21 September 2020
No Place in Common Sri Lanka for Separatists
[The great Sinhala poet Rapiel Tennakoon in Wavuluwa characterised King Dutugemunu’s war as ‘riding the Sasana to defeat Tamil power’] Sri Lanka: And then they ruled happily ever after?’
That reminds me of the Christian prayer ‘As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.’ I do not know the Buddhist parallel – probably because the way it went in first – i.e. ‘As it was in the beginning was’ was not Buddhist in form, in my case. I attribute the above to my Catholic education in Jaffna. Its Hindu form – Brammah-Vishnu-Shiva is within me through my religious belief. Truth as an experience does not change. It begins with the past manifestation and when there are heirs – it is practiced at present and gives us the Experience which then merges with the experience that was manifested in the past – the past that became our beginning. One who takes the past manifestation and uses it as is, does not have the experience. One who respects the past has it as belief. As they say in Tamil – one who sees stone does not see god and one who sees god does not see stone. The general version of it is ‘one who takes benefits does not have the Experience and v.v.’
Mr CV Wigneswaran clearly referred to the past in National Parliament and some Sinhala Parliamentarians reacted to him. They were both taking current benefits from the past heritage. The parallel of it was manifested by Mr Sivajilingam who is a member of Mr Wigneswaran’s political alliance ‘Thamil Makkal Thesiya Koottani’/Tamil People’s National Alliance. As per news-reports Mr Sivajilingam was arrested recently also for doing at his level – that which Mr Wigneswaran did in Parliament under immunity from prosecution. Since all are Equal before the law, should Mr Sivajilingam also have immunity or should members of Parliament who talk about community issues without a current problem, in National Parliament – be disciplined by the speaker through Parliament’s rules?
The next question is how appropriate is it for rebels who chose the armed pathway instead of the political and / or intellectual pathway to be honoured by current politicians? The LTTE killed Tamil politicians and thereby forewent the Political heritage of the past – as it was in the beginning after the British departed. Rebel victories do not become political heritage. Rebel martyr Thileepan sacrificed towards Rebel victory. This has no current / present medium. It may get such media in the future and if it does – the first ones to go would be politicians who used rebels as their proxies.
In his Colombo Gazette article ‘Where from here Tamil unity on ‘Thileepan memorial’ – Mr N Sathiya Moorthy presents the following:
[no purpose will be served by those leaders sending a joint missive to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to permit public memorial observances for their ‘martyrs’. It is clearly meant to impress the Tamil voters, especially the youth, who felt frustrated at their fratricidal political moves and paper-wars, yes – but the real issue has to be fought in the appellate courts, maybe after holding private discussions with Government leaders at appropriate levels.
Instead, their current move has received instant response from Government spokesman, Keheliya Rambukwella. The Cabinet-rank Minister in Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa team has responded/retorted that only a handful of Tamil politicians are talking about rights and such other things. The rest of them want development and more of the same.]
THIS is the reason why the Rajapaksas won votes not only in South but also ‘collected’ them in Jaffna through their proxy. The above Tamil leadership was promoting itself through claims of Genocide and allegations of war crimes as if it was committed against them and as if Tamil rebels had no part in it. But think about it like you were an ordinary Tamil, wanting your children to have more peace and less pain than you had – thus confirming your own positive contribution to structures that would promote peace. Would you not keep such suffering ‘confidential?’ Since these details are now public Tamil parents would fear their children becoming rebels. Hence they would not vote for those who are likely to repeat the past experiences that are painful to the parents.
The Sinhalese Rajapaksas on the other hand actively celebrated war-victory and thus encouraged their followers to send their children to become part of the Government’s armed forces. This ensured continuity. They did not become transparent about the loss of lives on their side. They were clever. By asking for answers Tamils placed fear in the hearts and minds of the parents and loved ones who themselves would not join the forces. Youth would need a strong emotional inducement to overrule parents and other close relatives – to join armed rebels.
Mr Sathiya Moorthy manifests his observation-based projection as follows:
[given the split verdict in the parliamentary polls, the Tamil political unity should be based on larger issues of political solution and the like. They want the Government to invite them for talks, and they also now want India and the international community to intervene on their behalf all over again. What on what and how?]
But there is one particular heritage that was at the beginning and that was the strong commitment to Public Administration by Tamils. I believe that this heritage that was formed before the armed rebellion – is our strongest heritage. One example happened today at the Sri Lankan Consulate, Sydney. An applicant for Dual Citizenship did not have the original of his birth certificate. The officer said that he needed to apply in Jaffna where it was first registered. The Applicant said that he did not have anyone there. The officer kept repeating that he had to go to Jaffna. I then said that he could apply at the Colombo head office. This was something that the officer needed to know. I knew because a few years back, I went to that office to apply on behalf of a young lady from Thunaivi in Northern Sri Lanka. I thus had the current experience which gave me the corporate wisdom – as if I was both sides.
Majority race is often pampered through handouts whereas minorities who absorbed the discrimination pain and kept going, matured as intellectual Administrators and this heritage could be drawn upon by our heirs anytime, anywhere.
Tamil Emperor Ellalan was defeated in combat by King Dutugemunu who was clever. Ravana also was clever. But Ravana’s mind was not highly structured to share goodness. Cleverness cannot be shared without discipline. The level of discipline needed is proportionate to the height of the value that we seek to share. Hence the higher status of gods as opposed to Asuras driven by brawn power. The higher the mind structure – the stronger the universality of the cleverness. Hence Rama defeated Ravana and shared His victory as Universal goodness.
Whenever Sinhalese through King Dutugemunu, take credit against Tamils, they invoke also the fear of ‘invasion’ in the minds of their dependents who are themselves not very clever fighters. The anxiety of invasion by Indian Armed Forces is far stronger in the minds of Sinhalese than the anxiety in the minds of ordinary Jaffna Tamils who would naturally consider going over to India’s Tamil Nadu. Sinhalese if invaded do not have such a natural option. Hence the ‘imaginary’ opposition ‘ through Sinhala only’ and ‘Buddhism foremost’ articles in the Constitution. They are politically right pictures but are seriously lacking in real political power of belief.
Hence like Pauline Hanson did in 1998 – here in Australia - Buddhist political leaders and their supporters often ask Tamils to ‘go back home’ . What they do not demonstrate is the wisdom that if we did go back home and if we were more strongly National than they – they will be taken back to the times when they were without us – especially to oppose and balance. In today’s measures they would get very low ranking with the global community that young ones seek to be part of. In turn, Tamils who do leave, would get higher grades with the global community provided we do not take revenge to get even with the Sinhalese.
Tamils of Sri Lanka who feel more strongly Sri Lankan than Sinhalese have this ability to return the attacks on those who caused them. Hence the power of the Tamil Diaspora which did connect to the Administrative wisdom of Tamils as they were in the beginning.
What matters is NOT the physical occupation but whether or not we have the eternal soul-power of true ownership which will be forever and exists beyond time and place borders. A Sri Lankan of Sinhala origin would know this about a Sri Lankan of Tamil origin. Sinhala only and Tamil only claimants have to withdraw to their separate areas to enjoy this bliss. If they come out freely into the common area – reserved forever to those who made the sacrifices to become Sri Lankan they miss that opportunity to Experience Nirvana.