Monday 13 November 2017

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

13 November   2017

Universities & the Armed Forces
Recently when discussing  sexual harassment charge against an academic, a listener observed that that argument I had presented sounded better than GG Ponnambalam’s. (GG Ponnambalam’s expertise in law is highly recognised within the Global Tamil Community.)

My question as if I were the Administrator was ‘If the group who complained as a group waited until the person against whom they were complaining was no longer in a position of power, then the question as to whether they were being influenced by the current custodian in power needs to be asked and the answer known to deliver just judgment’. This can happen when the Administration fails to facilitate comfortable access to someone who thinks s/he has been victimized. The likelihood of diverse interpretations as to the reason for  assault or harassment  is likely to be high in Universities which cater to diverse cultures. A comment that a female looks attractive could be taken as a compliment by one and as  harassment by another hearing it  from the same distance as the former.  

University students who need to be self-managing as per their own mind, have no excuse to ‘wait’ for group power to complain. They need to either settle it internally by moving away or use the official process to complain. Those who ‘stomach’ subjective discrimination pain at a multicultural University actually weaken the Democratic value of the University. They have no moral authority to complain as a group. When they do, they lose the value of self-management in  which most of us get trained at the University.

The battlefield is another area where one needs to be self-preserving as if there was no one to question the combatant. Those who invested in common have the authority to question both sides but only as per the observations of the Common mind.  Sinhalese labelling armed Tamils as Terrorists and Tamils labelling armed Sinhalese as war-criminals is internal settlement in which emotions dominate the proceedings.

As per the Economy Next - report ‘Sri Lanka President shifts gear on war crimes’:
[President Maithripala Sirisena, who had previously maintained that Sri Lankan troops never committed excesses, acknowledged at the weekend that some troops were responsible for crimes at the behest of politicians.

Addressing military officers at the army hospital auditorium, the President said no one will be punished for prosecuting the war against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, but those who carried out excesses  will be punished.

Deviating from his earlier stance that he will not allow a single soldier to be tried for war-time atrocities, the President drew a distinction between battling Tigers and carrying out criminal acts at the instigation of politicians.

"There is something that you should accept according to your conscience. There were things outside the control of the military. They were carried out by a few in the military to appease politicians. These were illegal, against democracy and the freedom of our people.

Like the Academic system, the military is also strongly influenced by subjective power which works mind to mind at the technical level. This is needed so that outcomes are not published/manifested  at the lower levels. A strong Internal Administrative system  is essential to diffuse conflicts as they arise. If therefore junior officers are tried publicly to reward or to punish, they would start producing outcomes at their level once they think they are ‘free’.
As stated through the recent discussion – marriage could be regulated culturally, through common secular law or naturally through Love. In Hinduism we have the Kama Sutra which when genuinely practiced would prevent rape in a community including within marriage relationships. But those who use it for lesser purposes – including to claim academic credit – without belief, are likely to enforce their power on those who seem less powerful than they. Where there is Love, there is Belief. Where there is Belief – we would treat the other as part of ourselves and hence would not hurt them except to discipline them as we would discipline ourselves. LTTE were punished as foreigners which in the eyes of Dharma / Truth took the punishing power away from the Government.
To the extent the LTTE and therefore the Tamil community were punished as ‘outsiders’ while JVP were punished / disciplined relatively at a smaller scale, that Government and/or citizen deviated from Buddhist Dharma and therefore the Constitution itself. Since Dharma works independent of the custodians of human power, such excesses accumulate to empower the Opposition of the punisher. That is the way of Natural Administration.

Even though we are no longer in active battle, we could identify with our past mistakes and make amends – including by forming partnerships with our parallels on the other side. In Sri Lankan politics, the UNP has been a leading power in this regard. 

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