07 September 2018
Representative Opposition or Intellectual Opposition?
The Doctrine of Separation of Powers is an important principle in Democracy. The most popular use of it is in Governance - where the Judiciary and the Executive are required to be separated. The reason is former is vertical power including through faith in predecessors whilst the latter needs to be driven by current merit.
The issue of Mr Visvalingam Manivannan - of TNPF (Mr Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam's Party) highlights the disorder that arises from such a mind. The Daily FT reported as follows about a month ago:
[The Petitioner states the first Respondent was nominated as a candidate on the proportional list for the JMC (Jaffna Municipal Council) by the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC).
He claims that the first Respondent was disqualified from being elected to or sitting or voting as a member of JMC because he was not a resident of the JMC electoral area at all times relevant.
He states the first Respondent cast his vote at the last local authority election at Kokkuvil West, which is outside the JMC electoral area whereas he had listed ‘Ramanathan Road, Jaffna’ as his residential address on the nomination paper of the ACTC for the JMC.]
As an ordinary person - to my mind, this happened due to Mr Manivannan's lack of commitment to his legal profession. I had the experience through a testamentary case in which Mr Manivannan represented our side. Mr Manivannan was courteous and was a better communicator than his predecessor who represented us. But his priority was politics. This prevented his development in the vertical process - where the whole of the Judiciary before him had to mark him right.
Interestingly the issue was Thesawalamai law - a customary law that applies to Jaffna Tamils. I found Mr Manivannan lacking in the depth of understanding needed to argue for the 'right' outcome as per the customary law which also go towards confirming the Jaffna Tamil's right to self-determination. Without the blessings of our ancestors who developed the entitlement to this customary law, we are like any other subsection of Sri Lanka.
Those driven by immediate outcomes are not likely to have the blessings of ancestors. Earlier this year, Mr Manivannan appealed to the Tamil Diaspora to influence their local relatives to vote in favor of his party. The real power of the Diaspora is their contribution to development of commonness in their respective areas in Sri Lanka when that place was their 'home'. They do not have the right to influence on the basis of current merit. They have the duty to use such measures to their current 'home electorates'.
Diaspora power is through contribution to Traditional power raised to the level of Energy. Mere outcomes are lifeless in the Traditional system. The Joint Opposition led by former president Mr Rajapaksa exercised lateral power through yesterday's rally. I was asked by a young Tamil Sri Lankan about Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and Mr Maithripala Sirisena. My response was that the former was clever and the latter was good - within that group.
The parallel of that Northern Tamils is TNPF and TNA respectively. With the National Opposition - Mr Rajapaksa was demoted by the system of Truth to representation only. The clever opposition has been allocated to the Tamil National Alliance the best representation of all Tamils. So long as the traditional powers of intellectually driven Tamils are included by TNA - it would continue to hold this power in the minds of Sri Lankans. The moment they depend on local majority only - they would demote themselves from this real and present status.
Lawyers who are clever but fail to respect their elders at the depth needed - would tend to produce excessive outcomes that lead to hoarding. To the extent Mr Manivannan sought the support of such current influence largely through money earned in foreign countries - he defeated himself in the court of Traditional powers.