Monday 7 January 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
07 January 2019

Tamils are Equal by Merit
As per my personal experience, the more conscious I am of Truth – the more I recognize the Truth I influenced in a manifestation. I am then guided by Truth and that is always right for me.
During the recent political crisis the speaker of Sri Lankan Parliament was, from time to time, the medium through whom I expressed my truth as I saw it. But the way Mr Jayasuriya has behaved in relation to the position of Opposition Leader confirms his lack of belief in Merit based system that helps us relate more comfortably to wider world through current values as opposed to historical base.
Ceylon Today reports as follows about Mr Karu Jayasuriya:
[Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, reiterating that he recognises Kurunegala District Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Opposition Leader, has told Government rankers to go to Courts if they have any problem accepting his decision.]
First of all, in Democratic Parliament, an elected member’s duty is to be driven by her/his belief. S/he should not direct others – especially those others who vote/express  against her/his decision / expression. Those against her/his decision need to be facilitated to express themselves without any influence by the decision maker. The duty of the Speaker in this instance was to facilitate a confidence motion by the Parliament. The Judiciary is an independent body and directing an independent member of the Parliament to go to the judiciary confirms lack of belief in the Parliament’s ability to resolve internal problems. One who believes does not need external endorsement nor objectively measurable proof. During the parallel crisis in relation to position of Prime Minister, TNA went to court not merely because it considered the decision to dissolve parliament to be unconstitutional but also because it was supported by other parties including UNP that the speaker is a part of. Politicians need to be selective about going to court because a negative outcome – however unjust it may be  on merit basis is likely to politically demote the applicants in their rural electorates. Had Mr Jayasuriya felt appreciation for TNA’s actions which had the effect of restoring his own position taken in relation to the position of Prime Minister, he would have used the parallel system in relation to the position of Opposition Leader’s position but without having to go to courts as a first option. That internal action would have been to use the merit based system – according to which  a person/political party  cannot be on both sides – the government as well as the opposition – at the same time. Mr Jayasuriya has confirmed that he and any group led by him would use majority rule as being superior to merit based decisions.
Mr Talal Rafi, in his FT article ‘A look at British politics: Should Sri Lanka revert to First Past the Post system?’ states:

[After the 1977 general elections, the UNP changed the First Past the Post (FPTP) system to the Proportional Representation (PR) system. The UNP won a 5/6th majority in Parliament. Many to this day call the 1977 win a landslide victory for the UNP. But was it a landslide victory? The UNP won only 50.9% (barely past the 50%) in 1977 but ended up with 83.3% of the seats. It wasn’t a landslide victory by votes. It was just a landslide victory according to the FPTP system. If the 1977 elections were held under the current PR system, the UNP would have barely scraped past the 113 seats needed. But why would J.R. Jayawardene change a system which gave him 83% of the seats for only 50.9% of the votes? ]

According to the First Past the Post system the value of the whole would be equal to the sum of the individuals. This system does not promote deeper belief nor extraordinary performance. It promotes complacency leading to hearsay becoming the basis of decision making. It would suit nations where majority are driven by traditional values particular to their respective electorates and therefore carry rich heritage. If not for the militancy by JVP and LTTE led Tamils -, the FPTP in Parliament would have been enough to support a stable government. But not so after militancy and this was confirmed by JVP and TNA leading the protest against dissolution of parliament in breach of the law. Both groups are no longer purely local. They are strongly driven by ideologies developed beyond the shores of Sri  Lanka. Hence they rebelled when they could not relate to a government through their contribution to self-governance. If all of us were self-governing then we would identify with our contribution through the elected member in Parliament. When the voters are more active contributors to self-governance than the elected leaders – the voters have just reasons to rebel. To prevent this, the voting system needs to include merit, in addition to belief. Hence the introduction of preferential voting system.

 1977 elections produced results that confirmed the true position of Tamils in National Parliament . In 1976  Northern leaders as well as active voters united under one political umbrella. This led to TULF becoming Equal Opposition in National Parliament.  Common hardship leads to common belief. Belief unites. Truth shows perfect merit. Use of hearsay divides and scatters our expressions/votes  until they become disconnected with each other. This was confirmed about the UNP as highlighted by the above figures presented by Mr Talal Rafi. Now it is happening with the SLFP. The manifestations  confirm also that minorities who actively participate in governance and do so as per their belief would weaken any government that denies them their merit based status as Equals to the governing group.  

By ruling as he did, Mr Karu Jayasuriya disconnected with his own leader Mr JR Jayawardene who introduced the Preferential voting system and therefore unwittingly promoted the activist who contributes to the whole being more than the sum of its individuals. In politics such groups invoke natural global powers. All we need to do is believe to invoke such powers.
The Executive Presidency in truth opposes recognition of merit at the primary level and therefore works against the Preferential voting system. The President and the Voter oppose each other by competing for the same status.

The Ceylon Today article reports as follows about rejection of such powers by Mr Jayasuriya:
[Praising the establishment of the independence of the Judiciary as being the only light at the end of the tunnel, in the context of the recent Constitutional and political crisis, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that henceforth, the world would not talk about international Judges intervening in Sri Lanka.]
The above confirms complacency and therefore switch back to FPTP system in relation to the position of Leader of the Opposition position. That would certainly contribute to another rebellion by Tamil activists.  
In Truth, due to hardship endured, the common voter represented by TNA is likely to be more self-governing than the common voter represented by the UNP. But as per structure TNA is taken as Equal – just as we do  in relation to parents. Equal on the outside but far more valuable on the inside. Tamils and other minorities who recognize this value and continue to contribute to self-governance would become global minded. That is how Energy balances the equation.

No comments:

Post a Comment