Saturday 1 April 2017

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
01 April 2017

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 – Foreign Law to Sri Lanka?

We have been receiving messages from Community leaders of diverse cultures regarding the Government’s defeat in relation to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 which states:


Offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin
 (1)  It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:
(b)  the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.
Note:          Subsection (1) makes certain acts unlawful. Section 46P of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 allows people to make complaints to the Australian Human Rights Commission about unlawful acts. However, an unlawful act is not necessarily a criminal offence. Section 26 says that this Act does not make it an offence to do an act that is unlawful because of this Part, unless Part IV expressly says that the act is an offence.
             (2)  For the purposes of subsection (1), an act is taken not to be done in private if it:
                     (a)  causes words, sounds, images or writing to be communicated to the public; or
(b)     is done in a public place; or
(c)  is done in the sight or hearing of people who are in a public place.
             (3)  In this section:
"public place " includes any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, whether express or implied and whether or not a charge is made for admission to the place.

The amendments proposed to the above were to replace some words as follows:

[The Government had wanted to replace the words "insult", "offend" and "humiliate" in section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act with the term "harass".]

‘Insult’, ‘offend’ and ‘humiliate’ are relative to the victim and need to be measured on the basis of measurable ‘losses’ and/or pain as certified by a mental order specialist. Harass on the other hand is more provable through majority manifestations of the said conduct. Hence a politician driven by majority power, wanting to elevate her/his status with the electorate would find harass more favorable due to the likelihood of such actions being in the minority with Australians being conscious of  their status as managers of international affairs rather than being managed.  Victims and their representatives in Parliament would identify with the loss of opportunities for them to get compensated and/or share  the pain and/or loss due to what they believe to be racial discrimination, with others. If the existing words make it difficult to prove racial discrimination, the proposed change would have made it even more difficult to do so.

Pain is personal to the person with experience. The victim has the right to describe it as per her/his belief – until proven otherwise. I described it as per my belief and despite the evidence highlighted, I was dismissed by the Australian Federal Court as well as Supreme  Court of NSW.  In one instance my submission heighted the following evidence:

Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam v State of NSW  at Federal Magistrates Court SYG 584 of 2007

At the end of yesterday’s proceedings, the Respondent submitted Police Business records marked ‘C’ (exhibit 11)  which states:
Country of Birth              -       Sri Lanka
Country of Birth – Father    -  Unknown
Country of Birth – Mother    - Unknown
Place of Birth                   -      Sri Lanka
Nationality                       -       Sri Lanka
I now produce its parallel as produced by me and published by Commonwealth of Australia (passport).

As per my  evidence that Business Record would have read like this:

Country of Birth              -       Sri Lanka
Country of Birth – Father    -  Sri Lanka
Country of Birth – Mother    - Burma
Place of Birth                   -      Jaffna
Nationality                       -       Australian

As usual the above record was not taken as confirmation of Racial Discrimination back then. But due to the opposition to 18C the following surfaced in the newspapers to confirm to me that I was a pioneer in defeating such negative forces in Australia:

[Ejueyitsi v Commissioner of Police (Western Australia), 2013 — UPHELD
An African man complained he had been humiliated and intimidated in a public space when he "was arrested unlawfully handcuffed and detained and his clothes were stripped off".
He also alleged a police officer said to him: "I am going to deal with you, you bloody African".
A federal magistrate upheld the complaint.]- Section 18C: What racial vilification complaints have been upheld, dismissed by a judge at

When we are able to identify with our contribution to such major changes in attitude – we get ‘even’ with the evil side of the system. If wrongs are not corrected with their due period they become sins. These sins find their own media to manifest actions not controllable by individuals and private groups and often by governments as in Sri Lanka.

My question now is whether to the Australian mind, calling LTTE Terrorists while JVP are mere rebels – also amounts to racism? If no – then Australians working at management level in Sri Lankan affairs – are not eligible to hold those positions, leave alone the Hybrid Court Judges’ positions. If yes, they are already part of the solution – with or without the official status and the publicity that goes with it.
Truth never fails a true believer who upholds her/his sovereignty even during most painful  experiences.

In Sri Lanka, Disabled Soldiers are claiming that they were doing their jobs and were not driven by patriotism when they fought against the Tamil Tigers. Sunday Leader article ‘Disabled Soldiers Demand An Urgent Solution’  If  the soldiers believed that they were fighting to protect the Sovereignty of Sri Lanka – that alone would have been sufficient reward for their efforts. By demanding disability pension, they are confirming that they were in the war for a job. This denies any politician to claim that these soldiers were protected by their belief from being charged for breach of laws of armed battles. True belief alone can provide such protection. A leader to claim such protection on behalf of her/his group – s/he must be bound by Common Belief with the ordinary members AND the members must trust the leader to speak on their behalf. When the members claim job related benefits – through Public demonstrations – the leader is no longer entitled to claim confidentiality that comes with Common Belief. Hence, scientifically speaking – law abiding Sri Lankans want war crimes inquiry – thanks to the disabled Sinhalese soldiers.  

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