Tuesday 12 November 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

12 November  2019


Tamil Politicians have expressed their expectations through a 13  point Memorandum. I identify with some of them but not all. To my mind, it is a political expression of how Tamil Political Leaders received their voters’ expectations and merged with their own expectations. There have been diverse interpretations of this and Dr Nirmala Chandrahasan has shared hers through Island article headed ‘The Jaffna Intl Airport and 13 points of Tamil political parties’.
Included in that article is the following:
[However, there is another way of tackling this issue, and that is for the Tamil people and especially the youth to be willing to go to the land and engage in Agriculture and farming; rather than looking to Government jobs and greener pastures abroad. In Israel the Jews of the diaspora were willing to come back to a land they had left centuries ago, and to go into an occupation namely farming, which they had long ago lost touch with while also fighting off the Arabs already in occupation. As for what is being called Budhistization, it must be recalled that the Tamils of the North and East have a Buddhist heritage dating back many centuries. The many ruins and archaeological Buddhist sites are evidence of this. It is now for the Tamil inhabitants to claim their heritage and come forward to help in the conservation of these sites, and for the Tamil people to be made aware of their Buddhist /Hindu heritage.]

As per my search Dr Nirmala Chandrahasan is a former head of law – University of Colombo. Unless Dr Nirmala Chandrahasan herself has given up law based thinking and has been engaged in farming and land based thinking, the lady has no right to recommend it to others in her community. One does not need to go to Israel for example. My uncles retired from government service on language issue – and went to Kilinochchi for farming. Hence we have local heritage as example. Like many senior members of the Sri Lankan diaspora, they drew pension for their services through government.
If Dr Nirmala Chandrahasan had a true relationship with the junior castes in Northern Sri Lanka, she would know that many of them are engaged in farming. It is like Natural compensation for their caste based discrimination pain. That is the way of Natural Justice which keeps the credit by juniors in ‘reserve’ to the extent of genuine contribution not rewarded by custodians of power. This reserve manifests when there is an avenue open in that environment.

 Many  children of these junior castes are following in the footsteps of the Senior castes and are looking for government jobs that would give them a pension. It’s an inheritance from the Seniors to the juniors. To the extent the caste based discrimination was based on work – this kind of heritage is natural. The relationships are workplace relationships. In Vaddukoddai I  am one of those who link – Public Service experience with junior castes who would otherwise  lack the confidence to continue with those relationships.

The Northern student had to try harder than her/his counterpart in South – in order to win Government jobs or to find emigrate for economic purposes. Science based courses were considered more suitable towards this. When the standardization policy was brought in – and Tamils as well as global minded non-Tamils were seriously disadvantaged but to the extent they continued to invest in merit based achievements – their efforts accumulated as reserves and was inherited by those to whom those areas became home. That was how LTTE became a clever force relative to JVP in South. THAT is the confirmation that militants were genuine in terms of their ‘motive’ – largely through inheritance which confirms shared experiences.

Recently I was explaining to a White Australian lady whose daughter is married to an Indian, that exchanging garlands during wedding ceremony signified exchange of experiences. The more conscious we are of ‘giving’ and ‘receiving’ the less we share experiences. Likewise ‘telling’ and ‘being told’. Sharing confirms oneness. When seniors share with juniors who do not recognize them as seniors – the language needs to be that of the junior. That is what democracy is about.

Also, in terms of Buddhist /Hindu heritage – a law specialist needs to work continuously for this to be reflected in the Constitution of Sri Lanka. The constitution is our heritage. If the written constitution fails to recognize this then that needs to be corrected first. Article 9 of the written constitution clearly differentiates between Buddhism and other religions. It is the duty of every democratic citizen who seeks Unitary structure - to reject the ‘foremost’ status rendered to Buddhism. To join Buddhism with Hinduism is  to dilute the diversity of Hindus who have a distinct culture. Buddhist Police working  in Vaddukoddai – have demonstrated that they consider Buddhism to be senior to Hinduism. THIS has been confirmed through the constitution.

Majority folks in Northern Sri Lanka continue to confirm Thesawalamai as their heritage. But those who trade in their knowledge of law – for money and status – allow their minds to be polluted by visible outcomes and merely use the name of Thesawalamai law but claim and judge as per their own personal likes and dislikes. This results in failed relationships through Thesawalamai law and therefore community relationships. Buddhism has also been so abused by politicians in Sri Lanka and hence their failed relationships including in parliament – the parental home of government-citizen relationships.

The end of any relationship is common ownership. This could be through one pathway or through diverse pathways. Tamils have clearly chosen the diverse pathway and this is healthier for Sri Lanka where majority do not relate directly to the written constitution. Majority Sri Lankans follow their own religious tenets and other common ways  – largely through inherited cultural values particular to the environment in which they are born. THAT is their real Constitution.
Common secular education promotes harmony in common areas – including the parliament. But in groups where majority lack common secular education – the risk of conflict is high – where one group assumes senior status merely due to being majority by numbers. This ‘submission’ is clearly visible in the following passage by Dr Nirmala Chandrahasan:

[There is also a clause prohibiting secession. It is accepted that there should be power sharing between the Centre and the periphery and the Devolution of powers is based on the framework of the 13th Amendment. It has been recognized that in order to facilitate power sharing those features of the 13th Amendment and Provincial Councils Act which are impeding MEANINGFUL DEVOLUTION should be amended or done away with, and that there should be administrative reorganization as well as financial viability provided for the efficient functioning of the Provincial Councils.]

Prohibition of secession became law through the 6th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution.  To those driven by the ‘seen’ any form of diversity would seem ‘separatism’. Militants without the support of higher common mind are also examples of this. But not so the politicians who fought for Equal Opportunity. The 13th Amendment gave form to the genuine expectations of Tamils who were ‘told’ – including through and the Buddhism foremost claim and the 6th amendment. Rejecting such ‘telling’ is the duty of an independent community.

Buddhism tenets are not part of the reasoning of  a Sri Lankan judicial mind. The 13th Amendment helped balanced that idle status in law through Provincial formations. When the Sinhalese government recognizes the inherent value of this formation through accumulated reserves formed by enduring discrimination pain – they would seek to be Equal partners and not seniors of  representatives of Tamils in National Parliament and share as equals and not ‘tell’ as if they were seniors.

Devolution to non-Tamil provinces is from seniors to juniors. Wherever there is lack of common belief  between two groups – power needs to be shared – as between mother and father in a family. Where an equal contributor is treated as ‘junior’ there is exponential accumulation of skills and motivational powers within the equal partner treated  as junior .

If  Dr Nirmala Chandrahasan is a relative of the Hon SJV Chelvanayagam that heritage is not presented through this article. It certainly does  not confirm the destination of Gandhi’s Sathyagraham pathway.

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