Saturday 17 December 2016

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
17 December   2016
Public Interest Communication

Yesterday I shared my valuation of a relative-in-law by including in the list, those who to my knowledge had invested in Common structures through me and this particular relative-in-law. The spouse of the relative who is my senior in age pulled me up for extending the list and therefore the sharing  beyond those considered ‘immediate’ by the relative.  I was upset because I could see value in it – but accepted that it was uncomfortable for the relative and decided to distance myself from the whole group. The email under the subject heading ‘What is awaiting the World under Donald Trump's Presidency of the USA’ which I received yesterday from Dr. Kamalanathan, a Diaspora leader, became significant after the above experience with the family member. It comforted me that when we are genuine – there someone values our work and sharing.  The email from Dr. Kamalanathan included the following message:
Please feel free to share with others, if you wish to.
That is the confirmation of investment in Commonness. The way I felt with the latter helped me override any separation pain from the relative. It is also significant in terms of overriding pain due to separation from Community to become National – a strong area of weakness in both my parent nations – Sri Lanka and Australia.

Dr. Kamalanathan shares his experience of world war as follows:
 ‘I lived through the second world war as a little boy in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka which was occupied by the United Kingdom.  Japanese, after capturing Malaysia, wanted to extend their power to other parts of Asia and started bombing Eastern Sri Lanka. As little boys my older brother and I went as pillions in a bicycle rode by our older cousin, with the hope to see the bombed areas, the parts where bombs dropped were  sparsely populated areas with hardly any damages, other than big holes on the ground close to beaches. This memory of war lived on with me and I read a lot about the second world war, the rise of Adolf Hitler and seen number of movies about Second world war, the memory is evergreen which is another reason to write this email. I am afraid similarities then and now are too similar to ignore it.
If Sri Lanka is Family to Dr. Kamalanathan, America is world power. The experiences we have and give form to from within, help us identify with the events in wider world. Hence one man’s food could be another’s poison; One man’s work could be another’s war.

In the above case – Dr. Kamalanathan saw and registered the damage to the Land during World War II. I did not see – but my mother shared with me her family’s suffering during and because of World War II. By suffering I do not mean mere discomfort of Displacement and loss of comforts enjoyed in their family home in Burma. They were all there – as we find with the Sri Lankan Diaspora formed due to the Sri Lankan war. More close to qualifying as suffering is my  association with the Experience of my uncle Ratnum Durai  about whose suffering  his brother uncle Lionel Durai, of Burma, preserved and shared with me through the communication from a Captain Raymond A Maloney - listed in Appendix 1.

I am able to place myself in the shoes of my uncles especially Uncle Ratnum Durai who was tortured to death for spying for the Allies. Likewise I heard directly from my English Guru – Mrs. Margret Saverimuttu of Holy Family Convent, Jaffna – about the terrible war experiences they underwent. This included the following about this lady’s daughter’s wedding:

We planned to have Kutty’s wedding on 29 June 1990. But trouble started on June 16th. We had to leave our home. The wedding ceremony was in the Passaiyoor Convent as the town was threatened with air-attacks. On July 22 nd at 7.45 p.m. a 300kg bomb was dropped in our compound. It destroyed the house reducing it to stones and sticks. All the trees were torn to shreds;  within seconds we lost our home.

Mrs. Margret Saverimuttu lost her husband when he was knocked down by a bus while Mr. Saverimuttu  was walking to inspect his above home which was nearing completion at Main St-6th Cross St. Junction, Jaffna. That was traumatic for all of us – the students. I could feel deeply the suffering that my teacher must have experienced when they lost that precious home due to the bombing.

The question here is who is responsible for the suffering? My uncle wrote also about the death of one of our family members in the war:

My sister wrote to me that her son xxx was stabbed more than 30 times, his hands tied with his own banian (cotton vest) and killed by the Tamil Tigers.

Who do I hold responsible for the suffering that this caused within our family?

Recently when watching Kuppi (Capsule) – Tamil movie – based on the killing of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi – my heart went out to the suffering of the Indian Tamil lady in whose home the LTTE members involved hid themselves. That was common occurrence in Jaffna including amongst our family and friends’ homes being taken-over by LTTE combatants. The Indian Tamil lady could not take the stress of keeping them in her own home.  Like the above deaths  their families also were killed by the Armed forces.  But having worked with the LTTE during Ceasefire – I believe that to most of them it was a job. I had the Independence Measure by then and hence I was the authority to measure. The Independence ‘Cause’ was not shared in common with the whole Community. If they had – the suffering of this Tamil Lady would have been their suffering. Likewise the suffering of those of us who were seeking to be self-governing through non-violent pathways.

To my uncle who was a spy and who did not have the cyanide capsule to escape the torture – that suffering was due to him wanting a job – to collect dowry for my mother. Likewise, to a good part of LTTE, known to me. It was worse for those who were recruited forcibly.

The deeper motivation towards self-governance comes from the sacrifices we make. Many of us make them in our daily lives – through family, workplace and social activities. While one could claim that Rajiv Gandhi hurt Tamils by sending the Indian Peace Keeping Force who became unruly and hence the LTTE had just Cause to kill him – not many seem to ask the question as to when a Rebel is entitled by Truth and Natural Justice to kill a member of the Government?  So long as that member of the Government is officially in position, a rebel needs to have invested through the official pathway common to both – and continue beyond the limits of her/his official position as a citizen – to earn the right to punish. When that happens it is God who punishes and it is called Soora Samharam the Destruction of Sooran – the uncorrectable animalistic man. The Hindu festival of Kantha Sashti is observed to remember and prevent wars by animals within us.

When LTTE cadre ended their lives by biting into the cyanide capsule – they ended their suffering at the physical level. But to the extent their actions caused suffering to others – especially those in whose name they fought – they carry negative karma into their next lives.
Victims who continue/d to live and remember their suffering can be cured of their suffering only through Graceful sharing by the Higher Souls. If we find our own Truth and identify with the Truth of the two sides respectively as if they were a part of us – and draw the line of pain – the higher line is the one that deserves our support. Supporting them would be Dharmic/Righteous. Truth can never lead us to real destruction and slavery. One needs to dig deeper until the mind can go no further. The discovery at that point is the Truth needed by us. When we express and act from within that Truth – we would protect our own Sovereignty and the Sovereignty of those in our home-group. Such souls need to be respected by one who seeks harmony.

I was invoking that Dharmic power when I included those in the family who upheld our Common Investment. But often relatives invest in each other outside the family structures and leave out the ones they dislike. Tamil & Sinhalese Rebels who invested in each other through their own structures – do not have the right to access those who invested in the Common Official pathway. To the extent they stayed in relationships within family and institutional structures in which other Tamils and Sinhalese invested – the Rebels have a rightful claim. No more. The rest is violence – be it LTTE or JVP.



Q:        Do you have any information concerning the death of one RATNAM DURAI at the New Law Courts Building, Rangoon, Burma? If so, please state what you know of your own knowledge concerning the incident?

Capt. Maloney: When I was placed in the New Law Courts Building, RATNUM DURAI was already confined in a cell adjacent to the one to which I was assigned, and was moved to my cell in about 10 days. On nearly every day every day for several weeks after I arrived, one or more interrogators, usually the interpreters, would come to the cell and ask him questions. I understood from the questions that they were seeking information as to the radio frequencies and codes he used as an agent for the United States intelligence, where he was trained, and the names of other natives trained with him. The interrogators would frequently beat him with a heavy club or rubber hose while in the cell. At other times he would be taken from the cell and be gone for a period of from a few hours to 2 days. When he was returned to his cell his body would show evidence of very severe beating, and frequently he had been so badly mistreated that he could not walk. About half the time he was given nothing to eat and did not recover. He died in January 1944, about 6 weeks after I arrived. He had no diseases or injury, except from apparent beatings, when I first arrived.

Q: State what was told to you concerning this mistreatment and of the background of RATNUM DURAI?

Capt. Maloney: I was told that DURAI was a Hindu and a citizen of Burma, but had been trained by the United States Intelligence and dropped from a plane behind the Japanese lines in Burma as an agent, that he was captured during the latter part of November 1943 and immediately brought to the New Law Courts Building.
DURAI told me that he was always beaten when he was taken from his cell for interrogation and that on several occasions he was hung by his feet from the ceiling of the interrogation room, so that his head was barely above the floor, and that water was then poured in his nose.

Q: Can you give any information as to those responsible for the mistreatment resulting in the death of RATNUM DUARI?

Capt. Maloney: There was one Japanese interpreter who was on the case continuously and gave many of the beatings. He was about 25 years old, about 5’5” tall and could speak good English. He said he knew a little about boxing and that he was one of the few Japanese there who wore their hair long as in Western style.
Signed : RAYMOND A.MALONEY, Captain, AC. ASN 0-726056

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