Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 23 June 2015
Islamic State-A Warning to Sri Lankans
As per current news report – our Australian Government is about to cancel Australian citizenship for dual-citizenship holders who participate in the war for an Islamic State. I identify with the validity of this not only from a government’s perspective but also for Australian living – especially for migrants. As a Sri Lankan I believe through my direct experiences – that this kind of ‘isolation’ is a grave and present risk amongst Tamils, Sinhalese as well as Muslims of Sri Lankan origin. Often Governments who ‘go-it-alone’ as the Sri Lankan Government did during the last phase of the Sri Lankan war and as LTTE (Liberation Tamils of Tamil Eelam) did at all times, develop this isolation karma. It is well worth noting the influence such ‘isolation’ has on the leadership and ask ourselves whether we need to distance ourselves from such leadership. We need to ask ourselves also whether governments that promote separation should also be treated on the same footing and be isolated by Australian Government taking on leadership roles at the International level. A strong and just principle would be such as to cover all those who isolate themselves – including through unlawful government activities.
As per current news-reports about Sri Lanka which is very much into Political mood, there are accusations from both sides of politics that confirm this isolation karma. One report under the subject heading ‘Sri Lanka opposition asks government to act on US report on LTTE’ states:
[Asserting that there is a "threat" to national security, Sri Lanka's opposition on Monday asked the government to act urgently over a US report which said that the LTTE's international network and funding was intact.
"The Government should act on this urgently. There is a threat to national security," said G L Peiris, former foreign minister and United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP. He said the government should have convened a special cabinet meeting over the report.
The US State Department report released last week had said Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) international network and funding was intact. It said that the defeated group was very much alive internationally.
The report noted that there have been no known attacks in Sri Lanka that could verifiably be attributed to the LTTE since the end of the war, but a total of 13 LTTE supporters, several of which had allegedly planned attacks against the US and Israeli diplomatic facilities in India were arrested in Malaysia in 2014.
Peiris alleged that recent Sri Lankan government action such as having talks with Tamil diaspora groups would encourage those who want to see the revival of the LTTE. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had engaged diaspora groups in London for talks aimed at addressing the immediate needs of the war-affected Tamils. Government had said it was keen to engage all Sri Lankan groups overseas to rebuild the country.]
The person who failed to win the Trust of Tamils has raised this point and one must ask oneself whether that person – Mr. GL Peiris is abusing his past position to not only reduce the value of the current Minister’s performance but is being irresponsible in using it to political advantage of his side. The US Administration is not under official scrutiny of the United Nations. The Sri Lankan Administration is.
I believe that once we Tamils acknowledge the ‘mistakes’ and ‘excesses’ on our part and bring about ‘closure’ – we would identify with the Truth of others like Mr. Peiris and Mr. Rajapaksa whose trump-card is the war against Tamil Rebels which is interpreted by majority Tamils as war against Tamil Sovereignty. Whether we have official status or not – we are entitled to use our belief within our own local areas. That is the common principle of the democratic path.
It is important that all those who seek civilian life consciously bring about closure of war through the pathways available to them. Below is an excerpt from my book in this regard which I believe would be helpful to all those who are truly seeking Sovereignty through their own Truth and nothing but the Truth:
[Seniors like myself who are not able to accept the kind of downgrading mentioned above, tend to resign and physically separate ourselves. We do not become ‘foreigners’ / ‘outsiders’ when we do so. We become the common Public forming a natural opposition against those who act selfishly. Effectively we retire when we so resign and become Common Seniors who in a civilised society would be respected as wise elders. By retiring we preserve the value of Truth we have discovered. Truth empowers naturally and hence retirement is blissful because it is without the responsibility to be Accountable and be Transparent except to ourselves. But it is important that we must retire/leave - knowing the value of our contribution. If the true value of this is unpleasant - then we would be better off surrendering ourselves to a good leader known to us and observe through that leader. If LTTE had retired in 2002-2003 – when Ceasefire was declared - and lived off their Truth – or surrendered to a Tamil spiritual leader, we would have saved the subsequent suffering of Tamils and more importantly prevented the indignity suffered by Resident Tamils. By failing to take up that opportunity and invest in economic development and self-sufficiency in Tamil areas – we also became responsible for the tragedy in 2009. In 2009, through an open letter circulated to LTTE supporters also - I urged Velupillai Prabhakaran to surrender to Nallur Murugan. Whether the LTTE leader read it or not – I believe I protected that part of the Tamil Community that travelled along the common path as I – from losing their dignity. My brother in law who was in Yoga Swami Aashram in Vanni and got displaced many times in 2009 - ended up in the camp and died there but he was looked after by nuns. He had a respectable funeral in Colombo and this I believe would not have been the case if I had not surrendered on behalf of the family also. Today that heritage is carried with dignity by his family – including his son and grandchildren in Australia.
The Rajapaksa regime, by taking credit for ‘victory’ over LTTE – also confirmed that it attacked and did not exert force just enough to defend. Had it been just to defend – the outcomes would have been surrendered to the Public in Common. Had the outcomes of that battle been sacrificed at the feet of their true belief – their god - they would not have celebrated victory. To my mind, this celebration is also the result of the failure on the part of the LTTE to respect the Sovereignty of Tamils through the political pathway – as confirmed through active participation in politics. The LTTE blocked that pathway in 2005 Presidential elections in which the current Prime Minister – the Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe was expected to win – particularly for the ceasefire that happened in 2002 during his period as Prime Minister. To my mind that was settled through the 2015 elections which restored the position of Prime Minister to the Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe who is respected by a large section of educated Tamils including in the Diaspora. Any Sinhalese leader who seeks to be recognized globally – would first need to earn the respect of their own cultural minorities. So long as Mr. Wickremesinghe has earned that respect – he would be a true Head of Sri Lankan State – with or without the official position.
If Mr. Rajapaksa returns – that would also be a promise of the return of the LTTE and military rule for the whole country. They both got their credits through war and it would be difficult for them to be leaders in Peacetime. They both exerted power to attack and not just to defend. Sinhalese have already had a taste of that and if they insist on bringing Mr. Rajapaksa back as leader – they must be denied global assistance by the Global Community. We need closure and every responsible Sri Lankan would bring about closure of war now that we have the opportunity to lead civilian life. Our family has suffered due to both – LTTE as well as the official Armed Forces. Hence the closure happened by us – through confirmation that neither cared about us. The Democratic pathway is our family’s pathway.
A Tamil who has had the war experience at family level – must relate through that experience and not get carried away with political promises – be it by Resident Politicians or Diaspora leaders or families overseas waiting to ‘buy’ status through overseas monies – including government handouts. Every person who emigrates to another country has the responsibility to first take her/his place in that society as per her/his contribution to that structure. When monies are ‘given’ out of emotional reactions – we fail to develop heritages through which we share our dignity with future generations.
When those who contribute less than 25% to a group, leave – they could be included as outsiders by the next generation. To this group – out of sight is out of mind. To the former – it’s more ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’.
It is to prevent such exodus that we have ‘facilities’ in Democratic Systems. Those who have practiced the policies of a group and/or its parallel - at its highest – become facilities when they contribute beyond that point. Their work then becomes ‘service’. Their thoughts direct the minds of their followers to provide service. The motivating energy flows from their sacrifices / savings.
When we ‘save’ a part of our earned benefits the thought of them being there helps us feel that we would be secure in the future. Hence superannuation funds and employee provident funds. If we spent all our income as it is earned we would not feel this sense of security about our future. This is true also of status benefits. When we sacrifice current popularity earned through our current work, we step into positions with status in later years. The longer it remains as savings / status the stronger the heritage value. When we step into positions held by others before our generation – we are inheriting. When we feel gratitude for the heritage – we connect to their minds and our outcomes are more wholesome. Young ones often rely on current popularity. Such young ones carry least heritage value in the positions assumed by them.
If Sri Lanka seeks to be a unitary state – it needs to consciously recognize ‘facilities’ and prevent independent citizens and communities from being Administered. The other alternative is to take ‘out of sight; out of mind’ approach and delegate towards self-management to the extent the Central authorities do not feel the confidence to influence the remote units through common belief. Such delegation would not work when one side is dependent on the other – including to ‘show’ opposition by idly finding fault.
I feel that my commitment to ‘sovereignty’ influenced me to separate myself from those driven by desires and quick outcomes which happen often by acting in breach of Due Processes that are expected of Governments – the very governments we criticize and preach to and sometimes oppose actively. That would have diluted the ‘service’ value of my work and sacrifices.
The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) was outstanding in the use of weapons due to cleverness in disenfranchised groups (for example lower castes) – which did not feel the responsibility to contribute to common governance. If they had become the rulers of Tamils in Sri Lanka – Tamil civilization that we take so much credit for including through educational achievements would have plummeted to low levels. A civilization that uses weapons as a last resort and that too through common rules is one of high civilization. By the same token a group that avoids use of arms due to its desire for status as a non-violent group would tend to be low in civilization.
In the great Indian epic Mahabharatham - Bhishmar – the head of the royal family became the head of the armed forces of the unjust side and maintained the adherence to common rules. Likewise, many well respected Tamils who added themselves to LTTE leadership and/or the Sinhalese dominated Government. ]
Muslims who sought to be physical part of the Islamic State ought to have renounced their Australian citizenship to prevent the indignity of being ‘dismissed’. One who is truly sovereign would respect the sovereignty of every other sovereign person/group. That is natural identity. Likewise be it Tamils or Sinhalese when they claim Nationalism through Sinhala only/Buddhist only or Tamil only – they must renounce positions – especially Political positions – that are Sri Lankan. The current leadership in Sri Lanka is Sri Lankan and my Energies as a Sovereign person are added to them to continue along that pathway.