Friday 29 November 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

29 November  2019


My husband who is a fan of ‘Face the Nation’ program of News 1st – Sri Lanka, chose to watch the 25 November program last night. I went along. I soon started yawning and eventually we agreed that it was not as interesting as the other news that did not require too much thinking on our part. But some of the features did highlight to me the ‘gap’ between democratic management of resources and the theory that the participants were largely presenting – as if to promote their knowledge.
Professor Indrajith Aponsu for example stated that the connection made by the Rajapaksa manifesto between Manufacture and Agriculture was that of a genius. Even though I am an Accountant – my brain could not identify with such value. As is my way – I tried to work it out using my home language. The parallel would be Cooking and Vegetable Gardening being connected.  To me they are both connected by common work systems. At family level – they are both sources of family enjoyment. May be I am not smart enough see the special connection at national level.
Dr David Garlick of the University of NSW said I was a genius. I then thought that was because I had served our common unit – Sports Medicine -  as per its needs. I discovered that the charges by the Central Administration were much higher than expected. There are some connections that are based purely on belief. I included the above by Professor Indrajith Aponsu in that group. I do not belong in that top-down group.
It was easier to connect to the Balance of Payments which was connected to Prima which is very much part of my work ancestry. I believe that the ‘Reserves’ I accumulated there – are part of the causal forces that resulted in our family ownership of our current home-unit here in Coogee Australia. This home complex was developed by Prima group and I invoked the blessings of the Chairman who was present at the auction. He did not remember me but I invoked my investment in Prima including by respecting him. That to me is  common ownership. The older the Reserve the richer the current manifestation.
In terms of Balance of Payments – the family parallel is our family’s net borrowings from other families and sources external to us. Banks that lend for home ownership become co-owners in spirit. In the above program,   war related  borrowings were included in Balance of Payments owed by  the Sri Lankan government. When we borrow more than we lend – we are in debt. Did we have to borrow for war related resourcing because somewhere down the line the LTTE and the community that it was part of – had become ‘foreigners?’ If someone is ‘internal’ family – we ‘share’ and down the line all money transactions become part of that sharing once we share in each other’s pain and gain. Do we have huge Balance of Payments Deficit due to the war? Given that Sri Lanka’s education is considered valuable by others did we lose credit with those countries that have recruited Sri Lankans to boost their own exports?
The Prima chairman when I first met him in 1978 was very appreciative of my skills and sought for Singapore staff to be trained by me. It was an ownership gesture which naturally developed common belief in each other and extends to our home nations.
When we are ‘family’ a debt becomes shareholding; when we are ‘foreign’ even a shareholder becomes a creditor. Shareholder and Creditor are on the same side of the Balance Sheet.  Long term creditors eventually become shareholders when we pool together through Common Purpose.
Talking about shareholdings – is the Sri Lankan Government a shareholder or Creditor of the University of Jaffna (UOJ)? When I attributed to Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan as an ancestor of the UOJ – Tamil Diaspora leader Mr Sooriasegaram responded as follows:
[ It is factually incorrect to attribute the creation of University of Jaffna to Sir Ponnampalam Ramanathan. It was created amidst opposition from leaders of Tamil Congress and Federal Party with the active support of Srimavo Bandaranayale, Peter Keunaman, SLFP and the Ceylon Communist Party, who made Professor Kailasapathy as the first Vice Chancellor of this Campus. Sadly the true origin of this University is not known to many, including the academics and the students of this University.]
Another Tamil raised the following question:
[Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan died in 1930! Who’s stirring rumours?]
Our conversation concluded as follows:

Thank you Soori.
              I believe that the contributions made by ancestors are of heritage value. They are eternal values that stay as Energy preserved by the most fundamental form of that institution. In this instance it is the land. You confirm ‘Lands for many schools in the North were given by altruistic men and women in those days. Sir Ponnampalam Ramanathan was one of them’
Thus the Energy of Sir Ponnampalam Ramanathan is preserved in the lands on which the UOJ has been developed. It’s not different to us Australians attributing to the lands that were homes to Indigenous Australians. The form would be common to the ancestor and the heir who invokes those powers. I have been attributing to my guru – Margret Teacher of Holy Family Convent. To me the two are not different to each other.
If  the others provided altruistic services – and you invoke them – YOU must share through your own expressions. To me, yours is new knowledge. It is for these reasons that the families and devotees  perform memorial services to our ancestors. Dr Sangarapillai Manoharan regularly invokes such ancestral powers of his parents. The next one is on 08 Feb at Colombo Tamil Sangam. It’s wonderful service through which our current contributions are blessed and supported by our heritage. Yoga Swami devotees in this group do this under the leadership of Samy Anna and wife Isha Acca here in Sydney.  

When I wrote,  I was doing the parallel in relation to the heritage of Jaffna University in which I have been investing my ‘intelligence’. That was when I first met you.

Warm Regards

The way Soori and I identify with UOJ through different angles all of us who invest in Sri Lanka would identify with Sri Lanka as per our own ‘experiences’.  The more ‘common’ the experience – the stronger our feelings for each other. The more we talk about the war – as victory for one side and defeat for the other – the more we become outsiders to each other. Debts incurred for such separation – could be converted into ownership by playing by the Common Rule of Law.

I could not think of the Government as an ancestor of UOJ because as far as their policies – UOJ became the cemetery  of Merit based entry to Common University places that Tamils were achieving before Standardization Policy in 1972. The militants invoke those spirits. Hence Maveerar / Great Heroes’ Memorials at UOJ. As we sow, so share we reap.

The best known medium through which we develop common shares in global governance is the UN. When the new President expresses commitment to withdraw from the UN led investment in Accountability, he loses ownership shares in the investment  by all Sri Lankans in Accountability and therefore Democracy -at global standards.   Autocracy requires the Opposite – Confidentiality.

Monies received for war efforts become Debts – even though we are not conscious of them. India and China are two such creditors who are demanding their respective pound of flesh/port.

Then there was Mr Asoka Obeysekera – Director of Transparency International who confirmed use of Freedom of Information Law towards former Prime Minister declaring his assets. What was the purpose? Could they have proceeded to take action against the PM by using such declarations? Would that be fair in a system that is higher subjective and autocratic? Or are they political tools to promote their own institutions and demote the Sri Lankan  government?
When we used this law to get information about progress in a Testamentary matter – the Registrar of Mallakam District  Court was more respectful in his attitude towards us. Beyond that he did not produce any outcome. Is that the case with Sri Lankan politicians also? Is Transparency International a toothless tiger?

I believe that when we complete self-governance experiences – we make ownership connections at the level we completed the journey. Those who expect higher benefits – are bound to let themselves and their investors down. In Democracy – we need to start with the grassroots and travel upwards.

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