The Hon Tony Abbott, MP
Canberra, ACT 2600
26 June 2015
Your Ref: C15/24330
Dear Mr. Abbott,
Closing the Gap with Indigenous Communities
Thank you for your letter dated 16 June 2015, in response to my communication with you.
I am deeply appreciative of the effort made by you to connect to me through this issue. In a way – I am able to identify with the deeper feelings you have through my own feelings for the disenfranchised in the Tamil Community – here in my Fatherland Australia as well as in my Motherland Sri Lanka. To the extent I am genuine – I connect to your feelings expressed through the ‘Closing the Gap’ program.
As you have stated in your Statement to the House of Representatives ‘None of us should seek to score a point or defend a legacy here – just to reach out across the aisle because this is the only hope of lasting success’.
I proceed to respond in the consciousness of this Oneness Feeling.
You state ‘…as a nation we do need to have a discussion free of rancor and partisanship about our remote Indigenous communities.’
You then go on to raise the question: ‘Do we ask ourselves - how can we better manage the dual objectives of preserving connection to land and culture while ensuring stronger economic integration?’
To my mind, you have indicated the direction in which the solution lies. You state:
“I’ve engaged with remote people all my parliamentary life. They are frequently in stunningly beautiful locations and underpinned by a rich and ancient culture.”
To my mind, this is an acknowledgment, that we the urban dwellers do not have that enjoyment of Nature and our heritage of the past as much as the Indigenous communities do. To that extent we are even and one community does not owe the other – so long as we stay in our own ‘Home areas’. We have the regulated workplace and they have the Natural space; they have the time and we have the money. In this respect – there are no gaps but just Diversity.
You go on to state:
‘Many communities, however, are not healthy places despite the hard work of local leaders. In fact the average remote community comprises people who, on almost every indicator are the most disadvantaged in Australia.’
Indicators are for Internal Management and should not be used by External observers to assess from outside. When we use indicators as outsiders – we are acting in breach of the Doctrine of Separation of Powers. Once you/we become ‘internal’ we have the natural authority to develop and use indicators for self-assessment purposes. The moment we are ‘outsiders’ – we have the responsibility to use objectively measurable outcomes produced by each Sovereign group.
Appended below is a communication with former New South Wales Auditor General – in regards to the unacceptability of Auditors using Client Management’s Performance Indicators. If you are referring to Government’s Performance Indicators – then this is NOT about Indigenous Communities but about the Government’s own Performance in that subject matter.
To my mind, the Doctrine of Separation of Powers is the pathway that suits us to appreciate those Indigenous Communities that are very much part of Australia’s rich tapestry. The moment we mix the two indiscriminately, WE create that GAP.
The Judiciary is outsider to the Executive Government and v.v. Likewise the ABC which was strongly criticized by the Executive Government recently - is an outsider to the Government and v.v. I do identify with the response from the Head of ABC – returning the criticism to the sender – by saying that ABC was on the side of Australia. Whether it is the Judiciary, the ABC or the University of New South Wales (the institution at the center of my experiences) – they are Separate Entities to the Government due to their unique and Diverse purposes. Likewise, various communities of Australia, which are part of our Humanscape. The Government’s first duty is to give recognition to this true Humanscape in its most natural form while developing Commonness of experience as Australians. In our ambitions to satisfy Western standards for grades, we often run the risk of damaging our unique Humanscape which is different to Arnhem Land, to England and in my case to Sri Lanka.
The Government due to majority persons in Government - is culturally different to Indigenous Communities. When we are unsupervised and ‘natural’ we tend to surface our natural cultures. This is ok – so long as they are not displayed in Public as if the whole of Australia is the Government’s home and all others have to follow the Government. In spirit the whole of Australia is Home of the believer – be that person a Public Administrator or Citizen in Custody; the Prime Minister or an Indigenous person without official portfolio. That area must feel ‘home’. The duty of our Government is to facilitate such ‘homes’ through appropriate laws. It would be in breach of the Spirit of Separation of Powers and Privacy Laws – to enforce the way of one on the other. The risk of Separation is also isolation through abandonment. Your efforts confirm that you are involved and do not carry that risk.
Good and Bad; Right and Wrong are Relative values. Relativity needs firm boundaries. Hence by law – Public institutions are facilitated to interpret the principles and values independent of the Government. These Public Institutions are answerable to the Public in terms of Service. Hence their Performance Indicators need to be structured through their own core purposes. Operationally they do not have the obligation to play second fiddle to the Government. There are Administrative areas in which the ABC has the responsibility to report to the Public through the Government – for example as to safety measures during that ABC Q&A session at the center of controversy. But Operationally – these institutions need to be Independent of the Government and their Powers separated.
As members of the Public – we all have equal rights to question the ABC - as to whose side they are on? – Islamic State or Australia? But like Politics – unless such question is belief based – it has little Administrative / Management value. In any case there is no obligation on the part of ABC to respond to such questions. They may listen and improve their services through such feedback. Just because it came from the Prime Minister - there is no obligation for the ABC to accept that at a higher level to the citizen without portfolio. But the ABC did respond to you – because as we say in Tamil – you are – the Cow with the Bell - the Holy Cow. I - a black cow who was ordered by the NSW Police to remove my bell / necklace for waiting peacefully to engage with the Vice Chancellor of the University of New South Wales, had to take the then ABC Managing Director – Mr. Jonathan Shier to Court – to be heard at that level. The outcome happened and I believe my genuine contribution raised itself to Common Energy that worked through those with portfolios. The job got done through the Democratic pathway.
Communities with Diverse culture are likewise unique and independent to the extent they are self-sufficient in practicing and maintaining that culture. The confusion arises when we indiscriminately mix cultures – for example Judiciary with Executive; Mother with Father; Christian Community with Muslim Community; Structured Religion-based Community with Free Indigenous Community living close to Nature. Science happens irrespective of whether we are conscious of it or not. The urban dweller – passes it through the brain whereas the rural inhabitant accepts it as part of Nature and therefore part of her/himself. There is no conscious separation.
The example that comes to mind is that of Indian Legend Ramanujan who is described as ‘Srinivasa Ramanujan FRS was an Indian mathematician and autodidact who, with almost no formal training in pure mathematics, made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions.’ Wikipedia
To my mind, the main reason for the surfacing of the above talent from within the Indigenous Indian society during British rule - was the strict discipline practiced by the Brahmin Caste (Priest Community) who had deep memory power through meditation. Brahmins are Vegetarians. I have found that my focus is much sharper when I am vegetarian. Brahmins needed that for their leadership position in Hindu community. Abstinence from / sacrifice of individual pleasures leads to higher level of enjoyment. It is the parallel of your physical fitness activities when others are relaxed and are fast asleep in the mornings. At that time we connect to Nature through our inner Truth. When we continuously and independently enjoy through the mind, and less through the body – the pleasure is raised to happiness – which like the aura comes with us – even though we are often not conscious of it.
Amongst Indigenous Communities also one would find such extraordinary talent from which we would benefit if we respect and facilitate it to serve Society – their Society. We saw high level display of cleverness by Sri Lankan Tamils during their time of self-imposed isolation towards a Common cause. Such is like meditation – and it opens the path to access ancestral powers. But the moment they are used for lesser purposes – they become destructive. They must be Natural and they must be used for Common purposes devoid of selfishness and they must be shared with others contributing to that Belief through diverse pathways. Armed Tamil rebels who stayed within their areas of belief – would have at all times defended and not attacked. That belief would not let them attack. But those who did not have enough belief attacked even the very source through which they were able to give form to their cleverness.
Due to the war and the exodus it caused – Sri Lanka especially in war-affected areas - is facing similar problems to those highlighted by you about Indigenous Australian Communities. I for example was born and was groomed mostly in Jaffna town. But now when I go to Sri Lanka’s North - I reside in a village called Thunaivi in Northern Sri Lanka within Vaddukoddai District where the first declaration of Political Independence was made in 1976. Thunaivi was considered a high-risk zone by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. This is because the folks of Thunaivi are physically strong and they were separated through the Caste system beyond its functional purposes. The Caste system was based on the type of work undertaken by various families. Unlike in India, in Northern Sri Lanka the Farmer Caste enjoyed higher status than the Priests. The folks of Thunaivi were by work and caste largely Toddy Tappers. They are physically strong but did not actively seek education. Even now – when I go there I find little kids avoiding school to idle. But most men undertake manual work and most women are home-makers whilst some work as domestic helps in the higher caste homes in the neighborhood. The last group developed a thirst for higher education through the families and individuals to whom caste was for functional reasons only. I expect this to have happened within relationships that members of the Indigenous Communities had with Mainstream Australians.
Like you, I was also keen to promote ‘education’ within that Indigenous group - with a view to eliminating caste based discrimination practiced by both sides. Treating Vellalar (Farmer Caste) as a higher caste even though one is no longer a farmer amounts to social discrimination. Often this is done for the same reason why migrants treat senior migrants of British origin as being of higher class. In both instances it is easier that way and more economically beneficial for the junior class. It is living with the folks of Thunaivi that I learnt how to structure their / our common pathway. It was NOT by showing them that I was better educated than they. It was/is by facilitating for them to show me how clever they are in their own special areas such as cooking traditional dishes, masonry work, developing vegetable gardens, tailoring, drama and sports. I am actually not as skilled as they in all of the above areas.
You state in your letter ‘In very remote areas of the Northern Territory, only a quarter of children attend school often enough to learn and I have met far too many teenagers who can barely write their name. What hope will they have of getting work? And if they have no hope of work, what hope is there of these teenagers living long healthy and happy lives?’
We do have their parallels in the above area in Sri Lanka. We facilitated some to train and some others to work in Colombo. But they came back ‘home’ due to their ‘freedom’ which they did not have in Colombo. We then restructured their training and work and we monitor teenagers and children through our camera system and then provide them with ongoing education in discipline through Skype. In addition we bring young ones together through story-telling and writing competitions exclusively tailored to suit their environments. All this would not be possible if we had given them handouts. To my mind, I am doing this for my sake – for me to fill the Gap on behalf of my section of the Community.
Subsequent to the above mentioned Vaddukoddai Resolution, political victory through which Tamil Political Group became the Equal Opposition in Government in 1977, confirmed that that declaration was Belief based.. The pathway was beyond conscious average calculations. It was Natural. Believers would identify with that karma. Ethnicity based war is part of Sri Lanka’s tapestry as the Indigenous Gap is part of Australia’s tapestry. It is due to our respective heritage. When rights and wrongs go beyond their current place and time – they become heritages. We may like it or we may dislike it. Once we accept it as our own true picture of the past – it is no longer a threat. We just have to contribute more towards wider society of our current times and/or save enough for the future generations by raising our standards beyond the physical to become Commonly accessible to all seekers.
The Australian parallel of the above picture of Tamil Equality – despite being minority in terms of numbers - would be for a Party of Indigenous Communities to become the Equal Opposition in National Parliament. That would happen if the incumbent party in Government position strongly loses the confidence of the People and the current Opposition Party gets a landslide victory in the following elections AND in the meantime Indigenous Communities had worked and sacrificed for Equal status through the Political pathway. Belief by minorities would make that happen if all the ingredients are present. Belief alone is an Eternal Power that travels with us beyond time and place borders. One who invests beyond one’s official position - would naturally develop such Belief. If that were to happen, then the Indigenous Political Leader in Parliament would by law enjoy Equal status to the Prime Minister – just like the American President has the Opportunity to take up equal status in the UN as the Sri Lankan President – despite the US led Resolution against Sri Lanka in relation to War-Crimes.
Most of us do not know how exactly Belief works but we know it works. The Mathematical genius mentioned above connected to the theory of numbers that already existed. He did not go through formal training towards this. Accordingly zero in form represents no value as well as full value along the same vertical plane of 1 to 9. When you add the first number 1 to the last number 9 – in value you get 10. But if you stay along the same vertical plane - mentally the 9 is connected to the 1 and you complete that vertical placement. This is the way of Indigenous communities who live close to the land. Those of us who have come far from the origin – show 10, 100, and so on until we are not able to comprehend physically and/or mentally. Hence Infinity. In terms of Sovereign value , one who never left home – but connected the first to the last along the same plane – is as wholesome as one who uses the lateral plane and connects to the culture many columns away. Those who do not make this connection – are in fact weaker than the one who stayed at ‘home’ and connected to the origin.
Australians and recent migrants who did not complete their relationships with their cultural leaders at their places of origin – would be less Sovereign than Indigenous Communities who never left their homelands. Hence the latter need to bow their heads when going into those Indigenous areas which become Spiritual by staying in one place living largely through the Natural Resources available to them.
No vote as well as full Governance may show the same Freedom on the outside. It is the Experience that confirms the real value. If therefore we take a member of the Indigenous Community who is close to self-governance and place them in our lateral system of migrants – senior migrants and junior migrants – we weaken/damage their self-esteem due to change of status. If they seek to come out – that is a choice they make to become relatives in wider world. The value of zero could be nothing or everything – depending on how close it is to its place of birth. Hence 9 becomes 10 to spread laterally – but only when it stays along the same vertical plane.
It is that Belief - that we are Sovereign - that ‘Closes the Gap’ in the mind of the Minority power – as demonstrated by the ABC Managing Director who demonstrated his belief in Higher Independent Media Values. Outsiders may criticize us of neglect. Minorities themselves may expect quid pro quos to follow majority – as happens with most migrants. But they take value away from Australia’s Sovereignty even though they may seem to be the Government’s darlings. Every migrant from less developed country relative to Australia or Indigenous Australian who foregoes quid-pro-quos to uphold her/his Sovereignty adds real and wholesome power to Australia. So long as we are Sovereign including through the narrowest of footpaths – we promote Natural Harmony anywhere anytime we ‘feel at home.’ It is the Government’s duty to clear any blocks along this pathway of Truth.
As highlighted by you – Administration of Common Areas need to be devolved to States and Municipalities – towards better balance between Law & Truth. The latter is best enjoyed confidentially through our Sovereignty in our home areas. Those of us who seek to participate in that need to reside with those communities and become part of them during that period of residence, would be part of the solution – the bridging solution. It happens through Truth and not principles. Mathematical Legend Ramanujan questioned his teacher (who said any number divided by itself is 1) - as to how zero divided by zero could be 1 when zero added to other numbers raises the value of that number? That was the start of his lateral spread and yet he did not need any formal / structured leadership into this.
Once completed locally that whole would naturally merge with other wholes. Their achievement should not be measured at Work-In-Progress stage. In the world of that Commonness we would not ‘see’ any differences in educational standards or hygiene.
Belief has higher value than Cleverness. A person with belief but poor educational standards and poor hygiene as seen by wider world through the eyes of relativity is likely to be more at Peace with her/himself than a Clever person whose mind never stands still to experience the beauty of Truth / Nature but keeps relating and hoarding and enforcing the obsolete. As per my direct experience with the Government – you are more close to Nature than your senior – Mr. John Howard during whose time I felt strong discrimination pain.
Hence I urge you to take a look at the picture at http://austms.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/tamil-sinhalaavatars-today-23-november.html and honestly ask yourself whether you would achieve through your system – the natural harmony demonstrated by the devotees of Nallur Murugan of Northern Sri Lanka? I am often part of such large gathering during Nallur Festival time. To my mind the gathering is self-managed because of strong and reliable Administration at Nallur. How could they or their relatives be listed as Terrorists? They would not be by their own. Instead they would be cured internally of any weaknesses. Also, would you be comfortable in removing your shirt as Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa – immediate past President of Sri Lanka has demonstrated? Yet in terms of Refugees both of you had common interests due to your official positions. I believe that is all the commonness we are entitled to take for granted until we become Sovereign along our respective diverse pathways.
I pray that you continue with your goodness.
Mr. Sendt wrote on 20 November 2003 in response to my Public demand for him to pay his Dues as an Accountant::
Ms Param, I fully understand that auditors are not to participate in the management of the entities they audit. That is basic. What I said in my report is that external financial reports only give a partial view of the performance of many public entities. Such entities are not established to earn a profit or a return on assets, but to provide services to the public. So to give a true and fair view of how well they are providing services, they also produce non-financial performance indicators. If financial reports are required to be audited – to give the public confidence in their accuracy – then so too should the performance indicators. I fail to see how you can state that this is participating in the management of the entity.
NSW Auditor General
My response to the above indicates the deep wisdom I have in Audit and Compliance, largely based on my Sri Lankan training:
Thank you Mr. Sendt for the prompt response. Most progressive organizations produce both – Financial and Non-Financial Performance Indicators. They are both for MANAGEMENT purposes and reflect the THINKING and WORK_IN_PROGRESS. If you use Performance Indicators – then you are thinking with them. This is like the Executive Government participating in the Judicial process. Your Non-Financial Reports are the Legal records that these organizations are required to maintain – such as the Recruitment and Employee Assessment records. Where there is a big gap between Law and Practice – it requires YOUR staff to do the additional work. Taking the Performance Indicators distracts you away from this work. It is in breach of the Doctrine of Separation of Powers. These organizations must be allowed to confidentially do the cooking and it’s up to your staff to do the spy work from the finished product to the LAW and not to their dreams and goals. You are seeking the short path because your staff are not trained to find out from the client staff what is going on. Staff often ‘hide’ information from you because you are third party. So they should. That way your staff would improve their skills. Using client-staff’s work-in-progress deters your staff from thinking through their own specialty = AUDIT on the basis of existing LAW. Then we would become a uniform society instead of a diverse society challenging each other – you within the existing law and the operational staff towards tomorrow’s laws. Challenging leads to creativity – as you can see from me. Gandhi also said that the night he was thrown out of the first class compartment of the South African RAILWAYS was his most creative experience.
You need to get the client organization to publish their non-financial reports that are mandatorily maintained. Public service organizations primarily make goodwill. This can also be positive or negative – profits or losses. They are collected together and are balanced with the total costs through Common Funds. It will be useful for you to develop a standard dollar value for these legal requirements so the People can SEE and know the Truth. Your role is not to help them make a profit but to report whether they are and how much. How about doing one on UNSW? Or State Rail?
Thank you again for responding. It has helped deeply.