| by Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam
(October 31, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sri Lankans on both sides of the ethnic divide are accusing each other of Terrorism. Those driven by hearsay, would blindly follow the side they like. Those using Intellectual Discrimination would tend to join the side that comes out ‘right’ and those using belief would take the side with deeper need, and discipline confidentially the ‘other’ side.
|30 October 2011 – CHOGM, Commonwealth Leaders Retreat today at the Kings Park, Perth Western Australia.©Annaliese McDonough/Commonwealth Sectretariat.|
This morning, I read the article ‘Getting to the truth of Nandikadal ‘ by Ms Kishali Pinto Jayawardena, published in Sri Lanka Guardian. Later, I read also read the article ‘Pro-Tiger groups gang up against Lanka in Australia’, in Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times.
The substance I identify with, through these articles, would depend on which of the following three dominates my thoughts: – Belief; Intellectual Discrimination or Hearsay?
Belief based thoughts would generally be steady and be in common with others we identify with. I identified with much of the analyses by Ms Jayawardena as a professional. I could not however, identify with the following by Ms. Jayawardene: ‘What indeed is the point of the upcoming report of the Lessons Learnt Commission when its interim recommendations have not yet been implemented?’
As per the Sunday Times, our Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Kevin Rudd, says in this regard:
Question: How important is it to have a human rights watch? Do you think and then also are you concerned about Sri Lanka’s human rights record…?
Kevin Rudd: ‘On the particular question of Sri Lanka that you raise the Australian national position. When it comes to human rights problems in Sri Lanka, it is well documented. We simply say very clearly to our friends in Sri Lanka that it is of fundamental importance that the upcoming reconciliation commission report deal with the various questions which have now been raised in the UN report on allegations of human rights abuses within Sri Lanka. Furthermore the Australian national position is that the UN Human Rights Council needs to revisit its earlier deliberations on this matter. These are generally the position of many governments across the world. When it comes to the Commonwealth agenda itself the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Heads of Government Meeting provide opportunities also to raise these matters. ‘
I receive the above by our Minister, Mr. Rudd, on the basis of our Common Belief as Australians and also as per his Department’s inclusion of me in Community meetings – which I believe happened due to my belief in the issue at the ‘National level’. It happened naturally – without any calculations on my part. When we ‘believe’ – whatever we witness with this belief in our hearts – is ‘good’ for us. Those observed facts confirm our inner Truth. Facts witnessed without belief go towards structuring the problem and therefore the solution. They do not go to the root of the solution.
From the point of view of Ms Jayawardene, LLRC’s final report may have lesser value due to lack of implementation of its interim recommendations. This seems like the interim stage of the above three that influence our thoughts. The interim stage is the Intellectual stage at which we allocate ‘rights and wrongs’. The Australian Government has NOT found the Sri Lankan Government ‘wrong’ nor have Australian Tamils found the Tamil Tigers ‘wrong’. They are both receiving facts and reports as per their Belief and/or are merely repeating hearsay. Hearsay used without belief is frivolous and needs to be dismissed by the observer. If used, it would dilute the power of belief for the observer/user.
How does one distinguish between the two? The Australian courts did not distinguish between the two and therefore they kept dismissing my complaints as being ‘frivolous’. They became the media through which respondents delivered their verdict. If this was lacking in belief and does not show clear use of Common Measure; it automatically damages the common belief of the institution and nation that gives the judges their authority to judge. Where a judge has neither belief nor a common measure – the judge needs to dismiss her/himself through the side s/he believes in.
Mr. John Dowd of the same system as Mr. Rudd, and the Australian media – have accepted the respective sides as being of substance. This shows a big difference between our social justice system and our legal system. The same person (Mr. Dowd in this instance) is more accepting of evidence from minorities now that he is in the social system than when he was in the legal system. Our political system is the rich middle-class – swaying more at the moment with the social system rather than the legal system.
We derive value from the Social system – by stepping back after our work has been done – and observing the outcomes without influencing them either way. To my mind, this is the essence of Lord Krishna’s Geetha – which recommends that we do the work and not expect benefits. The benefits would come as per our needs and the needs of the society we are a part of. We vote and then ‘accept’ the outcome. We discriminate, judge for ourselves and then leave the rest to the system that has the responsibility to deliver outcomes that confirm our work and investments. To influence the system at the final stages is to apply duress. The more we identify with the judgment of the system – the more our belief in the system would be strengthened and v.v. My belief in the Australian Administrative and Legal systems was drastically reduced after they ‘failed’ me. Some of it has been since restored through various parts of the Federal Government showing recognition for the feedback they get from me. The deeper the need the greater the value of the response. My belief itself did not diminish – it took other forms – primarily – myself.
The essence of this problem to my mind is that both sides want to say the other was ‘wrong’. Allocating Rights & Wrongs as per common measures helps us include in the issue and our thinking, those who are not physically close to us. To the extent those others – for example Australian Government in this instance – believe in that system – we are strengthened and motivated by their belief – even if we do not see them or hear about them. Belief in Common connects us naturally and continuously. Once we believe, we have the natural ability to influence the system/person we believe in as if they are a part of us. Then they would deliver the outcomes as if we have delivered them ourselves.
At the moment, our Federal Government, through Mr. Rudd, is the one I identify most with, in this CHOGM part of this issue. I identify on the basis of my belief as per my contribution at Government level, for which I did not receive and/or derive direct benefits. That belief based investment was made back then and the dividends are happening now – without me directly influencing the Australian Government. I am yet to observe evidence of such identification by the Sri Lankan Government, in global values. Instead, they sound very defensive.
As per my mind, Australian Tamils do not have an official structure of global standards to be able to present their case through such a structure. As a community – they/we have not identified a leader of global standards of Democracy, amongst themselves. Hence Australian Tamils work largely through the ‘Common Belief’ system. Australian Tamils who have worked to bring this issue to the Australian Public, to the extent of their belief in Australian Public would naturally influence the Public. If this is strong, and the Government of Australia endorses it, they would have political gain to that extent. The recent death of a Tamil refugee in Sydney’s Villawood detention centre, would have naturally added strength to the importance of this issue, in the eyes of the Australian Public who are very sensitive to such ‘deaths in custody’. Australians driven by Intellectual Discrimination know that such deaths would be ‘wrongs’ in terms of Global status. Majority ‘rights’ we identify with, lead us to believe in that system through which rights and wrongs are allocated. At belief stage ‘rights’ become good and ‘wrongs’ become bad.
If the two sides to this ethnic conflict are to use ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ they both need to strengthen their respective Administrative and Legal systems. As they stand now, they rank far below the Australian system. Once strengthened, they need to first judge themselves. The side that still depends on others’ endorsement is not yet independent. Likewise, the side that uses others’ system due to the higher status of those others.
One who is able to stay within Belief, would – at the group level – not find fault on the basis of rights and wrongs but would recognize them as good and bad – light and dark – which naturally exist side by side. Such persons would share their higher goodness to bring about equilibrium – commonness. This takes the work to the root of the issue – where there is no differentiation between problem and opportunity. Only those persons are real leaders in Democracy. They would naturally work any democratic system at that level. Belief is a Divine power and it works irrespective of whether the other side returns our belief or not. If they do not, and we still believe – we are the other side also and therefore we are the whole. Those who believe would observe and be happy even though they may not get any credit. That is the value of Commonness without which there can be no democracy. The beginning and end of Democracy is this Commonness.
The outcomes that satisfy and make happy, true Sri Lankans, true Australians and /or true Global citizens – are the only valuable outcomes. Others are frivolous – however glamorous they may seem. In terms of CHOGM, as per my identification, the statement that LLRC report is the basic document for us to be led by – is a valuable outcome for Sri Lanka, Australia and the Global Community.
Those who believe, that either side are ‘Terrorists/War Criminals’ already have the cure. If they believe that their goodness is greater than the other side – they would include and become wholesome. They can afford to. If they do not believe this but just believe that they are good – then they must stay away from that other side.
If they are using rights and wrongs – instead of belief and facts that confirm that belief – they need to use Highest Common Measure and show the outcome as applied to themselves and then as applied to the other side. The process needs to be done – step by step and needs to be transparent – so that the exercise would be beneficial to those seeking similar solutions. Thus far the two sides have not been able to find an independent judge acceptable to both. Hence they need to judge themselves and publish their judgments about themselves and about each other – using the Common Measure. Then we are our own UN – developed bottom-up. All other parts of UN are irrelevant to us.