Monday 1 February 2021


Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

01 February   2021





Today is my mother’s 95th  birth anniversary. My first prayer this morning was ‘thanksgiving’. I believe that to the extent it is genuine, it would go instantaneously to my mother in her current form. That I believe is the way of Universal Power.


We Hindus believe in rebirth. The secular way the modern world recognizes the unborn child is through Foetal Rights. As per Wikipedia ‘Fetal rights are the moral rights or legal rights of the human fetus under natural and civil law As per Wikipedia:


[Several Hindu texts on ethics and righteousness, such as Dharmaśāstra, give fetus a right to life from conception, although in practice such texts are not always followed.]



When the  rights of an unborn child are recognised and protected, so should the rights of the dead who are not visible to the physical eye  but is carried as part of the person whose body is visible. My mother is thus recognised through me. We have memorials (individual and/or collective) to promote this and that becomes the customary law of the group that collectively practices the belief in life after death.


When done collectively, we need a firm structure through which to regulate such practice. The installation of war related memorials at the University of Jaffna seriously damaged the core structures of the University itself. Then there was the recent outcry regarding the demolition of the memorial for victims of war. This was international, confirming yet again that the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka was international and therefore the participants are bound by the principles of Geneva Conventions.  Sri Lanka is a party to these conventions.


GENEVA CONVENTION IV OF 12 AUGUST 1949 RELATIVE TO THE PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS IN TIME OF WAR, applies to civilians as opposed to combatants. Article 3 states:


[ART. 3. — In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

b) taking of hostages;

c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for. An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict. The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention. The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.


Various representations are being made at UN level in relation to the Sri Lankan war. But it is not clear as to who represents the LTTE and therefore the victims of the LTTE.


Let us not forget that Tamil Politicians declared Political Independence through Vaddukoddai Resolution 1976. Are they therefore not responsible for the breaches by their side – on the same basis that the elected government at national level is responsible for breaches by its side?


When we Hindus chant Sivapuranam for those who have left their mortal coil, we merge our positive Energies with theirs and v.v. This confirms yet again that the body dies but not the soul. Lord Shiva is the destroyer of body consciousness. To my mind, Lord Shiva is the parallel of Holy Spirit in Christianity.


When we therefore pay our respects at memorials we strengthen our common spirit. Tamils who commemorate Maaveerar Day are therefore taken to be representing the LTTE.

The UNHRC or ICC decisions against perpetrators are therefore applicable to them also in common with the Sri Lankan government. The current members of Parliament and other civil society groups  who are signatories to the document dated 15 January 2021 represent the LTTE and not the victims. Only those who have openly separated themselves from the LTTE and work for the Common good of civilians – represent the victims – both Sinhalese as well as Tamils.


Member states need to vote in the consciousness of GENEVA CONVENTION IV. If the decision is to refer the matter to ICC – then the applicable measure is GENEVA CONVENTION IV – in particular Article 3. The punishment ought to include elimination of all public memorials and celebrations of heroes - for those who are found guilty. Interestingly the cartoon on page 3 of Tamil newspaper Eelanadu has expressed the sentiments that Mr Wigneswaran is recommending that all youth need to be trained in combat which would eventually pave the way to go overseas!



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