Sunday 27 November 2016

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
27 November    2016

 Maaveerar Day – Day of Healing

Today is commonly known as Maaveerar Day – Great Heroes Day by Tamils of Sri Lanka. When we remember that some in our community died as fighters – we have the duty to remember and honor them and thereby honor ourselves. Wikipedia report on this includes the following summary:

[On 27 November 2012 an attempt by some University of Jaffna students to commemorate Maaveerar Naal by lighting oil lamps was broken by the Sri Lankan security forces who broke the lamps, threatened the students and pointing weapons at them.  The following day students staged a peaceful protest against the actions of the security forces but they were met by riot police who attacked and beat the protesters, resulting in at least 20 students being injured and four arrested.
In 2016 the Government Minister Mano Ganesan claimed that Maaveerar Naal can be celebrated as it is a human right for people to celebrate their late loved ones but it was wrong to do it with a political motive. He cited that the marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) also celebrate il Maha Viru Samaruwa in the South to commemorate their dead. However due to the fact that the LTTE is still proscribed but JVP is no longer considered a terrorist organization the LTTE cannot be mentioned.]  

Often we add our own good to the dead to ‘free’ them from any wrongs – in the belief that they would merge with the Holy Spirit. When we pay our respects genuinely – as if the dead are a part of us – we carry with us their minds of  positive value as if we are those persons. Thus, their  mind lives longer than the body. If we do so for lesser purposes of money and/or status – we get their weaknesses – especially if we are seen to be successful  on the outside. To the extent we are strongly  positive in the values they carried which values were considered strongly negative by our community – including parts of the Tamil Community that were victims of the fighters, we do not inherit the negatives by honoring them through their goodness. Hence when we genuinely mourn all those who died due to the struggle for Independence – the day becomes a day of healing and preventing.

If on the other hand, we do it for political reasons – we disintegrate the common and take on their weaknesses and therefore their failures.  Hence to us mortals, it is all about what it does to us – the living.

The LTTE itself needs to be remembered as such a courageous group but not for the purposes of benefiting in the current environment. Once invoked at the cost-benefit level – we invoke also their negatives.

To me it is more valuable that Minister of Health – Dr. Rajitha Senaratne paid tribute to a Politician who was killed near my homeland in Narahenpita:

[Minister of Health and Co-Cabinet Spokesman
Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has announced at the Cabinet Media briefing last Wednesday (23) that there was nothing wrong in commemorating the dead.
Minister Rajitha Senaratne was in Jaffna on Sunday (20) to participate at the event to commemorate the tenth year death anniversary of slain Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian N. Raviraj.
The statue of N. Raviraj has been erected in his hometown Chavakachcheri, and it was unveiled by the Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance Leader
R. Sampanthan, in the presence of Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP)Leader Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne. Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) Leader and TNA Parliamentarian Mavai S. Senathirajah garlanded the statue and the cost of erecting the statue was met by another Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran.
The event was a moving one and the family members of the slain Parliamentarian were in tears when they lit the lamps in memory of late Raviraj who was a young lawyer and remained a promising Tamil politician. He had also served as the Mayor of Jaffna in 2001.
Raviraj was among Tamil politicians such as Sam Thambimuttu, A. Amirthalingam, V. Yogeswaran, Neelan Thiruchelvam,
T. Maheswarn, Nadaraja Atputharaja and Lakshman Kadirgamar were assassinated in Colombo and except for Kadirgamar all others were assassinated in broad daylight.
Raviraj was gunned down at Narahenpita while he was driving his vehicle to his office in the early hours on 10 November 2006. The assassin who arrived on a motorbike had emptied his T.56 assault rifle gunning down Raviraj and his body guard, a police constable who was sitting next to him in the vehicle.
Raviraj's tenth year death anniversary was commemorated with the unveiling of his statue last Sunday (10) in the backdrop of month of November being considered as the month of Marty's Day commemorations in the North and the East.
Coincidently tributes were also paid in memory of Raviraj for the supreme sacrifice he made towards fulfilling the political aspirations of Tamils.
Raviraj being fluent in all three languages expressed his views highlighting clearly the political and the humanitarian issues of the people in the North and the East to the people in the South.]

The fact that we are able to celebrate both – the LTTE and their internal Opposition – the Tamil Parliamentarians at the same time within the Northern Province, confirms that we have reconciled internally as a Community. Those of us who feel common to both ceremonies,  would naturally share such healing powers with others in their environment. Dr. Senaratne is appreciated by widowed and abandoned Health workers in Northern Province whose jobs were confirmed as a priority above others.

I am feeling positive that my investments in healing the minds of war victims are delivering positive returns. Maaveerar Day flower is Karthigai Flower with six petals and is known as Murugan’s flower. I found it for the first time in Sydney, Australia – confirming my global level experience of Independence through Multicultural pathway.

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