Friday 7 October 2016

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
7 October   2016

Buddhism & Politics

Why do we need to take action or remain silent when we ‘see’ something extraordinary? The common response that comes from within me is that if the position taken or accepted by us requires us to act,  we are doing our duty.  Where we are not duty bound – we often act or remain passive because  it gives us excitement or peace of mind respectively. Some do not use the law even where there is a law whilst others use law outside the boundaries of their official position. How we act is due to a combination of all forces present at that point in time at that place.

The ‘Arise Tamils’ rally in Northern Sri Lanka would have different values to different groups. I was recently asked by an Australian close to the Government – as to whether conditions were better under the new Government? I said there was greater freedom of expression and this is a common observation by a significant part of the Tamil Diaspora especially at grassroots level. To my mind, the ‘Arise Tamils’ rally is needed to ensure that Tamils do not become complacent because their economic needs are no longer felt. Welfare monies often lead to such complacency. Likewise the Sri Lanka in relation to foreign interference. One needs structure to promote oneself from money/physical level to mind level.

Human resource is more valuable than money resource. The way a nation with relatively greater human resource manages an issue is bound to be different to the way another nation with lesser human resources manages the same issue. The former should refrain from being driven by objectively measurable outcomes while the latter needs to rely heavily on such objectively measurable outcomes but relate to the minds of others through their own – as in use of computers. Sri Lanka belongs in former category whilst Australia belongs in latter category.

As per the Island report ‘Govt  lacks  political will to meet Wigneswaran’s challenge
-former External Affairs Minister

[Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday faulted the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government for not tackling the threat posed by the likes of Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran propagating separatist sentiments.]

Here, Prof. Peiris has the DUTY to  speak as a Sri Lankan citizen and not as per his past title. In an institution / family – one who is yet to complete her/his relationship with another as per the laws and rules of that institution does not have the authority to find fault with the other – except through her/his position. When one does find fault – the mind order of the person doing so -  becomes disconnected with the minds of others in that institution and one loses the human value in that institution. The real human value is not limited to the current bodies. It is the consolidated value of all in that structure who shared their Truth through that Institution. This is commonly known as heritage.

In People rich nations, human relationships are rich resources towards self-governance.  They regulate the mind through common pathways. As per my experiences, this is also the richer resource available to Tamils of Sri Lanka relative to Sinhalese.

The mind of one who takes responsibility for another, is strengthened by the other’s mind as if it is her/his own at the level of the junior. In turn the junior participates in the experience as if s/he is in the higher position. Official positions and their  relationships with others in one institution, when structured to facilitate such mergers – would leader to self-governance of the Institution itself. Such an institution will merge naturally with wider world through the soul-power of self-governance.

In the above example, Professor Peiris by position is junior to the President and the Prime Minister. If as a citizen he believes he has greater wisdom than the current occupants in the above positions – he needs to present it as an Equal and not ‘tell’ as a senior. Failure to do so would lead to Professor Peries losing connection with current minds that are working the system.

This is also a block in finding a solution to the ethnic issue in Sri Lanka. The Hon C.V. Wigneswaran who is the Chief Minister of Northern Sri Lanka is listed as an ‘extremist’ because he demonstrated that he opposed assimilation. The TNA leaders who are looking for a quick solution – have also joined the bandwagon. TNA as an Institution needs to relate through its own internal positions and not act as per the expectations of ‘outsiders’ even if they were Tamils – especially those Tamils who are rich in money and poor in policy.

As per the transcript of the interview presented under the heading ‘Secularism will erode moral values espoused by religions -Ven Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera’ – the Buddhist leader is reported to have stated:

[Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera took steps for Sri Lanka to cosponsor a resolution primarily moved by the United States. This resolution, adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in this manner, is detrimental to the interests of the country. It paves the way for an international war crime tribunal. Next, the Office of Missing Persons Act is there. It was enacted recently. A truth seeking mechanism is in the offing. That is not what is needed for the country.
That is done to appease the Tamil Diaspora. This is what the Western World is imposing on us at the behest of the Diaspora. This is not what our people asked for. Any government should act according to the interests of the people, not under duress by the external forces. So the Government’s approach is not conducive for the country. These external forces helped in the installation of this Government. We cannot expect such a government to live up to our expectations. We raise this point for the Government to correct itself at least at this juncture ]

The above Buddhist leader has no position in the Institute of Parliament. Yet, he speaks as if he was above the elected members of Parliament. If the Buddhist clergy had done their jobs through their positions as Buddhist clergy – the Buddhist army would have no reason to fear war-crimes tribunal – especially when the inquirers have no jurisdiction to punish them. Buddhist Presidents also would have been driven more by Truth than by the benefits from their positions. It is the DUTY of every religious leader to include its members and share their Truth confidentially within the boundaries of  Buddhist organizations. The realized do not need relativity. But until they realize their Sovereign powers – they need to remain within the official boundaries of their respective  institutions – so the ordinary citizen has the choice as to whose mind s/he merges with.

In Sri Lanka, Buddhist leaders who endorse or accept Separation of Powers between different religions, as provided for in the Constitution, continue to act in breach of such endorsement. Leaders who depend on Buddhist status assimilate with  Buddhist clergy. When they have leadership positions – they expect others to assimilate or they tend to ‘take-over’. The call for action against Mr. Wigneswaran is an expression of such takeover mentality – including by the media which seems to copy the money-rich journalists of the West. That is also majority power suppressing Sovereign power. In a balanced society – money plus human resource would be available all on equal footing. Every institute that has this structure – however small it may seem – strengthens the soul power of that land. This is why each ethnicity needs to be facilitated to function on its own. Those who keep interfering confirm that they do not believe in this soul-power. By openly criticizing Common National leaders they are dismissing themselves from their leadership positions as seen by the ordinary citizen. The occupants may not be Common but the positions are Common. If Secularism is opposed – the right way to take up leadership is to first renounce Democracy and the benefits that come by claim of practicing Democracy. The Government has the Responsibility to take action against Buddhist clergy before even thinking about action against a non-Buddhist leader. Even to take such action the Government  needs secularism. 

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