Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 08 Sept 2015
Tamil Dream of 50:50 is Reality today
Today is the Nativity Feast of Our Lady. I happened to get a picture of Mother Velankanni when I was teaching at Sr. Bridget’s Convent, Colombo – taking Accounting lessons before I went for my regular work at Associated Motorways. It was through that picture that I learnt that 08 September was special to Our Lady. I am a Hindu by birth and practice. Yet I am able to identify comfortably with the Divinity of Our Lady. I believe this happened due also to my parents who went also to Church. My sister and I were educated at Holy Family Convent – a Catholic institution. By respecting nuns as our elders we brought Our Lady also into ourselves. To me if this is possible – then One Sri Lanka is certainly possible. If Catholic Velankanni is very much part of India just as much as Hindu Meenatchi is - then so is Tamil Jaffna very much part of Sri Lanka – as Buddhist Anuradhapura is. At that level – there are no differences in size.
As per recent news reports Mr. Mavai Senathirajah, who is part of the leadership of the Tamil National Alliance which has won the position of Leader of the Opposition in National Parliament, has been highly critical of TNPF (Tamil National Peoples Front) led by Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam – grandson of Mr. G.G.Ponnambalam – the much admired Tamil Political Leader and Brilliant Lawyer – who foretold the current Equal status to Tamils as 50:50 (50% for the Sinhalese, 50% for all other ethnic groups) – in the language of his times. As per public reports this was rejected by ‘British Governor General Lord Soulbury as a "mockery of democracy".’ But today it is a Reality – confirming that the mind of Mr. G.G.Ponnambalam was way ahead of his times. That’s true heritage.
At an election meeting of the TNPF, Mr. Sugash Kanagaratnam – well known Attorney at Law in Vaddukoddai – referred to the heritage from Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam’s father – Kumar Ponnambalam. To my mind, the heritage could be identified with one generation prior to that. Knowingly or otherwise, the grandson of the Hon G.G. Ponnambalam has also contributed to the TNA’s victory at National level. TNPF at Tamil Community level, is in fact the parallel of TNA at National level.
Some leaders including Mr. Mavai Senathirajah are critical of the TNPF not being with the TNA. Mr. S.V. Kirubaharan, General Secretary, Tamil Center for Human Rights in France strongly demoted the TNPF during his interview with Lankasri on 13 August 2015. But to my mind, Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam is carrying on in the footsteps of his Grandfather – who established All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTA) in 1944. Mr. SJV Chelvanayagam’s group broke away from the ACTA to form the Federal Party / Ilangkai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) – the main party in TNA. Going by the records, – the TNPF did in 2010 – what the ITAK did back in 1949. Mr. Sugash Kanagaratnam mentioned above – listed in detail the way TNA had joined forces with the Sinhalese Government.
To my mind, this is healthy. We need an Equal Opposition in Democracy. If our numbers are low – then we must resort to Intellectual Discrimination to maintain this Balance needed for reliable Administration. TNPF is a much smaller group than the TNA and yet – they are targeted by some TNA leaders and their supporters. Are we not as guilty as the Sinhalese who fail to recognize the need for Equality where there is Diversity?
TNPF is made up of younger Tamils. Lawyers such as Mr. Sugash Kanagaratnam and Mr. Visvalingam Manivannan are recognized highly in Jaffna for their outstanding legal practices. I was in fact recommended their services when I was disappointed with older lawyers who seemed to be in retirement mode. These young lawyers are also more accessible by the ordinary public than the older lawyers and communicate promptly at the wider level, using modern technology. I was happy to note that the Consortium of Tamil Associations NSW (CTA)– here in Australia had organized the participation of Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam to discuss the election related issues via Skype facilities. We do this for our training of Vaddukoddai folks. The same CTA is organizing Mr. S.V. Kirubaharan to discuss Strategies of War Crimes Investigations at the upcoming meeting on 13 September 2015. To my mind – even though the two parties concerned seemed to be opposing each other – they are presenting different interpretations of the one issue. Knowing when to ‘come outside the circle’ and ‘observe’ is important in Administration of Justice. Hence Evidence is needed in a Court of Law. When we are ‘inside’ as One group – we would often fail to ‘see’ what others outside would ‘observe’.
The way I did not expect to win in Australian Federal Courts against former Prime Minister John Howard, TNPF would not have expected to be the leading Political party in the recent Parliamentary Elections. Mr. Howard’s presence in Washington during 9/11, followed by Bali Bombing during his term as Prime Minister – confirmed to me that my complaint was escalated to the Court of Natural Justice where Judgment is delivered as per our Truth.
Likewise one day – the tables could get turned for TNPF to be the leading Tamil Political party. This is highly likely to happen if young Tamils with Western grooming invest more and more in Sri Lanka especially through Development Projects. They would comfortably connect to the young minds in TNPF. This could be projected also through the genes that Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam has inherited from his grandfather. Mr. Gajendrakumar himself may not be aware of this inheritance. But true inheritance finds its way through various pathways – including the family pathway. To the extent. Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam believes in his father Mr. Kumar Ponnambalam and Mr. Kumar Ponnambalam believed in his father GG Ponnambalam – the heritage continues. Then there are the others like myself who continue to value Mr. GG Ponnambalam’s contribution to Tamil Community’s Dignity – including such valuation in our current work. The Older the heritage the stronger the force of manifestation.
The way I pray to Our Lady with belief – a Politician could comfortably invoke the Legal Admin genes when in Administrative mode. Towards this one needs to be close to the higher border where separations fade. Good Politics could be expressed in Administrative language and v.v. One should not be replaced with the other and this is the risk at the lower levels. A good proportion of Tamils of Northern Sri Lanka are heavy investors in Higher Education. Extending Politics well after elections would take us away from the Administrative pathway and make us more like the Sinhalese Governments that failed due to stagnation at Political level through majority mentality.
If it is true that we Tamils strongly influenced the outcomes of Parliamentary Elections 2015 – through which TNA is representing Tamils as Equals at the National level – then it is True that some of us – true Governors – wrote the Natural Constitutional Belief in the minds of the voters and Politicians who paved the rest of the way one way or the other. Common Belief works directly – without intermediaries. I fully believe that I am one such writer in terms of Equal Tamil Leadership in Sri Lanka. The pathway of such Self-Governors is the Natural Administration Policy / Constitution of that group. We did not have enough of them in 1977. We do now – all over the world. We need to get it right this time around.
Towards this, we need to talk about issues and not about individual personalities and their personal behaviors as they happened during election mode. We may criticize their outcomes but not their pathways. TNPF as it is today, is a distinctly Diverse group to the TNA. We need the Diversity to be good models of multiculturalism.