Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 17 April 2016
Terrorism Accusations – part of Hate Speech?
As per regular feedback – there are some positive signs from within the Tamil community that they are open to downgrading the Terrorism label. As stated previously – to majority Tamils LTTE were rebels. The more people hear the label the less the motivation to merge with wider society. A study of the caste system as practiced in Northern Sri Lanka and in many parts of India would confirm this ‘separation’. Instead of studying one could do it the express way – i.e. – to have the experience as a victim. Likewise, in the case of Terrorism accusations. I often refer to my Association with the LTTE in 2003 – to confirm whether or not LTTE are terrorists. To me the answer is NO. I felt more terrorized when my expressions of ‘intellectual discoveries’ as per my lawful position – were suppressed and I was threatened with punishment by law enforcement officers much less educated than I – in the Australian system, than I ever felt in Sri Lanka – including when working with the LTTE. But the experience helped me not to limit myself to the ‘official’ system – but to go beyond it to experience the system of Truth. I am however cautious not to act in breach of the laws known to me – be they secular or cultural to that place/institution.
On that basis – did the LTTE deserve the Terrorism label more than the group that eliminated them? The answer to that is easier for me when I go into the caste system. The mind structure of majority members of the LTTE would be close to the folks of Thunaivi than to those of Vaddukoddai town area where the higher caste ruled over lower caste. Thunaivi itself is a toddy tapper village and one would from time to time hear someone in Vaddukoddai say even today ‘Nalam Nalamthaan’/Toddy tapper is toddy tapper. Those who lived by the caste hierarchy tend to use that pathway for their interactions and this is more on the side of the Thunaivi folks towards their own ‘freedom’.
I filed a Defamation case against Australian branch of our family of Vaddukoddai origin, claiming that they defamed me on the basis that I was married a second time. Initially I had the experience of that downgrading within the family. I did not take any public action on that basis. But later when they claimed this in Sri Lankan Court through their legal Attorney it became a Public label. I had to then act on behalf of all women who married more than once. The Defamation case itself was filed here in Australia on the basis of my true experience. But the Court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the case. However, as an Australian leader – the Judge confirmed her identity that it would have been hurtful to me. To me that was the real victory. The parallel of that happened in Jaffna Courts in November 2015, when the Judge disciplined the very same legal Attorney for not keeping his team ready to merge with the reality of Jaffna which shutdown in protest over the rape and death of a teenager. The Court may or may not rule in our favor at the technical/money level. But to the extent we are true – the return will happen to those who appreciate the difficulties of the system as theirs. The Colombo barrister in the above matter in Jaffna expressed that he could move to have the matter dismissed due to our Attorney not turning up due to the shutdown. I did not know of a law that would facilitate this. But I knew that such would be unjust. So I brought out my Truth – and said that since I had done most of the paperwork – I was ready to represent myself. The Judge postponed the hearing and then disciplined the Attorney for the other side.
Yet, all this would have been prevented in the family had worked out the pathway shown by Thesawalamai – according to which males led males and females led females and they did not become common until the same side was not available. I practiced Thesawalamai for my husband and Common pathway for my children to whom the Australian pathway is the trunk route. This deprived both of their ‘freedom’ when in the ‘other’ system but they are stronger in self-governance than their parallels known to me.
If therefore we have the choice of two pathways – and we choose the easier one – then we do enjoy more freedom but we also separate ourselves from the stronger minded leaders. Those who accept defeat not because they think they are failures / wrong doers but because it is the limit of the system – succeed by become owners of the whole. THIS is the opportunity that has been taken by the Tamil Community leadership at National level through the position of Opposition Leadership. That was not directly as per the UN system. Like in 1977 – it happened due to the real failures of Majoritarian rulers. It happened as per the system of Truth which cannot be controlled by the physical nor the mental.
The LTTE itself happened due to caste based separation that deprived those separated from being connected to the higher mind. When activated at young age – they would show good outcomes / wins but beyond that they would stagnate. This happened to the Sinhalese at Global level through Mr. Rajapaksa who did not have the ‘experience’ in wider world the same way many Tamil politicians also do not have. In fact by asking for Eelam State to be facilitated – the Hon C.V. Wigneswaran is also confirming that he is also as local as the Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa. One who is local needs to be driven by her/his Truth at all levels. This becomes difficult when one accepts official leadership positions which require using the picture that would get the best grades from wider world. Neither side has true global mind on its side and hence the struggle to come to terms with their respective weaknesses as seen through the measures used by the UN.
The Human Rights Commission is reported to have written to the Prime Minister in relation the proposal to criminalize Hate Speech:
[The Commission wishes to recommend to the Government that it be substituted by a formulation which has already been adopted by the Parliament of Sri Lanka in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (lCCPR) Act, No. 57 of 2007 which is in accordance with fundamental rights and our international human rights obligations.
"The proposed formulation to criminalize hate speech (contained in the Gazette of November 6, 2015) reads as follows:
Whoever, by the use of words spoken, written or intended to be read, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, intends to cause or attempts to instigate acts of violence, or to create religious, racial or communal disharmony, or feelings of ill-will or hostility, between communities or different racial or religious groups, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a terrn which may extend to two years.
"That formulation is almost identical with s.2(1)(h) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, No.48 of L979. The broad wording in the PTA provision did pave the way for abusive applications which resulted in the chilling of free expression. A prime example is the prosecution of journalist Tissanayagam.
"ln the ICCPR Act of 2007, our legislature adopted the following provision criminalizing hate speech:
No person shall propagate war or advocate national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. (s.3.1)
"That formulation is in accordance with Sri Lanka's international human rights obligations on free speech and permits prosecution only when there is proof of incitement.
"Therefore, we recommend that the Government withdraw the proposed amendment to the penal Code and substitute it with the above provision.
"Moving that provision in the ICCPR Act to the Penal Code is an advisable step. The Commission is of the view that the ICCPR Act should be abrogated in the future and all the human rights recognized therein should be incorporated into a future constitutional Chapter on Fundamental Rights."]
Like with Terrorism label the actions against Journalists like Mr. Tissanayagam also happened due to the gap between law and the pathway of Truth. The law needs to be customized to suit the Natural tendencies of locals or be limited to the Truth discovered by locals. This is essential in institutions that have neglected the very laws applicable to them as per their core purposes. This includes the Judiciary – in Colombo as well as in Jaffna. Where the pathway shown by those who practice their own system is as per their own Truth and this negates the effects of the official law – they are rebels. Where such pathways are alternate systems to suit the convenience of those in power – such practitioners are Terrorists – even if it were the judiciary and/or the elected government.