14 January 2019
Article 9 v Prevention of Terrorism Act
I had to decide as to which was more important at this point in time – the article headed ‘Significance of sustainable HRM: A salient Sri Lankan effort’ by Professor Ajantha Dharmasiri or the News First article headed ‘The possibility of a divided nation’.
I decided to start with the following from the former and apply that principle on the latter:
[It reminds me of what Josiah Charles Stamp stated: “It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.”] Professor Ajantha Dharmasiri
This is the choice that most Sri Lankan Tamil & Muslim leaders have to make – i.e. whether to fill the mind with secular issues of global impact or with local structures that would protect and maintain our diverse cultures – strongly overshadowed by Buddhism in Sri Lankan politics. The News First article – confirms the need for us to preserve our diversity in thought-structure if we are not to become the victims of dodgers of responsibility.
As per the News First report:
[… leader of the ITAK Mavei Senadhiraja said yesterday (January 12) that a mechanism has been created for cabinet decisions to be taken only after holding discussions with the TNA and that the government can work only after holding discussions with them adding that a team has also been appointed for the purpose.]
The recent political turmoil in National Parliament confirmed to me that Tamil community co-owns National Government due to its real power being greater than the sum of its individual parts. That power is beyond the seen and the known. That power is our own true contribution to commonness. It is binding power of families with self-sacrificial parents. The sacrifice towards commonness is the root Energy that empowers tall and wide families.
The root cause of problems or opportunities is Truth. Unless we believe in each other and/or the issue that affects the whole, we would not consciously or intuitively identify with the root cause – the Truth.
Truth supports with perfect reliability, those who are committed to Truth. Truth manifests directly as effects as per the true needs of the person who so contributed. Those who enjoyed the benefits of the renunciation without respecting the providers develop Equal and Opposite Energy – i.e.- Negative Energy equal in value to the gap between their enjoyment and their own contribution to earn that enjoyment. Junior status in a relationship confirms this ‘gap’.
The solution to the recent parliamentary problem was strongly due to Tamils, due to this unseen power that manifests directly. The Judiciary used secular laws to make and deliver its decision with which most of us identified. The religious influence was not apparent in this instance. Was it part of the root cause – I believe ‘yes’.
It was at this point that I received email from Mr Harsha Gunasena in response to my today’s article ‘Buddhist Matter or Buddhist Energy?’ Mr Gunasena directed me in particular to his article ‘Should State protect Buddhism as a Constitutional provision?’
That article does emphasize (as per my interpretation) - that the State needed to protect all religions. Mr Gunasena highlights about Emperor Ashoka :
[Asoka was a shrewd statesman. He was promoting Buddhism and was not imposing it. He declared that his relationship with the public was that of farther and children. He was the ruler of whole country and not of the Buddhists only.]
As per Wikipedia, Emperor Ashoka’s empire :
“.. covered the entire Indian subcontinent except for parts of present-day Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.”
It is noteworthy that these are three states close to Sri Lanka, sharing common culture. These folks were not children of Emperor Ashoka. Out of the three Tamil Dynasties – Chera, Chola, Pandyar – Cholar and Pandyar ruled over most of Sri Lanka and this as per my knowledge included Polannaruwa (the current President’s electorate) but not Hambantota (former President’s electorate). I therefore conclude that Hambantota is the parallel of the above mentioned conglomerate ‘Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala’ that resisted takeover by ‘foreigners’. Interestingly, the characteristics of the current President of Sri Lanka and the immediate past President – highlight their respective electorate’s heritage.
Heritage values are those that confirm the Truth of that person and/or place. They would support true heirs – so long as the heir stays ‘domestic’ – meaning within the Energy circle of that heritage. Interestingly, JVP founder Rohana Wijeweera is also from that same Southern Province as former president Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa whose home area is Hambantota. Relatively speaking, Kurunegala in North Western province – which is the current political electorate of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa was less resistant to the above mentioned Northern conglomerate forces invoked by Northerners in partnership with South Indians. Likewise, the current President’s electorate of Polonnaruwa in North Central Province, was not strongly resistant to Indian takeovers.
Religion is a form of cultural base through which minds merge. Democratic Government is elected at the primary level on the basis of land and not religion. So long as we stay domestic – and nurture or facilitate nurturing of all religions through which that land / electorate becomes home – that land’s independence value would work for us – naturally. We do not have to consciously and/or expressly seek its support. Such a place is sacred.
One of the examples presented by Ms Shenali Waduge against Mr Wigneswaran was the article headed ‘Wigneswaran compares Keppeitpola to Prabhakaran!’. Mr Wigneswaran said in essence ‘….national hero of Sri Lanka Keppetipola Disawe was once considered by the British as a dangerous criminal but now has roads named after him and statues built for him.’
Wikipedia reports as follows:
[Keppetipola led a guerrilla war against the British army, knowing that the rebels were outnumbered and lesser in firepower. There were only a few large face-to-face battles done against the British army during the entire rebellion, and most of the attacks were carried out in the form of ambushes. Under the leadership of Keppetipola, the rebellion gained new strength and grew rapidly, spreading to a large part of the country. On 1 January 1818, governor Brownrigg declared Keppetipola and sixteen others as rebels, outlaws and enemies to the crown and their lands and property were confiscated]
This history was repeated with the Sinhalese army under Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa defeating Tamil militants under the leadership of Velupillai Prabakaran who was trained in Tamil Nadu. Each time Velupillai Prabakaran is ridiculed, by a Sri Lankan, Sinhalese leader Keppetipola and his heir Rohana Wijeweera are also ridiculed. Those who ridicule are negative home-making powers.
In his above mentioned article ‘‘Should State protect Buddhism as a Constitutional provision?’ Mr Harsha Gunasena refers to Thailand, Burma and Cambodia as examples of majority Buddhist nations and their experiences in this regard. Mr Gunasena suggests as follows:
[Based on the discussion I suggest that the present Article 9 of the Constitution should be removed and be replaced with the suitable contents of Articles 21.1 to 21.4 of the Burmese Constitution of 1947 and Article 79 of the Thai Constitution of 2007. Does Buddhism need any protection from the Government of Sri Lanka? No. During the past 42 years from 1972 was there any special protection or improvement to Buddhism by the Government? No.]
I learnt from our family temple, that sacred places look-after themselves. When we believe in that temple, we believe in all the people who believe in that temple. Likewise, in homeland.
News First presents the following picture, through its article ‘The possibility of a divided nation’ :
[Meanwhile speaking at another event held in Jaffna last evening (Jan 12) MP M.A. Sumanthiran made a rather controversial statement suggesting that there is a possibility that the country may be divided.
He stated that the hearts of the Sinhala people should be won over. He noted that they are not attempting to take over what belongs to the Sinhala people, adding that what they ask for is the release of what belongs to them. While acknowledging that there are fears that the country could be divided, the TNA MP stated that dividing the country was a possibility.
While noting that they were able to bring about a report on the new constitution to Parliament, something that people thought was impossible according to Sumanthiran, the MP added that they have now become a decisive force in the government.]
In his role as Parliamentarian at national level, Mr Sumanthiran has no right to ask for any division. He needs to spell out clearly, the true value he recognizes for his electorate as part of the whole of Sri Lanka. Federalism demands need to be within the framework of common Sri Lanka. The provinces on the other hand could demand greater autonomy on the basis of their belief that they have been isolated by central government. Northern Province in this regard has the power of Jaffna Kingdom which supported the rebels – the same way Kingdom of Ruhuna has the power to support Southern rebels including Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and his clan.
The risk with using heritage as current power is that it invokes the heirs of its then opposition to the same degree it is visibly invoked by current activists. They travel as Equal and Opposite twins.
Buddhism is of heritage value; as are Christianity, Islam and Hinduism in Sri Lanka. The Constitution works more easily when it is based on immediate past values closest to current environments of operation. The immediate past values confirm that land based secular values are stronger than religion based values to North-Eastern Sri Lankans. Most of the militants carried religion as a true value at root level where it is invisible. But the government forces had the duty to consciously and/or expressly confirm the boundaries of Buddhism through which they were regulated.
Emperor Ashoka actively embraced Buddhism after Kalinga war:
[Kalinga War happened eight years after his coronation. From his 13th inscription, we come to know that the battle was a massive one and caused the deaths of more than 100,000 soldiers and many civilians who rose up in defence; over 150,000 were deported] – Wikipedia
But Mr Rajapaksa who is seen as a Buddhist – continues to demonstrate active and strong urge to takeover weaker competitors – the latest one being the TNA in National Parliament. He is proof that Buddhism foremost article has had negative impact on Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
Hinduism principles have expressly provided for activism by minorities who believe they have been unjustly denied the enjoyment of their earned opportunities and benefits. Lord Krishna Himself endorses it. This is the basis of Mahabharatham. So long as the militants killed to Defend homeland – they upheld Dharma. Likewise the army officers.
The army officers who did not follow the Sri Lankan rules of war confirmed lack of belief in the government. The rules of war are the expressions of the Energy of all those who fought for our nation. Buddhist armed officers who killed outside the rules of war damaged not only government structure but also Buddhism which as per my knowledge does not provide for activism or even official killing. But Hinduism does – to the extent it is duty. How can both be covered by same set of laws?
As per Dharma, we have to consciously maintain the pathway through which we realize Independence. Those who truly practice Buddhism would not expressly violate Human Rights. Those who violate Human Rights are confirming that they are not true Buddhists.
Religion is an easy way to regulate minds of Sri Lankans – majority of whom practice their respective religions. Hence all war related legislations such as Prevention of Terrorism Act need to be repealed. If they are to remain – then Article 9 has to be eliminated. The Constitution, to the extent it is based on our true values – will actively promote ownership of the whole. If two articles oppose each other – they negate each other and the winning side becomes a dividing force. If Article 9 Energy for example had been stronger than Prevention of Terrorism Act Energy – all religions would have flourished to make Sri Lanka sacred land.
The current lesson we need to learn as Sri Lankans is that each time we celebrate war victory – we celebrate war itself. Where war exists continuously in our conscious mind we must know that Buddha has vacated that part of Sri Lanka.