Sunday 29 March 2020

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

29 March  2020

Commonness  vs. Particularization

I walked into the Bangladeshi Supermarket in Eastlakes, NSW, Australia. Before going to the Flour isle  I paused at the biscuits and cookies isle. I do not know why I did so – because I was looking for Atta (wholemeal)  Flour. My eyes went to ‘Nankhatai’.  I had not tasted them until now but remember an experience shared by my mother. In Burma, my mother and her sisters grew up in the same household as their cousin Padma. According to my mum – Aunt Padma had shared the Nankhatai that her mum gave her,  with her cousin Manon who was also very fond of the sweet. Aunt Padma’s mum did not have enough to go around, and hence quietly gave only her daughter. But Aunt Padma being a sharing soul – shared with her cousin. In later life Aunt Padma was never wanting in family goodwill support. Yesterday, when I came across the ‘Nankhatai’ – none of the above three members of the family were with me physically or living currently in any part of the world. But the value of the sweet sharing was with me.

Our children had organized to gather in our home together with Arun our nephew, for my birthday. The arrangements got cancelled due to the social distancing rules and also non-essential travel from Melbourne where two of our children live. I did receive wishes from our MPs – State and Federal. I was happy about it. But I must have missed the family subconsciously and hence the three good mothers in our family must have drawn me to the ‘Nankhatai’. To me that was blessing from our common mother.

To become Common – we need to forego the particular. Hence now I look for influences and reasons beyond the physical and mental to identify with the causal forces. After the above experience this morning  Aunt Padma’s son Ravi arranged for me to have conference chat – with his sisters in Brisbane and Toronto as well as my sister in Singapore - which was better than having a party. All this confirmed to me yet again that Energy which is accessed through Common Belief leads us to higher level enjoyment.

I recalled this morning, the parallel to the above sharing,  by Swadesh Roy’s article ‘Will China’s strategic embrace of Myanmar spell more trouble for Rohingyas?’ in the South Asia Monitor which included the following about me:

[Author and journalist Gajalakshmi Paramasivam headlined one of her articles on Sri Lanka as ‘Tamils out and China in’. Paramasivam regularly writes about the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils in newspapers, portals and blogs. Among others who have worked on Sri Lanka’s Tamil genocide is writer and journalist Frances Harrison, whose stupendous work 'Still Death Counting', recounts details of that genocide and how brutally human beings are killed and become refugees for economic or business interests.]

That respect shared publicly earned Swadesh Roy my natural blessings. My writings are based on my truth escalated as per the need of the group on behalf of whom I write. In the case of Tamils, I shared my feelings due to indicators beginning with Shangrila hotel fire. Now when Sri Lanka has restricted movement through curfew but continues to indicate hopes of tourism boost after this pandemic is over and done with, where would China rank in terms of tourism arrivals in Sri Lanka? As per my knowledge, last year, China ranked second after India in Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka. The simple minded Sri Lankan would call it the China virus. Each one is right as per the level at which they think. In an ethnically divided country – the China factor is likely to be a strong apparent causal reason. Scientific reasoning would be the way of  one who thinks in Common. Since Buddhism is particularized in the Sri Lankan Constitution and Sinhalese is particularized in the mind of majority Sri Lankans – the depth of the common Sri Lankan mind is likely to particularise and not think in Common Scientific terms.

Is this therefore the karma that the current Sri Lankan government earned through Chinese handouts – especially during the war? Was  the UNP guided by its intuition when its leader Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe silently handed over he reigns to the President’s brother? With or without Article 150 (3) through which the Prime Minister is claiming that the President has the authority to draw funds from the Consolidated Reserves – the Coronavirus has seriously damaged the travel and tourism industry. Is China being punished for influencing particularization? Is it this government’s karma to go through this crisis after dissolving parliament? Did the President lack the intuition to expect this extended suspension? Is it due to weak investment in Commonness?

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