Tuesday 14 February 2017

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
14 February 2017

Buddhist Officials & Separatism

There is a Tamil saying that ‘one who sees the stone does not see god and one who sees god does not see stone.’  Nationalism likewise could be ‘seen’ or could be ‘realized’. The ‘seen’ is relative; the realized is absolute.

Ceylon Today’s Editorial under subject matter ‘Rising separatism, racism’ includes the following in relation to Sri Lankan Constitution:

‘The Constitution says that no person (citizen of Sri Lanka in this instance) shall, directly or indirectly, in or outside Sri Lanka, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka ………… Article 157A of the Constitution eschews separatism ………… the Constitution clearly says that every member of, or person in the service of Parliament or local authority, development council, pradeshiya mandalaya, gramodaya mandalaya or public corporation and every Attorney-at-Law shall swear to uphold the Constitution.
Given that Article 9 of the Constitution requires ‘The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).’, it will be interesting to learn as to how the above Public officials would uphold the Constitution in relation to Non-Buddhists?

In essence as per the above, a Sri Lankan has to uphold Dharma / Righteousness in addition to upholding the secular law. One who fails to so uphold Dharma fails the primary test to qualify as a Sri Lankan. Dharma when upheld purifies and  enriches the Place and Time of its practice. Effectively – the Constitution is the mind of those who gave form to it. If the Buddhist leaders had genuinely followed Article 9 and the Land did suffer a terrible war – one is entitled to conclude that Article 9 was not based on Truth discovered by Sri Lankans or that Natural forces against Article 9 are stronger than those that uphold Article 9.

In essence Article 157A contradicts Article 9 through which Sri Lanka is declared a Buddhist State and all others are minorities who are ‘allowed’/ ‘protected’ by majority to practice their respective religions.   The provisions in the Constitution must flow from Truth and/or be based on Common Theory that would lead to Common Values. The former would naturally unite the group living in that area. The latter would separate the group if abused for selfish reasons due to which a true practitioner of Dharma is disrespected. One develops structures through a combination of Belief and Demonstrated Merit. One has to have a still mind to share the structures of higher  minds. Articles 9 and 157A are lacking in Belief in the land called Sri Lanka.

To govern Northern Sri Lanka for example one would need to believe in all those to whom Northern Sri Lanka is ‘home’. This could have been achieved through various religions, including Hinduism but not limited to Hinduism. One does not need knowledge of the Constitution to believe that a place is her/his home. One needs such knowledge to demonstrate merit as higher thinker. But to Believe – one needs her/his own inner Truth. A law that contradicts such Belief based expressions is wrong for that place at that time.

As per the Ceylon Today editorial:

It is in this backdrop that one has to look at 'Eluha' Tamil or 'Arise Tamil' campaign carried out by Northern Province (NP) Chief Minister (CM) C.V. Wigneswaran recently (See Ceylon Today's issue of 11 February 2017).
Among Wigneswaran's/Tamil People's Council's (TPC's)-which he leads, proposals was: '...the need of preventing the Indian fishermen and the Southern fishermen of Sri Lanka coming into the Northern waters...'
While no one is contesting the fact that Indian fishers should not be allowed to fish in the northern waters, or for that matter on any of the island's coastal or territorial waters, what is contentious is the CM's/TPC's demand to stop southern fishers from fishing in the northern waters.’

If Dharma is to protect Sri Lanka then all non-Buddhists have to form their own borders of Sovereignty and expressly demonstrate their authority in Executing their own plans towards realization of ownership common to their territory. It’s not different to the Separation of Powers between the Executive Government and the Judiciary. The purpose is Sovereignty of that particular institution/group as per its own core purposes. The above decision by the Tamil People’s Council, if based on Truth already realized – would unite Northern Tamils as a group or if it is theory – would facilitate privacy for Northerners to realize ownership in Sri Lankan waters through Northern waters – the same way Sri Lankan Judiciary realize ownership in Sri Lankan Governance independent of the Executive Government. Separation would seem an offence to those who seek obedience without Belief.  

Take for example the following news by AAP:

Sri Lanka's prime minister is set to receive an honorary doctorate on the first day of his official visit to Australia.Deakin University is set to honour the Sri Lankan prime minister ahead of talks with Malcolm Turnbull.

As an Australian I am against such award to one who has not confirmed belief in Australia nor demonstrated commitment to Research & Teaching which I believe are the core purposes of any University. As per the above news report:

[The award recognises his efforts to help Sri Lanka transition from a country traumatised by protracted, violent conflict toward a stable democracy.
"Mr Wickremesinghe has emphasised the need for reconciliation, whilst ensuring accountability, and enabled groups riven by conflict to find common ground in a more hopeful future," a Deakin University spokeswoman told AAP.]

There are many others including myself, with belief in Australia – who have contributed towards Sri Lanka’s Democracy. Until Mr. Wickremesinghe openly confirms opposition to Article 9 of the Sri Lankan Constitution as per his knowledge of Democracy and Separation of Powers where there is strong diversity – he is not eligible to this award.  Eddie Mabo the Australian who earned such honor invoked the following from his group:

Constitutional recognition is so important because it is about recognition of Aboriginal heritage, our connection to country and our rights as Australia’s First Peoples.
“Racism, discrimination and a lack of respect and recognition have terrible and lasting impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s mental health and social wellbeing.”
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chair, Matthew Cooke

Article 9 of  Sri Lankan Constitution is the parallel of White Australia Policy against which Eddie Mabo fought and won on behalf of all minorities. Australian institutions honoring foreigners committed to their local culture are going back to White Australia Culture. They lack the authority to award such credits in the name of Democracy, Multiculturalism and Reconciliation. 

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