Saturday 28 March 2020

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

28 March  2020

 Saint Yoga Swami – by Pradeepkumar Paramasivam


During this Coronavirus epidemic, we tend to measure through numbers and not relativity.  But the experience is relative to that which is our world. At governments’ level – the American government is doing five times as bad as China and Australia is doing twice as bad as China. In terms of deaths American government is doing twice as bad as China but Australia is four times better than China  and ten times better than the USA.

Yesterday I was stopped by my truth when I emotionally sought to support the Tamil political leadership over its stand in relation to the Pardoning of an Army officer in relation to Mirusuvil massacre in 2000. I received a call from our temple caretakers about the break and enter of youth around our temple in Sangarathai-Thunaivi which is our parallel of Mirusuvil. When my own truth cautions me, I stop and listen. During my challenges with the Administrators of the University of NSW – at one stage – when I was about to dissuade Jeff Warnock – then the Administrative Director of the Faculty of Medicine, not to leave, the message from our friend Sunthu came  - with the picture of Yoga Swami – asking me to Summa Iru / Be still. I did not write to Jeff but let the truth flow. Yesterday’s message was similar. In both instances, I learnt the logic later.

In the case of the Mirisuvil massacre at the centre of the Presidential pardon, Wikipedia presents the following picture:

[The Mirusuvil massacre happened on 20 December 2000, when eight internally displaced refugees returning to inspect their property were arrested on 19th December 2000 in a village named Mirusuvil close to Jaffna. They were subsequently murdered allegedly by Sri Lankan Army soldiers and buried in a mass grave, about 16 miles east of Jaffna town.
The refugees had returned from Udupiddy, further north. They returned to Mirusuvil on 19 December to inspect their houses and to collect firewood, when they were seized by the Army. The refugees had obtained permission from local authorities before visiting their former properties.
According to the evidence of District Medical Officer, Dr. C. Kathirvetpillai, their throats had been slashed. The dead included three teenagers and five-year-old Vilvarajah Prasath.  The murders came to light because one of the arrested, Ponnuthurai Maheswaran allegedly escaped from Army custody with serious injuries and informed relatives. Eventually the Sri Lankan government charged five Sri Lankan Army soldiers with illegal arrests, torturemurder and burial of their dead bodies in a mass grave. The case was still pending in 2007.]

Mirusuvil, where the massacre happened and was the home area of the victims was within  the high security zone and also near Muhamalai where the LTTE had their checkpoints. I went as an ordinary person - through those checkpoints many times during the war. Udupiddy is more than 40 kms north of Mirusuvil. It therefore does not make sense that the victims would come all that way to collect firewood. More importantly, almost a year prior to on 18 December 1999 that the LTTE  killed  28 and injured 80 and blinded President Kumaratunga in one eye. While the victims may have been unaware of this - the soldiers are likely to have been on an emotional high due to that bombing by the LTTE.

The government in Northern Sri Lanka – at that time was the LTTE. It was their duty to protect civilians. Permission from the local authorities is of no use and is most unacceptable. A genuine authority would have refused permission under those circumstances.

As a whole – we, the community failed those victims. If they were LTTE supporters  - then the suffering was NOT punishment but part of the war in which civilians have no say.

‘Summa Iru’ is  the right way if we are to not encourage another war. The Diaspora wants to win at the UN level. To win – they must pick the losses where the LTTE has no parallel record. LTTE killed Tamil politicians. That was its way. If we continue to be blind to that – then we have no authority to use the law against the opposition. The base needs to be truth of the person applying the law and/or the demonstrated respect of the side for the law at the level of the institution – in this instance the UN.

Unless we so regulate this -   we would become more and more like the very opposition / enemy we are finding fault with. That is the way the enemy who fills our mind brainwashes us through ourselves.

In Tamil (Indian) cinema, we often hear the saying ‘Even god cannot change it’. This means that god is less powerful than the claimant. What kind of logic is that? I am yet to hear any other Tamil oppose and dismiss such claim as blasphemous.  When we become part of such audience, they write the script for us – including for the next war – as MGR the cinema hero turned Chief Minister wrote in LTTE leader’s brain.

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