| by Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam
(December 15, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I write in response to the report ‘Right thinking Sinhalese win the hearts and minds of minority communities of Sri Lanka’, by Rajasingham Jayadevan, published in Sri Lanka Guardian.
Mr. Jayadevan writes ‘The theme of the meeting was ‘Peace, Security and Development through Good Governance’ and was aimed to engage the young Sri Lankan politicians from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), United National Party (UNP), All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC) and young civil society actors from north and south of Sri Lanka including a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Representative’
This is encouraging and gives one the feeling that we would see some progress in this ethnic issue – before we pass away. The strongest contribution would come from the generation that has had the experience.
The report says ‘The parliamentarians representing the government expressed hope that the LLRC report to be released on 21 December 2011 will be an opening for changes to happen in Sri Lanka. They said they are the younger generation of parliamentarians under the ages of forty and have come to listen to the views of the Diaspora community and reflect them back home appropriately. Some delegates said, conduct of the Diaspora has developed anti-Tamil Diaspora sentiment amongst majority community in Sri Lanka. ‘
Parliamentarians need to have a feel by now about what would happen when the LLRC report is released. In fact they ought to have acted by now – as per this feeling. In terms of the Diaspora, especially the Tamil Diaspora, the interpretation of events and reports such as the LLRC report – would be different to the interpretation of local politicians of Sri Lanka. Politics in its genuine form is based on belief. People of a local area believe in their leader and they elect through that belief. This belief when expressed has different forms as per the cultures of the local areas. A UK politician would give a vastly different form to a Sri Lankan politician for the same issue in their electorate.
The report says for example ‘One young Sinhala leader who is a office bearer of the regional Conservative Party in a Shire county said, he had an opportunity to speak for fifteen minutes at a Tory party meeting in the morning attended by Prime Minister David Cameron before he could come to this meeting and without fear he raised very serious issues publicly for the Prime Minister Cameron to respond. He questioned whether such transparent mechanism is available in Sri Lanka and expressed concerns of his fate if he had done this with the President of Sri Lanka.’
If the above Sinhalese had done a direct translation at face value – it would have made little sense to the President of Sri Lanka, who is elected and not recruited on merit basis. The Tamil parallel of the above young Sinhalese, was the LTTE using its own processes to question Tamil politicians. Not only the President of Sri Lanka but also the local leader of any strong Tamil Diaspora group would act differently to the British Prime Minister the Hon David Cameron – who is different not only due to his position of Global standards in Administration, but also as an individual with demonstrated strong commitment to democracy. To question and be heard by the President of Sri Lanka, this Sinhalese needs to first become a Sri Lankan in mind at the time of questioning and/or have earned through merit the Administrative authority to question the Head of State which is part of a global group.
Mr. Jayadevan reports ‘One parliamentarian requested the Diaspora to forget the past and look for the future of peaceful existence. This request was responded with the innermost feelings by the gathering. They said many of them suffered as a result of the war and that they cannot forgot but prepared to forgive if honest political accommodation was found for the minorities.’
In this regard I shared this morning with a group of Sri Lankan Engineers as follows:
‘To me, if we can see right and wrong at the same time – we start using Puththi. This requires intellectual discrimination – and therefore which side is right and which side is at ‘fault’. The point from which we are not able to mentally see both sides at the same time is the highest point of independence for us. All work above that level would amount to hoarding unless we surrender it to someone who is able to use Puththi at a higher level to include all the work we have done.
To the extent we cling to our past – we are hoarding and v.v. Those who see only ‘one’ side lack the ability to use intellectual discriminative thinking. Hence they need to add their work to the leaders and not produce their own outcomes if they seek fulfillment. This is why we have Due Processes for Process workers/followers.
Members of this group publish their judgments and conclusions – without this ability to hold at the same time the right and wrong of an issue. It was because of this that governments adopted the system of Democracy through which we say my side is right and the other side is wrong. They would both be right to the intellectual thinker.
Believers as opposed to thinkers – are better off adding their work to those of thinkers – so that the outcomes are produced at the highest possible level to facilitate global participants.
This is why the Lankan Government ought to have added their work to the UN’s work. But they wanted the credit and hence claimed sovereign rights to do what they did. The solutions would then need to come from within, for them. We, Global Tamils need to use outcomes produced by Global Tamils to make our claims. This is the challenge before us. That is like using Australian work for Australians in this group and/or global level work.’
Global minded Sri Lankans (not necessarily living outside Sri Lanka) need to use discriminative thinking on the basis of the substance of the issue. They need to keep discriminating until the two sides of the picture produced are Equal and Opposite. One who is able to see this full picture – has already developed the Administrative solution. Through Public Administration and the Law and Order system some of us see the both sides of a picture and others – the side they identify more with. The former contribute to Public Administration and the Judiciary. Latter to Politics. Both are equally valid provided they are separated as per the Doctrine of Separation of Powers.
This was given a ‘judicial form’ as follows:
As per the Annual Report of the Sri Lankan Reconciliation Forum, Sydney former Attorney General of Sri Lanka, Mr. Sunil de Silva spoke on 29 May 2011 on the subject of ‘The Concept of Restorative Justice and its role in Peace Building in Post-Conflict Sri Lanka’. “Mr. Sunil de Silva explained to a curious audience the difference between the concepts of Restorative Justice and the more commonly practiced Retributive Justice. The latter focuses on retribution through punishing the offender while the former focuses on restoring the relationship between the offender and the offended through a process of admitting remorse and forgiving. He asked the audience to consider Restorative Justice – which is more compatible with reconciliation – as a way of addressing the crimes committed by the different parties during the 30 years of civil war” said the Annual Report.
Politics is about personal relationships and hence the need for reconciliation until the two sides see the respective ‘other’ side. The matter is then settled at that level. That is the parallel of the Tamil Diaspora and the Sinhalese Diaspora seeing each other’s side of what happened – so that they see the full picture. The picture is complete only when both sides have no more conflict over that particular matter. This is where the group that had the above meeting in the UK, specializing in information sharing, would have strong value. The picture thus formed then needs to be included in the wider / bigger picture through the administrative and judicial paths. Even in administration, the way the administrator interprets the picture would be different to the way a member of the judiciary would interpret, to the extent of use of approved discretionary powers. It needs to be, to uphold the Doctrine of Separation of Powers.
This Administrative path is the greater challenge and needs intellectuals who have demonstrated experience in discriminating on the basis of the substance of the issue – so that it would hold true irrespective of the persons involved. That is also our connecting bridge to the Global Community. Towards this these Administrators need to be able to see politicians from a higher level. Intellect / Puththi used through common principles and values helps to consolidate and then divide the physical outcome of the substance into two equal and opposite halves with no connection to which subject made the contribution. This confirms that the contribution has gone to the substance. The moment the administrator sees one side more than the other – s/he is crossing the border into politics.
Truth is the Universal Power that helps consolidate global / 360 degree facts.