16 April 2021
This morning I shared as follows with a group of Jaffna men:
[I also said in Thunaivi that I was not a political person but an Administrator. But soon I leant that it was Double Dutch to them. Gradually I let them play their politics and opposed them. Thus formed their particular type of administration. It works well now. I guess this forum to a degree needs its own admin so one does not take status above another outside that structure. Both Nada and Kula has demonstrated that tendency from time to time, with me. I therefore took Raj’s sharing as Opposition to that. ]
This was needed to include disenfranchised Tamils who tended to interpret the Vaddukoddai Resolution as a separatism mandate. Independence declarations at community and religious levels tend to carry that risk. The lower the structure the greater the need for Opposition to prevent abuse of power.
As per Colombo Telegraph article ‘Rajapaksa Govt. Tables Bombshell Resolution In Parliament To End Trials Against Its Cronies, Penalize Prosecutors & Judges’:
[During a recent “conversation” with the village in Walpane, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa admitted that his Government was in the process of finding ways to end judicial proceedings of military officials and others accused of human rights abuses and other crimes. The President called the charges – some of them indictments filed by the Attorney General of Sri Lanka – “absurd”.]
This was also the issue with war-crimes allegations. Where there are cultural differences – one invariably depends on one’s own sense of rights and wrongs – including in the battlefield. This was exposed last year about Australian soldiers in Afghanistan through Four Corners program ‘Killing Field: Explosive new allegations of Australian special forces war crimes.’
Five months later our Australian PM announced as follows:
[Safeguarding Afghanistan’s security has come at a great cost to Australia. Since 2001, 41 Australian personnel have lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan and many more were wounded, some physically, others mentally’ - Scott Morrison]
The surface reader is likely to read the above at face value. But one who has had the experience from either side – would connect the withdrawal to war-crimes issues which would not sit well with the Australian public.
Discipline in the inquisitorial structure becomes Equal Opposition in the adversarial system. In democracy where such Equal Opposition is suppressed, the system tends towards inquisitorial system and leads to autocracy. This facilitates religious law structures starting with Buddhism foremost in Sri Lankan constitution. To make the constitution democratic – non-Buddhists also need to actively practice Article 14 (1) (e ) of the Sri Lankan constitution which provides as follows:
[14. (1) Every citizen is entitled to –
(e) the freedom, either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching]
This needs to be at equal value as practice of Buddhism if we are to maintain the sovereignty of Sri Lanka’s constitution and therefore Sri Lanka.
Given that Buddhist numbers are more than Non-Buddhist numbers , the latter would need to be stronger believers than the former – to maintain that sovereignty.
As per Daily News article ‘Over 1,600 Jaffna youth joined Army last three months – Commander’ –
[Since the dawn of peace, the Commander said troops have been rendering an exemplary and dedicated service to the enhancement of Jaffna civilians’ livelihood income sources, development of infrastructure, construction of houses for the needy, schools, while performing civil-military cooperation projects on a large scale.]
This then means that the troops were better than civilians in these civil functions. To the extent there is no opposition to this, it would promote army rule as well as its opposition – LTTE rule.
‘Who says what’ is important to take a structured approach. The armed forces that have been accused of war-crimes, have to be extra careful to stay within their structure and leave it to civilians to review them in a free or balanced environment.