Thursday 11 October 2018

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

11 October 2018

Standardization Root Cause of Ethnic Problem

The way our brain works varies as per the level of thinking. The deeper our belief in the system of education, the higher the thinking structure. A minority group needs this higher thought structure to maintain its Equal status with majority group. Reacting and taking revenge leads to separation and we then lose the opportunity to demonstrate minority power.
Standardization through Quota system to enter University is considered to be at the core of the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. Is it the root cause of Separation claim by Tamil militants?
Yesterday a member (of Sinhalese origin) of the Sri Lankan Engineering Alumni wrote as follows:
[1969 was a watershed in University admissions. We were the last to enter on a first past the post basis. The revocation of this method of admission based on the motive of helping the “disadvantaged and underprivileged” continues to remain unresolved.] –
My response to the above was as follows:
{Some of us call it the ETHNIC PROBLEM strengthened through the Quota system. Wikipedia presents the picture as follows:
["In 1971, a system of standardisation of marks was introduced for admissions to the universities, obviously directed against Tamil-medium students (referred to earlier). K.M. de Silva describes it as follows:
'The qualifying mark for admission to the medical faculties was 250 (out of 400) for Tamil students, whereas it was only 229 for the Sinhalese. Worse still, this same pattern of a lower qualifying mark applied even when Sinhalese and Tamil students sat for the examination in English. In short, students sitting for examinations in the same language, but belonging to two ethnic groups, had different qualifying marks.'
He observes that by doing this in such an obviously discriminatory way, 'the United Front Government of the 1970s caused enormous harm to ethnic relations.'
This was not the end; in 1972 the 'district quota system' was introduced, again to the detriment of the Sri Lankan Tamil people. The (Sinhalese) historian C.R. de Silva wrote:
'By 1977 the issue of university admissions had become a focal point of the conflict between the government and Tamil leaders. Tamil youth, embittered by what they considered discrimination against them, formed the radical wing of the Tamil United Liberation Front. Many advocated the use of violence to establish a separate Tamil state of Eelam. It was an object lesson of how inept policy measures and insensitivity to minority interests can exacerbate ethnic tensions .']
The quota system is the parallel of Buddhism Foremost Article (9) in the Constitution. Yet, none of you discuss this issue to plough back into the Sri Lankan University system. Next year – are you going to celebrate the death of merit based system to University education? }

I expect a University Alumni to research and discover Truth through a problem common to them. Otherwise, it is merely a fun group and does not develop heritage in higher education.
As per my knowledge – the majority entrants to  Engineering Faculty of Peradeniya, in 1970 were Tamils. By then the Suyabasha (Suya = One’s own; Basha = language) system of education was in place and the above would have sent a clear message of
 Majority Tamils would see this as the reason for Standardisation in 1971. It may have been a Political move to show ‘thank you’ to the voters within majority race. On the other hand,  it may have been due to use of ‘First past the post’ method in taxes that fund the University system. In other words, the group that pays more money gets preference to such facilities. The basis then effectively is ‘I see and I believe’.
Education at primary and secondary levels is essential like health etc. But at Tertiary level – it needs to be competitive – as demonstrated by one’s grades. When  merit is replaced by   Commonness  as an essential service – the standards are lowered to that extent. Tamils automatically lowered their goals by refusing to accept the pain which according to their experience was discrimination. The lower the mind structure the stronger the urge to take revenge. Once the pain is balanced with thought of revenge – there is dilution of ‘commonness’. The acceptance of a separate Tamil University confirmed this separation. The standards of that University of Jaffna have also been lowered, relative to the standard of those who qualified in the Common Universities where merit was the measure.
But the investment of those who did not take revenge but continued to aim high – did not vanish. The more the standards were lowered to make the system one of convenience to primary level readers and voters – the stronger this investment in merit based system became. This was confirmed in 1977 and 2015 – through National level elections in which Tamils became the Equal Opposition in  Parliament.
The fact that the party that scored the second highest votes in 2015 formed the De Facto Opposition Leadership (Joint Opposition) confirms their inability to work the merit based system at the higher level.  
As per Sri Lanka Guardian article ‘Northern Province Governor Meets London Tamils’, the representative of Central Government in North stated as follows:
[My twin objectives are to offer the younger generation the power of a good education and to escalate Technological Innovation, to make the North, the powerhouse of Sri Lanka]
A Governor’s mind needs to be ‘still’. An Administrator’s mind needs to be active. The above confirms that the President’s mind is that of an Executive President’s mind in terms of Northern Province.  A Governor has no more goals to achieve; but has the duty to confirm the Truth of the Governed through her/his own Truth.
Truth is the root cause of our actions. The above claims the lack of ability to stay within one’s space – but infiltrate into Administration which is the responsibility of the Chief Minister. The report states further:
[The meeting was followed by speakers who outlined their projects for development of the North.
Among them was a presentation by Prof.I.M.Dharmadasa BSc.PhD,CPhys.FInst.P.FWIF of the Materials and Engineering Research Institute, Sheffield Hallam University, who with video presentation, outlined the innovations of Solar Power in Mullativiu and other Districts of the Northern Province, to make Sustainable Development, a goal for the future.
There was a question and answer session which followed the Governor’s talk.]
Mullaitivu where the final phase of the battle against militants happened – is haunted by Tamil victims who suffered most due to the war.  Even a Tamil investor would need to first offset that pain and loss – to invoke the Tamil minds towards technical skills, leave alone professional expertise needed to manage large enterprises. Prof.I.M.Dharmadasa by name is Sinhalese. He would need much more than a Tamil to clear the sins of standardization that contributed strongly to separation urges and therefore the war.
Those Tamils who migrated to Western countries owe their loyalty to those elders who had the forbearance to continue to follow the merit based pathway despite the discrimination pain loss. They are the ones with the power to work the merit based system. Once Tamils in Sri Lanka connect to that power – the Tamil Diaspora would stay away from the descendants and beneficiaries of standardization – which may include the current Governor of Northern Province but not the current Chief Minister. All that Mr Wigneswaran has to do now is act as the Governor. His true descendants would do the rest. They are not likely to be found in Jaffna University.

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