Saturday 4 March 2017

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
04 March 2017

No Jurisdiction for Foreigners

[When the Sri Lanka delegation appeared before the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) on February 22, it should have been well-prepared for the occasion. It was the country’s eighth periodic review, and the questions that the committee would raise were no mystery – the CEDAW Committee and Sri Lankan civil society groups have had steady dialogue with the government over their concerns. But the government delegation seemed incapable or unwilling to address any issues of substance regarding women’s rights: discriminatory marriage laws, land and livelihood concerns, and strengthening laws that protect women, to name just a few. Instead, the delegation fell back on platitudinous responses that existing laws were sufficient to meet the government’s obligations and that constitutional amendments now under consideration will address other issues.] Human Rights Watch article - Sri Lanka Dodges Questions on Women’s Rights at UN Committee

The above assessment is a strong indicator of Interference in the local affairs of Sri Lanka by Human Rights Watch. This confirms also the need to keep away ‘Foreigners’ from Sri Lanka, including in the Judiciary. When I filed Defamation charges against Australian relatives (of Tamil origin) who demonstrated disrespect in Sri Lankan Court for my lawful marriage – the Supreme Court of NSW ruled that they did not have ‘jurisdiction’. The Australian judiciary did not think that it was a global issue and did not take the opportunity to inquire into the conduct of Australians who benefited from the marriage but rubbished it in Sri Lankan Court.  There is a strong component of gender based discrimination in the expressions of disrespect. In the Court of Natural Justice that decision goes towards Australians ruling themselves out when it comes to Sri Lankan experience by Sri Lankans.

As per adaderana report -  Hybrid supreme court is not practical – PM – the Lankan Prime Minister has confirmed just that:

[“While we know what is happening today, I don’t know whether it has really gone out into those countries.” 
“We can see certainly the independence is no longer an issue. The law’s delays, maybe.” 
He stated that those are issues that we have to handle because if you have any criminal proceedings, it can’t be long drawn out and it has to be fast, day-to-day and the appeals have to be disposed of, “otherwise each case will be a political issue.” ]

When does an Administrative / Judicial issue become Political?  The above mentioned defamation complaint happened due to abuse of  difference in cultures by seniors in one system who stretched their authority beyond Time and Place borders. Sri Lankan lawyers who continue to consider divorce followed by lawful marriage by women – are guilty of abusing difference between legal culture and social culture. I was relieved to hear Judge Ilancheliyan dismiss this ‘statement of social influence’ made in High Court of Jaffna by the lawyer for the above mentioned relatives.

Not only time based delays/differences  but also distance based differences/delays would amount to a matter going into the natural mode of its environment. Hence it becomes open to Political influence.

 As per Island report - Extension of Geneva deadline irks TELO – Tamils are also raising such concerns at the political level. By making the above claim against the Judicial system and its delays -  the Lankan Prime Minister is claiming also the entitlement of the victims’ side to legitimately object to extensions of time which would strengthen the ‘social influence’ to make it a Political issue. The way UN culture is different to Sri Lankan culture and Sri Lanka is junior at the UN – Tamil culture is different to Sinhalese culture and Tamils are juniors to Sinhalese in terms of Political institution at National level.

Our Malaysian cousin and lawyer Mr. Anandakrishnan said long ago – that parents who stretch their hands out to their children, lose their dignity. It’s worse with parents who ‘take’ from children the legitimate share of the children’s share of wealth – earned plus inherited as per the common customary system. This would apply to all Seniors who enjoy Juniors’ share. How that share is determined, varies also according to the common belief between those who hold the respective positions. Where this common belief is low – the true investment of stronger investor in that common environmental system takes over to influence delivery as per Natural Justice. In the case of Sri Lanka – Tamils as a community – especially those who live outside North and East – had the power to invoke International Energies to which they contributed by following Law and Order common to the West also. The stronger this contribution the stronger the Natural Social influence of Tamils on International agencies such as the UN.  That is the power of minorities who continue to be part of the whole, instead of seeking total separation.

Separation of Powers is needed where the two sides are bound by different forms of faith at the fundamental level. Politicians for example, have the obligation to deliver in the form of their common faith with their voters. The judge who accepted the inappropriate influence that I was married a second time and therefore was not family – is confirming political influence. It is the judge’s duty to pass all applications / happenings in her/his court through the Judicial structure and when the judge is permitted by law to use discretionary powers – the form needs to be Judicial and not Social or Customary. Separation of Powers when consciously adhered to – would facilitate this loyalty to the structure that one is officially a part of.

Pleasures are like cash in hand.  When we save that cash by depositing into a Saving account – we get the protection of higher ‘asset’ and confidence that we get more than we originally invested. Our institutional structures are the Savings we make towards our future.  Politicians driven by popularity are stretching their hands out to their juniors and are living beyond their means. That is the root of the Sri Lankan problem.

Women of Sri Lanka are of different cultures. We need to respect the diversity of our cultures and play the common game only to the extent of our Commonness. A home-maker in Thunaivi in Northern Sri Lanka would spend most of her time cooking for the family. It is the way she spends the money brought home by the men that confirms her investment in Higher Common Structures. Such a woman may seem a ‘Junior’ to the money making Senior/Husband. The woman would be if she also sought to be just a woman giving pleasures and not a mother who forgoes the immediate towards Common Good. It would be wrong to judge such women and give them handouts to make them look equal. Each group needs to be measured through its own Natural and/or agreed structure. That structure is the heritage that war activities need to be passed through. Foreigners cannot determine this nor Sinhalese Politicians. Tamil Politicians duly elected – have this responsibility to deliver their own assessment as per the Common social structures of Tamils. Just opposing the government would gradually lead to complacency. Minorities need to actively show their own determinations and explain as far as they can as to the process their followed in reaching those decisions. That is the duty of minority holding Equal Opposition status.

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