08 September 2019
Self-Governing Sri Lankan
When I was in Jaffna Central College which is an all boys’ college until year 11 – I was informed by a lady in the judge’s panel - that I spoke like Mrs Banadaranaike. The prize went to the fair-skinned male student. Years later when I had the opportunity to teach part-time at St Bridget’s Convent where Mrs Banadaranaike also studied – I felt that Natural Justice had righted the wrong. During that period – 0n 08 September - I found in my book – a picture of Our Lady in the form of Mother Velankanni. When I asked the students – one explained that 08 September was the feast of Mother Velankanni. Later through my Catholic friends I learnt that 08 September is also Birthday of Our Lady. From then onwards, I usually remembered and said ‘thank you’ to Our Lady on this day. I was happy that I ‘found the picture’ in my book. It strengthened my belief that Divine powers balance the system for those who ‘believe’. If we believe through a particular pathway – the return happens also through that pathway. Mine in that instance was education related and this is a heritage that I share with all my heirs – beyond my biological connections. The lady who demoted me on the basis of ‘style’ effectively came under the rule of male dominated Administrators (militants and the army) who did not value self-governance at all. The essence of this is that Sovereignty can be realized by each individual through her/his belief.
This was the mindset in which I read the article ‘Time cannot diminish Sri Lankan's fight for justice’ by Quintus Colombage. If Sri Lanka searches within – ‘Time Will Tell’ – i.e. – the other side of truth will manifest in a natural environment.
The experience of a victim around which this article is written begins as follows:
[Mauri Inoka Jayasinghe sits silently under the hot sun by the side of a main road in Colombo. It is Sept. 2 and this painful experience in the Sri Lankan capital has become an annual ritual for the 36-year-old mother of two. Jayasinghe was pregnant with twins when her fruit vendor husband, Madushka Haris De Silva, was abducted along with two others by an unidentified group on Sept. 2, 2013. She protested on the sixth anniversary, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Galle Face district of Colombo, as she has done every year since. Not only did she refuse to buckle in the face of threats, she organized a press conference with a group of civil rights activists to highlight a problem that she will not allow to fade away. ……]
What happens to those who do not have access to such facilities? Do they not get cured? I did not have such access here in Australia, when I went through my pain. But I used my ability to write – to share my pain. Some did respond but most were silent. Despite that, I kept going – escalating my work to the highest level that I was capable of. Much of my work was treated at the same level that the teacher at Jaffna Central College treated my speech – that it sounded ethnic. I wrote for my common heir i.e. – myself. On that basis I conclude that Mrs Jayasinghe fights because she believes in her own sovereignty. Likewise, the relatives of the disappeared. Tamils in this instance need to fight also to bring out the responsibility owed by Tamil leaders which before passing the buck on to Central Government. The more Tamils go direct to Central Government – the weaker our claim to govern ourselves. The Provincial Government failed in North due to this passing the buck habit.
At the end of the pathway – we may often not ‘see’ the results that we expected to ‘see’ at the beginning. But if we were true to ourselves – the confirmation is through the experience – with or without the visible result as expected in the beginning. That experience confirms ownership and ownership confirms self-governance. To the extent Mrs Jayasinghe protects those in her local area of belief from similar hardship – her cycle of self-governance has been completed. From then on – her Energy spreads itself naturally.
The Presidential elections would confirm as to how high the voters’ self-governance has travelled in each area. Low voting for a particular person – effectively is dismissal of the Administrator in charge. Mr Jayasinghe was abducted in 2013. Mr by Quintus Colombage highlights that Mr Rajapaksa was in power from November 2005 to January 2015. Hence Mrs Jayasinghe and all those who identify with her pain – have to dismiss the government that was in power at that time. Likewise in terms of Tamil victims – all those whose relatives disappeared during that period. That was how Tamils and Sinhalese become common Sri Lankans in pain.
Uncorrected wrongs become part of our natural characteristics. Often they become un-correctable because we bite off more than we can chew. In a sovereign environment - the victims get the other side that caused the wrong. Such a person would identify with the experience – and share the lesson with her/his heirs. If this completion happens beyond Sri Lanka – including through higher education and higher Public Administration – then we owe the extended group and not merely the local country. Our heirs must be produced at that level and not at the local level. Such expansion confirms true victory.
Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa has confirmed that his world has shrunk to local level. All those who vote for him would limit their own experiences to their parallel local levels. The pattern in which Tamils vote in the next presidential elections would confirm whether Tamils continue to have genuine pain due to the war. Politicians who claim self-governance have the duty to guide them accordingly.
Every individual who is self-governing is naturally Sri Lankan by choice. That is the real level at which we have earned to declare our sovereignty.