| by Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam
(October 26, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I heard on last night’s SBS TV World News that our Australian Attorney General has declined consent in relation to Jegan Warran’s charges against President Rajapakse of Sri Lanka, filed in the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court.
I appreciated that the position of President of Sri Lanka was not being attacked by the Administrative head of the Australian legal system.
Later I heard that our Prime Minister had said ‘Australia and like-minded countries have been urging and will continue to urge Sri Lanka to address the serious allegations that have been made of human rights violations’
To me, that meant that Sri Lanka was no more a distant land to our Prime Minister – as it seemed to be in March this year, when our Prime Minister was questioned on this issue during her UN visit. Back then our Prime Minister said in response to a question by the ‘Inner City Press’ in relation to Dr. Palitha Kohona’s involvement in the Sri Lankan war “I am not personally aware of all of the details of that case. We are a supporter of the ICC. We are a supporter of proper legal processes and practices and one of the rules that comes with proper legal processes and practices is that political leaders shouldn’t make commentary about legal matters when they are underway”
As I keep pointing out in public forums, our decisions are made on the basis of Belief, Merit and likes & dislikes. The higher the position, the stronger the belief component needs to be. The more active the position, the greater the merit component needs to be. The ‘likes’ of the Good would be the rights as per merit basis. It looks as if the Australian Political Leadership is now beginning to develop more belief about Sri Lanka, than they did until now.
I read this morning, the article headed ‘Fraser supports call for Sri Lanka war crimes inquiry’ in ‘The Age’ .
I thought about all of the above, as a Sri Lankan as well as an Australian. I have a duty to do this to match the belief of our leaders – leaders of both my countries.
Today, Hindus celebrate Deepavali – the festival of lights. As per Hindu Belief, it is a celebration of the victory of Good over Evil. Who is the Good side in this Sri Lankan issue and who is the Evil side? Those who think they have ‘won’ would think that their side was the Good side. The war continues (now through calls for war-crimes) because there are no clear winners – which would happen with any war if that war went below merit level – and therefore affected the beliefs of one or both sides.
To all those who celebrated the victory of the Sri Lankan armed forces, May 18 would be their Deepavali, if they truly believed that they were Good and that they eliminated Evil. If that were the case, it would be very difficult to relate to the current position held by former LTTE second in command – Colonel Karuna. When Karuna was included as part of the Government of Sri Lanka, so were all the LTTE members under that position. Anything else would be unjust and unfair.
If the victory of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces was so strong that it deserved sharing with the rest of the world, it would have by now developed into a Global day of celebrations against Terrorism. Our Australian Prime Minister’s response confirms that that was not the case. It was a victory local to the Sinhalese Armed Forces against Tamil Armed Forces. It was also a confirmation of the defeat of the Civil Powers within the Sri Lankan Government, by the Sinhalese Military Powers. By extending the Celebrations/‘Thamashas’ (as a Sri Lankan Professional of Sinhalese origin called them), the Sri Lankan Government chose to prolong the war. As usual, LTTE supporters are retaliating. As we sow, so shall we reap.
The calls for war inquiry, if genuine, would mean that the LTTE would also be exposed and punished for its excesses. White Australians may be ready for this. But is the Tamil Community ready for this? Would it be better or worse for us – especially that part of us without ready and easy access to legal services outside Sri Lanka?
The way Australians of Sri Lankan origin fail to take action against their current leaders, Sri Lankans of Tamil origin would also fail to take action against their Sri Lankan leaders. Only Australians who take actions against their current leaders have the moral right to sue the leaders of another country for wrongs in that country. Those who believe they are Global citizens, need to first contribute to developing a Global system that is strong enough to believe in the citizen more than in the government. Both are legal positions and we need many times the strength of the government positions to successfully invoke the powers of such a system. If such were to happen to compensate Tamils of Sri Lanka, it would be through the blessings of Civilians and not the Tamil Armed Forces and their supporters.
Tamils seeking Global Justice – need to first assess themselves on the basis of how such actions would affect the Community as a whole, in terms of everyday life rather than what we ‘show’ outsiders. Most of us are with one foot in the grave and need to consolidate our life’s work to enable our children draw from our strengths. The more active we are in the area of wins and losses – the less our contribution to consolidation and preparation of our Balance Sheet .
The side that is able to complete the war towards this is the Good side representing Krishna (the Light of Wisdom ) Who vanquished Demon Narakaasuran (Darkness of Ignorance). If neither is able to do this – neither has earned global status. They both need to have their fights in private.