Sunday 4 October 2020


Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

04 October  2020



Jaffna Woman Suppressed by Man

The law of Thesawalamai upholds through separation of powers – gender based equality and work based hierarchy which was the true basis of the caste system. Work based hierarchy promoted belief based inheritance of skills. But the abuse of this system resulted in the abuser becoming a victim in wider world. If abuses had been opposed in Jaffna – we would have intellectually opposed racial discrimination in areas dominated by Sinhala Buddhists. As per the system of karma we got that which we manifested in our areas of control.

Mrs Sashikala Raviraj revealed expectations that she won a seat in parliament. As per the published reports, the lady did not get enough Preference votes within her party to enter Parliament. As per my calculations, 22% of those who voted for TNA did not either have any preferences or had other preferences than the first three – i.e. Sritharan, Sumanthiran & Siddharthan. This could have been caused by the structure of this system – which indiscriminately mixes the internal preferences within a party with the external voting system applicable to all parties. When the law is not balanced – the manifestations through that law would not reflect the truth. The highest of such wasted preferences have come from Tamil Congress led by Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam (43%) and TMTK led by Mr Wigneswaran (40%).  It is interesting to note that they both made Tamil Nationalism as their mandate. Both carry educational titles that confirm intellectual ability. Neither is known to have published a report on the validity of the Preference voting allocation which takes away Divisional level participation in National law making. Given the Male dominance in Jaffna, despite Thesawalamai – and because of Rebel leadership – those in Jaffna district are more likely to recognize males above females.

In his Daily FT article ‘A Constitution for the country or a few individuals?’ Raj Gonsalkorale highlights this problem as follows:

[The other major issue is about how the rights and interests of minorities and women find expression in the Constitution. The notion that all are equal in the eyes of the law and the Constitution is a noble motherhood statement, but in practice and in reality, this is not so. Both sections of society need affirmative action to make sure the majority view does not trample on the rights of these two major groups. Ironically, the female population in Sri Lanka in fact is the majority population (almost 52%), yet, the country is dominated by the male population as seen by the fact that there are only 12 female parliamentarians out of the total 225 in the newly elected Parliament.]

In Jaffna, the ‘Missing Persons’ Issue’ is female dominated. It is also the issue that has caused deepest damage to the sense of Independence that Jaffna Tamils declared we had. If Missing Persons’ issue is one of our main problems – that ought to have been represented by our belief based votes for women representatives. That would have promoted more women to become like Mrs Sashikala Raviraj who is educated and is also a victim of the excesses of rebel politics which killed her husband. But the problem is that Mrs Sashikala Raviraj has posted on her Facebook page on 15 September her tribute to Thileepan. I have no knowledge of Mrs Raviraj expressing appreciation for Ms Thamilini who led the female cadre within LTTE politics. Relative to Thileepan, Thamilini made more sacrifices as a woman to uphold a male dominated structure.

We may assess – as per surface outcomes and hence majority vote; we may assess intellectually through rights and wrongs allocated through a common law/measure or we may assess through our realised truth, with our conscience as our judge . The first and the last are examples of physical-only and feelings respectively. They are both one way pathways. Former is least reliable and latter is perfectly reliable.

Thus when our expressions and actions lack belief – we become unstable and therefore disqualify ourselves as leaders. Politics is one way path and therefore has to be belief based for it to lead to the destination of self-governance.

Jaffna is the beginning of my intellectual pathway. I was never distracted from it despite Jaffna being strongly influenced by rebel politics, including through the University of Jaffna. Hence my prayers to Jaffna spirits including through Catholic forms, in relation to education, are always answered including for my Australian grandchildren. Had I polluted it by alternate pathways – I would have diluted this Energy. This seems to have happened to Mrs Sashikala Raviraj.

It is time for Tamils to seek a voting system that the Jaffna Commoner would naturally follow through belief. 13th Amendment and 20th Amendment become meaningless without a reliable voting system that would connect the believer to National politics through network of belief. Otherwise we are effectively cheating ourselves.

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