14 November 2017
Tamils Dividing & Ruling?
Sri Lankans who fought against the British are often heard to say that the British Divided & Ruled. The Dutch codified our common Customary practices and hence we have Thesawalamai Law for Northern Tamils. Today’s claim of Federalism by those who enjoyed that privacy is, to my mind, based also on those values of Thesawalamai code practiced by the Tamil Community - which in Sri Lanka is strongest in North. Those who respected Thesawalamai Law would respect their mothers as being of equal status as their fathers. Likewise husband and wife would openly respect each other as Equals. Likewise, the Judiciary and the Executive Government.
Recently I had discussion on this subject matter with an Australian of Vaddukoddai origin who said some time ago - that he invoked Mother Kali of Sangarathai-Vaddukoddai to get work as a cleaner, during his early days in Australia . Recently when I asked him he said he prayed and he got it. There was still recognition for that Third Dimension but the consciousness of it has been weakened with time and prosperity – especially after getting the Australian certificates in higher education. Rarely do I hear so called educated folks around me attributing direct credit to those whom they respected to get grades in the past. Higher education without that respect would lead to dividing the group – so it is easy to ‘see and rule’. Many show much higher respect to the visible forms of god in their current environments. Hence conversions to other religions – including by LTTE Velupillai Prabhakaran. One observes this tendency in migrants who come together for temporary ventures and therefore do not need common belief that drives a program – with or without wins.
I said to the above Australian Tamil that to the extent he recognised his prayers as the reason – that power of belief would be limited to his contribution only. But if he had said Mother Kali – it would have brought the investment from which he was drawing the power – to the consolidated level of all those who gave their belief that form. I often state this in Thunaivi within Vaddukoddai area where the first political declaration of independence was made in 1976. This was the root of militant power in Tamil Politics. Those driven by immediate outcomes tend to lose connection with the root cause and therefore their ancestors. Between politicians and militants, Politicians contributed more to the root of Tamil independence. Between Politicians and Intellectuals, Intellectuals contributed more strongly to Tamil Independence than Politicians.
I find this weakness of denying the root credit in the Chief Minister of Northern Province also – especially through the separation of EPRLF under the leadership of Mr Suresh Premachandran, reported as follows:
[With the EPRLF led by former MP Suresh Premachandran deciding to contest future elections on its own, NPC Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran today urged Tamil leaders, who were over 60 years, to move aside and allow the younger generation to take up politics.] Daily Mirror report Wigneswaran urges aging Tamil leaders to step aside
I recall Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke who is one of the opponents of Mr. Wigneswaran saying similar in the case of Sinhalese Political leadership. This to my mind means that neither enjoys faith based respect from their juniors. Mr. Wigneswaran is 78 years of age and Dr Jayatilleke is 61 years young. Both must be waiting for their next birth to realise the joys of faith based seniority. When they see others in a ‘free’ environment they get infected by each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Position based relationships protect us from such excesses. Both these leaders have deviated from their program of intellectual leadership – by their apparent wandering minds getting distracted by immediate outcomes and hence majority rule in place of subjective hierarchy.
TNA’s main party the, Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) is connected at its roots to the intellectual and political pathway to self-governance. Many leaders within that structure sacrificed earned benefits and lost their lives and to the extent they were aware of the dangers and yet continued along that pathway – they have earned the title on the basis that they sacrificed their lives for the higher pathway to Independence through Belief and intellectual merit. I am one who is open to pooling my earned credits in Independence and the force of my belief to empower those who are committed to that pathway. This often is by taking the position of their Opposition – so a current picture of the challenge is drawn.
Intellectual approach needs this Opposition which becomes mental picture before migrating upwards to become philosophical. The parallel in our family structures is child becoming parent and carries mentally, the senior parent even when showing Equal status on the outside and the latter progressing to become grandparent. Neither Mr. Wigneswaran nor Dr. Jayatilleke seems to value the position of grandparent. As per my family structure – I expect to be paid that respect. Recently when one of my grandchildren got carried away with her age group and younger cousins and tried to ‘tell me’ I said ‘from now on don’t call me Patti; call me Mrs Paramasivam’. I think she was a bit confused but all of my grandchildren now demonstrate more respect for me than they did previously. I had to sacrifice being ‘popular’ in order to take my earned position in the family.
Earning Benefits gives us pleasure. Sacrificing earned benefits for the common good – brings us together as a group through Happiness. Showing that through our structures renders our belief Institutional values. Leaders who ask the very seniors who supported their growth to step aside – are disrespectful of their origins and they carry the weakness for outcomes that have the intrinsic tendency to divide so they could rule.
Without ITAK there is no pathway through which those of us who practice Democracy can invest intellectually in Sri Lankan Tamil Political Parties and their contributions – to oppose the Government in National Parliament. Such Opposition at equal level is the foundation of Just Administration. All militant parties need to pay their respects to ITAK so long as they are committed to Political solution. Without such supervision, militants who have their origins in armed power – would damage our investment in the higher pathways. Those who are driven by quick credit would better suit the ‘project’ approach. If they come into the Program of politics – that would be like Bull in a China shop. In a free environment, majority Tamils will reject such bulls.
Not only the Sri Lankan Government but all Militants also go on trial through the UN, if there is a war-crimes inquiry. Those of us who have upheld the dignity of the Tamil Community as a whole – by absorbing the militants in our areas of operation, need to be respected and not ‘dismissed’ by the avaricious who continue to live at benefits level. One who so sacrifices will continue to bring into Sri Lanka – the Common Belief from all cultures that are ‘home-cultures’ to that person. Without such belief – even the diaspora would be ‘outsiders’. Those who ‘forget’ their ancestors – would attract those frivolousness including through diaspora interactions – as if we are all individuals and not relatives bound by common values.