Tuesday 2 June 2020

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

02 June  2020


I walked out the lift after facilitating the workers to leave the building. Our neighbour and wife were waiting to go out but paused for a discussion with me. The discussion was about security camera for our floor. There was no apology for what happened about a week ago when another neighbour who was drunk was trying to open our door and we had to call the Police. I kept saying that additional security cameras would not help me under similar circumstances but our neighbour kept promoting his agenda. But towards the end the couple revealed that there was a major incident during the weekend, in a unit owned by another member of the Managing Committee. I was informed that the Police were there for more than 3 hours and yet had not brought about any charges – despite witnesses being available. Like the law, the evidence seemed to have become irrelevant and the power of the committee member was taken to tell me how good the security cameras would be – for example for defamation charges.

I was satisfied that the system of Natural Justice had yet again delivered the right judgment on the committee member who failed in his duty to me. Then I knew that my belief  had yet again worked for me. On 18 May 2020, I wrote as follows to the Committee:

[The reasons why I would exercise my rights would include unlawful discrimination outside merit basis, - on the basis of  Race (the most apparent difference) , Gender and age in that order. Right now I include all of you as part of the Coogee View family and hence I choose not to invoke that reason against Aleks and Dee who seem more my children’s age than mine. But the more I am treated as an ‘outsider’ the more conscious I would become of the above reasons. It is my DUTY as a law-abiding Australian to be conscious of such reasons when I am hurt outside merit basis – as my independent interpretation the merit. ]

The riots in the USA are generally seen to be race related. Tom Switzer presents the following picture through his Sydney Morning Herald opinion  ‘Trump fans flames of resentment and hatred’:

[For several decades, America has been a deeply divided nation, but it has grown more so in the Trump era. It’s not just that hostility from those in one political party towards those in the other has risen. Divisions between urban and rural America, between those with university degrees and those without, have also widened.
As the crisis in Minneapolis and other cities demonstrates, race also remains a significant fault line. Of course, the immediate spark for the protests and subsequent riots was the truly horrifying footage of last week’s encounter between African-American man George Floyd and the Minneapolis police: an officer is seen pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck while his pleas for help are ignored before he dies. ]
There are anti-discrimination laws in most democratic countries. But how they are practiced varies from environment to environment. Here in Australia, as per my experience it is largely theoretical due to the difficulty of direct evidence. Most of it is subconscious. Hence a breach is identified with largely through indicators. If the judge/police is more culturally common to the accused – then the complainant fails.

May 25 was memorial day in the USA in the memory of military personnel. As per Wikipedia report: ‘According to a co-owner of Cup Foods, Floyd attempted to use a $20 bill that a staff member suspected as counterfeit

During Covid19 time depression, would have been high and the depressed mind fails to think rationally. Given that George Floyd was apparently of different race to the Café owner – the Police needed proof that it was indeed counterfeit note – before taking any action. When the Police minds were high due also to memorial day elevation of their community’s status – the need to have proof would have been set aside. When I peacefully waited to speak to the Vice Chancellor of the University of NSW – the University Security asked me to leave and when I questioned them as to their authority on the basis of law – they called the Police. That was collusion which elevated their status in their own minds. Later when the Police listed me as Sri Lankan and I corrected them saying I was by law, Australian, they did not correct their records nor did they call for evidence. They were right and I was wrong. But because I was true – the real reason why they elevated their status – manifested as ‘race’ – as declared by them. It’s like in the law of Prescription. You may have lawful documentary title; but if they believed you of a particular race – that is what they list you as. This is our ultimate reality. Even though America is hurting – the above Australian did not express any concern for my above mentioned indication that I was not heard because of my race. If they had to systematically calculate and write the right answers – most of these officers would not be in the Police.

The law works positively for those who respect the law and eventually believe in the law that they would not take easier shortcuts. In terms of Protests – this is what Gandhi established successfully. A law that the community to which it applies is not believed by that community’s elected leaders – the law becomes a foreign law. According to Politico report:‘Trump received just 8 percent of the black vote in 2016, and his campaign aides concede he’s never going to win more than a narrow slice of African American support.’

In Sri Lanka the current President received only around 4% of Tamil votes. This is largely due to the pain of 2009 war. The Franchise being Universal would naturally work exponentially against ‘face values’ – to the extent the Tamils believed that they were disenfranchised – especially by repetitive claims of ‘Victory’ by the government.  How that manifests would vary as per the need of the believer. The Memorial in honour of armed forces invoked its parallel in the Black community – presented as follows by Wikipedia:

[In the wake of community outrage in Minneapolis, the bus stop at the site of Floyd's death on Chicago Avenue became a makeshift memorial throughout May 26, with many placards paying tribute to him and referencing the Black Lives Matter movement]

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