22 May 2020
Tiger Headache for Tamils or Lion Nightmare for Buddhists?
[What if — as Thomas Jefferson said — the blood of patriots should be spilled on the tree of revolution at least once in every generation? What if we nullify the government that has nullified our rights?] Sri Lanka Guardian article ‘What If the Government Has It Wrong?’ by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano.
For some reason that I was not particularly conscious of – I started typing Bagawat Geetha in Google. It may have been a combination of my faith in Bagawat Geetha from which I quoted as follows yesterday:
[You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty]
I had by this time noticed in the side column of the Sri Lanka Guardian - the headlines ‘Sri Lanka: Eleven years after Tamil Tigers insurgency’. I did not read the article then but registered the headlines as per my truth. To me the question as to what this war was about and whether this war was just or not is a deep seated one – far more deep seated than the Coronavirus issue. That could be why the following happened : When I typed Bagawat Geetha I was taken to Bagawat instead of Bagawat Geetha. I was surprised to learn that Bagawat meant Rebellion. As a Tamil I already understood that Geetha meant ‘song’. Until today I understood Bagawat to mean – the Lord. Today I was meant to understand it was Rebellion. In essence the great war – in the middle of which the Lord gave us Bagawat Geetha was about Rebellion by minorities against majority who had custody of power through age based seniority.
Is the Rebellion of Tamils the rebellion of patriots? As per oxford dictionary patriot is ‘a person who loves their country and who is ready to defend it against an enemy’
Crucial is the understanding of the word ‘country one loves’. To my mind, the best way to define would be to start with ‘nation’ which is the ‘spirit of the land that is home to us’. The family parallels of county and nation are house and home. To the extent Tamils fought to defend our Home – our pathway was inherited from Pandavar in the great war. Both wars were not limited to the armed battles. During that great war – many kings switched sides towards their personal agendas. But they were not part of the leadership of the war.
Was LTTE therefore the leading power of the war? In their editorial, Sri Lanka Guardian present their ‘judgment’ as follows:
[Eleven years ago the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), a major headache for the Tamil people, was vanquished. The liberation of the Tamil people who had been under the grip of the LTTE was an exceptional experience in counter-insurgency. Instead of their children becoming child soldiers, they went to school and started dreaming about the future. They created the way they wanted to explore the world. Needless to say that the story of other fraternal ethnic groups is the same.]
If indeed the Tamil Tigers were a headache – to the Common Tamil – the Sinhala Buddhist government is a nightmare to that Common Tamil. This was confirmed through the 2009 battle.
The editor goes on to state:
[Hence, the old lesson we learnt is clear. A true leader, as Douglas McArthur once says, “has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” A true leader does not, under any condition, maintain thieves and fraudsters. The primary purpose of democracy is to elect such a leader. Then people will have a good time.]
The only Sri Lankan known to me with all of the above criteria – is myself. Others may have them but the consolidated value is not as strong as mine. What would General Douglas McArthur say about the current President who allegedly liberated the Tamils from the headache?
1. Confidence to stand alone - The current president seems to need his brother Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa to hold his hand and also has demonstrated that he needs armed men to administer unarmed civilians.
2. Courage to make tough decisions – they were made by big brother Mahinda in relation to the elimination of the LTTE
3. Compassion to listen to the needs of others – Tamils had the need to Remember, Mourn and Celebrate their sons and daughters who died in the war. They qualify as ‘others’. Sinhalese soldiers who were listened to by the President were ‘ours’ to the President and not others.
4. Equality of his actions – Overriding civilian leadership during the Covid-19 crisis – firmly gives this president a bad failure in this regard.
5. Integrity of his intent – The integrity of the intent is confirmed by the core purpose of the position – which is the President of Sri Lanka and not the President of Sinhala Buddhists only. As with the coronavirus we do not know the cause but through the effects we know that this President has failed in his duty to assure all communities that he was their president through demonstrated commitment to all communities. When the President took oath at Ruwanwelisaya – he confirmed separatism between Buddhists and Non-Buddhists. The election was not for the Presidency of Buddhists only. Hence he confirmed serious lack of integrity in governing Sri Lanka.
The words of wisdom by Thomas Jefferson go as follows:
[The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.]
There were patriots and tyrants on both sides. If there were no tyrants within the Buddhist armed forces – why did Sri Lanka need curfew with such small number of infections? The virus confirmed that tyrants amongst Buddhists are greater than the patriotic Buddhists. No Buddhist using arms is a Buddhist patriot .