An investigation by politicians needs to represent those from all angles to provide 360 degree view. That is necessary for a complete and objective picture to be used by a multicultural society. The above representation of political parties does not represent the environment in which civilians were killed. If it was accepted that only the LTTE was killed – then to my mind, the matter is for the judiciary above Sri Lanka – for example – the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court.
l by Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam
(December 05, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I write in response to ‘Needed: A Truth and Reconciliation Commission to heal our nation’ by Shanie, published in Sri Lanka Guardian.
The author says ‘During the last stages of the war, it was known that many civilians were intimidated by the LTTE into retreating with them until they were trapped in a small sliver of land by the Nanthikadal Lagoon near Mullaitivu. The LTTE was using them as human shields but these civilians had no choice but to retreat with the LTTE. They had no way of going elsewhere on their own. The exact number of civilians caught up in this will only be known when there is a full and independent investigation. Government propaganda at that time was that there were only about 80,000 civilians left but this was proved false when, at the conclusion of the war, over 300,000 streamed into the IDP camps in the Vavuniya District. Along with the civilians, a number of LTTE cadres and leaders also surrendered. None of the LTTE leaders or hard-core cadres seem to have survived. They have simply disappeared; again under what circumstances only an independent investigation can reveal. The LLRC was not mandated to investigate that.’
Until we know otherwise, we need to take the apparent as ‘facts’. As per the apparent title of the LLRC – its purpose is to highlight the Lessons that the Government has learnt on behalf of all they represent and Reconcile that to the laws applicable to all they represent.
The authors says also:
‘But this thirty-month old position (propaganda?) has recently undergone a change. Over the course of the last few weeks, the government admits that there may have been some excesses and some undisciplined soldiers may have fired and killed some civilians. One does not know if this change of line was in anticipation of the LLRC report which may have found credible evidence of disappearances that warranted an independent investigation. But whatever be the reason, it is good that the government has realized the need to investigate the charges of human rights violations. But such an investigation, if it is to have any credibility, must be by a truly independent Commission whose members will have the consensual approval of the major political parties represented in Parliament – SLFP, UNP, TNA, SLMC and JVP.’
An investigation by politicians needs to represent those from all angles to provide 360 degree view. That is necessary for a complete and objective picture to be used by a multicultural society. The above representation of political parties does not represent the environment in which civilians were killed. If it was accepted that only the LTTE was killed – then to my mind, the matter is for the judiciary above Sri Lanka – for example – the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court. This has the risk of the matter being hijacked by theoreticians and businessmen – given that both parties have actively contributed to the damage and therefore there is no clear responsibility to be pinned on a particular person/group.
The other alternative is the one suggested above by Author Shanie. The problem I see with it is – there is no independent person representing the LTTE – given that all LTTE leaders were killed and/or are no longer available to participate – as independents. The only ones to represent the LTTE independent of the Government of Sri Lanka, is the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam or an LTTE leader independent of the Government of Sri Lanka. Otherwise, the picture would not be complete – however genuine the members hearing evidence may be.
As per the mango legend in Hindu faith – there are two paths to this problem. First is the path of Belief in elders. This is the path chosen by academics/philosophers. It is also the vertical basis of Time – historical basis – through which we use the Power of One . We express our decisions only through One leader – with no identity of our own work at the lower levels. At the lower levels – we just have the ‘experience’. This is the easier path for those who want to stay local – as was the case with the LTTE. They thus ‘understand’ the issue through the facts they see and hence ‘Tamil Only’ to match and compete with ‘Sinhala Only’. The rest of the experience is in the mind and heart through knowledge and belief. The physical target is only One. One needs strong focus to work in this path. As per my experience based belief – if we travel through that path of one outcome – and realize completion even through the smallest of positions – we feel a part of the whole and influence that whole from within that position. Hence I often say that the Cleaner and the Vice Chancellor of a University are one at that stage. If on the other hand the Vice Chancellor stagnates – at the elementary levels of the position the Vice Chancellor’s influence on the natural forces of the University would be weaker than that of the Cleaner who has realized the goal of her/his position. It was on this basis that I sought to speak to the Vice Chancellor of the University of NSW after realizing the goal of my position as Management Accountant of the Faculty of Medicine. The Vice Chancellor failed to recognize this due to lack of strength in his communication systems and also due to his inability to ‘see’ beyond the apparent. In other words – if I was in the appropriate position, then the Vice Chancellor was not fit for his position or v.v. As per my experiences, if I looked my ‘given position’ / the apparent fit – the reason needs to be taken as former – i.e. weak communication and reporting systems – called accountability. Given that I was apparently of a lower status as an Indian looking migrant at best – the reason needs to be taken as the latter – inability to ‘see’ beyond the apparent. Hence I took action on the basis of unlawful racial discrimination. Once we represent a group/institution – our personal assessment should be merged with the assessment of common member of the group/institution. It would, once we have realized the goal of our position within the group/institution.
Einstein is reported to have said that he had the ‘experience’ of traveling with light – to discover that Time was relative. Applying that to the Sri Lankan problem – those who claimed the power of ‘Sovereignty’ – the Absolute Power of Truth – would have travelled / acted in lightening speed. Hence the closing of doors. The responsibility of such travelers – is to share their discovered value in theory/ form – which would then stand up to all experiments through that theory. One who had the experience / travelled at the speed of light – would have the formula/solution needed by the person who stands powerless – close to ground/outside the closed doors. As in the ‘Twin Paradox’ example (included in our high-school physics), the twin who traveled to space would be younger than the twin who stayed on earth.
In terms of our religion – the Twin who observes at global level (like Muruga) would be younger than the twin closed to Motherland (like Ganesh).
In the language of our religion – Yoga Swami said ‘Summa Iru’ – / Keep a still mind – meaning no mind. Such a person would be younger than the twin whose mind is active due to the influence of physical senses. The 360 degree view of the WHOLE as opposed to individual and separate parts through individual senses – gives that stillness of mind. Yoga Swami is considered to be part of Nallur Murugan in Northern Sri Lanka.
Tamil Deity Murugan personified with 6 faces – has 360 degrees and lives on hill-tops for an aerial view. His brother Ganesh stayed down on earth – locally close to His parents and went around them to win the mango of immortality. Ganesh is the elder brother to Murugan who went around the world. Murugan realized the same goal by rising higher to do the Global travel and to observe as part of the as six senses/angles. Ganesh had the mango and Muruga had the Globe. So long as the whole is seen – we are traveling in space and are therefore younger than our twins on earth. Hence the need for Global standards in democracy.
Taking Tamils and Sinhalese as ‘twins’/equals – more Tamils than Sinhalese now have the aerial / global view – like their Tamil Deity Lord Muruga. They have the ‘need’ for it. When they observe from all sides – their time would run more slowly – and hence they would be younger than their twins close to land. Those who are using ‘facts’ need to use facts from all sides and not facts from their side only.
Given that we need laws for the next stage of our lives, from our experience (locals) or observations (global independents) – I feel strongly that we need to use lawyers of Sinhalese origin on one side and ask them to produce their findings towards a solution/law and lawyers of Tamil origin on the other side and ask them to produce their findings towards a solution/law and combine the two. Likewise the politicians. The two sides need to be equal in power. The two groups need to be separate on the basis of Doctrine of Separation of Power. To the extent there is ‘commonness’ – that part is the invisible foundation – lessons learnt / common values. To the extent we are able to find the opposites to match the other side – that is Equal and Opposite needed in democracy to produce global outcomes. The rest needs to be taken back home by the two sides – for each one to use it to educate their own community through the respective judicial and political leaders – until the local folks are able to confidently use the common laws. When something goes wrong we know who is responsible – by matching it with the section that best fits it. If it is in the common area it is the responsibility of Global Governors who need to develop a solution for us to govern ourselves through our generation’s path. If it is in the Equal & Opposite side – it is the responsibility of the Judiciary and Government Administrators/Executive Government. Anything outside these two is the responsibility of the respective politicians and local judiciary including cultural leaders – to deal with it in the privacy of their electorate.
LLRC as it stands is not expected to facilitate this division of responsibility. But within the report – to the extent we as individuals and special groups, may identify with some parts of it to match our needs and functions. Our duty is to express our assessments to help those who are seeking to help themselves and not for us to get credit for ourselves through this tragic situation. The problem originated from the ‘locals’ in both races. The solution needs to be developed as if we are part of the locals. That would prevent wars at the physical level. Then the intellectual work needs to give it form to take the solution beyond local time and space borders – so we would be empowered by all users of the Common Path in which our solution fits.