Sinhalese celebrating Velupillai Prabhakaran’s death on the streets of Colombo 6
l by Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam
(October 25, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) This morning, I received an email from a Sinhalese Australian, in response to my article ‘If VP was a Terrorist what was Gaddafi?’
My response is as follows:
First of all may I point out that you have given below, your own interpretation of what I wrote. Unless you are able to step into my shoes and read with the same feelings with which I wrote, you are reading as an ‘outsider’ /independent and need to give the picture through which you are talking the exact form that has been given in public. To change the picture as per your experience, you need to be above me in status on my side of this picture. Adherence to this principle helps each one give form to their own work and sacrifices through that One side of the picture. What I wrote is as per my experience and as per what happened to me. Unless you saw a bigger picture than I, from my side, my picture needs to be the one to be used at public level, to facilitate more investors to identify with the experience. For the purposes of this debate you are seen by the Global society to be on Sinhalese side and me on Tamil side. More Sinhalese than Tamils would accept your statements without needing proof and more Tamils than Sinhalese would accept my statements without needing proof. Hence we respectively represent our sides.
Given that I did not go in search of that particular experience referred to in my article ‘If VP was a Terrorist what was Gaddafi’, to my mind, I was meant to be at that place at that time. Such an experience is the value of my genuine work and sacrifice which is the foundation on which I receive the picture and have the experience, without external influence. The stronger the foundation the less the external picture needed to have the experience on behalf of our group. Our group is the group that we feel comfortable with and where we do not fear or desire the consequences. That environment in which we have that experience is our naturally earned opportunity. Hence your experience was in a different environment to mine.
My exact words were ‘ I witnessed with my own eyes, Sinhalese celebrating Velupillai Prabhakaran’s death on the streets of Colombo 6 – a majority Tamil area. I felt upset. The status I had given Sinhalese went down further, in my mind. A Sinhalese professional said to me words to the effect ‘During JVP uprising Sinhalese rebels were also tortured and killed.’ I said ‘But then I did not see any such celebrations by ordinary people’. I elevated the status of the Tamil Community that did not celebrate the death of Sinhalese leaders. ‘
You have stated ‘You said that you lost all respect for the sinhalese on seeing them celebrating the death of Prabhakaran, You also said that the tamils never celebrated when LTTE won and the sinahlese did not do when the JVP was defeated.’
To my mind, there is a difference between ‘going down further’ and ‘lost all respect’ . The former indicates gradual controlled reduction, whilst the latter indicates dropping hastily to zero level – abandoning – the way of dictators. I am not a dictator. I take the difference as your own contribution to invasion of my independence to publish my experience from my earned environment, under my name. It is when the Government invades this ‘independent status/area’ we are born with, that we have problems including wars. God made us all Equals. In a family – the primary unit of Governance – we are all born Equal. This is my interpretation of the saying by our elders that there is ‘God within all of us’ . My interpretation is based on my experiences. My Spiritual Guru Sai Baba says ‘We are all god’.
When we believe in common – to that extent we are Equal and continue to maintain that Equal / Independent / Common status that we were born with. Within that family / group / country, there are those who work and others who share in the benefits of that work. Those who work are the seniors/parents/government and those who share in the benefits of the seniors’ work are the juniors/children/public. A structure that helps maintain Equality / Independence / Divinity that we are born with is the most civilized structure of all. Equal Opportunity laws in multicultural societies is towards this purpose.
In such a family system, juniors have the current opportunity to pay ‘respect’ to the seniors by reducing their own status – apparent and in their minds. Otherwise they would carry forward a debt. When we carry forward, we have to share with our juniors the cumulative value of the debt (with interest). Hence the merit basis to settle as early as possible through status distribution. A system that fails to recognize the value of respect to seniors from whose work we benefit – is low in civilization and promotes animal tendencies in us. It gradually takes us down to ‘business’ level and merit basis only on current work. In countries/cities made up largely of migrants, if this merit basis applied on current work is used on even platform – it leads to progress in the material / business world – for example in Western countries where first names are used instead of position names, children are not burdened with position responsibilities of the previous generation. Countries such as India for example, continue to maintain the position based structures more firmly and consciously and hence their vertical spiritual growth.
In terms of the Sri Lankan Government, I pay / paid my dues to the Government through the positions that facilitate/d my operations and through whose structures I derive/d benefits. Beyond that when the Government takes / receives from me – including a part of my status – for example – when they search me due to their security anxieties, they owe me. They could settle this due by saying ‘thank you’ after the search. The search would have been as per their duty and the thank you would have been as per the individual’s belief going towards our common belief as Sri Lankans. If a Tamil who had already paid her/his dues to the Government of Sri Lanka, through Government systems and beyond, was/is searched by the Government more than a Sinhalese who has paid her/his dues – then racial discrimination has already happened. When this happens systematically at the community level, Sri Lanka’s status as a civilized country goes down, due to this distance from Common / Independent / Debt Free status.
If we therefore use Sri Lankan laws without correcting this inequality, that would be a wild goose chase.
You compare your experience with mine as follows:
‘I went back to an incident that I remember very well in 1993. This was the year the Pooneryn Army camp was over run.I was studying at Moratuwa University at that time. One particular night around 9.30 pm (I stayed back till late that day to complete an assignment) I noticed a whole heap of Tamil students coming back into one of the canteens, laughing and talking. They were drunk that night. Among them was a close friend of mine whom I knew from childhood and was a friend. I asked him what this celebration was all about. His answer was that the guys had celebrated the over running of the Ponneryn Army camp.
He said this to me since he trusted me and would not have said that to any one he did not trust. On another day I asked him whether he celebrated the LTTE massacring the Tamil National Army. His answer was that it was a Tamil and Tamil thing and did not give the same mental satisfaction as defeating the Sinhalese people. So that fact is Tamils ( at least a certain % of Tamils) did celebrate the LTTE winning over the Army. Most people living in Sinhala areas did not do it openly due to obvious reasons.’
Your Tamil friend who would have paid dues to his family and community, would, to that extent, believe in his Community and feel part of that Community. Likewise, you with your Community. At breakeven level we would have paid our dues through our work from which others also benefit plus our status sacrifices through which we pay our dues and become even with those from whose work we have benefited. We are then Equal members of a family / community/society. When we pay more than our dues to be equal – for example by continuing to accept lower positions to maintain Peace and Harmony, we are, in real terms, accumulating Goodwill laterally – for example regionally and/or globally. To the extent we openly claim the higher position we have earned (as I did here in Australia) we give form to that bonus which could then help others after us identify an opportunity for themselves. If we don’t – our vertical growth ceases and the senior/parental / government position is limited to the old senior positions.
To the extent Tamils made their claims after freeing themselves of debt to Sri Lanka they were removing a lower limit placed by the Government – for example due to influence by majority vote from the Sinhalese Community. Sinhalese who also made their claims did likewise. If they were attacked physically and / or mentally, in that process (as I was at the University of New South Wales and later by the Police, Government and Courts) the return would happen at the level of the true position earned by that person – as if that person was judging and punishing. I witnessed this at the University of NSW through the damage and loss they incurred when migrant staff went to the ABC instead of following the Administrative Process. Mr. Howard who was the Prime Minister during the time I was attacked, ended up being present with the American Head of State, during 9/11 attack. I warned Mr. Howard through due process in 1999 that if we did not take appropriate action, we were likely to spill racial blood in Australia – as had already happened in Sri Lanka. I even took Mr. Howard to Courts to emphasize this point. As per my assessment, the damage was reduced by fellow Australians, to the extent I was facilitated by them and the Australian system.
As per yesterday’s ABC’s Lateline – Tamil, Jegan Waran has brought charges against President Rajapakse in a Melbourne Magistrates Court. If Jegan, at the time of his experience, had already paid his dues to Sri Lankan Seniors and/or their positions and was free to serve his Community beyond Government structures, then the pain and loss he suffered during the war (which I believe he truly experienced/witnessed ; I spoke to Jegan soon after his return and my heart went down at the sight of his state) would spread laterally to earn him Goodwill from the Public. Likewise the group/community he feels he belongs to. If Jegan’s contribution was through the official system (as mine was/is here in Australia and there in Sri Lanka) then he will witness the fall of the person at the level of his earned position and/or the rise of himself and/or someone of his community to a position equal to that position due to whose excessive power Jegan suffered. For example, Jegan’s son or daughter could become Prime Minister of Australia, the way Rathika Sitsabesan has become a Member of Parliament in Canada.
In my case, I witnessed the dismissal of the Vice Chancellor of the University of NSW by a Council led by a migrant Chancellor; the dismissal of the Prime Minister by migrant voters in his electorate and the Downgrading of the Global status of Australian Police. In addition, I continue to witness the elevation of the status of my Community at the Global level. The fact that I am able to identify with the real values underpinning these outcomes confirms to me that I have the Natural Powers to influence outcomes that happen through the positions I have invested in.
Like with my cases – Jegan’s may not result in President Rajapakse being tried directly in Australian Courts. But to the extent of Jegan’s genuine pain and loss – this case would improve Australia’s contribution to the Global Legal system which continues to crawl in the area of Racial Discrimination – which when unchecked results in loss of lives one way or the other. It was good to note that the ABC which did not hear me – heard Jegan. On that basis, one day a Sri Lankan may end up prosecuting the Australian Head of State. In fact – given that the Australian Police and Courts listed me as Sri Lankan and I was treated as a Sri Lankan with lesser status – my charges against the Australian Prime Minister confirms this opportunity. To my mind, my actions were much stronger due to the loss I experienced and the difference in Mr. Howard’s and Mine statuses. When Australians assist in this process, before assisting in the case of their own Prime Minister, they need to make sure that they are not indebted to the Australian system – because if they were – they would reduce the height of their own position of Head of State parallel to that of President of Sri Lanka.
You state ‘Sinhalese celebrating the death of VP and the LTTE was no different to Tamils celebrating the LTTE victories, but the Sinhalese probably expressed their feelings more openly.
As per the JVP, the Sinhalese did celebrate their defeat too. When it was announced that Wijeweera was dead there certainly were celebrations in the form of fireworks. I remember this very well it was 1990.The execution was carried out by none other than the celebrated soldier Janaka Perera. But just as my friend mentioned about the Tamil National Army, for the Sinhalese the JVP was more of a nuisance whereas the LTTE was an out and out enemy hell bent on destroying the Sinhalese people and trying to grab a part of our country.’
The Tamils you ‘saw’ / witnessed celebrating the fall of the other side, were different to the Sinhalese I saw / witnessed celebrating. Their ‘stages’ / environments were also different. The Tamils you saw had, through their Higher Education, contributed to the Common Sri Lankan system more than the Sinhalese I saw on the streets of Wellawatte – Colombo 6. Hence in terms of Sri Lankan status, these Sinhalese ranked much lower than those Tamils. A true high level Sri Lankan like myself would not have celebrated either event but would have shared in the pain of the needy, while accepting the armed forces celebrating within their boundaries. That would have confirmed absence of racism and the insults and damages it brings with it. I conclude that by equating the two, you have reduced your status as Sri Lankan. Likewise your mates in Higher Education who celebrated outside their traditional homes – the victory of LTTE against the Armed Forces, would have been guilty – if they had openly celebrated in your presence. In this instance they were not. You were eavesdropping. What your friend shared with you as an individual has nothing to do with the Community, unless he chose to bring it out to be used by the Public. A true Sri Lankan would protect the higher contributor to Sri Lanka more than the lower contributor.
If you had earned the opportunity to observe independently (meaning without taking either side at the beginning of your experience) Tamils who apparently had not contributed as much as you to the Sri Lankan system – for example LTTE supporters without Higher Education or Administrative experience in Sri Lanka – then the two would have been comparable and Tamils as a Community would have lost status in my eyes also. That did not happen because you are yet to contribute to the ‘other’ side of Government – the Common Public with One / No particular Face. Your general contribution to Sri Lankan Public needs to be higher than your general contribution to Sinhalese Community. The height of your general contribution depends on the depth of your belief in the wider system of the two.
Given that you consider the JVP a nuisance but the LTTE an enemy – I conclude that you are more Sinhalese than Sri Lankan. To me – they were both rebels. I ask myself ‘How could anyone call a person who risks her/his life for her/his cause – a nuisance? Voters from such a community do not deserve to elect Government. Hence Tamils need to distance themselves from such Governments elected by weak citizens who lack belief in their right to Govern themselves through themselves for themselves. Hence Tamils will continue to Devolve one way or the other assisted also by Natural Powers. As they say here in Australia – there is more than one way to skin a cat. Mine is very Global, now that the Australian in me is equal to the Sri Lankan in me.
In terms of ‘land grab’ if you truly believe that Tamils as a Community have taken over Sinhalese lands – (I recall you discussing this in relation to the East) – then you need to make it a current issue and show it through the actions of Tamils of your generation. To bring ownership issues of past generations, without current proof, you need to believe equally in Tamils of that generation too. Otherwise, they are beyond your control and are part of the horoscope of the two Communities. You cannot change your horoscope but you can override its effect through higher current work beyond your current needs and enjoyment. If the horoscope is in your favor, then the old powers would motivate you to undertake the new activities – the way my Australian Horoscope in relation to Racial Equality is helping me in my current work at Global standards, which automatically benefits Sri Lanka. You would need to do extra current work to make it right as per your belief. You will if you truly believe. At the moment, through their current work in requiring re-registration of lands in war torn areas before the war-victims have recovered from their pain and loss, it is your Community that is reducing its current status as per global measures. Their haste confirms their lack of belief. As per the current actions of your community, I conclude that Tamils have stronger positive inheritance of land ownership – including through their practice of Laws of Thesawalamai which frees the National system of having to invest in local cultural systems to identify with the beliefs of litigants from another culture. Such Local systems confirm our belief in our ability to resolve disputes / conflict internally. That way we bring less baggage to the National system which is showing signs that it is unable to cope even with the Community that elects it to power. We hear this regularly through the media and others such as the Asian Human Rights Commission. The more cash driven we are – the greater the need for business based approach to Public Service. This Tamil who is an expert in this area, is happy to help out your Community through Sri Lankan Public Service. I believe in the Tamil elders who invested in the Sri Lankan Public Service. I believe that the Tamil Horoscope shows a strong influence of the Ownership Planet in Sri Lankan Public Administrative Service – much stronger than the Sinhalese Horoscope. If you believe otherwise – you would be doing in Sinhalese areas what I am doing now in Tamil areas towards developing self managed units of operation.