Saturday 18 January 2020

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

18 January  2020

What If Ranjan is True but Unlawful?

Gandhi is reported to have said ‘There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.’ This was further reinforced by the following: In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.”

Gandhi accordingly acted as per his conscience and accepted the punishment by the Court of Justice – then controlled by the British.

The most actively discussed Judicial case currently in Sri Lanka is the one against UNP lawmaker  Mr Ranjan Ramanayake’s recordings of conversations. Journalist Ayub asks ‘Why only Ranjan?’

My question back then in June 2018  was ‘Why only Vijayakala Maheswaran?’. Ranjan then recorded his conversation with Mrs Vijayakala Maheswaran and published it. (Ref )

Mrs Maheswaran was dealt with as per the law but to our knowledge Ranjan was not disciplined internally by the UNP. Had the UNP disciplined Ranjan back then – Ranjan would have had the opportunity to correct himself in terms of interfering with the privacy of another member of his own party, leave alone a fellow citizen.

As per the Island article headed ‘Ranjan’s disclosure likely ground for defence against BASL-filed defamation case’:
[The civil society activist said that the question of ethics couldn’t be ignored. MP Ramanayake owed an explanation to the public as well as each and every individual secretly recorded by him. The conduct of lawmakers and officials were recorded in good faith, Warnasuriya said adding that people depended on them. A lawmaker’s conduct should have been guided by what the lawyer called utmost good faith, the former JVP National List nominee said. Alleging that the UNP lawmaker had caused irreparable damage to the entire social system, Warnasuriya compared the crisis to post-tsunami situation.]

Mr Warnasuriya, who is described by the Island as ‘civil society activist’ wrote to me as follows on 24 November 2019:

[Dear sender;
Please be careful when you attempt to generalize people ... I am VERY PROUD to be a SINHALESE and consider ALL RACES EQUAL as SRI LANKANS, please don't create unnecessary problems by publishing JUNK like this.
You will be added to my JUNK SENDERS if you circulate any further RACIAL HATRED to me.]

The above was in response to my article headed ‘SINHALESE ARE RESPONSIBBLE FOR WAR CRIMES’.
I believe that when we declare our Truth – we automatically empower that place and period. That is the value of Truth. Our Conscience is the Court of Natural Justice in which we are the applicant / prosecution and we are the respondent / accused. My article was written on that basis. It was not generalization but consolidated commonness – by including Sinhalese as part of me through Sri Lanka. To the extent I found fault with the LTTE – I had the responsibility to use the same measure when I had knowledge that majority Sinhalese endorsed the current President who is recognized as war-hero and who therefore is part of the other side of victims of war.
No judge in the apparent system of Justice may identify with my conclusion. But Sri Lanka would be healthier due to such sharing. The ‘rights’ as per our conscience become positive Energy to us and our environment and the ‘wrongs’ as per our conscience become negative Energy to us and our environment. Just because we prove that we were right to the custodians of benefits – does not mean that we were right as per our conscience. To know whether we are – we need to renounce all benefits from that inner trial / search.
In contrast – I had a different experience of Victor Ivan who declares in his article ‘Nudity Exposed’:
[The reading habits of both politicians and the public of Sri Lanka are limited. They read very little. Therefore, the service that can be rendered by serious books or articles is limited. But, it is easy to understand the short footage of Ranjan’s voice recordings. They even contain the element of obscenity or vulgarity which generally people are fond of. These voice recordings while revealing the nakedness of the entire institutional system and the extent of its degeneration, make the public feel the stench emanating from it. ]

A few years back I was facilitated by the Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum, Sydney to talk about the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka and I chose to analyse the Tamil side on the basis of caste. Then former Attorney General of Sri Lanka Mr Sunil De Silva started saying that there could be similar cause for the JVP uprising. Then a young supporter of JVP suppressed any discussion from that angle. I mentioned it in my articles. But a couple of years later – I found a copy of a book by Victor in the home of a friend of mine and realised that he had similar thought structures in this regard. Wikipedia confirms it as follows:

["Social background of Youth Rebels of Sri Lanka" in which he argues that the caste system, apart from being a major factor in the youth insurrections in the Sinhala South, has equally become a crucial factor in the youth insurrections triggered by the Tamil youths in the North as well.]
Hence there developed a commonness through honest sharing as ‘insiders’. That is the universal power of Truth. In a multicultural society – so long as we share our truth with our home-group – the system of Truth does the rest. Thus every Truth published by us comes with us. If the motive is to share in someone else’s pain –then it becomes the common law that binds us.

Ranjan benefited from Vijayakala’s pain and demotion. He probably was not aware of it due to his excitement in recording and publishing a Tamil leader’s ignorance in Politics and Governance. But because Vijayakala is part of the Tamil community that has empowered UNP – that became negative Energy in Politics of Ranjan.

Those who bring the other side as part of themselves discipline confidentially. The UNP’s current problems with its younger members including Sajith is this lack of acceptance of seniors’ authority. That is the strength of the Rajapaksas. Once UNP’s younger members respect the seniors and/or their positions – they will naturally be the winners of the position to lead the whole of Sri Lanka.

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