23 January 2019
What is the Tamil Problem & therefore Opportunity?
I read at my uncle’s home in India that ‘Problems are Opportunities in work clothes’. Years later I learnt through Dr Laksiri Fernando that Lord Buddha said:
To me the saying ‘Problems are Opportunities in work clothes’ is the active version of Lord Buddha’s message. One who ‘sees’ dukka within would need to be in meditation mode. If ‘dukka’ / problem is true – then it comes with its equal and opposite reality. That is the way of Truth.
In his Ceylon Today article headed ‘TNA faced with a conundrum’ Mr N Sathiya Moorthy states as follows:
[Other reports have talked about Senathirajah and another TNA Parliamentarian, Dharmalingam Siddarthan, claiming that the TNA should have an “informal say” in matters pertaining to development in the Northern Province. Such claims have short, medium, and long-term consequences, going beyond PHU leader Gammanpila’s jest that the TNA’s R. Sampanthan, as the erstwhile Leader of the Opposition was one of the kind in the world to have voted in four budgets (of the incumbent Government in a row) without proposing any additions or deletions.
A better, honest, and honourable course would be for the TNA to join the Government, formally. They can then accept ministerial berths, maybe including ‘Northern Province Development’ and also Education, if they still considered Education as key to the Tamils’ socio-economic success in the era preceding the war, violence, and terrorism. ]
Tamils being the true opposition NEEDED by majority Sinhalese is confirmed by TNA being the leading opposition in National Parliament. Without that Opposition – Sinhalese who are driven by ‘benefits’ would become dependents of the government. Where leaders are known to be money greedy, they need a diverse culture to be the Opposition to limit such leaders – many of whom were exposed recently over the Prime Ministerial position.
TNA as Equal Opposition in National Parliament is confirmation that Tamils invested proportionately more in the intellectual pathway than Sinhalese. We Tamils thus confirm the saying ‘Necessity is the mother of inventions’. Sinhalese who were true to themselves would have naturally connected to those Tamils who found ways to preserve their independent identity. Within TNA – Mr Sampanthan best represents this democratic rights earned by Tamils.
It is irresponsible of Mr N Sathiya Moorthy to highlight Gammanpila’s statement without attributing credit to Mr Sampanthan and TNA for representing the belief of Tamils in themselves. Merit that does not lead to belief is of negative value and often leads to dictatorship in the name of democracy. Those who did not feel the pain of Tamils as their own – our outsiders to the Sri Lankan problem. They have the duty to observe and not mark rights and wrongs.
As per Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO)’s latest report dated 20 January 2019, they are rejecting the proposal to maintain Unitary State structure with Buddhism Foremost article in the Constitution. This confirms to me that TELO has participated in the pain of discrimination that continues to threaten Tamils under such structure.
During his recent Parliamentary speech about absence of war-crimes inquiry, TNA MP Mr Sumanthiran referred to Jus cogens and Natural Justice – emphasizing the importance of not limiting ourselves to existing laws. Using the principles of Jus Cogens in terms of Democracy and Natural Justice in terms of Belief – let us examine the validity of accepting any proposal that has Buddhism foremost which is watered down version of Sinhala only legislation. Recently an NGO executive sought my interpretation of the principle that ‘Impartiality transcended the terms of agreements by contract’
To the extent the Constitution of Sri Lanka is partial to one religion and therefore one race, it is not belief based. Unless minorities who have successfully attained self-governance recognize this need that slows down majority in their pathway to self-governance – such partiality is becomes an opposing force – the brunt of which was borne by Tamils who dared to declare the right to self-governance. Armed militants whose only source of conscious of law was based on their experience when killed and punished by soldiers of majority race whose only source of conscious of law was their own experience, contributed strongly to this Equal status getting manifested in National Parliament in 2015. Stronger is the contribution of civilians killed by soldiers. To the extent the soldiers did not know the law – and war crimes had been committed by both sides – they were natural and would have been settled through the Clearing House of Karma. But given that victory was ‘taken’ by the then leader Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and punishment continues to be meted out to the political prisoners by the current government also, it is an avenue through which injustice continues to happen.
Human Justice is relative to the law and / or manifested actions. It is a contract with the people. Belief transcends such contracts and hence the value of Jus cogens and Natural Justice to seekers of lasting peace / Nirvana.
Prescriptive Rights Ordinance is a clear example of the application of Natural Justice transcending ownership rights by purchase. I was exposed to this challenge in the case of our land in Narehenpita - Colombo 5. I pawned all the jewellery I had and borrowed at 36% interest and wanted to build a home. I believe that it was that belief that took me outside Sri Lanka to earn the money needed to buy a home. There are many manifestations that confirmed the commonness. I was working at Prima Ceylon Ltd when I bought that property and our current Australian home unit was developed by Prima. I learnt about it only at the time of purchase – at which time I paid my respects to the Chairman of Prima who was present at the auction. Had I been paid less than the Singapore-Sri Lankan value of my work and I continued produce at the higher standards I would have accumulated ownership rights in Prima. By paying my respects to the Chairman who probably did not even recognize me but accepted my respects gracefully – I invoked that ownership as an heir and not as an outside purchaser. That is how Belief works.
To the remote villager in North – say Thunaivi – Vaddukoddai – who has very little knowledge of laws other than Thesawalamai Customary Law – possession is ownership. Hence in my Colombo Land matter, when a Sinhalese claimed prescriptive rights I had to pass my own ownership rights through the provisions of Prescriptive Ordinance. As an Administrator / Executive – the outcomes / evidence that was passed through the law was one-sided – mine. I had to concede that likewise, Mr Piyadasa also may have marked himself right. At the primary level in Court – the decision was awarded in Mr Piyadasa’s favour. We appealed and when the appeal was being heard I had conflict with our barrister over another matter. Then I prepared and submitted the appeal papers. While preparing the arguments – here in Coogee – Australia – at a spot where I usually sit down and meditate – my eyes were drawn to an address claimed to have been that of Mr Piyadasa. It was in Sinhalese and I don’t know to read Sinhalese. But the numbers indicated something strongly within me. I asked my husband to read it for me and when he did I realised that that information was the Objective evidence needed to confirm that Mr Piyadasa did not live there at the time he filed that case – the outcome of which was used to claim prescriptive rights. I highlighted that evidence and yet the other side represented by Mr Faisz Musthapha did not offer an out of court settlement. After the matter was adjourned many times – I engaged Mr Harhsa Fernando through Mr Revan Weerasinghe whom I trusted. Both ‘listened’ to my side and included my work in their final submissions. Before the final hearing, Mr Faisz Musthapha’s team did offer to settle out of court – but I declined. The offer at that stage meant that Mr Faisz Musthapha did not value the ‘fact’ that I had presented but valued Mr Harsha’s status and its influence. In a subjective system – who you are matters more than the quality of your work confirmed by the outcomes produced by you – a lay minority in court.
In December last year the following report was published in relation to Mr Faiz Mustapha’s son – former Sports Minister Mr Faizer Mustapha:
[It is reported that Faizer Mutapha is attempting to join the government through businessmen who are close to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and are currently aboard.
One of the businessmen, who is aware of the fact that Faizer Mustapha cannot achieve his target, had sent him a message.
According to internal sources, the aforementioned businessman had told Faizer Mustapha: “Your father was a famous lawyer. But you destroyed his name. I cannot talk with Ranil for you.”]
No, Mr Faiz Mustapha did not need Mr Faizer Mustapha to destroy his name in his own mind. As per my experience, Mr Faiz Mustapha did it all by himself to himself by unjust subjective discrimination to negate the genuine contribution I made to uphold justice. He performed poorly in court relative to Mr Harsha Fernando who made my need his need and included the ‘facts’ submitted by me on the platter of his status. Had I not been able to pay the fee and hired a low status lawyer – Mr Mustapha is likely to have fooled the judges to fool themselves and the public.
Each time we feel the pain of subjective discrimination, we must know that we are hurting due to our sense of Independence being damaged. Each one would feel it in different ways at different levels. The foundation on which we ‘recognize’ that pain is our truth. Here in Australia, I was urged to take action through Industrial Relations secular laws. I declined. I now believe that I declined because I felt that the need of common Australian was for me to present my pain through Racial Discrimination Act 1975. Like in the land case at primary level - I was dismissed by the Judiciary but after I raised the matters step by step to the highest level – the matter transcended to the Court of Natural Justice where I judge myself for myself on the basis of my interpretation of the evidence known to me and accepted by me.
This is my recommendation to Tamil Politicians – especially those like Mr Sumanthiran with high status. Our true status is relative to the depth of our belief. It is difficult for me to believe that any representative of Tamils who fought for independence would accept a constitution that carries Buddhism foremost article.. God helps those who help themselves. Tamils have to strongly reject any Constitution that carries such a partial provision to become entitled to the support of Natural Justice.
The proposed constitution is an Opportunity to Object and Reject – so we would be blessed by Independent Mother Lanka.