15 July 2021
Port City Konghou instead of Jaffna Yarl?
My attention was drawn by an Australian of Sri Lankan origin to the article headed ‘Jagath Wellawatta to be ousted from Sri Lanka Insurance, proposed as Australian High Commissioner!’
My mind went to two Sri Lankan High Commissioners to Australia with whom I connected. The first one was Mr Thisara Samarasinghe who was Commander of Sri Lankan Navy during the war. When this gentleman arrived to speak to the Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum, Sydney – there were Tamil protestors at the entrance – shouting slogans which in essence said that they considered him to be a war-criminal. As per my truth – he was an officer carrying out his duty during the war. We Tamils who included the Free armed fighters – did not have the moral authority to find fault with someone who acted within his position. If we did – we diluted the efforts of those who fought on the basis of their belief and/or as per the rules of their respective group leader. Expressions outside the circle of belief need to be regulated consciously by Common laws/principles – so we do not disturb the balance of our own minds. Hence, I acted to lead the Tamil side and asked them to join us inside and ask the questions through Due Process. The protestors did not come inside. But later, as per my written articles – the High Commissioner rang me and explained to me as to what he meant by some statements which I took exception to. My respect for Mr Thisara Samarasinghe went up.
The second one with whom I connected is Mr Somasunadaran Skandakumar who did respond to my first couple of emails but nothing beyond that. When he came to speak to the same group mentioned above - there were no protestors but stronger participation from those of Sinhalese origin also. I received photos of the farewell given to Mr Skandakumar but was not invited by anyone to participate. I did not feel like participating because to my mind, he did not bring about reconciliation between the two warring sides but rather remained close to the elitist group he was comfortable with. I did not connect with him – the way I connected with Mr Thisara Samarasinghe who was humble enough to ‘listen’ to me.
A few days back, a fellow Sri Lankan drew my attention to the Daily Financial Times report ‘Skandakumar speaks his heart out for SL, where we went wrong and way forward’. I learnt from that – the existence of ‘Rotary Club of Colombo Port City’. This then means that the Rotary Club was accepting of the principles on which the Colombo Port City has developed. In his speech Skandakumar expresses his satisfaction as follows:
invitation by the Australian Government to our then Prime Minister for an
official visit in February 2017, the first in 65 years, was followed by one
similar to our President just three months later. That visit was the first-ever
official visit of a President of our country
To Australia, the fact that it followed just three months after the one by our Prime Minister was unprecedented in Australia’s diplomatic relations and demonstrated the esteem in which Australia held us for our commitment to national unity and the friendship built over the decades on mutual respect and trust.
That year was further blessed by reciprocal, visits by the Prime Minister and Foreign Ministers of Australia, a celebration of our 150th anniversary of the tea industry at Parliament House when both houses were in attendance, a blood donation programme by over 100 Sri Lankans domiciled in Canberra, to commemorate 70 years of diplomatic ties, and finally after two years of lobbying by the High Commission, the return of Sri Lankan Airlines to Melbourne.
Yes a diplomat’s dream year made possible by blessings from above.]
The head of that government Mr Sirisena demonstrated serious lack of policy order the very next year, resulting in the Constitutional Crisis that caused much pain to those of us to whom the law is sacred. This made some of us to conclude that Mr Sirisena had picked up the Australian Dismissal karma of 1975. Such spirits lie in waiting and infect the weak minded who come to the place of manifestation. The question needs to be asked also about the the return of Sri Lankan Airlines to Melbourne . The question I ask is – how much of the following deficit as reported, was due to that route?
[Govt. infuses fresh capital of Rs.46bn to SriLankan Airlines] – Daily Mirror
As a smart business person, would Mr Skandakumar have felt fulfilled by such a performance?
The obvious answer is ‘No’. To measure successful ownership – one needs to go to the roots. For example let us take Mr Skandakumar’s declaration:
[With Government hospitals converting to treat Covid patients, two groups I am privileged to be associated with came together to respond to appeals from these hospitals to raise funds and to purchase urgently needed equipment for both the Jaffna and Bandarawela Hospitals. The generous response from like minded people was gratifying.]
Does Mr Skandakumar feel for the people of Jaffna and Bandarawela – so they would protect themselves as he protected himself? I have been doing just that with those in Sri Lanka – including in Colombo. In Jaffna & Vaddukoddai – I keep advising them to follow the rules of the government. I believe that that Commonness has worked to protect them. Many of them are not very well educated. Some are young and restless. The less educated ones are driven by ‘belief’ as per their local culture. We cannot teach them the science of Covid even if we did know it. Hence as the next ‘development’ measure – we have decided on promoting herbal farms. We tried that a couple of years back – but there was no interest from the indigenous folks there. After Covid – they may be more open to it – especially after someone who acted in breach of my rules went into hospital for diabetes related leg problems. That is our parallel of Mr Sirisena getting dismissed by the People.
Mr Skandakumar has strong supporters within the Australian Tamil leaders – demonstrated as follows in relation to the said speech:
Leader 1 - A speech by a GREAT ROYALIST whom, I remembered as a good cricketer
Leader 2 - Lovely speech no doubt but will our majority brothers ever understand this. As long as they don’t change their attitude and accept the true history nothing will change. Country ruled by illiterate thugs and criminals and what else can happen.
Leader 2 who is a medical expert wrote about me to the same group:
Gaja as ever what do you mean. What is this about mental health? I am getting worried of a relapse.
The statement that triggered the above response - was my response to another member who has been promoting the idea of Sri Lankan joining with India’s Tamil Nadu, to form separate country. In other words separation of Tamil Nadu from rest of India! Below is what I wrote – which triggered the madness label.
Gaja : …it is inappropriate for you to single me out and send me material for your selfish purposes. When you do so – YOUR mental health is adversely affected.
I do believe that when we keep thinking of illogical connections between cause and effect – there is mental disorder. I noted this to be high in the LTTE women cadre. To them – it would seem natural due to their common backgrounds and habits natural to those backgrounds. But the above group claims to have had a tertiary education. By remaining in the separatism environment, they consider me to be an outsider – without any support – and hence such reactions when one of their own is attacked. An older woman in Vaddukoddai where there are many mentally disorderly folks walk the street said to be that this seems to be a curse. I said to her that she ought to have stayed on in Colombo instead of coming back to Vaddukoddai where she has the opportunity to exercise authority on caste basis. I said to the extent it was unjust – it would promote mental disorder.
The promotion of separatism means that when the moment is ripe and there is another war – members of the Tamil Diaspora would fund Sri Lankan Tamil youth to fight – not for Independence but for Separatism. The likes of Skandakumar and the supporters who applaud him are playing the Port City Konghou / harp while Jaffna Yarl / Harp is decaying. The Jaffna Harp is our intellect. We need to burn what happened and discover why it happened. That would be the protective vaccine to prevent recurrence.