Land is the educated person’s way. If those lands were owned and occupied pre-LTTE by those folks, and the occupants considered/accepted LTTE to be their Government – they diluted the lawful heritage pre-LTTE with the ‘enforced occupation’ heritage from LTTE. Such persons would tend to speak more freely and prematurely as they would be lacking in knowledge of the wider pathway of common principles.
Those who considered/accepted LTTE and/or other armed groups to be their Government – would lack the real power to work the legal systems to release prisoners. Groups such as GTF have the priority responsibility to educate them to Do It Themselves. That is the power of Belief and Belief based pathway is the true pathway of Good Politicians. A good politician would naturally develop into good administrator when the brain has to be used actively to include opposition disagreement as ‘other’ side. Premature expression of one’s opinion stunts the vertical intellectual growth of such a person. That exactly is the case with GTF as per my assessment.
The above conclusion by me about the lack of depth in terms of ownership is highlighted by the report below by Danish Journalist Ingeborg Lohfert Haslund-Vinding currently in Sri Lanka reporting for and working with Groundviews:
[Sellama Singaraththinam and her family live in the Mullaitivu district. She is 79 years old and a widow who lost her husband in 2014, when he passed away at age 85. Sellama is now the owner of the family’s land still occupied by the military. The land is close to one acre and they had four houses and a shop before the military took it over. In 2011 when they returned from the refugee camp they couldn’t get their land back. So they lived with other families until 2013. Now they rent a house for 8,000 rupees a month just a few kilometers from their occupied land…..]
To be able to pay Rs. 8,000 a month in rent and taking the ratio of rent to salary to be 1:5, the family must be making around Rs.40,000 p.m.. I would expect basic investment in higher education to be able to earn such income (pension in Sellama’s case). Relatively speaking our neighbors in Thunaivi in Vaddukoddai area – a family of six adults and one baby - live in a small two bed-roomed house which they believe is theirs and which would have a rental value of no more than Rs. 1,000 per month. Only one member brings in regular income by working as a midwife at the Jaffna Hospital. The others depend on casual work. Their total income would also be around Rs. 40,000 per month. But they are paying off debts and hence do not have much left for spending on extras. If their land had been occupied by the Army – they would have worked their investment in education to understand the law and work the system as is at that place. As Swami Sathya Sai Baba says – Education needs to be for life and not just for a living. Education used for life would lead to development of steadiness of mind. Education for living would lead to the brain deteriorating once our motivation to work is weakened. Motivation is weakened when we start hoarding. In the above example – taking the virtual value of ‘Home’ to the family – there seems no loss of enjoyment due to the war. If there was and it was felt by that family – by now Sellamma’s children would have invoked the powers of the educated Tamil ancestors to have their home released from the army. Wanting it both ways – is bad politics that would lead to negative contribution to self-governance.
GTF through its belief could be a Mistress in the Sri Lankan Politics but not Wife. To my mind, it is no coincidence that LTTE leader died at Mullivaikaal – in the area of Vattapalai Kannagi Amman Shrine. Kannagi is the legendary Tamil who commanded Justice for unjust Death Penalty to her husband Kovalan carried out as per the King’s orders. Kovalan’s Mistress for whom Kovalan abandoned Kannagi did not have the Authority of the official wife. But Kannagi as a good wife who completed the relationship without the physical partnership of her husband, had the power to burn down the capital Mathurai for the injustice by the King. The moral of the legend is that the official person who successfully completes the relationship acquires the official powers to successfully challenge the Head of Government.