Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 06 March 2016
|Jaffna Harthaal / Shutdown on 24 February 2016|
Which Law Did the Rape Victim have the right to?
‘Vidya’s murder was a revenge killing; CID’ says the Sunday Times of Sri Lanka.
The above report states also:
[With the latest arrest of an individual this week, so far eleven persons have been remanded for the rape and murder of student Vidya Sivaloganathan. The incident received wide publicity over local and international media and also led to public protests in the North.]
Given the claim that this matter received national and international publicity – the applicable law needs to be global and not local. The globalization of the matter happened due to the protests by the Public in Northern Sri Lanka. The rape was reported to have happened on 13 May 2015. The Public – through their protests confirmed that they blamed the Government. It could be the LTTE speaking through the protestors – but that is Jaffna’s reality. The question is who is the root cause and who has the right to give form to that root cause?
As per my experience – Jaffna High Court – does have the capability of surfacing the root cause – provided it has support. Back in 2015, I contemplated deep into Vidya’s matter – eliminating from the protestors - the school children and others who did not have the right to protest publicly. Public Protests – as per Democracy need to be through members 18 years and above. Only Truth has the right to be published naturally by any person. As a person recognizing the position of Equal Opposition in Parliament for Tamils, I have the DUTY to uphold – the lawful age for Public Protests.
I believe that this seeking at depth – led me to have the EXPERIENCE – when 14-year old Vavuniya school girl, Gangatharan Harishnavi became the victim on 16 February 2016. I heard the report through a mother – a working mother who also left her son at home while she went out to earn money. The sharing happened through a network of Truth – as per my True investments in Northern Sri Lanka – most of which are far less visible than the investments by other members of the Tamil Diaspora. When I learnt on 24 February 2016 – that there was a Harthaal / Shutdown – including by the Lawyers –I accepted it as Jaffna’s reality – even though our matter listed to be heard by the Jaffna High Court - was adjourned due to the Harthaal. This confirmed that the processes included the Jaffna Public’s feelings also. This is necessary – given that Truth is the basis on which the law is read and understood in the case of ‘rights’. I thus passed the ‘ownership’ test. The Colombo lawyer failed this test, and this is confirmed as follows:
[Mr. Parathalingam PC said in Jaffna High Court on the day of the shutdown, words to the effect - that he could move to have the matter dismissed with costs against us and that he was agreeing to a postponement under protest. I stated to the Court that given that I had done the substantive work to prepare the first set of Appeal Application, I was ready for the matter to be heard on that day itself. Then Mr. Parathalingam PC said that I would need to revoke the proxy to the lawyer before doing that. I was ready to do that also – as I usually represented myself in Australian Courts which usually facilitated lay litigants to meet the requirements of such technical processes. The Jaffna Judges decided to adjourn the hearing. The Judge informed the Colombo group also to appreciate that the situation in Jaffna was different to Colombo and emphasized that the lawyers needed to keep in touch with the Jaffna groups.]
‘President’s Counsels – Executive or Judiciary?’ at - http://austms.blogspot.com.au/
Interestingly our Appeal was also about ‘Rights’ – whether a sister who has been continuously supported by a brother and who had received dowry – was entitled to Administrative rights over the brother – where the Customary Law of Thesawalamai was applicable? A Court looking to uphold Truth – would have identified with it – through this direct experience – by observing that the one with Thesawalamai Rights was present and the one claiming those rights due to custody of documents – was absent. The rest is legal frills.
Who is really responsible to uphold the wrongs in the cases of rape? Often one hears ordinary folks say ‘if the Boys were here this would not have happened’. Those who so claim are confessing also to not being interested in the Judicial system at its maximum value - as it has developed in Sri Lanka – supporting the manifestation of Truth in Sri Lanka and thus contributing to the Sovereignty of Sri Lanka. How deep did the CID go? As per the above report:
[Though the magistrate ordered the police to handover the reports of DNA and witnesses, the police did not submit them today when the case was taken up. The magistrate ordered the police to submit all the relevant reports regarding the case in the next sitting which is scheduled for March 18.]
The above confirms that the Administration is not focused on finding the Truth in this case. This in turn weakens the Government’s power in this part of the nation. A Court may not be able to uphold the Truth in a matter. But even if one participant upholds her/his Truth – through her/his position in Court – that place becomes energized by Sovereign Power which is shared naturally with those genuinely seeking Truth at that place.
Those in Northern Sri Lanka are need to be facilitated to bring out their Truth – preferably without the influence of lawyers. To the extent Protestors are genuine, that place has already produced the right to self-representation – be it in Public Administration or in Court. Often lay litigants tend to use their own social / cultural language to bring out their Truth. Legal Aid needs to be provided to structure it to suit the Administration and / or the Courts. That would naturally escalate Sri Lankan issues to global standards and we would not need hybrid courts. Law without Truth deteriorates to trading level.