| by Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam
( March 10, 2012, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I write in response to the article ‘Reconciliation in Sri Lanka in the regional context’ by Ravi Sundaralingam, published in Sri Lanka Guardian.
Mr. Sundaralingam introduces us to his article through the first paragraph ‘The 19th UNHRC sessions in Switzerland is drawing much attention from the Lankan officials and some of the Expatriate Tamil communities. Strangely only the Tamil National alliance (TNA) seems to have a sensible view about the whole set up. We refer only to TNA’s decision not to put in a show in Geneva’
Further down Mr. Sundaralingam states ‘Firstly, there is no doubt the government has liberated many from the LTTE whom it didn’t kill or lives of those it hasn’t accounted for yet.
Secondly, it is also correct to point out the LTTE as a major violator of human rights, for which no one is being held accountable. This is a fact that cannot be denied anymore, so we see belated apologies starting to appear from the LTTE supporters until its bitter end.’
Officially speaking, the Government of Sri Lanka is responsible for atrocities committed by any of its citizens, including the ones they do not like and/or disagree with. The moment the Government of Sri Lanka took steps to give ‘terrorism- form’ to its own shortcomings to effectively address the problem ‘internally’ – it lost its right to claim ‘sovereignty’ to get rid of the LTTE. If they were NOT Sri Lankans and were treated as non-Sri Lankans, the LTTE had the moral right to claim citizenship as per their own belief and hence they called themselves Eelam Tamils. From the time they were ‘abandoned’ as being anti-Sri Lankans, they gained the moral right to claim Separate State. They were born in the country which is/was for practical purposes called Sri Lanka. The Government does have the right to punish them as per the laws of the country but the Government does not/did not have the right to disown them. When it does, it is sending them away through which act, the Government is facilitating them to give their own form to their citizenship. If the Government had considered the LTTE to be Sri Lankans, the matter would be named Sri Lanka vs Sri Lanka. If they are not able to then they have abandoned that group and therefore with it the eligibility to use ‘sovereign rights’.
Mr. Ravi Sundaralingam states ‘Sovereignty is an idealised concept, which the smaller countries make it their sole purpose of existence, without questioning its actual meaningful experiences. Now after another phase of globalisation it is proving to be a futile idea yet, they still persist in establishing by bringing others into their domain and the region to get a “balance of forces”.’
To my mind, every person/group that is able to self balance without needing ‘external’ forces is an independent person with full entitlement to use ‘sovereign rights’. It was on this basis that I sought to speak to the Vice Chancellor of the University of New South Wales and got arrested. Despite imprisonment, my resolve did not weaken. That was confirmation of my sovereignty. Every independent person carries this sovereign right and not just those holding senior official positions. This morning I explained my realization of this beautiful sovereignty through my Guru – Swami Sai Baba as follows:
‘I felt the need for meditation after Swami showed He was there for me during my pain at the workplace. As Jeyapalan has quoted ‘Just sit in front of the divine and enjoy it.’ I just sat there in my Truth knowing Swami was with me. It was not pleasant due to the experience I was going through. But it was very calming and the lessons I learnt from it helped me enjoy sharing with others so they would not suffer as much as I.
I just sat there and thought about what happened to the exclusion of all else. Gradually I felt ‘free’ of other external influences and the solution was already there to free myself from dependence on others and enjoy my earned independence. I learnt with Swami’s help that we were free not only when we were born but always when we were within our Truth through our inner experiences. It is so very calming and romantic to be within that. THIS to me is the ultimate sweet benefit and I am so very grateful to Swami for guiding me from within. …… When I removed the maya within myself and was in my Truth I saw that Truth through others. This to me is essentially Swami’s sweet message ‘You and I are One’.
Translating that as knowledge – to communicate with others around me – I say that when we are able to accept both sides of our work – cost and benefit – we are calm. Otherwise our knowledge (including knowledge about meditation) ridden mind tends to run away and produce outcomes that lack the foundation of experience. When we pay the ‘cost’ of Guru-Thadchanai the knowledge we receive from the Guru has a foundation. When WE pay we have the experience. The deeper we dig to pay – especially replace our thoughts with those of our Guru – and pay ourselves – the stronger the foundation on which we receive knowledge. That then fructifies into wisdom. This is achieved also by practice of theory – as Swami says in so many ways.’
The Sovereignty claimed by the Sri Lankan Government was for their own forces and did not include Tamils – irrespective of whether they were combatants or civilians. Hence they had the moral right to defend and NOT to attack. By attacking – the Government has acted in breach of Dharma. When I think of meditation, I see Buddha. A true Buddhist to my mind would be strong practitioner of meditation. In the current battle at UNHRC it means accepting with dignity the loss/punishment to at least equal the profits from fighting to win and not just to defend.
Internally, Lessons Learnt through meditation – (locally in our privacy) – would lead us to the solutions to prevent future wars – only if we remain within our own Truth and not keep pointing the finger at others – such as the LTTE and the Diaspora that included the abandoned citizens of Sri Lanka. The Government’s guru seems to be not Lord Buddha but the exiled Prince Vijaya whose genes seem to be still in their system. They seem to have infected those who became their competitors – for example the LTTE. Those of us who have the good genes to cure these rebels and exiled & exiling governments are the immediate solution. The solution would last to the extent we are received and added to themselves by these alienating forces. To the extent the Sri Lankan Government received support and resources from countries outside Sri Lanka, they owe the UN a sharing of Truth – not for the sake of UN but for their own sake – to feel ownership and better work the UN mechanisms.