Monday 19 October 2020


Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

19 October  2020



Freedom of Choice

When young, we are driven by desire based thoughts more than belief based feelings. Later, we feel bad about some of the choices we then made. As per my discovery, the choices we make more through desires and less through belief – are more likely to make us dependent on others. Maintaining that ‘Freedom to Choose’ at the same level or higher is part of the positive outcome of the choice we made.

Wikipedia presents the following picture in this regard:

[Freedom of choice describes an individual's opportunity and autonomy to perform an action selected from at least two available options, unconstrained by external parties]

Being in an environment that is ‘unconstrained by external parties’ is an essential criterion to knowing  whether our choice was ‘free, influenced or enforced’. These days when I am invited to functions I have to decide between the option of going to honour someone who believes in me or not going to confirm distance developed by the choices made by those who thought they were ‘free’ to render priority to someone else above me. This becomes more and more difficult where there are cultural differences. But despite the physical absence, I tend to mentally follow or oppose them due to my need to preserve the belief based investment I made in them. In those instances the choice is made for me by our common belief. THAT to me is confirmation of ‘freedom’.

They say in Hindu religion that ‘Dharma protects those who protect Dharma’. The former Dharma is the Universal Dharma. The latter is the individual Dharma. As per natural laws – the two merge  unconstrained by external parties’.

How do we know whether we are protected by that Universal Dharma? When we subsequently know that the decision we made fits naturally with our mental environment in peace. The current challenge faced by us in New South Wales about whether our elected premier ought to have gone public with any information regarding corruption in one of her colleagues or that it was right to have kept it ‘confidential’ due to personal relationship is such a question. To my mind, given that the person concerned is from her party requires a different approach to if the person was from the opposition – and therefore an ‘external’ party. The lady is elected premier and not appointed officer. Belief must govern the former and written law needs to influence the latter.

In his Sunday Times article ‘ If somebody else decides for you …’, Dr Sirimal Abeyratne presents the following:

[After living so long in our Third World democracies, we are quite appreciative of the concept of “political freedom”. But I am not sure whether we appreciate the concept of “economic freedom” to the same extent.]

As per my experience, I feel ‘economic freedom’ more than ‘political freedom’ here in Australia where at first sight I am considered a minority power. This often leads me to separate myself to preserve my investment at the level of ‘closure’ in active political life – primarily at the public workplace which is closely influenced by government politics.  

I do feel political freedom in Sri Lanka due to my belief that I am Sri Lankan and am therefore a senior to Sinhala only or Tamil only nationalists. I feel economic freedom in Sri Lanka largely due to merging as a common Australian-Sri Lankan. Dr Abeyratne presents the global grading as follows:

[Out of 180 countries, there are six countries which have the highest economic freedom and are classified as “free” – Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, and Ireland.]

Australia’s grading of economic freedom is confirmed by my experience also. Often we migrants rest satisfied with ‘economic’ freedom in our new nations due to lack of  governance heritage in governance. Devolution of power on the basis of belief based groupings often helps us to fulfil this ‘urge’ to be politically free. This was also the case in Sri Lanka through our Customary laws until ‘Sinhala only’ and ‘Buddhism foremost’ policies by the government became ‘enforcements’. This ultimately has resulted in China Foremost in economic policy.

Dr Abeyratne states:

[Lack of economic freedom means that the “choices” are limited for individuals as well as for the nation. The lack of “rule of law” means that people do not have the real “ownership” to property so that they have no choice to convert their property to create wealth. The lack of judicial effectiveness and government’s integrity means that there is uncertainty and unfairness which constrain people’s choices, blocking their way to progress.]

I believe that where the individual is politically free – the measure of ‘economic progress’ needs to determined through their local parameters and not through global measures that are foreign to them. I believe that when we spend as per our belief – we will always earn enough to spend. This I believe is due to mind-merger with those who are seniors in a group of common belief. Laws help regulate this relationship but belief renders direct access to each other’s freedom and opportunities. Belief based sharing is that Ultimate reality that most religions that have withstood the tests of time and place lead us to. The end of economic progress is that economic freedom – towards which we often need to stay away from those who show more money wealth than us and tend to take higher  status over us on that basis.

As a country – Sri Lanka has failed to regulate itself economically and hence the loss of public property to China with whom the Common Sri Lankan has no Common belief and therefore has no relationship. Sri Lanka and China are therefore Equals on world stage.

Every true relationship needs common belief. Now that it has happened, we need to distance ourselves from that part or find ways of developing stronger common belief with China in which case China becomes our senior. The former would be more easy for Sri Lankans through self-devolution of power. This happens automatically when we believe and that belief informs us from within as to which our natural sovereign borders are. Most religious leaders, including Buddha took this approach of self-devolution which resulted in elimination of externals. Where there is strong desire, externs influence us easily and then takeover and brainwash us including through handouts.


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