Thursday 30 September 2021


Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

30 September   2021

Indigenous v Modern

The New York Times also carries a report about the Indigenous Medical doctor who died of Covid. As per this report:

[“There is no credible evidence to show if there was a positive result from his work,” said Dr. Samantha Ananda, a spokeswoman for the Government Medical Officers’ Association, a major trade union for doctors in Sri Lanka. “We do not recommend anything that is not proven in a scientific method.”]

The parallel of this ‘indigenous cure’ was practised by the Rajapaksa leadership in relation to the war. The practise began with SWRD Bandaranaike’s ‘Sinhala Only’ law. On 15 September, Neelaakandar Kandasamy – my relative through Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum, Sydney wrote

SWRD is the brainchild of Federal ideas: he was the pioneer of the federal movement in Ceylon.

Today I read the article ‘SWRD’s flirtation with federalism’ by DBS Jeyaraj.DBS states about SWRD:

[The political evolution and transformation of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike is by itself a fascinating study. Despite the changes in his political outlook, an underlying thread remaining constant in Bandaranaike political thinking was that some form of decentralised power sharing was imperative for the essential well-being of this resplendent island and her people]

To my mind, SWRD is the parallel of immediate past Sri Lankan Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi who according to Wikipedia ‘entered  Sri Lanka Law College in 1985 and took oaths as an attorney of law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka five years later.’ That lady publicly expressed support for indigenous pathway and was infected by the virus. The problem for those using both indigenous and modern pathways is not knowing why they got infected. One is current and relative and the other is past and is exponential. One who uses single pathway would find it easier to identify with the cause. A good example is former Minister Mangala Samaraweera who died despite getting both doses of Pfizer vaccine. His death was attributed to strong pre-existing ailments – the acceleration of which was stronger power than the vaccine. Likewise, in the case of the Indigenous doctor Mr Eliyantha Lindsay White, who did not take the vaccine we know that his method did not work because he  diluted his medical power by promoting it through the current official pathway. The engines were different.

In politics, SWRD was educated in Oxford which was then modern. Hence it was understandable that he would ‘think’ federal like British-Ceylon in which all indigenous laws were also given recognition for indigenous groups. As per Wikipedia:

[In order to promote Sinhalese culture and community interests, Bandaranaike founded the Sinhala Maha Sabha in 1936. He introduced the Free Lanka Bill in the State Council in 1945 In 1947, when Leader of the House, D. S. Senanayake presented the Soulbury Constitution to the State Council, Bandaranaike seconded the motion stating that he does so as the Sinhala Maha Sabha was the largest party in the State Council.]

The Ideology of the Sinhala Maha Sabha was stated to be ‘Sinhalese Nationalism’.

The Opposition policy was presented by All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC):

[The ACTC was founded in 1944 by G.G. Ponnambalam. Ponnambalam asked for a 50-50 representation in parliament (50% for the Sinhalese, 50% for all other ethnic groups). This was immediately rejected by the British Governor General Lord Soulbury as a "mockery of democracy"] Wikipedia

The Ideology of the ACTC was stated to be ‘Tamil Nationalism’. The headquarters were in the Common Capital of Colombo. In contrast Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK)which currently dominates Tamil Politics established its headquarters in Jaffna. The then ACTC was multicultural while ITAK developed to be the Direct Opposition of Sinhala county – paving the way for separate Tamil Eelam.

The ethnic war happened due to separatism professed by both sides. Now our experiences are measured through different measures. The written law may ‘look’ the same. But the way it is interpreted would differ as per our cultural beliefs. On that basis the experience of one culture cannot be reliably measured by the law developed by another culture.

The measures used by those driven by the physical would need more physical evidence of what exactly happened than measured used  by divine / philosophy driven. The good Sri Lankan example is Lord Muruga at Kathirgamam. When it comes to war - many Sinhala Buddhists demonstrate belief in Lord Muruga at Kathirgamam. Not so much in Ganesh at the shrine next to the main one. King Dutugemunu won the war against Tamil emperor but failed to complete the Buddhist monument of Peace at Ruwanwelisaya where the current President took oaths. Like King Dutugemunu, this president also won the war but is getting further and further away from Peace.

Buddha’s relics are preserved within Ruwanwelisaya. But is Buddha’s soul the nuclear force there? Likewise, at Kathirgamam is the philosophy of minority rule as demonstrated by Muruga being upheld?

Any grand idea of Federalism by SWRD lacked the power to sustain itself. Sinhala country and Tamil country was never a reality in Sri Lanka. Whether it be Sinhalese or Tamils – when they come into common areas – their structures needed to be expanded to facilitate systems that are different also. Those who are strongly attached to their birth families should go into self-governance mode though that structure. If they get married and fail to restructure new cultures – they would tend to disturb the peace in the new group. Likewise those who profess Sinhala only or Tamil only or Buddhism foremost would tend to go backwards and breakup the whole into small pieces. The people would shrink their minds and develop the urge to die early – as demonstrated by JVP and LTTE.


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