Sunday 7 August 2022


07 August 2022

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam



Mahatma Gandhi said that civil disobedience became a sacred duty when the state became lawless and corrupt. To the diehard protesters left at the diminished GotaGoGama, Gandhi’s words are at the heart of their people’s struggle

Mahatma Gandhi said also:

Noncooperation with evil is as much a duty as cooperation with good.

Democracy and violence can ill go together.

Gandhi’s ‘Salt March’ is a strong example of non-violent civil disobedience against the Government. Protestors were urged not to retaliate, when attacked by the soldiers. It resulted in ‘talks’ – which result confirmed that Gandhi’s actions were to educate and not punish by revenge.

One using Gandhi ought to ensure that the sanctity of the Non-violent movement is not indiscriminately used by those lacking in ownership in Democracy. Take for example, the following from the Groundviews article:

The route to follow is not emergency rule by cracking down on the protesters and their leaders but to find ways and means of engaging with them in a nonviolent manner and address the root causes that brought tens of thousands of citizens young and old to the streets countrywide.”

Was that the case with the Tamil Tigers or the JVP who openly declared war against the Government? If the Galle Face group is genuine, it needed to have Belief in self-rule – without any Executive power. This required them to distance themselves from armed rebel groups. JVP involvement in the protests have been strongly indicated. If the protestors ‘win’ it means that the rebel groups would takeover rule in their respective territories. This is being facilitated by the media for its own purposes.

The root cause – as I see it,  is the dependence on the government handouts. This was confirmed through the protests against withdrawal of farmers’ subsidies. Such protests did not happen against China when Hambantota Port - Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port  was built. British in India was the parallel of China in Southern Sri Lanka.

Left to JVP and LTTE,  there would be no Democracy in Sri Lanka. Both need Executive armed power to intimidate and survive. They have confirmed in action, that their mind does not work in a Democratic structure. If JVP becomes active in South, it will awaken its twin – the LTTE in North.

By silently bearing the actions of armed officers, Gandhi confirmed that the government was violent. That is the way of Democracy. One needs to take the route Opposite to the one taken by the government. Criticising the government is to follow in the same path as the government- albeit as its senior. The officers attacking the protestors are also Sri Lankans. If they attack as per their rules, then they are doing their duty. The government is using Executive powers to protect Public Property – especially the institution of Parliament. If the protestors believe that it is to intimidate them, then they must be ready to not retaliate but accept it in silent protest. That is the highest qualification of a Peaceful Protestor. Gandhi developed it through self-sacrifice.

In Gandhi’s court the Galle Face group would be dismissed as being frivolous.

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