Saturday 3 August 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

03 August  2019

Pay Your Dues to Tamils Please Mr PM

The Hon G.G. Ponnambalam’s 50-50 Speech to Sri Lanka’s State Council in 1939 is valued by many Tamils and is rejected by some Tamils. It was certainly rejected by the then government which was still under British rule. If in truth – Mr GG Ponnambalam saw himself as an equal to the best Sinhala politician it was his duty as a Ceylonese  to preserve this. After my deep experiences of racial discrimination – here in Australia, I realized the essence of this value in a diverse society. To me it was a way to preserve the intellectual powers within the minorities. That is what Equal Opportunity laws are about. In fact that is what has been brought out by the Buddhism Foremost article (9) in the Sri Lankan Constitution. Non-Buddhists are governed by articles 10 and 14(1)(e ). They are essential elements of a democratic structure.

Dr Rajan Hoole wrote in this regard:

[In February 1934, K. Balasingam, earlier of the Legislative Council, wrote in his letter to the Tamils of Jaffna, “The attempt on the part of some Tamils to form a minority alliance can only have the effect of welding together the divided sections of the Sinhalese and of inducing them to form a racial bloc.” Balasingam added, “repercussions are felt in Balangoda where old time vandalism and present day hostility to the ‘Demilos’, become election cries. The election cries are quoted as further proof of Sinhalese desire to dominate”.] – Colombo Telegraph article ‘The Fifty–Fifty Interlude: Communalism Or Nationalism?

It’s interesting that the word ‘radical’ has been used back in 1934 by this Tamil leader in terms of Sinhalese. This became a reality many decades later – not against Tamils but against Mrs Bandaranaike’s government. Majority Sinhalese would have read Mrs Bandaranaike as a home-maker and when the lady was promoted to the leading  position those males would have concluded that they would be better than that lady in leadership position. Hence they formed their own de facto governments. But when they try to takeover power – they are no longer practicing communalism but radicalism – as in inverted pyramid structure of management. That becomes destructive by  producing values where the value of the whole is less than the sum of the individual parts.
Today, Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe is in the shoes of Mr GG Ponnambalam – who tried to preserve the intellectual value in Governance. The Economy Next article presents this through its report ‘Ranil forced to 'democratize' proposed alliance constitution in major showdown’ as follows:

[Members of Sri Lanka's United National Party is to submit amendments to a draft constitution to govern a proposed broad alliance after thwarting an attempt by its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe tried to push through 'undemocratic' document, political sources said.

Wickremesinghe had attempted to pass the draft document at a meeting of the UNP working committee but had faced stiff opposition.
Several senior UNPers had demanded that the proposed constitution be circulated for study before approving.
According to the document anything the constitution did not address was to be decided by a 'leadership council' of the alliance where there was only a single representative of the UNP in the form of its leader.
He will have a 50 percent vote. Other smaller parties will have one vote.
Wickremesinghe had demanded a vote on the document.
Several members had objected saying there was no need for a vote, since there was no opposition to an alliance, and they only wanted changes to democratize the constitution.
This is the exact parallel of the Hon GG Ponnambalam’s 50:50 proposal . We need such votes to recognize the higher intellectual value of minorities so that nationalism becomes the last milestone to realise globalism and therefore global ownership. In communalism – one bypasses the intermediaries. Tamils who have Sinhalese as Opposition are confirming that they are not global and v.v.
Juniors in Autocracy become Equals in Democracy only when they have a different form of belief. Reverse autocracy leads to radicalism. Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe has demonstrated recognition of this value through his own experience with Sirisena-Rajapaksa partnership which continuously dilutes the value of orderly structures. Given that both President and Leader of the Opposition are of SLFP, the UNP has become their real opposition.

In January this year, President  Sirisena appointed Mr M. L. A. M. Hizbullah as the Governor of Eastern Province. Given that the President was a practicing Buddhist and M. L. A. M. Hizbullah was a practicing Muslim this was not a senior-junior relationship. M. L. A. M. Hizbullah is reported by Wikipedia to have declared his radicalization as follows:

[On 10 June Hizbullah claimed "Muslims should live with their heads up. I wish to make it clear that only in this country that we are minorities, but in this whole world, we are in a majority. Till we find a solution to our problems, we should be united. At the time of the elections, we must reveal our stance,". Further his speech was marked with inflammatory language. His speech was condemned by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who claimed that everybody must identify as Sri Lankans]

Mr Sirisena when he was Mr Rajapaksa’s junior would have functioned under that mind-structure. Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa  must have known that defeating the LTTE was not possible when the Sri Lankan Armed forces were handicapped by government rules. Hence he also followed ‘jungle warfare’. The law of nature says that whoever uses those outcomes adopts the structure that produced those outcomes. Hence Mr Hizbullah who also become radicalized became the President’s appointment in Batticaloa. The common conduct  that the Truth shows us is that Mr Rajapaksa was out of Sri Lanka when the Tamils were attacked in the ‘jungle warfare’  and Mr Sirisena was out of Sri Lanka when the Easter bombings happened. Without rules of war – it is left to individuals.

In the Mahabharatha war – prince Abimanyu was unjustly killed by the majority forces who consciously overrode the rules of war. In the Tamil-Sinhalese war – the parallel was LTTE leader’s son Balachandran who being a Sri Lankan by birth was entitled to the Sri Lankan government’s protection. Any member of the Government who ignores these responsibilities but enjoys the benefits of their position – become disorderly in their mind. The truth of the community that follows such rules rejects them. Such a community includes Sinhalese who fought within the rules of their conscience – where truth is the basis of our personal law.

 Some ask why Lord Krishna did not prevent Abimanyu’s death? To my mind, if Lord Krishna had done so – Krishna would have been the hero and not Abimanyu. Young Balachandran by age represented minority power in that battlefield. The rules of war existed to protect minorities. They are needed when the other side is not bound by common belief to us.

Mr Wickremesinghe and his intellectual supporters have become minorities within the UNP. When we happened to meet Mr Wickremesighe in North Gate by Jetwing (Jaffna) – in February this year - Mr Wickremesighe confirmed his valuation of higher education expressly by engaging with us. This was possible because he was a higher thinker in terms of education. But in a SWOT analysis – that would also be seen as his Threat from rural politicians who are able to get into power without such investment in higher thinking. Higher thinking is possible without formal education only when our faith in the whole is Absolute. If Mr Wickremesinghe’s faith in Sri Lanka or Higher Education is true – he would enjoy the value of independence – through either pathway. Right now in Sri Lanka the two are not common pathways.

Whatever it may be – Mr Wickremesinghe as a politician needs to pay his royalties to Mr GG Ponnambalam who articulated this democratic principle many decades ago – and for which he was ridiculed by those enjoying the comforts of autocratic leadership. Then Mr Wickremesinghe would be supported by intellectual Tamils and those connected to them by cultural faith. Today I assisted one of our trainees to identify with his strength as follows:

Respect for elders and therefore for the existing Institutional Structures which facilitate my current work

I believe that it was this respect for law that led to the redemption of his position through Court last year. In the process the Judiciary of  Sri Lanka have become more independent than they were before. When Mr Wickremesinghe continues to follow the intellectual pathway – he would become a natural governor of Sri Lanka at that level. One does not need a visible position to govern.

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