Friday 10 March 2023


10 March 2023

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam



I posted the first copy of my book ‘Different Beliefs’ published by Lake House group, to the President of Sri Lanka. The reason was intuitive intelligence that during his presidency, my investment in common law became more active than under the previous government. On 15 August 2019, I shared my feelings under the title ‘UNP Blessed in Northern Sri Lanka’ at


I mentioned this in the chapter headed ‘LAWS OF KARMA’ in my book. To my mind, it is Muthusum / Heritage .  Heritage / Karma has mind of its own. We returned to Sydney and I set out to explain the decision to oppose substitution to our lawyer. Then my mind was taken to the judgment in the Jaffna Civil Appellate Court which included the following‘on page 18:

‘Section 30 of Matrimonial Rights and Inheritance Ordinance No.15 of 1876 as amended states, that

Except when otherwise expressly provided, if all those who succeed to the inheritance are equally near in degree to the intestate, they take per capita, and not per stirpes.


NOTE:Per stirpes is a Latin term you can include in your last will and testament to explain who will inherit your assets if one of your beneficiaries passes away before you do. With a per stirpes distribution, if one of your beneficiaries dies before you, their share of your estate will pass to their descendants. Using per stirpes is a quick way to name contingent beneficiaries for your property.


In Latin, per capita translates to “by head.” Under the standard per capita distribution, all beneficiaries in the same generation or class receive the same portion of the total assets. There are several different ways to write a per capita distribution into your will, but two of the most common are “to my children, per capita” and “to my descendants, per capita.”


If you’re one of two or more beneficiaries designated in a will, per capita means that you may inherit more than your equal share of the estate. This would only occur if one of your fellow beneficiaries passes away before the estate is distributed. Their share of the estate would be split evenly amongst the surviving beneficiaries, and not to that individual’s heirs. If you were only one of two beneficiaries, you would inherit the estate in full.

It is highly doubtful that even the most educated lay citizen of Jaffna would understand the above law. I myself did not at the beginning. But I stated the essence of it on the basis of Equal Opportunity laws. In terms of substitution, I stated that if a member of the next generation was made a beneficiary then the distribution becomes disorderly.

My investment in law, did the rest and drew my attention to the judgment.

Thesawalamai and related laws are part of Jaffna heritage. They were merged with common law by Colonial rulers. Heritages influence us from within. They are like mantras. We do not need to understand them. They work for the true believer. That is how Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe was empowered by the heritage of the law abiding Jaffna community. He is strongly influenced by the West and hence he best fits the Common President title.

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