Saturday 28 December 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

28 December  2019


As requested by me – my husband went looking for the hose in our storage area. He said it was not there. A few hours later – I went for a walk and when returning to your home unit – thought of looking for the hose myself. I had in mind – the enclosed part of the storage area. But as I neared that area, I started walking towards a big basket in the open area of our storage space. As I started looking I kept going deeper and deeper into the basket. There it was! This was because I was seeking and my husband was merely looking though surface memory because in this activity he did not have deep memory that comes with experience. As I explained to my husband later – that hose was the consolidated experience of its core purpose not only here in our Coogee home but also in Thunaivi- Vaddukoddai where a big part of her was taken personally by me to facilitate temple activities which are needed to preserve the ownership of that land which was at risk of being illegally occupied by the folks in that area who were empowered by arms during the war. When we go deeper and deeper into an issue we become that. Hence the Hindu saying -  Tat tvam Asi / Thou Art That .
ITAK – the largest Tamil Political party in Sri Lanka - celebrated 70 years on 18 December:
‘ The Speech on the Seventieth Anniversary of the Federal Party on 18 Dec. 2019 at the Young Artistes Forum Jaffna by M.A. Sumanthiran MP, PC, Associate Secretary General, Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi’  was published yesterday by Daily Mirror.
Mr Sumanthiran included the following in that speech:
[After the year 1970, after withdrawing from efforts to promulgate the First Republican Constitution, ITAK’s Non-cooperation and Civil Disobedience struggle reached a climax. From the time Thanthai Chelva resigned from his Parliamentary seat, the idea that we are not bound by the republican constitution gained wide currency and strength among Tamils.
 As an outgrowth of that development, the Tamil United Front was formed and the latter soon became the Tamil United Liberation Front at the 1976 Convention where the Vaddukoddai Resolution was adopted. As a consequence of our just demands for federalism being ignored and sidelined by the state, that watershed Vaddukoddai Resolution emphasised that we would re-establish our sovereignty that we lost to Europeans in our colonial history. As a result of that resolution the Secretary General of ITAK and three of its MPs were arrested and charged, and tried before a bench of three High Court Judges, consisting of a Trial-at-Bar. 
Representing the accused were a team of three Queens Counsel led by Thanthai Chelva, the other two being G.G. Ponnamabalam and Murugesu Tiruchelvam. Besides these legal giants, 64 other lawyers also appeared for the defence. They argued that the Republican Constitution had no force in law and that the Emergency Regulations had not been properly promulgated. That Trial-at-Bar bench accepted the second of these arguments advanced by the accused and set them free. 
Wikipedia presents the following picture in this regard:
[In 1972 the ITAK, ACTC and others formed the Tamil United Front (later renamed Tamil United Liberation Front). Amirthalingam was delivering leaflets along with other leading Tamil politicians (M. SivasithamparamV. N. NavaratnamK. P. Ratnam and K. Thurairatnam) in 1976 when they were all arrested on government orders. Sivasithamparam was released but the others were taken to Colombo and tried for sedition. All the defendants were acquitted after a famous trial at bar case in which 72 Tamil lawyers including S. J. V. Chelvanayakam and G. G. Ponnambalam acted for the defence.]
There is a third dimension identified with by me through the following:
[Chockalinga Chittibabu commonly known as Mayor Chittibabu was an Indian politician and former Member of Parliament elected from Tamil Nadu. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Chengalpattu constituency as a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate in 1967 and 1971 elections. He was first elected to the Madras Corporation in 1958 and was the Mayor of Madras in 1965. He was arrested under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act after Indira Gandhi declared emergency and the DMK government was dismissed in 1976.He was jailed along with DMK leaders and Chittibabu died of injuries and police torture suffered while trying to save M.K.Stalin in Central Prison, Madras .
The year of 1975 was a tough time for India and its democracy. That year, Indira Gandhi, the then Congress Prime Minister of India, declared Emergency on the Country, suppressing civil rights and unleashing a rein of terror.
MK Stalin a leader of DMK, was just beginning to step into politics. MK Stalin did not expect it to get as bad as it did end up becoming. C. Chittibabu, decided to accompany MK Stalin as both were taken away to prison. All top leaders were taken under arrest. He (Stalin) later recalled that "for that moment, it was comforting to see a few known faces." Having Chittibabu, Arcot Veerasamy, Neela Naryanan and V.S.Govindarajan around helped in dispelling the fear of uncertainty.
That relief would never last. Cramped cells, unhygienic floors and walls that served to urinate and heavily salted porridge with chillies for breakfast was enough to break the strongest man. Everyday, C. Chittibabu's family would try to visit and he himself tried his hardest to send letters. MK Stalin was singled out, one night, and was beaten in the most inhuman way by jail supervisors. They had not expected him to live to tell of this. Chittibabu lunged forward and took several of these blows. But they were fatal.] - Wikipedia
Whether we recognize it or not our true parents would continuously influence us and v.v. That is the way of Nature. In my yesterday’s article, I identified with a parent picture through the War between Athens & Sparta in Ancient Greece during which Tsunami happened. To my mind Sri Lanka is an heir of that Greece. Hence I received the following:
[In 416 B.C. — while the Buddha was alive and teaching the Dharma according to some sources — the Athenian navy launched an expedition against the island of Melos in the sixteenth year of the Peloponnesian War.  Before commencing their attack, the Athenians met with the Melians to try to arrange the terms of their surrender. The Melians, convinced of the justness of their cause, refused.  The Athenians then attacked with overwhelming force, slaying all their men of military age, and enslaving their women and children.
Thucydides, the great Athenian historian, reports (or rather imagines) a dialogue between the Athenians and Melians in which the Athenians argued, essentially, that might — along with the rational calculation of self-interest — made right. The Athenians rejected the argument that the gods would support Melos because of the justness of it’s cause:
 “When you speak of the favor of the gods, we may as fairly hope for that as yourselves…. Of the gods we believe, and of men we know, that by a necessary law of their nature they rule wherever they can. And it is not as if we were the first to make this law, or to act upon it when made: we found it existing before us, and shall leave it to exist for ever after us; all we do is to make use of it, knowing that you and everybody else, having the same power as we have, would do the same as we do.”] - MELIAN DIALOGUE- How Many Divisions Does The Buddha Have?

By Buddhist Publication Society
P.O. Box 61
54, Sangharaja Mawatha
Kandy, Sri Lanka

To my mind, both – the Indian Chittibabu experience and the above message were brought to me by my true belief as global minded Sri Lankan.
In 1972, the first Sri Lankan Constitution included the ‘Buddhism Foremost’ article as part of the Constitution. Until then, the land called Sri Lanka had its own customary laws – each community being like city-states of Athens and Sparta:

[During the so-called “Greek Dark Ages” before the Archaic period, people lived scattered throughout Greece in small farming villages. As they grew larger, these villages began to evolve. Some built walls. Most built a marketplace (an agora) and a community meeting place. They developed governments and organized their citizens according to some sort of constitution or set of laws. They raised armies and collected taxes. And every one of these city-states (known as poleis) was said to be protected by a particular god or goddess, to whom the citizens of the polis owed a great deal of reverence, respect and sacrifice. (Athens’s deity was Athena, for example; so was Sparta’s.) Ancient Greece - HISTORY.COM EDITORS]

 Article 3 of the 1972 Constitution stated:

[In the Republic of Sri Lanka sovereignty is in the People and is inalienable. ]

Only to the extent of one’s belief can one claim to be Sovereign. At that time – this would have included belief in the British laws which was commonly applicable to all.

Article 6 of the 1972 Constitution stated:

[The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Section 18(1)(d).]

Belief is Absolute/Sovereign  power. Sri Lankan Police Motto is [One who lives by the Dhamma is protected by the Dhamma itself].
 One who believes in Buddhism will be protected by Buddhism. One who believes in Hinduism, Islam or Christianity cannot be protected by Buddhism. Likewise, one who believes in Buddhism does not have the authority to empower any non-Buddhist in order to satisfy article 3. Article 6 of the 1972 Constitution and Article 9 of the current Constitution of Sri Lanka are ultra vires not only Article 3 but the principles of Democracy itself.
Buddhist Police therefore are not authorised to arrest non-Buddhists. The question I ask Mr Sumanthiran is “How come the Tamil Legal Giants ‘Thanthai Chelva, G.G. Ponnamabalam and Murugesu Tiruchelvam’  assisted by 64 lawyers did not raise this issue when their clients  were arrested and prosecuted?”

How come Mr Sumanthiran who is presented by Wikipedia as ‘one of Sri Lanka's top human rights and constitutional lawyers’ did not raise this issue during the 19th Amendment when TNA was the leading Opposition in Parliament and ought to have had the insight of the People through the alternate pathway?
Neither Constitution is logically complete due to ‘Buddhism foremost’ requirement / order which is relative. A provision cannot be Absolute and Relative at the same time. Hence, as per the unwritten Constitution of Sri Lanka – we went back to our Customary laws and formed city-states. Even the 13th Amendment was  invalid due to  Batticaloa Tamils being governed by Mukkuva law and Jaffna Tamils by Thesawalamai law.  Now that the two provinces are separated – by  Courts they qualify as per article 3.

Our karma travels with us and if we are not active in the current laws – karma manifests Itself for better or for worse. Vaddukoddai Resolution was in opposition to Sinhala-Buddhists who argued as the Athenians did back then: “When you speak of the favor of the gods, we may as fairly hope for that as yourselves…. Of the gods we believe, and of men we know, that by a necessary law of their nature they rule wherever they can. And it is not as if we were the first to make this law, or to act upon it when made: we found it existing before us, and shall leave it to exist for ever after us; all we do is to make use of it, knowing that you and everybody else, having the same power as we have, would do the same as we do.”

But Buddhist law does not permit Buddhists to rule over others. If it did – it makes a fallacy of Buddha’s teachings.

In turn when Armed Militants killed the Hon Appapillai Amirthalingam – that heritage of  non-violent opposition to Buddhism Foremost was killed and until that is addressed, no member of ITAK – including Mr Sumanthiran has the moral authority to refer to the Hon Chelvanayagam as Thanthai / Father.  The real inheritance is not the money nor status but the values through which one lived.  

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