17 July 2018
Conversation between Australian Tamil and French Tamil
Thank you French Tamil. I have responded in the body of your mail
FT (French Tamil) :We are living in a Democratic country where there is freedom of speech and the right to decide.
AT (Australian Tamil) :By living in that country – you are facilitating those in your nation of origin to also have the experience simultaneously. This could be Tamil Eelam, Jaffna, Trico/Kumarapuram or Batticaloa or Sri Lanka. Yesterday, Jeevan our coordinator in Thunaivi-Vattukottai shared with me his experience of FIFA regulated World cup game. The young males in Thunaivi are good in body sports – more than in intellectual activities. When Jeevan was a youngster – they had more passion than they do now. But now even though they do not actively play the game – they are able to have the experience through those playing as per global rules. Likewise, in politics and judicial issues. That freedom of speech and the right to decide need to be global if those in Tamil Eelam are to enjoy the experience through those rules. Towards this THEY also must think as per those rules. When Jeevan and others started off they would have had their own rules. We did when playing cricket with our cousins in Jaffna – without umpires. But once they got the experience – it was easy for them to merge with world teams and have the experience through mental participation. When there are umpires – there can be no direct challenge. Likewise, in politics and judicial management. UN is now our umpire
FT: But the 6th Amendment does allow the people to speak freely and when you say that we can test it in court., I do not Sri Lanka has a equal judiciary system. ( Even the United Nations Human rights council has commented on the Sri Lankan judicial system)
AT: The sixth amendment states ‘No person shall, directly or indirectly, in or outside Sri Lanka, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka. ’
Given that Sri Lanka is a State – the above is stating the obvious. In most western nations this would be covered by ‘sovereignty protection’ provisions.
If we picture it as ‘province’ – and joining northern and eastern provinces its Australian parallel is regulated a follows:
[124. Formation of new States
A new State may be formed by separation of territory from a State, but only with the consent of the Parliament thereof, and a new State may be formed by the union of two or more States or parts of States, but only with the consent of the Parliaments of the States affected.]
The 6th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution happened in August 1983 – meaning after July 83 riots. It was a panic attack. If Vaddukoddai resolution meant provinces – then that did happen four years later through the 13th Amendment.
I do agree that the Sri Lankan Judicial system even in letter of the constitution – is not democratic. But what about Tamil Customary laws? Majority folks in Northern Sri Lanka continue to practice the dowry system. But few follow the regulations of Thesawalamai Law. Even Jaffna Courts failed in this regard. Recently I had a case where the person advised by me at the primary level – sought to take his matter to Labour Tribunal and said he sought to represent himself at the Tribunal. I helped him draft a response but did so in English and asked him to translate into Tamil. He wanted to argue the case in English and took it to lawyers in South. According to his latest feedback – they gave him a response in Sinhalese – for a Jaffna hearing!!!! The current Jaffna person also copies blindly – including from the British. They have a looooong way to go before being able to participate in global justice through global laws. I am not able to appreciate that you expect higher level structure in the case of Sinhalese. The way Mr Rajapaksa said that Prabaharan was from the jungles of North and he himself was from the jungles of South – these politicians from South offset as per their local rules – the threats from North in their own common language which would be foreign to those who live in more educated environments. I do not know about France. But here in Australia majority Australians do not practice Equal Opportunity Laws. They stay away from each other and at the workplace minorities perform at the higher level to gain equal position as the majority at that place. I am the only Tamil known to myself to have exposed this ignorance of the law at the workplace. I had to accept repeated defeats in the Courts here to learn that most Judges also did not have working knowledge of this law. It’s the parallel of Jaffna Tamil judges not knowing the fundamentals of Thesawalamai law which confirms our diversity. The reason is that they abused the law by claiming more credit for Tradition than they were really entitled to. One has to pay one’s respect to elders to inherit tradition. Tamil Rebels who killed Tamil politicians did not do so for Tamils. They did so for armed rule. When we mix the two indiscriminately – we have chaos.
FT: There are several example of cases where the Sri Lankan armed forces even though there were multiple witnesses examples "Kumarapurm" and cases which are being draged for years like the Trincomalee 5 students or the 17 Action Contre le Faim murder cases.
AT: Our testamentary case in Jaffna also got dragged for years. My brother in law passed away in 2010 and the meaningless verdict was delivered in 2018. In the above cases – who is to bring to Courts the rebels who killed the soldiers that led to this revenge? Again – my own cousin who was murdered by Tamils in Kilinochchi in 1985 and the perpetrators were never brought before the courts. Likewise numerous other cases in which Tamils were killed by Tamils. We have to find our own justice by internally balancing the books. If we murdered then we have the duty to accept others not being punished for murdering our loved ones. That is the law of Truth / Dharma. The courts give us only a small sample.
FT: But when there was a need to break the INDO - SRI LANKA pact, the Sri Lankan courts was fast on it, not understanding that it was a pact between 2 States. ( Its also a disgrace that the Indian government kept silent on it, because calling it sell as a Regional power - keeping silent on an international pact is a disgrace for the country.)
AT: Did the LTTE not participate in bringing to end the Indian involvement in this Sri Lankan issue? If LTTE participated then Tamils participated. In this issue you are not French but Tamil – as you yourself stated.
FT: Any how yes there was a mistake from our Tamil leaders at that time who did not challenge the 6th amendment at the courts..but there is a big question on the Sri Lankan judicial system.
AT: To the extent it affects Tamils – we must work with Tamils to raise the standards to global level. Towards this you need to think like today’s Tamil in Sri Lanka and not like yesterday’s Tamil from North-eastern Sri Lanka
FT: And you have mentioned about democracy and the democracy made Sampanthan an opposition but is the democracy equal to all people, as Sri Lanka's democracy is dominated by only the Sinhalese - Buddhist regimes and ( The Maha Sanga, not to be outdone, spearheaded the supremacy of Buddhism to establish a Buddhist Sinhalese Sri Lankan State. Now it has assumed the king making political force effectively issuing warnings and political instructions to rulers and opposition leaders. It is no secret that political decisions concerning Tamils have to be placed before them for their approval. Even recently the Mahanayakas have expressed their objections to the proposed new constitution by stating ”It is not necessary and the present constitution can continue.”)
AT: I rely on Truth where there is lack of common measure. I fought as a minority here in Australia – to establish my rejection of lesser status for same level of work / more work for equal status. In Autocracy I accepted the latter – to the extent I was ‘included’ by the person above me. But when it came to that also not happening – I challenged the system openly and accepted the punishment. That meant taking responsibility as part of the whole. As per that I support Mr Sampanthan who gave form to the Truth that I can participate in. I contributed and hence I am enjoying. Mr Sampanthan is my medium – because he also stayed within his political borders despite the threats to Tamil politicians from within. No democracy did not make Sampanthan the Equal partner in Government. Truth made him Equal partner because he stuck to politics.
FT: So what kind of equal true democracy are you talking about..
AT: Truth when it divides naturally on the lateral plane divides equally. Democracy is a lateral system and hence must have equal halves. If the People are not able to so divide – the law requires them to take up Equal position in Parliament. It’s not different to a game of two opposition teams being taken as equals until proven otherwise. All the weaknesses you highlighted in the Sinhalese need to be strengths in us for us to be democratic opposition.