| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
( December 21, 2012, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) Accountability is a key feature of Democracy. Ultimately we are accountable to ourselves with our conscience as our judge. I have been receiving news regarding Dr. Brian Seneviratne being denied entry into Singapore for onward travel to Malaysia. As per my memory, Dr. Seneviratne was denied entry into Malaysia in May 2009, when he allegedly sought to meet LTTE arms dealer Kumaran Pathmanathan. Hence I am surprised that Dr. Seneviratne expected to have free passage into Malaysia this time around.
As is my way – I thought about the rights and wrongs of this through my own parallel experience here in Australia. I was arrested for peaceful assembly when I sat waiting to see the Vice Chancellor of the University of NSW. In 2005, Magistrate Pat O’Shane sentenced me to a year in prison. I accepted this even though I knew that this punishment was unlawful. By that time I had gone into ‘Natural Mode’ and hence needed to observe instead of consciously influencing my projected outcomes. Later due to urging by my immediate family and as advised by Legal Aid – I signed bail conditions and have not stepped into the University of New South Wales ever since. That to me was my word of honor. By upholding that word of honor I am upholding my Hindu culture which is also to a large extent Tamil culture. To the extent I am true to that culture – that culture would support me from the depth of my investment. As my spiritual Guru Swami Sathya Sai Baba says ‘Dharma protects those who protect Dharma’. Those who extracted that bail undertaking from me, largely due to indifference, would reap their own karma through their own cultural paths. Due to this indifference they failed to consciously practice Equal Opportunity principles with me. They thus contributed negative grades to Australia’s self confidence in the area of Equal Opportunity issues. Some returns have already happened at the public level. For my turn I am using my experience to help others of common faith manage issues at their level.
Just recently, to a lawyer from a leading Law firm, demanding without any inquiry – that an Australian Tamil pay for the repairs in an accident that happened two years ago – I wrote ‘Ms Xxxx, it is shocking that a professional lawyer representing Yyyyyy Lawyers – a reputed Law Firm – would ‘judge’ and then spell out the punishment and also threaten further punishment through legal action if that one-sided judgment is not obeyed ! This leads one to conclude that to you Mr. A and the Community he belongs to as a migrant – are legally ignorant peasants waiting to be exploited ! Mr. A’s name may paint such pictures in your mind. But if you do your homework, you would include in that picture, the judgments in action by all the intermediary authorities with the power to take legal action – primarily the two insurers. Even Mr. B’s insurer seems to have abandoned him once we complained to the Ombudsman.’
The confidence with which I wrote as above comes from my own direct experience – with the Australian legal system – at all times with the highest respect for the laws of Australia. I believe that I thus connect to the minds of others who practice and value those laws. Some custodians of power in Courts and other institutions do judge and punish unjustly. But if we go into their ‘territory’ – (in Dr. Seneviratne’s case it is Malaysia) we must respect their laws and their interpretations of the law – however unjust and unfair it may seem to us. This is why it is unlawful to resist arrest. After they pronounce their judgment and we disagree – we must do what we do openly – by alerting the authorities concerned – as per the principles of transparency.
If Dr. Seneviratne did expect these outcomes and as a veteran he ought to have expected them – and he still went ahead – I conclude that Dr. Seneviratne was doing what he did as a show of support to his side.
Dr. Seneviratne’s side in the issue of Tamil Refugees does not include me. Dr. Seneviratne wrote to me in response to my response to Professor Damien Kingsbury’s stand on this issue (http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2012/10/professor-kingsburys-eyes-colonial-or.html) ‘I commend Damien Kingsbury for his monumental work which I have just bought and read from cover to cover. Although I do not agree with a few points, they are trivial. Overall, this is a very important contribution from someone with knowledge and ability. That the R2P has not been applied to Sri Lanka is something I have written and spoken about for years. However, I am only a doctor of medicine and has neither the knowledge nor the ability of Damien Kingsbury to deal with this in depth as he has.
It is a pity that this terribly important book has been priced so high that some may not be able to afford it but if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. In any case, that is beyond Damien Kingsbury’s control.It is such a pity that financial constraints prevented me from attending the C.J Eliezer Memorial Oration delivered by Kingsbury. I commend the ETA for making this wise choice at a time when the Tamils need some hope and sound advise
I might also say that sending all sorts of nonsense to huge numbers of people is counterproductive to the struggle of the Tamil people for justice. It must stop right now.
If my work is nonsensical to Dr. Seneviratne – then at least one of us is not working for Tamil Independence. To me ultimately – Justice happens through the system of karma – cause and effect. We do and we reap. Dr. Seneviratne sowed in 2009 and he reaped in 2012. Singapore authorities were just part of the medium through which karma traveled. To me this denial of entry was earned by Dr. Seneviratne and if my assessment of Dr. Seneviratne is correct – he would be enjoying it all. LTTE did not respect the law and they were open about it. One ought to expect LTTE supporters to be likewise and uphold that heritage with dignity. If we act as per our Truth and Truth alone – that is above all laws. Unless therefore we are structuring a secular system of Justice for Tamils – each investor/group is for her/himself/itself. All those who have faith in us and in whom we have faith – will naturally share in the value of these investments – for better or for worse. Some may be visible and others formless energies that motivate from within. LTTE did not freely allow all into Vanni. Even Tamils are known to have been rejected by them. LTTE supporters need to respect and expect the return at that level from other Governments and not expect higher rights.