Wednesday 4 December 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

04 December  2019


Dual citizens by law (Article 91 (1)(d) (xiii))  included through  the 19th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution are barred from being elected to Sri Lankan Parliament. Mr Victor Rajalingam – a Tamil Diaspora leader, includes in his  presentation of his book ‘History of the Dispossessed Sri Lankan Tamils’ the following:
[Contents of this book targets the second and later generations of Sri Lankan Tamils in the Diaspora worldwide.]
I believe that my articles include this group and beyond. The natural spread depends on the truth in the content of the writings. Most Dispossessed Sri Lankans are Dual Citizens during the early stages of their/our new life. If we interpret the happenings in one country, through the mind of a citizen in another- we would mislead ourselves and those who need our services. Take for example members of the Diaspora who draw pensions from Sri Lanka as well as from Australia. Are they not Dual Citizens? Even if the laws do not ban it – we need to refrain from participating actively in ‘judging’ as if we were Sri Lankans but in favour of Australians – our new partners. If we use global structures of thought – then they would be of value to both. Global citizens, like the UN are common citizens.
To my mind, the above book written by Victor is his Will in relation to his investment in Public Life.  The last UNP government’s will is the 19th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution. It confirms completion of transitional life as Sri Lankan towards Global citizenship.

In Thesawalamai Law – particular to Northern Sri Lankan Tamils – Dowry is allocated to daughters who marry early and leave the family home of parents to live with the husband’s family and/or his cultural systems. Immigration like marriage becomes the life of a daughter when the migrant takes wealth from the 1st nation to the 2nd one. It was for this reason that I named my book – ‘Jaffna is my heritage; not dowry’. I have thus far not brought from Sri Lanka, any money or status wealth to be applied  as is in Australia. I have brought pure intelligence.  These days when I invest in Sri Lanka, it is of global standards – to be free of the pitfalls of dual citizenship – the worst of it being bipolar disorder. This was highlighted by ‘Homeland’  - American TV series in which CIA’s Carrie Mathison is portrayed as being bipolar. While many reviews have valued this through the individual with bipolar disorder,  no one seems to have identified with dual cultures that this character - Carrie Mathison assumes in the course of her work in foreign/Middle Eastern/Islamic  war zones.

Recently, an American journalist displayed high risk of bipolar disorder when he effectively ‘ordered’  me to remove him from my email list. He came into that particular list due to his writings about Sri Lanka’s internal war. By ‘disciplining’ him to do it himself –I reduced such a risk. This kind of ‘excitement’ happens in areas affected by war – into which money is pumped to ‘show’ progress rather than recovery. The new Sri Lankan President’s emphasis on Development instead of Devolution in Northern  and Eastern Sri Lanka strongly indicates this kind of risk.

 I am often ‘mistaken’ by Northern Sri Lankans looking for handouts in the mistaken thinking that they would get over their pain through new money. I insist that they earn what they get including through paying respects to donor systems. From time to time, I have to ‘pause’ and help the folks in need ‘come out of their desires for quick answers’ and feel the need as if I was not there. I am able to do so because I do not desire to ‘show’ anyone any progress. If I did have that desire – I would be a dual citizen and not common global citizen.

A highly respected  journalist who as per my assessment is global minded wrote in response to my yesterday’s article ‘SRI LANKA’S NATURAL POWERS:

[You have said that LTTE was influenced by minds outside Sri Lanka including Indian minds. I think it is not fully correct. Prabakaran was influenced more by his close aides in his hideout and perhaps some of his people settled outside in London like Balasingham.  But even Balasingham had his limits.]

I do identify with the above in the Diaspora which is a mix of two or more ‘commodities’. As I say to my juniors – when they package their work as per their methodology I have the right to take it or leave it – as in trading / business. But to the extent they use my methodology – we become shareholders in common. My methodology is the pathway through which I became a senior. Included are my sacrifices to attribute to my seniors for the credits I held. Prabakaran produced his own outputs and to the extent he failed to attribute credit to those who resourced him – he had the duty to demonstrate respect for them. This did not include New Delhi – any more than the new Lankan  President not attributing credit to  the UNP for the 19th Amendment, which naturally opened the connection to the Democratic nations in the West.

If minds do not merge – laterally as Equals or vertically as seniors-juniors, apparent economic progress would not be sustained. In fact it is likely to lead to radicalization and/or strengthen radicalization that already exists. When minds merge – whatever we do in one part of the world would be returned naturally through any part of the merged world.

To my mind,  the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, when actively practiced, would facilitate travel through the  pathway. Making commodities of resources blocks such pathways and isolates us.

The new President needs to develop higher pathways than existing ones, if global investment in Sri Lanka is to make Sri Lankans feel they are Equals to any other nation and not juniors. Truth is the basis of any relationship – including in journalism driven by Sri Lankan wars.
In terms of diverse culture of Jaffna - FACTSHEET – UPR 2017 – SRI LANKA 3rd CYCLE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW, states the following:

[Jaffna Matrimonial Rights and Inheritance Orinance of 1947 disables women subject to Thesawalamai law from entering into contracts without the express approval of their husband.]
Section 6 of the above Ordinance states:

All movable or immovable property to which any woman married after the commencement of this Ordinance may be entitled at the time of her marriage, or which she may during the subsistence of the marriage acquire or become entitled to by way of gift or inheritance or by conversion of any property to which she may have been so entitled or which she may so acquire or become entitled to, shall, subject and without prejudice to the trusts of any will or settlement affecting the same, belong to the woman for her separate estate, and shall not be liable for the debts or engagements of her husband, unless incurred for or in respect of the cultivation, upkeep, repairs, management, or improvement of such property, or for or in regard to any charges, rates, or taxes imposed by law in respect thereof, and her receipts alone or the receipts of her duly authorized agent shall be a good discharge for the rents, issues, and profits arising from or in respect of such property. Such woman shall, subject and without prejudice to any such trusts as aforesaid, have as full power of disposing of and dealing with such property by any lawful act inter vivos without the consent of the husband in case of movables, or with his written consent in the case of immovables, but not otherwise, or by last will without consent, as if she were unmarried.
The recommendation by the UPR included the following:

[6. Amend all Personal Laws, including the Muslim, Kandyan and Tesawalamai Personal Laws, to remove discriminatory provisions regulating ownership, inheritance, transfer and disposal of land and property, as well as provisions regulating legal capacity, marriage, divorce, and child custody.]

As most members of the Jaffna Tamil Community are aware – dowry continues to be very much a part of the marriage system of Jaffna Tamils. My own sisters in law sought to claim that they were paid ‘donation’ and not ‘dowry’ by their father. My husband and I argued in Court that as per Thesawalamai law they were paid ‘dowry’ and hence were not entitled to any share in the residual wealth of the parents and those who were not married. The Jaffna Courts upheld their claim and dismissed ours. They thus earned Common Law application and not lost their heritage of  Thesawalamai mind itself.  In the system of Natural Justice – they Oppose Devolution of power to Tamils. Ultimately we are ‘given’ as we ask – often without knowing what we are losing through the system of Truth. Thesawalamai fundamentals confirm diversity of Gender and Equal Rights of women who are required by law to access the knowledge of men who specialise in ‘external relationships’ – such as in ‘foreign ministries’. They do not need handouts from promoter of general law. 

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