Friday 13 January 2017

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
13 January 2017

End of Reconciliation and Beginning of Opposition

Tomorrow – 14 January 2017, we Hindus celebrate Thai Pongal – a festival to celebrate harvest and say ‘thank you’ to Nature through the Sun. Sri Lanka as a Nation is yet to say ‘thank you’ to any higher power for harvesting harmony. There is much discussion about War-Crimes inquiry as well as about Reconciliation. But what is the objectively measurable target that all of us could identify with? Is it a Constitution that satisfies all genuine stakeholders? Is it the Economy confirming financial independence? Is it greater power sharing? How is the Government leading this process? Truth will satisfy all but it may be a bitter pill to take. In the alternative – we need to work out the most common laws applicable to each autonomous group. Autonomy at the earned level of leadership promotes progress.

The following is an excerpt from the speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs the Hon Mangala Samaraweera at Chatham House, on this subject matter:

[Even though there were divergent views within the government regarding the participation of foreign judges in the proposed judicial mechanism, there was a clear consensus across the board on the need of an independent and credible domestic mechanism as promised by the manifesto of President Maithripala Sirisena, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.
Speaking on the Sri Lanka's reconciliation process at Chatham House, he said as a democratic and sovereign government, Sri Lanka would work out the architecture of such a mechanism in consultation with all the stake holders.
“Although the violence ended in May 2009, the healing of wounds of over two decades of conflict, achieving reconciliation and national integration, catching up on economic progress and development that eluded us due to conflict, and ensuring non-recurrence, remain challenging tasks for our Nation.  Similarly, the tasks of improving governance, institutions, rule of law, and putting in place necessary measures to strengthen, promote and protect individual rights; while ensuring the dignity of all and building a truly national identity while preserving our pluralistic society – remain work in progress,” he said.
He said Sri Lanka was committed to the implementation of the resolution which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in 2015 so that as a country Sri Lanka could deal with the past honestly and truthfully, accept that past, put it behind us, and then move forward to build our Sri Lankan nation anew.]

The two main groups in conflict are the Sinhalese only and Tamil only groups. Majority Sinhalese are Buddhists and majority Tamils are Hindus. Both accept the system of karma and rebirth. As per this system, one cannot ‘put the past behind us’. The past has to be escalated to the highest possible level – so it cannot become part of future in that form. There needs to be new form and hence rebirth.

If we do not resolve a problem during its current period, it travels with us as our genes. It is therefore important for us to resolve as much of the problem as we can, through the Common Laws known and practiced by the lowest grade on the official side to this conflict. This part of the inquiry is the responsibility of the Central Government.  Where violence happened without application of common order – the responsibility rests with the respective religious institutions and/or the respective provincial councils – to inquire into internally and bring about improvement in the practice of  the respective religion and / or local laws that lead to belief in form common to the group.

An ‘internal mechanism’ is not likely to find fault with its own side – and hence needs to be read as an opportunity to strengthen programs and procedures of the Government.   Much of the Tamil side would need to be addressed by Tamils within Common guidelines of the Government and the Constitution. The ‘punishment’ has already taken place and hence the Tamil side’s contribution would largely be towards non-recurrence.  Separation on the basis of recognized un-reconcilable issues is essential for maintenance of harmony. They are confirmed by objectively measurable outcomes that are wrong as per Common Law and were manifested by one side without any supervision by Common Authority or Equal Opportunity for  the other side to access resources.  Often abuse of authority happens by the one with higher status unjustly reducing the other side’s status through one sided actions and expressions.

The Sri Lankan Foreign  Minister was speaking at Chatham House.   The Rules for which this House is known are that the particular identity of a subject is not revealed during discussions of a subject matter. This is necessary in International Communication, to prevent one side taking authority over another by enforcing rules and / or information relating to outcomes to which others are not a party. As most of us know, the Sri Lankan Government removed all international monitors to clear their ‘supervision’ and thereby acted as the sole authority to eliminate the Tamil Tigers. This would have been just and fair if the issue had not been escalated to world authorities including the UN.  To remove the UN after the status of Tamil Tigers and therefore the Tamil Community in that area had been demoted – is like eliminating one’s parents once one is able to earn one’s own income and status. As per the records Sinhalese king Kasyapa buried alive his own father. Hence the Sinhalese Royal mind order would carry the force of that karma also. The Land where this happened would carry reverse discrimination karma until the land becomes ‘home’ to one with greater positive karma in orderly conduct of hierarchical power.

Authority over another is officially through Common principles until known otherwise. The Rajapaksa regime for example has been exposed extensively for deviating from the rule of law. They therefore lacked the official authority to make subjective decisions. Natural / Moral authority is accrued by us sacrificing our earned benefits and assets – including status – for another and/or for common purpose – as in the case of parents. Those who so sacrifice – without expectations of any return benefits – get naturally promoted to the higher position and have natural authority to act as per their own conscience in regards to the other person. The members of Sri Lankan Armed forces who did not stay within their official authority did not have this Natural authority over Tamils due to cultural separations over many generations.

Unless there is a strong force to lead the Common group – we are back to square one – needing separation below the lowest common order demonstrated by the Government. Enough time has lapsed for Reconciliation to happen and it has been happening. The rest of the problem needs to be identified with, highlighted and taken as the source of Opposition by one group against the other.

In Democratic team management – we often operate as Multi-Disciplinary teams.  Planning in turn is structured around technical design – for example National Security in the case of Sri Lanka but the role of all other aspects that make up the organization / nation also need to be consciously recognized and included in the overall plan. Each discipline – for example Human Rights discipline; Economic Development discipline; Accountability discipline – all need to be integrated into the plan at equal status. Many of the support services would not be visible through their outcomes but would strengthen internal cohesion through common processes and confidential sharing. This approach would take the focus away from Sinhala only and Tamil only pictures. The Truth about these needs to be identified with in the new structure of global standards. That Truth will lead us from within – especially if it is not surfaced to disadvantage one group against another. Truth always unites minds – even when the bodies are separated.

The current Political formation where Tamil Political group is the Leading Opposition happened due to our Truth. Tamil Politicians need to represent all minorities in Common – so that there is Equal Opposition to majority in Parliament. When such opposition includes Sinhalese Politicians – to form Common Opposition – that formation is the picture of the solution we need. 

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