06 August 2021
IPKF WAS INVITED BY SRI LANKAN PRESIDENT
A senior member of our family – Mrs Sivagami Ramalingam wrote on her Facebook page:
[Bonding in society is about group effort where each one's effort merges
With the other and success becomes within reach]
When reading the above, I thought of the sharing within a Tamil group – of the video at BBC News - The father and son transplant surgeons | Facebook
The message was headed ‘The father and son Transplant Surgeons BBC’. The body of the message made the simple statement:
‘SL's loss is UK's gain and how!’
The report was about Dr Oswald Fernando and
his son. As I watched I felt that I had been the provider as well as beneficiary of the service.
I thus felt the fulfilment as if it were mine. In turn I received the following
from a fellow Sri Lankan Neil Jayasekera, Managing Director – eLanka , about my
[Superbly written Gaja!.
Published on eLanka = https://www.elanka.com.au/valid-protests-in-democracy-gajalakshmi-paramasivam-2/ ]
I forwarded it to the above Tamil group with the message:
“Tamils' loss is Sri Lanka's gain - this is how”
As per my experience, each time I complete someone else’s work and/or mine the system takes me to the next opportunity. Completing means realising the experience from both sides – vertically or laterally.
The next opportunity was in the article ‘Indo-Sri Lanka Accord and IPKF: Pogrom-83 Anti-Tamil Riots’ by Mr N Sathiya Moorthy and published by Ceylon Today – which came through Yoga Joseph
I identify with the essence of the following about Black July in 1983:
[If there is one occasion that the Tamil community should be mourning year-after-year since then, it’s this one – even more than the LTTE’s ‘Martyrs’ Day’. It is much more relevant to the Tamil memory than even their continuing desire and failed attempts to recall the victims of the last and conclusive war against the LTTE, at Mullivaikkal.
Barring a few editorial writers and columnists, academics and NGOs/INGOs, there is not much use for the Tamil political class, in mourning 1983 – or, so it seems! That they were all terrorised to observe a memorial every year since then does not wash, as they could have done so when they felt there was relative freedom, be it under the LTTE dominance of the Tamil areas, or post-war. The reason for such a failure is unfathomable, however. ]
The reason to me is that Separatism won over Commonness. How did that happen ? Was it due to the Lankan Tamil community value of being clever and physically powerful like Goliath mattering more than ownership through acceptance of inevitable pain and sacrifice of the self - to be common and own the whole? As I wrote in response to my family member Mrs Sivagami Ramalingam ‘When we believe - that belief does the bonding’. Belief in the whole gives us the power to forbear the pain of Opposition.
Mr Sathiya Moorthy goes on to state:
[It may be easy for contemporary Sri Lankan story-tellers to claim that IPKF was imposed by India. It instead came at the express invitation of President J.R. Jayewardene. Yes, it was facilitated by the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord that JRJ signed with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, again in July 1987, but the decision was JRJ’s.
The proof of the pudding was or is in the eating. Once IPKF was in, JRJ withdrew the Sri Lankan Armed Forces from the LTTE front, for the latter to take on the JVP, in what is now known as the ‘second insurgency’. Going by conservative estimates, any number upwards of 60,000 Sinhala youth, both boys and girls in the reproductive age-group, were massacred.
That the Government, using draconian laws, disallowed head-count or any kind, and Media reportage, too, has provided cloud and cover to this day. Yet, the international community, all of them already with embassies in Colombo, and who all are protesting louder than ever now on ‘war crimes probe’, looked the other way.
Did it mean that Sinhala lives were less valuable than Tamils’? Or, it only had to do with the Cold War calculus, when JRJ’s Sri Lanka aligned with the US-led West, unlike the left-leaning SLFP, whose larger-than-life clone is the present-day ruling SLPP regime of Rajapaksa Brothers? ]
There is another dimension to the above. As quoted by me on 02 July 2021:
[Prior to the 1977 elections, JR Jayawardene promised that he would give the Police a week's leave so that his supporters could attack members of opposing parties. After his victory, his Government launched unprecedented state violence against the opposition, targeting supporters of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, the Communist Party of Sri Lanka, and the People's Democratic Party. In particular, some 9,000 families of supporters of LSSP leader N.M. Perera in Yatiyantota were driven from their homes, many of which were destroyed.] Wikiwand
The Common enemy of President Jayawardene seems to have been communism. Hence the Tamil militants who also followed communism and the JVP became his common enemy. That explains Mr Sathiya Moorthy’s declaration: ‘JRJ’s Sri Lanka aligned with the US-led West’
Was this then the motivation that drove President Jayawardene to invite the IPKF ? The ethnic grouping into pro-China vs pro-India confirms this. The recent statement in Parliament by the UNP candidate the Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe confirms this diversity:
[“The Army Commander is a department head. Only the Cabinet of Ministers can issue directives to ministry secretaries, who in turn issue directives to department heads. The Cabinet has to answer Parliament in return. That is how things should be done. But now, the Army Commander is the Head of the COVID-19 control task force. He takes decisions regarding that, not the Cabinet or the Premier. He even speaks at the economic forums. What is the Government doing by assigning the Army Commander to everything like this?"]
Sri Lanka Guardian editorial headed ‘The most shameless moment of democracy in Sri Lanka’ that they received the above as follows:
[As soon as Wickremesinghe came to Parliament, his target was the current Army Commander, a man bigger than his life. Wickremesinghe's ugly criticism against the Army Commander who is also serving as the Chief of Defence Staff was not only aimed at achieving narrow goals, but also at fulfilling the needs of those who worked to bring him to Parliament. Wickremesinghe has resorted to this in an attempt to somehow save the country's crumbling traditional political clique. It is a matter that goes beyond party politics. That deal is between the families he represents and his friends, not between political theories or parties. To them, countries or their peoples are mere subjects. In other words, this is the most shameless moment in the history of democracy in Sri Lanka. Some may think that Wickremasinghe's new play will help save the so-called "elite", which is nothing but a farce not only in the eyes of the country but also in the eyes of the world. ]
There was a time when the Sri Lanka Guardian was highly critical of the Rajapaksa government – particularly of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa. Then it was still civil administration. The hierarchy of issues would be different under a military command – due to the leader lacking the skills to use non-military / civil pathway. The question then arises as to whether this President came to power due to fear of foreign armed powers. Is the Sri Lanka Guardian editor - the current form of Naval officer Wijemuni Vijitha Rohana de Silva who attacked Mr Rajiv Gandhi in 1987?
As per my understanding of the philosophy of rebirth – we would be born again and again until we realise truth and thus attain Nirvana / Liberation from Relativity.We can bond with each other as opposites of the same coin. Hence the depiction of Janus – representing the opposites of beginning and the end – facing opposing directions. That is like different religions and one God. Hence promotion of diversity is essential in democracy. In autocracy once we come to January – we do think consciously of December / Past. Hence the mantras that do not seem logical. Hence Democracy as known by many of us – including Ranil Wickremesinghe is in conflict with military autocracy. But all of us can add our powers as China side or India side. The stronger believer would win leadership but to govern – the truth of the past is essential though mantras or Janus. If the two are mixed indiscriminately we would be a scattered society.