Wednesday 31 October 2018

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

30 October 2018


I met  Dr Laksiri Fernando at the Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum, Sydney. While I noticed him ‘taking over’ leadership and felt perturbed by it – I went along because many of the young organizers seemed to respect him for his intellectual status as an Academic. But today’s read of his article headed ‘Ranil holding on to power is unconstitutional and undemocratic’ confirmed to me that this man was fooling the Australian Public about upholding democracy through Reconciliation.

Democratic wisdom

Once, when a representative of SPUR (which is considered by Tamils to be pro-Sinhala Nationalist group) spoke and I tried to explain about ‘Project based approach’ to post-war development work – Dr Fernando cut me short and tried to ‘train’ that young member of SPUR – a group that Dr Fernando also confessed to being part of.  More to the point, when I responded to Dr Fernando about my pain and suffering to uphold my Equal status at the University of NSW – Dr Fernando brushed it aside – confirming to me that he did not share commonness with me in terms of  Democracy.  But my book ‘Naan Australian’, found its way to the National Library of Australia along Gandhi’s pathway of Truth.

I concluded that Dr Laksiri was not interested in the challenges that Australian migrants were facing towards practicing Self-Governance.  I concluded that he used his academic status to assimilate with Australians of White-Australian mentality of ‘telling’ those who seem to be of lesser status than himself.

One who fails to uphold Equal status with one of lesser apparently lesser status, but ‘assumes’ higher status on the basis of past is undemocratic. He has been denied the authority of Democracy to ‘judge’ another  about whether s/he is democratic or not.


Wisdom in Constitutional Law

My early response to the Sri Lankan President’s recent move was based on my identity with relevant sections of the Constitution and various legislations that I had to use in relation to challenges to my ownership rights in Northern Sri Lanka as well as in Colombo. I learnt the provisions of the law and interpreted them as per my direct experience based needs – as I had done in Australia also. That was needed for me to connect to law-abiding fellow citizens in both nations. Dr Laksiri shared no such experience with us at the Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum.

The law must lead us to the Truth and such Truth would in turn become the measure for rights and wrongs through belief in a common group such as the Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum. I enjoy such with some members of that group – even though I do not regularly attend the meetings as I did previously.  Dr Fernando is not one of them. To my Australian mind,  Dr Fernando  seems to live in his own little world of yesterday’s glory.

Dr Fernando’s  lack of wisdom is strongly demonstrated as follows:

[The present turn of events undoubtedly is not ideal for the country, but perhaps inevitable. If the UNP could have changed the Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, as he was straying away from democratic norms and interests of the country, it would have been a better option, much earlier than the present.

However, that was unfortunately not the situation given the poor internal democracy within our political parties. Equally worrying is the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister, although it is Constitutional.

The following was what a defiant UNP MP and a State Minister, Vasantha Senanayake, has told the Daily Mirror (27 October): “It is with relief that I welcome the change of a most shameless and selfish man that ruined the great party built by my ancestors and damaged seriously, the wellbeing of our motherland. I pledge my support to the Prime Minister and congratulate the President for his wisdom

‘Buddhism foremost’ Article in the Sri Lankan Constitution is most undemocratic and yet I am yet to hear / read Dr Fernando making his contribution to right that wrong – not even when  law experts spoke to the Forum.  The question here is not whether or not Mr Wickremesighe is an effective leader – but whether or not he is the lawfully appointed leader. As per my interpretation of the law – he is. According to Dr Fernando – Mr Rajapaksa is the Constitutionally appointed Prime Minister. Dr Fernando lacks the experience based wisdom nor academic knowledge in law to make such a judgment.  He is entitled to state how he interprets a particular section of the law but not make conclusive judgments as he has done.

Under the heading - Constitutionality of the move? – Dr Fernando states:

[Because of the ambiguous nature of the 19th Amendment, the decision to remove Wickremesinghe as the PM has now become a controversy. However, until this matter is settled amicably, or in the Supreme Court, the President’s decision has to be upheld. Otherwise, the country would plunge into unnecessary chaos. Wickremesinghe appears to claim he is the arbiter in deciding on the Constitutional issue. He dismisses going before the Supreme Court. ]

Mr Wickremesinghe’s position has not become a controversy. It is Mr Sirisena’s secretive moves that have caused this chaos. If Mr Sirisena was so confident that he was acting lawfully  and democratically – he would have been TRANSPARENT about the process. Obviously Dr Fernando’s mind works along the same path as President Sirisena’s in Politics. What a waste of academic resources if all one needs is the selfish mindset of Mr Sirisena!
This kind of thinking is damaging to Australian Democracy and Dr Fernando is benefiting from Australian Equal Opportunity values without having contributed to that system through regular practice as an Australian. Now we are learning that he is importing Sri Lankan political values into Australia. He has the moral duty to renounce all such democratic benefits before promoting the personal Subjective system from Australian soil.

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