Friday, 27 December 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

27 December  2019


The report that LTTE Leader’s relative Mr Shivajilingam  has been summoned by Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lankan Police appearing just above the article headed ‘Country should be prepared to handle natural disasters – President’ gives a true Sri Lankan – the true picture of a divided country. The Daily News reports as follows about the former:
[Former Northern Provincial Councillor MP Kanagalingam Sivajilingam was yesterday summoned to appear before the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID).
He was summoned to obtain a statement regarding a week-long commemoration programme to commemorate former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) members had been organised under the leadership of Sivajilingam held in the Vellamullivaikal area in Mullaitivu last May.]
Daily News reports as follows about the latter:

[President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka should be better prepared to handle natural disasters and respond to emergencies in the future.
While remembering the victims of the 2004 tsunami tragedy, in a media communiqué the President’s media unit said religious and other programmes were organised islandwide to remember the tsunami victims yesterday.
While remembering tsunami victims, President Rajapaksa had said it was important to be better prepared to face such natural calamities in the future and also new technology should be used to good effect in such endeavours.
“The tsunami tragedy is the worst natural disaster faced by Sri Lanka to date. We should never forget the victims or the devastation caused by the tragedy.]

Wikipedia presents the cause of Tsunami as follows:
[The Ancient Greek historian Thucydides suggested in his 5th century BC History of the Peloponnesian War that tsunamis were related to submarine earthquakes]

The above strongly indicates connection between war and Tsunami. As per Wikipedia account  however, the President, must be referring to the Sinhala part of the Island as Sri Lanka. But history says otherwise:

[Kudiramalai shares the legends of the Tamil queen Alli Raani with Mannar; during her rule, major changes to the western coastline occurred. According to legend, she often travelled from Kudiramalai to Mannar and traded Mannar pearls for horses from Arabia; this is how the port town acquired its name. Although the Gulf of Mannar inundated much of Kudiramalai in a cyclone or tsunami, a portion of the walls of Queen Alli's palace are still visible. An ancient, cave-like structure is at the upper part of the palace wall's entrance. According to Alexander Johnston, he had a history of Queen Alli (who ruled northwestern Sri Lanka 1,800 years before him ]
Alli as per my understanding is flower in  lotus family. Raani = Queen.
Sir Alexander Johnston was the third Chief Justice of Ceylon. Wikipedia confirms Sir Alexander Johnston’s neutrality as follows:
[Johnston was responsible for bringing the Mahavamsa, Sri Lanka's historical epic, to European attention when he sent manuscripts of it and other Sinhala chronicles to Europe for publication during his tenure as Chief Justice.  Jonhston encouraged the translation of the Mahavamsa and other works in order to bring British colonial law into alignment with local traditions and values]
The land never forgets. Those who are true to the land will be protected and supported by that land. If we systematically follow the pathway of truth experienced by us – we would cross the border between current and past. That truth that we carry from the present would then provide the insight through the structures of the past. If the current President of Sri Lanka was carrying such a truth of current Sri Lanka – he would have identified with the following structure of  Tamil  Rule in Ceylon which continues to carry the karma of war from the past:
[By the medieval period, the capital moved from Kudiramalai to Nallur. Nearby Puttalam was the medieval Jaffna kingdom's second capital during the pearling season, and increased fishing activity was noted along the banks between Kudiramalai and Mannar.
Mukkuvar Tamils began migrating from Kilakarai in mainland Tamilakkam to Kudiramalai and other Malabar cities (such as Puttalam and Jaffna) of the northern kingdom during the eighth century. The Shaivites fled to the west coast from mainland Tamilakkam to escape forced conversion to Islam. In return for aid from Arabs in a struggle with a rival chief, many embraced Islam. During the 16th-century increase in Portuguese influence, many of the Mukkuvars converted to Christianity.]
The connection between Easter Bombings and the karma of this area through Alli-Raani is highlighted  through the account of Alli-Raani traveling from Kudiramalai in West to Akkaraipattu in East:
[Alli Raani ruled over the in western and northern coasts of Sri Lanka and controlled there the pearl fishery.  According to local traditions did the gulf of Arasadi have no opening towards the north, but communicated with the sea by a channel running in the line of the present Chilaw canal. Alli Raani used to proceed from Kudiramalai to Akkaraipattu by land. A great flood submerged greater parts of land, subsequently leaving Arasadi on a narrow split of land, forming the present Puttalam Lagoon and destroying her palace]
As per New York Times article ‘These Attacks Could Target Catholic Churches’: The Warning That Sri Lankan Officials Failed to Heed:
·       [Information has been received that persons known as Zaharan Hashmi and Shahid are currently in hiding in Oluvil in the Akkaraipattu region after the incidents of damaging religious statues in Mawanella in December 26, 2018.
·       A person known as Rilwan has been identified as a younger brother of Zaharan, and the main recruiter of followers around Zaharan - by the name of Mohamed Cassim Mohammed Rilwan NIC No. 903432624V residing at [address redacted], of the Kattankudy Police Division

It has been found that this individual is currently in hiding after a clash between NTJ and another religious organization in Kattankudy on March 10, 2018. Even while in hiding he has been working to build followers for Zaharan in Akkaraipattu, Kuliyapitiya, Puttalam, Mawanella and Thihariya and is currently residing in the home of one his close associates in the Oluvil Region.]

The Muslim connection to those who came to Kudiramalai from India’s Kilakarai is highlighted above. Mukkuva Law applicable to Batticaloa Tamils is the Batticaloa parallel of  Thesawalamai law applicable to Jaffna Tamils. The land based relationship from India is thus carried by Tamils and Muslims living in harmony in Kilakarai where a third dimension is not activated.
The Peloponnesian War in relation to which Tsunami has been mentioned by Ancient Greek historian Thucydides was between Athens & Sparta. It happened during the war period (431–404 BC) of 27 years and like in the case of Sri Lankan war, is also referred to as a 30 year war. Wikipedia reports as follows:
[The Malian Gulf tsunami was caused by one of a series of earthquakes in the summer of 426 BC which affected the course of the Peloponnesian War by forcing the advancing Spartans to abort their planned invasion of Attica.  Strabo reported that throughout Greece parts of islands were submerged, rivers permanently displaced and towns devastated.  The tsunami itself hit the coast of the Malian Gulf at three different places, reaching towns as far as three quarters of a mile inland.  The force of the tsunami was such that at one place a trireme was lifted out of its dock and thrown over a city wall.
Thucydides gave the following account, noting the characteristic sequence of quake, receding water and huge wave:
About the same time that these earthquakes were so common, the sea at Orobiae, in Euboea, retiring from the then line of coast, returned in a huge wave and invaded a great part of the town, and retreated leaving some of it still under water; so that what was once land is now sea; such of the inhabitants perishing as could not run up to the higher ground in time. A similar inundation also occurred at Atalanta, the island off the Opuntian-Locrian coast, carrying away part of the Athenian fort and wrecking one of two ships which were drawn up on the beach. At Peparethus also the sea retreated a little, without however any inundation following; and an earthquake threw down part of the wall, the town hall, and a few other buildings.
The cause, in my opinion, of this phenomenon must be sought in the earthquake. At the point where its shock has been the most violent the sea is driven back, and suddenly recoiling with redoubled force, causes the inundation. Without an earthquake I do not see how such an accident could happen.]

That is the past connection to Tsunami about which the Sri Lankan President spoke. Mr Sivajilingam seems to have been more focused on War Heroes and hence the summons from TID.  Wikipedia  presents the Funeral Oration of the Greek war as follows:
[The Funeral Oration is significant because it differs from the usual form of Athenian funeral speeches.  David Cartwright describes it as "a eulogy of Athens itself...".  The speech glorifies Athens' achievements, designed to stir the spirits of a state still at war.


The speech begins by praising the custom of the public funeral for the dead, but criticises the inclusion of the speech, arguing that the "reputations of many brave men" should "not be imperilled in the mouth of a single individual".[11] Pericles argues that the speaker of the oration has the impossible task of satisfying the associates of the dead, who would wish that their deeds be magnified, while everyone else might feel jealous and suspect exaggeration.

Praise of the dead in war

Pericles begins by praising the dead, as the other Athenian funeral orations do, by regard the ancestors of present-day Athenians, touching briefly on the acquisition of the empire.
At this point, however, Pericles departs most dramatically from the example of other Athenian funeral orations and skips over the great martial achievements of Athens' past: "That part of our history which tells of the military achievements which gave us our several possessions, or of the ready valour with which either we or our fathers stemmed the tide of Hellenic or foreign aggression, is a theme too familiar to my hearers for me to dwell upon, and I shall therefore pass it by." Instead, Pericles proposes to focus on "the road by which we reached our position, the form of government under which our greatness grew, and the national habits out of which it sprang". This amounts to a focus on present-day Athens; Thucydides' Pericles thus decides to praise the war dead by glorifying the city for which they died.

The greatness of Athens

"If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences...if a man is able to serve the state, he is not hindered by the obscurity of his condition. The freedom we enjoy in our government extends also to our ordinary life. There, far from exercising a jealous surveillance over each other, we do not feel called upon to be angry with our neighbour for doing what he likes..."[14] These lines form the roots of the famous phrase "equal justice under law." The liberality of which Pericles spoke also extended to Athens' foreign policy: "We throw open our city to the world, and never by alien acts exclude foreigners from any opportunity of learning or observing, although the eyes of an enemy may occasionally profit by our liberality..."[15] Yet Athens' values of equality and openness do not, according to Pericles, hinder Athens' greatness, indeed, they enhance it, "...advancement in public life falls to reputations for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with merit...our ordinary citizens, though occupied with the pursuits of industry, are still fair judges of public Athens we live exactly as we please, and yet are just as ready to encounter every legitimate danger."
In the climax of his praise of Athens, Pericles declares: "In short, I say that as a city we are the school of Hellas; while I doubt if the world can produce a man, who, where he has only himself to depend upon, is equal to so many emergencies, and graced by so happy a versatility as the Athenian." Finally, Pericles links his praise of the city to the dead Athenians for whom he is speaking, "...for the Athens that I have celebrated is only what the heroism of these and their like have made her...none of these men allowed either wealth with its prospect of future enjoyment to unnerve his spirit, or poverty with its hope of a day of freedom and riches to tempt him to shrink from danger. No, holding that vengeance upon their enemies was more to be desired than any personal blessings, and reckoning this to be the most glorious of hazards, they joyfully determined to accept the risk... Thus, choosing to die resisting, rather than to live submitting, they fled only from dishonour..."[18] The conclusion seems inevitable: "Therefore, having judged that to be happy means to be free, and to be free means to be brave, do not shy away from the risks of war". With the linkage of Athens' greatness complete, Pericles moves to addressing his audience.

Praise for the military of Athens

In his speech, Pericles states that he had been emphasising the greatness of Athens in order to convey that the citizens of Athens must continue to support the war, to show them that what they were fighting for was of the utmost importance. To help make his point he stated that the soldiers whom he was speaking of gave their lives to a cause to protect the city of Athens, its citizens, and its freedom. He praised Athens for its attributes that stood out amongst their neighbours such as its democracy when he elaborates that trust is justly placed on the citizens rather than relying only on the system and the policy of the city. Where citizens boast a freedom that differs from their enemies' the Lacedaemonians. He regards the soldiers who gave their lives as truly worth of merit. That if anyone should ask, they should look at their final moments when they gave their lives to their country and that should leave no doubt in the mind of the doubtful. He explained that fighting for one's country was a great honour, and that it was like wearing a cloak that concealed any negative implications because his imperfections would be outweighed by his merits as a citizen. He praises the soldiers for not faltering in their execution during the war. That the soldiers put aside their desires and wishes for the greater cause. Because as they are described by Pericles, Athenian citizens were distinct from the citizens of other nations – they were open minded, tolerant, and ready to understand and follow orders. Where their system of democracy allowed them to have a voice amongst those who made important decisions that would affect them. Therefore, he proceeds to point out that the greatest honour and act of valour in Athens is to live and die for freedom of the state Pericles believed was different and more special than any other neighbouring city]

To my mind, Tamil Community backed by India is the parallel of Athens and Sinhalese government  limited to its own forces is the parallel of Sparta
Dr John  Nash of Australian National University opens his paper - SEA POWER IN THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR – as follows:

[The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BCE) was one of the defining conflicts of the ancient Greek world. It involved almost all the Greek city-states, aligned with one of the two main protagonists, Athens and Sparta. Conventionally it is seen as a war between a great land power, Sparta, and a great sea power, Athens. The effect of viewing the war in this way is to give less prominence to the place of sea power in the conduct of the war, with that element viewed as relevant to only one side. Many scholars acknowledge that Athenian war strategy was primarily a maritime strategy and that Sparta only defeated Athens once the former had embraced the use of sea power against the latter.]
The following by Wikipedia further confirms that the Tamil community’s LTTE lead forces are the parallel of Athens:
[The Peloponnesian War reshaped the ancient Greek world. On the level of international relations, Athens, the strongest city-state in Greece prior to the war's beginning, was reduced to a state of near-complete subjection, while Sparta became established as the leading power of Greece. The economic costs of the war were felt all across Greece; poverty became widespread in the Peloponnese, while Athens was completely devastated, and never regained its pre-war prosperity.  The war also wrought subtler changes to Greek society; the conflict between democratic Athens and oligarchic Sparta, each of which supported friendly political factions within other states, made war a common occurrence in the Greek world.]

That which we humans lose control over becomes Nature, for better or for worse. We can protect ourselves from the devastation of Nature by learning from others and/or our own past. To my mind, like the Ancient Greek war – the Sri Lankan  war is closely linked to Tsunami as an effect. Hence when the President advises us to prepare against Tsunami – we need also to prepare against another war.

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