Friday 6 October 2017

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

06 October  2017

Cognitive Reserve & Just War

[A war had to be for the right cause and the right cause was not self-evident or merely self-referential and self–proclaimed. It needed to pass certain criteria to qualify. This too was not enough. For war to be just it not only needed to satisfy the criteria for a just cause but be fought by just means, which too needed to meet certain criteria to warrant the appellation. Modern theologians, especially of the Protestant persuasion, have added a third criterion, that of Just Peace, i.e. of the outcome of the war.
These preliminary remarks are intended by me to make two points. Firstly that Sri Lanka fought a Just War by basically just means (albeit certain excesses noted by the LLRC which need judicial investigation, but NOT by Special Courts let alone hybrid ones). However, Sri Lanka has not yet arrived at a Just Peace and is still searching for it. It is a necessary and legitimate search; an imperative one.] Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka in his Colombo Telegraph article - The Sinhala Fundamentalist New Right
Wikipedia explanation of Just War includes the following that is more easily understood the likes of me :
[The Indian Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, offers one of the first written discussions of a "just war." In it, one of five ruling brothers asks if the suffering caused by war can ever be justified, and then a long discussion ensues between the siblings, establishing criteria like proportionality (chariots cannot attack cavalry, only other chariots; no attacking people in distress), just means (no poisoned or barbed arrows), just cause (no attacking out of rage), and fair treatment of captives and the wounded. The war in the Mahabharata is preceded by context that develops the "just cause" for the war including last minute efforts to reconcile differences to avoid war. At the beginning of the war, there is the discussion of "just conduct" appropriate to the context of war.]
Through the Mahabharata war we received the Bhagavath Geetha. To my mind, the essence of it is that a just war happens when the rulers have deviated from Common Law and fail to facilitate the ruled to govern themselves through their own Truth. In many ways my war against Public Administrators here in Australia, to my mind happened due to such conditions. The current version of the above conditions are:
1)    chariots cannot attack cavalry  - those in high positions cannot attack
                  those in low positions    in that forum

2)    no attacking people in distress  - those who demonstrate pain and loss  due to  the said
      actions cannot be attacked

3)    no poisoned or barbed arrows  - No lies that would influence the decision maker
4)    no attacking out of rage – No emotional influence
5)    fair treatment of captives and the wounded – No extension of punishing the loser.
The Sri Lankan war as presented by Dr. Jayatilleke is taken as having been declared by the Government that represents majority. If war was indeed taken to have been declared by the Government, then that is an acknowledgment that the LTTE were more powerful than the Government.
[In the Sri Lankan structure, I believe that by opposing the Sri Lankan Government  totally,   Tamils would have lost their own relationships with Sinhalese. The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) became a force that induced the burning of bridges developed  by  a good proportion of Tamils who followed the Common Law and/or who accepted majority rule as first measure of application while living in areas where Sinhalese were in majority.  Left to Nature, the higher thinker would be pushed out of that area where majority rule is used in preference to rule of common law. Use of rule of common law strengthens our cognitive thinking and is a natural prevention of mental illnesses due to imaginary benefits which welfare benefits become if one is NOT respectful of the person/group that contributes to the welfare benefits.  Between a member of majority who receives welfare and a member of minority who works and earns her/his living, the former needs to demonstrate respect for the latter – to prevent instability of the mind. ]
If relative to me - a Tamil, Dr. Jayatilleke - a Sinhalese,  gets proportionately more benefits including status and public space, for his contribution to Sri Lankan policy – and Dr. Jayatilleke fails to demonstrate respect for me as the ‘owner’ and himself as the paid employee, the ‘gap’ becomes welfare benefit. In Mahabharatham Lord Krishna took on the role of Charioteer to Prince Arjuna. Arjuna balance the equation by becoming the disciple of Lord Krishna and hence received the Divine structure of mind needed for a ‘Just War’. Towards this Prince Arjuna had to eliminate from his mind, the higher status attributed to his elders and gurus on the other side and take Equal position as them. The power to do so was that of Krishna. Arjuna became the messenger of Lord Krishna – as Jesus was of His Father.
The way I interpret the just war – example is from the Tamil side. I recently explained this as follows:
[I believe that self-governance as a person naturally elevates the person’s mind and also contributes to the strengthening of Sovereignty of any environment that is home to that person. In many ways I feel that I had to restructure my interactions with the folks of Thunaivi to preserve that value of Sovereignty that I felt there. The more anxious I became in that environment, the less the sharing of that Sovereign value. I now am helping them consolidate the value added by keeping my distance. To the extent we openly recognize negative values that dilute our feeling of Sovereignty by freely interacting with a person/group, we need to openly state so and then keep our distance from the person/group. Giving that form helps the other side know / recognize why we are dissatisfied and if at that place we are seen as  minority power – the health of Sovereignty experienced by both sides is better preserved with the minority moving away to dilute relationships and show autonomous status which is also Equal status. I now realise that I was tending towards this even in family and hence my ability to become the Opposition of the other person/group, instead of finding fault with them. If I were seen as the higher power or leader of  the majority side, I devolve until the other person/group is able to produce independent outcomes that would lead to self-assessment, self-determination and self-governance. ]
If I am replaced by Tamil Politicians and the folks of Thunaivi are replaced by Sinhalese using majority power in administration, the call for devolution of power becomes a just call, because it maintains Sovereignty of the Community and therefore of the Nation.
Dr. Jayatilleke claims ‘However, Sri Lanka has not yet arrived at a Just Peace and is still searching for it’.
The Political Sovereignty of Tamils has been upheld with the influence of Natural Forces – developed over long periods and through contribution to current global values. To my mind the this was possible due to the Cognitive Reserves that Tamils hold as an Independent Community. Cognitive Reserves are explained as follows by Harvard Medical School:
[An important concept that is crucial to the understanding of cognitive health is known as cognitive reserve. You can think of cognitive reserve as your brain's ability to improvise and find alternate ways of getting a job done. Just like a powerful car that enables you to engage another gear and suddenly accelerate to avoid an obstacle, your brain can change the way it operates and thus make added recourses available to cope with challenges. Cognitive reserve is developed by a lifetime of education and curiosity to help your brain better cope with any failures or declines it faces.]
The Jaffna woman/man has high level of Cognitive Reserves due to being of minority status even after governing her/himself. Dr. Jayatilleke may not recognize these reserves but from time to time indicators surface to confirm their presence. An American of Sri Lankan origin wrote as follows in this regard:
[Buddhist Sinhala will now get nervous and bolt from the new Constitution, which they believe is a fig leaf to cover "federalism" that is the driving force in the new Constitution.  One can still have a "unitary' and "undivided country" with Federalism, as is in the United  (my emphasis) States of America.

Tamils, on the other hand, do not want to continue the status quo"  with an overlord Sinhala Governor and a permanent presence of the Army in their "homelands". As it is, Tamils see their status as under military rule than democratic rule. They see Sinhala-inspired PCs as a farce to appease them.]

To my mind, if Tamil politicians stay away from Buddhist Politicians driven by ‘Buddhism foremost’ the two communities would preserve their investments in Sovereignty. Secular minded Sri Lankan politicians would eventually lead Common Sri Lankans in Parliament. Even one such Sri Lankan will continue to invoke the powers of Nature towards this. Since the war identified the need for enough separation that would pave the way for true opposition – including through the13th Amendment to the Constitution which facilitates separation of  both Nationalist groups from Sri Lankans – one could conclude that it was a positive war. Keeping it that way including in Politics would lead to Peace. 

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