Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 16 June 2015
Tamil Corporate Wisdom
What do Tamils want? This, as per my interpretation, is the essence of the question raised by Ms Shenali Waduge in response to my article ‘Sri Lanka – One Nation or Three Nations?’
Shenali asked: ‘In your next column for the benefit of all readers elucidate what service Tamils have given the nation in terms of
a) unity among communities
b) political stability
c) economy etc’
Even as I started responding, my attention was drawn to the article headed ‘GTF to work on four pillar strategy’ in today’s Daily News. The summary of the four pillars as understood by me are:
1. Agreeing between Tamil representatives based in Sri Lanka and in the Diaspora, a Common Framework Agreement
2. Engaging the civil society, political and non-political representatives of the South without unjust subjective discrimination
3. To actively lobby and create awareness within the international community, international institutions and governments regarding the injustices and alleged breaches of international laws, including international human rights and humanitarian laws that amounted to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
4. To work to resolve the socio-economic needs of the people in the war affected areas, with international help.
Pillars 1,2 & 4 above, more or less address Ms Shenali’s inquiry. Pillar 3 is likely outside that common circle and is not likely to be included at community level – especially because it is not clear whether GTF (Global Tamil Forum) is including the LTTE in the equation? A law needs to be such as to cover all concerned in common. If yes, LTTE is included then is GTF ready for any LTTE member to be included as examples of those who caused this need for special awareness?
Often we use our own Truth to protect ourselves. This may not be covered by law. But the path of Truth is a Universal Law and would be covered by any just global law. I for example sought to speak to the Vice Chancellor of the University of New South Wales through Due Process as per my understanding and after the Chancellor recommended that Good Governance - pathway in lieu of Legal action. But the Vice Chancellor’s team called the Police who stated that I was trespassing. Given that I did not know the law – and they did not provide me with the details – I thought I was guilty as per the law. But later I learnt by studying the legislation – that I was not. I did clear myself of the charges in Court – but the University and the Police kept interpreting as per their thinking. The Courts continued to uphold their interpretation. Even if I had been guilty as per the law, I feel I would have continued but accepted the punishment – as Gandhi did. In this instance my Australian Ancestors’ law covered my actions based on my Truth.
One may not be guilty as per one’s Truth but may be so as per the Law. This is a serious risk with majority living in rural Sri Lanka. As one of our nephews pointed out – ‘If this could happen to you, what about us?’ It’s a valid question given that I am more educated than this nephew and would have been expected to know the provisions of the law much more than the average Tamil.
If therefore a Tamil who is attacked by an armed officer in that Tamil’s home and that Tamil retaliated in Defence – would that Tamil be guilty ? As per my wisdom in just laws – NO. But the reality is that the Tamil would be treated as a criminal. It is for this reason that in areas where there are no clear policies – the officer needs to be of the same culture as the civilian – so that the commonness in interpretation is high. This is the reason why Sinhalese Armed Officers need to be removed from Tamil Areas affected by war. Where there is clear rule/policy and the Armed Officer is not of the same culture as the civilian – objective proof of wrong doing is necessary before Armed Officers could enter the home area of the civilian and take action. Otherwise, the Armed Officers would be trespassing under just laws – as the New South Wales Police mentioned above were. Their judge is the law and not the Vice Chancellor of the University of New South Wales. The law must say that the action was wrong. Most armed officers in Sri Lanka would also not have knowledge of the laws relating to Peaceful Assembly and other Democratic Processes through which the citizen participates in Governance and contributes to Policies.
One requires Corporate Wisdom in the other culture to make just decisions.
As per the above Daily News Article, GTF Spokesperson ‘Surendiran said the GTF intends to carry out the Four Pillar Strategy “with the help of the people of Sri Lanka, in the Diaspora and the international community including India.” He added that since 2011, the GTF has been progressing under this programme.’
Unless one is careful we may end up making ‘Bali 9’ type of serious errors of law in Sri Lanka through such informal interactions which may include the Sri Lankan Government – as happened recently when the GTF met in London, with the Sri Lankan Government representative also. Over the weekend – I participated in a seminar on Project Work done in Sri Lanka’s war affected areas – Pillar 4 in the GTF Strategy. When we were facilitated to ask questions mine was ‘Whether there was a group that was independent of the various groups providing those services’. To my mind, GTF is the parallel of ATC – Australian Tamil Congress and in terms of Sri Lanka – the parallel of Tamil Rehabilitation Organization in Sri Lanka (as it was before it was banned) – which was founded in India’s Tamil Nadu. Hence given that ATC could be actively involved in projects it would not have the independence to serve all on Equal footing - as a Facility. In my response to the Australian Federal Police (Appendix) in relation to Bali 9 issue I highlighted this risk as follows:
‘Information should not be shared between two independent entities without appropriate agreement which makes them One unit – Regional or Global. There could be a special unit for such purposes – made up of Australians and Indonesians in this instance – who are independent of both Police Institutions. It is the parallel of our Federal structure.’
In terms of Sri Lanka – I see this Higher Common Body as the UN – now that the issue has become global. Otherwise GTF is likely to be the parallel of the very Sri Lankan Government which was driven politically. The Rajapaksa Government, also went outside Global Laws to punish Tamils – majority of whom were driven by their own knowledge of rights and wrongs. The laws did not serve them but were used to punish them.
If the two Communities were to enter into ‘agreements’ – laterally as equal partners – the voters on both sides are likely to be suspicious – given that the divide has become wider. Hence to my mind, the Higher Common Body is the preferred solution. In terms of Foreign Agencies – the two sides are : (1) their current home nations and (2) Sri Lanka. Unless they have an independent equal partner in Sri Lanka – it is highly likely that their actions would have the effect of foreign invasion. Sole operators who truly care – would use global principles in their structures and operations. Those global principles are the liquid form of the UN.
In light of the above my responses to Shenali, as per my corporate wisdom as a Tamil are:
a) unity among communities – Tamils do seek to govern themselves and therefore they have the responsibility to respect others such as Sinhalese and Muslims governing themselves. When we come together we would see each other as Equals. Towards this we need structured community level interactions in all Provinces – using principles of Equal Opportunity. This would also prepare those who seek to reside in other countries for whatever reasons.
b) political stability – As highlighted above – Tamils need to be governed by Tamils when it comes to issues that are ethnicity specific. This includes postwar reconstruction. The needs have changed due to the war and Tamils need their private space for confidential sharing and curing. The Provincial structure facilitates this but the Resources are lacking – especially Human Resources. The experiences we had, need to be integrated with new policies through politicians on both sides – especially from war affected areas. Belief based politics when presented by two opposing sides – leads to just and healthy laws that People would be able to relate to. In this process unjust laws need to be eliminated – as happened through the 19th Amendment. We need similar in terms of ethnic issues – for example whether Buddhism should be specially mentioned as the foremost religion in the Constitution?
I personally believe that we connect to each other through our Truth and we are empowered by each other’s Truth, when we are within our Truth. Even Americans are now giving recognition to these Higher Powers of Truth that influences beyond our consciousness. Sense8 is a film based on that kind of connection. I was listed as a mentally ill person for expressing such recognition when in police custody. To me it was no coincidence that Daily News published my response to the article on Gandhi’s Non-Violence by Justice Weeramantry, former Vice President of the International Court of Justice - on the same day - 01 November 2004 – when Dr. Peter Vaux – who was the senior Registrar of the psychiatric unit of Prince of Wales Hospital to whom the Court sent me on 01 November 2004, declared that I was following in the footsteps of Gandhi. My above mentioned response was written weeks before that – when I was in Colombo at the invitation of Sri Lankan Airlines. In that article I conclude:
AHIMSA is not absence of physical war. It is absorbing other people's mistakes by doing extra work to make up for their unearned benefits and absorbing losses through one's personal credits - to become the whole.
This is needed by both side political leaders to the ethnic war. That is when they would become Governors without needing to go through the intermediary Administrative Process. We lack such Politicians in our leadership. Those of us who believe we have such powers must share them through our respective areas of expertise. This is how I read the following message from the Sri Lankan President – especially to Public Officers:
‘The objective of any public representative should be to work for the wellbeing of the people despite differences in their political affiliations or ideologies.’
c) economy – When the above are addressed – the economy would naturally be healthy for all ethnicities.
M/- Ramzi Jabbour
Serious and Organised Crime
Australian Federal Police
GPO Box 401 – Canberra City
16 June 2015
Your Ref: Reference: MC15-000147
Dear M/- Ramzi Jabbour,
The Role of Australian Federal Police in Bali 9
Thank you for your letter dated 09 June 2015, in response to my communication addressed to the Prime Minister who I understand has referred my communication to the Australian Federal Police for a response.
You state ‘As you can appreciate, policing is difficult, and it involves making very difficult decisions. In relation to this matter, the decision to cooperate with foreign law enforcement partners was made in the interest of protecting the Australian Community’
I do appreciate very much the special difficulties faced by the Police who are part of our civil society. In a violent environment the Police have the responsibility to defend and to protect civilians including through arms but never to attack. A civilian could defend through weapons in her/his home – but not attack. This to my mind is the fundamental value on which policing laws need to be developed. A Law is also a weapon and could be used as an attacking force or a defending force. When Law enforcement agencies use Laws and Policies beyond protection level – it becomes business particular to that agency and does not reach the common pool of governance. When indulged in excessively – it leads to those Law enforcement agencies developing the very defect they set out to eliminate. It takes only one innocent to return the karma.
The AFP’s role in relation to Bali 9 is seen by me as such an excessive action. I see it through my personal experience with AFP as well as the NSW Police who could not identify with my Truth because those who did know my Truth did not come forward to publish their decision about me through their respective institutional pathways.
You state ‘The AFP cannot protect Australian interests by dealing only with countries that have identical legal systems and social values, as transnational crimes affecting us are not limited to such countries. The AFP works with law enforcement agencies around the world to combat serious crime at its source. The cooperation is an essential part of the AFP’s ability to combat the pervasive and borderless nature of transnational crime and is key to keeping Australia safe.’
My mind identifies this lateral collaboration with law enforcement agencies as the problem and in fact consider it to be in breach of the principles of respecting others’ sovereignty – even if they agree to it at that level. In other words, to my mind, if AFP dealt with Indonesian Police directly, without specific agreement between the two governments – it was in breach of the Sovereignty of both our Nations/People. The outcomes produced on that basis are UNLAWFUL.
Simply said “We can share our Truth but not facts”. It’s the parallel of saying that God is One but the places of worship are diverse. An Australian to claim credits in Indonesia for taxes paid – or v.v. – s/he needs to be covered by reciprocal agreement. Likewise National intelligence credits.
A real example of your parallel happened when the Security Officer of the University of New South Wales called the NSW Police to arrest me under ‘Inclosed Lands Protection Act 1901’. I was waiting Peacefully to speak to the Vice Chancellor about employment related issues. The Security Officer did not know the substance of the issue but was carrying out the instructions of the Vice Chancellor. The NSW Police arrested me again and again and eventually they came into my home and took away assets towards legal costs - to be paid to the University’s hired external lawyers. They invaded my Sovereign home. That home is Sovereign not because of the law but because of my Truth. Where the law fails me – the system of Natural Justice takes over and I identify with the outcomes delivered through my own Truth. I suffered the loss which has given me the wisdom to understand the plight of other victims of law enforcement agencies – including the Bali 9.
In the above matter – the University had the responsibility to use its Security to remove me. Had I been violent – so violent that they could not have handled me – they had the right to call the Police. Since you do not know me personally I share with you the assessment of one who knows me – ‘ there is not one violent bone in my body’. The University Security Officers did ask me to leave but when I questioned them as to which Law gave them that authority – they called the Police. They have a legal department which did not come forward to provide the explanation. But that legal department came to court when I subpoenaed the Vice Chancellor. My question to you is – did your officers concerned check with your legal department before collaborating with the Indonesian Police? If not – the actions of the AFP in sharing ‘data’ was the interpretation of private individuals. To the extent they were not consulted for ‘business’ purposes – the data was illegal and is the parallel of the illegal drugs that the Bali 9 were bringing into Australia. The guilt is relative to the law accessible to us.
If indeed there was need for such immediate clearance for global operational purposes – the Bali 9 matter must be accepted as a ‘failure’ by the AFP and new policies need to be developed on the basis of global principles – just as we share our armed forces against rebels/terrorists in other areas of the globe. If on the other hand the AFP officers concerned used their own conscience and intend doing so in the future also - any decision making ought to be kept confidential and never published. Then the credit is taken by Indonesia and not Australia. That amounts to Indonesia ‘telling’ Australia by using stolen Australian intelligence. Where there is confidential sharing there is natural Oneness between the two sides. But if we want to talk about it – then one must remain within the regulated pathway of relativity.
The right way to my mind is for us to wait until we experience the Truth which then renders the freedom to share. Facts become Truth only to the extent we Experience the fact. When we have done our duty as per our institutional structures and positions we have the right to publish that Truth. If we continue to be within the institution – we share laterally with other institutions as common reality and not particular to any matter. Information should not be shared between two independent entities without appropriate agreement which makes them One unit – Regional or Global. There could be a special unit for such purposes – made up of Australians and Indonesians in this instance – who are independent of both Police Institutions. It is the parallel of our Federal structure.
Thank you again for your response.
CC: Consulate-General of the Republic of Indonesia - 236 Maroubra Road Maroubra NSW 2035