Monday 20 June 2016

The New Indian Express
Reclaiming Sinhalese settlement rights in Tamil dominated Jaffna
By P K Balachandran
Published: 19th June 2016 11:55 AM
Last Updated: 19th June 2016 10:33 PM

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam- 20 June   2016  

Land Never Forgets

While preparing to present my arguments in Colombo Courts in my land matter,  I realized that the principles underlying prescriptive rights were more or less identical to the ones underlying not only whether Australia was ‘Terra Nullius’ when the British set foot on this soil but also in terms of the Sri Lankan ethnic problem as well as  the Tamil & Sinhala rebellions against the Government of Sri Lanka.  The fundamental question is about ‘ownership’ – whether one has ownership through Belief based Possession or through lawful pathway – which includes mental ownership. During such analyses I often think about Ms Shenali Waduge who asked me a couple of times as to what it is that Sinhalese had that we Tamils did not have? It is also the parallel of White Australian workers saying to me that my claim of Racial Discrimination by Central Administrators of the University of NSW did not seem right because they – White Australians also were unjustly treated by the same Administration. During those struggles – it so happened that I was charged with ‘Trespass’ for peacefully taking my place as an ‘Owner’. The way the University was made up at that time through natural forces– there could have been no other outcome. One of the highlights of that manifestation was that it was an ‘American-return’ of Australian origin who was trying to ‘show-off’ his democratic leadership skills – who had me sent to prison for Peaceful assembly. This Vice Chancellor overrode the assessments of  Australian Chancellors and hence invoked the Natural ownership powers to stand up against Pretend / Maya ownership authority. Natural Justice worked through other migrants and Australians in Governing position to oust the American trained Vice Chancellor. There is no law above the one that led to the discovery of Truth at that place at that time. The pathway to Truth is the highest law for that environment. The lesson to be learnt there is that we must first bow to the institution as it truly is when we enter the place. That bowing confirms our inheritance of previous owners of that institution/place. Hence the ‘Terra Nullius’ requirement for new settlers to Administer a place. In terms of Democratic Management – required by the University of NSW – the University was not ‘Terra Nullius’. It had some  with wisdom in Democratic Management and this included me – already expressing it in action. The new American return Vice Chancellor did not need to know me in particular. Had he bowed to the Common spirit of democracy already given form at the University –he would have been protected from his desire to ‘invade’ and show off.

With all this in my consciousness, I read the New Indian Express article ‘Reclaiming Sinhalese settlement rights in Tamil dominated Jaffna’. Analyzing the information in that article on the basis of MY experience of Jaffna, I identified with some problems on the side of Tamils claiming devolution of power. Our family also owned land in Navatkuli – at the center of the said  resettlement and I believe that my  connection is stronger due to this. The matter in summary is described as follows:

It was in late 2009, following the end of Eelam War IV, that the then government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa took the decision to aggressively push for Sinhalese resettlement in the North to nullify the Tamil militants’ policy of fashioning a mono-ethnic Northern province as a prelude to the creation of an independent Tamil Eelam. But the Tamils opposed Sinhalese settlements in the North on the grounds that they were planned, politically motivated,  colonization programs meant to alter the ethnic ratio there. 
Initially, 60 Sinhalese families from various parts of South Lanka were brought in buses and dumped at the disused railway station at Navatkuli, near Jaffna town. As the migrants were promised land and houses, 135 other families also made a beeline to Navatkuli.

Given the timing of resettlement – one could identify with  the Government’s  influence in resettling these Sinhalese families. The former regime did not have enough realized ownership power to override the confirmation of Tamil ownership of that land – through Belief based possession. Death completes the role taken by a person naturally through her/his own Truth. Irrespective of whether the Government forces killed or the Tamil Tigers killed – someone who died while preserving her/his ownership of the place – confirms absolute ownership of that place and that person’s heirs have the natural inheritance to that place. This overrides all other Titles.

As per this article – amongst the group of Sinhalese re-settlers there was one whose claim is reported as  follows:

Middle aged Malkanthi was the natural leader of the group. Big made, bold and bilingual,, she also  came from a family which had lived for eight generations in Jaffna.
“Our family had roots in Maniyamthottam and Kankesanthurai and I knew Jaffna district like the back of my hand,” she told Express at her house in the Sinhala Colony which now boasts of an impressive Buddhist temple.
Malkanthi’s family, along with several hundreds of other Sinhalese families, was  driven out by the Tamil militants in 1984, in the first of two major acts of ethnic cleansing, the second being in 1990.
“At that time there was a fairly large Sinhalese community in Jaffna. The Jaffna Sinhala Vidhyalaya had 250 students. Life was pleasant with the Tamils and Sinhalese getting along like family,” she recalled.  
But the thought of going back to Jaffna never left the Sinhalese.
“We were forever yearning to breathe the air of Jaffna and drink its water. We were people of this soil. We could never abandon it. I remember when I returned after the war, I burst out crying!” Malkanthi said.’

The question before us now is whether Malkanthi is claiming Prescriptive Title  or whether Malkanthi is claiming Legal Title which she ‘abandoned’ in 1984 or 1990. If Malkanthi was claiming Prescriptive title and left during the 10 year period she was developing her rights to Prescriptive Title – and /or before establishing it through the legal process – she does not have the legal authority to come back to that land. If Malkanthi was claiming legal Title – and there is another occupier claiming prescriptive title – then she has the authority to take legal action against such occupier – as I am doing now in the case of my Colombo Land. When the citizen takes shortcuts and hands the matter over to politicians – one does not have the authority to blame the ‘opposition politicians’ for problems. The above article reports in this regard:

Since Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran kept harping on “planned Sinhalese colonization”, Malkanthi decided to confront him.
“I barged into his study and insisted that he hear me out.  He relented and when I finished, he admitted that he had been misled and promised not to raise the issue again” she claimed.’

If indeed Mr. Wigneswaran agreed not to raise the issue again – he is failing in his duty to those in Navatkuli who died in the war and have the responsibility to carry forward the war-experience including through claims of Prescriptive Titles to abandoned lands occupied/possessed by them. That is the way an individual participates through her/his Truth in Natural Governance of that land – which is an eternal power.

If Mr. Wigneswaran did agree as stated above – then he is revealing his lack of commitment to relevant Thesawalamai values which were spelt out as follows:

when any person had sold a piece of land, garden, or slave, &c, to a stranger without having given previous notice thereof to his heirs or partners, and to such of his neighbours whose grounds are adjacent to his land, and who might have the same in mortgage, should they have been mortgaged, such heirs, partners, and neighbours were at liberty to claim or demand the preference of becoming the proprietors of such lands.’

One may claim that the above provision of Thesawalamai, in relation to Land ownership – like dowry system, is no longer applicable. But where the official Government invokes its cultural powers – its opposition has the moral right and duty to match it through its own cultural system. The expression and use ofcourse needs to be not in breach of the laws of  the nation common to both cultures.

This is the reason why the Dutch gave us Tamils the Thesawalamai Law and the Kandyan Law to Sinhalese. Accordingly, Mr. Wigneswaran had the DUTY to explain the position of Northern Sri Lankans through the above Theswalamai values. Individual cases need to be resolved through the judicial process. But where a politician has knowledge of the Government’s Political move to ‘colonize’ – the Political leader who believes that her/his people are likely to suffer unjustly – needs to express her/his belief in opposition to such Political move. Such moves when they are strong enough to complete the true picture, would confirm our real picture of community ownership and therefore governance of that area and would naturally eliminate false exercise of authority through mere paper title. To my mind, the true values of Tamil rebellion are held in the position of Opposition Leadership in National Parliament, due to Natural forces rising in support to draw this picture through this generation also. If Customary Laws confirm Independent ownership by possession, the above status of Tamils in National Parliament confirms Adverse possession which needs to be Equal.

The value of Dutch as our Governors is carried by these Customary Laws. In many ways – Devolution of Power happened back then – in 1706 when the Dutch devolved power to the three main communities – Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims through express recognition of these Customary Laws. To the extent our conduct is in confirmation of these laws we are naturally entitled to outcomes of those laws within a community that is largely ignorant of Western laws. Those who practice Sri Lankan laws and values common to all – need to take Adverse position in Politics to give valid form to their true belief. Tamils who feel and/or think Sri Lankan – have claimed their Equal right to leadership in Sri Lanka through the support of these natural powers which are often invoked through our ancestors – including the Dutch, British, Portuguese and Indians.  

To the extent the former regime led by Mr. Rajapaksa practiced cultural values and beliefs to eliminate the Tamil Tigers – they entitled Tamils and Muslims to decisions that are parallel to their cultural decisions. Whether or not Mr. Rajapaksa had knowledge of such laws common to all who lawfully qualified as Sri Lankans – belief based values and their laws would operate through the believers in those values and laws, in the areas covered by such actions. By influencing the return of Sinhalese soon-after the suffering of Northern Tamils in the war – the government invoked those powers which extinguish any legal title – for there is no higher pathway than that to and from Truth. Truth looks after those who look after Truth. One of the Reservoirs of Truth is Land. Land protects those who believe in that Land. If the neighbors of Ms Malkanthi are accepting of her resettlement – that is a private issue. Taken as a group – Ms. Malkanthi’s decision cannot be extended to others. If the above account is true, then I conclude that the Judicial leader in Mr. Wigneswaran failed us due to being buried under Political thoughts and expressions. 

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