| by Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam
( March 12, 2012, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I write in response to the article ‘A Road to Reconciliation – Will we take it?’ by Gnana Moonesinghe, published in Sri Lanka Guardian.
My answer is I am already traveling along the road of reconciliation. I started along the road long before the Sri Lankan war ( for and against separation) came to an apparent end in May 2009. Some will see the road but not take it and some others would not see nor know about the road. They are the majority in Sri Lanka as well as those living outside Sri Lanka but who have the Sri Lankan guna/trait of fighting through physical /majority power instead of intellectual power. Only a few would travel the road of reconciliation.
Gnana Moonesinghe says ‘Although the end of the war points to the State as the victor, a sober reflection of the post war scenario will reveal that wars do not end in winners and losers. This war is no different; the victor will emerge only when reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction processes have achieved their targets and discussions on the war and the post conflict period becomes a thing of the past. The victors must emerge from both sides, from the majority and the minority communities looking to the future with a common vision for harmonious relationships, shared powers and shared resources that would bring progress to the people. Constantly looking out for divisive politics will get the country nowhere. The country must learn to make compromises and get over the patches’ (the world is full of them) and look to give the next generation better opportunities so that they will become achievers and not losers.’
I summarize this as ‘Write your Wills please’. Before writing our Wills to share our Truth with the next generation, we need to ask ourselves some questions and give ourselves some instructions such as ‘Bring about a closure in areas where you no longer seek to be active; Conclude whether you are a winner or a loser in the war – according to your own assessment; On that basis ask yourself whether you are leaving behind net assets or net liabilities’
To me the war was about separation – whether the Sinhalese did it through the Government or the Tamils did it through the LTTE. The form in which the two sides sought to show the way to separate was different. This war has shown yet again that Tamils refuse to be seen as second class citizens. A country driven more strongly by politics than by Public Administration trough discriminative thinking based on common laws and principles would continue to breed second class citizens of one form or the other. Tamils are continuing to declare that their faces would not be given to that weakness. To the extent they are not desiring their own selfish wins from their work, they are actually fighting for all Sri Lankans.
Right now, both sides are fighting through the LLRC and the UNHRC proposal. Former is Internal to the Government of Sri Lanka and the latter is internal to the Tamil Diaspora which feels part of the West. Similarly, LLRC is ‘external’ to the Tamil Diaspora and ‘internal’ to the Sri Lankan Government. Both Internal as well as External are needed by us. Internal for natural harmony within and External for status. Internally we assess on the basis of guna / trait and naturally take our places in accordance with our assessment of our status relative to the other’s status . Hence we have ‘positions’. An internal person would ‘know’ intuitively the cause of an action. It is based on the guna / trait. Such a person would have the power to prevent weak gunas / traits from affecting those ‘outside’ the boundaries of family/country. The unit owes that to the community in common. Hence we act through the head of family/country instead of directly on our own.
Within the UN, America is known to an investor in UN values and therefore is an ‘internal person’ to be a senior with higher position than Sri Lanka, in war issues. To the extent Sri Lanka fails to take its earned place internally but acts as an outsider to present its own picture in areas where UN has participated – Sri Lanka is becoming an outsider to the UN itself.
If the LTTE had bad guna / trait and the government had the good guna/trait in use of weapon/brawn power – to a much higher degree than was required to balance / diffuse the LTTE guna, the matter would have been internal and there would have been no need to list the LTTE as terrorists back then and therefore no need for the UNHRC resolution now. It would all have been ‘internal’ had the Sinhalese politicians taken their rightfully earned positions against Tamil politicians when the British left. If they could not assess – democracy says –‘ take Equal status until you have proof to take up higher or lower position’. This applies also to Tamil Politicians against Sinhalese Politicians. Those who do not have enough ‘internal investment’ to take up internal positions, need to take up Equal position until they have proof against it. Mere knowledge is not enough for an outsider. As external persons we need ‘proof’. As internal persons we have the privilege of using guna/trait – and intuitive knowledge. Now that the Sri Lankan issue has come beyond local borders, all external parties, including those who are in Government without intuitive knowledge have to take up Equal position with each other – as outsiders – requiring proof confirming the ‘effect’. One who identifies with the ‘cause’ does not need proof. One who needs proof (for example channel 4 evidence) or UN certificate about the LTTE, is an outsider and therefore requires proof of effects and when this is produced, the privilege of giving their own reasons as to the cause – scientifically and/or through their own belief. Outsiders are entitled to give their own reason as to why the effects happened / the cause of the actions that created the effects. Where human mind and therefore subjective thinking is a strong influence, the outsider would use the observations towards their own purposes – as the West is doing to a degree in the case of Sri Lanka. To the extent Diaspora members have become citizens of those Western countries, they are also ‘outsiders’ and have the responsibility to treat the opposition as Equals. Likewise, Resident Sri Lankans with members of the Diaspora. I wrote as follows recently in this regard, to a Sri Lankan Government Official:
‘You refer to Government Policy regarding ‘Foreign Donors’. Our donation of Land for the Thunaivi-Sangarathai Development Secretariat was, to my knowledge not on the basis that we were ‘Foreign Donors’. To my knowledge no approval from ‘External Resources Department’ was required for that donation. To my mind, the basis on which Expatriate Sri Lankans are treated needs to be different to the basis on which ‘Foreigners’ of non-Sri Lankan origin are treated. Even in terms of visa requirements – Sri Lankan expatriates are treated on a different basis. It is important that this difference is appreciated at the local level also.
If indeed, our gift was treated as ‘local’ and we are considered ‘foreigners’ by the Government and its agencies, then our gift of land to the People of Sri Lanka would to my mind, be not a valid gift and hence the Government of Sri Lanka, on behalf of the People would not have the lawful authority to administer the property……….
Where there is common faith, as Sri Lankans, we do not need objective proof above those required of locals. Where we are asked for higher requirements, I take it that the Government does not have faith in us and hence is seeking objective evidence to establish our ‘purpose’. As per the principles of Equal Opportunity – I must therefore be treated on the same basis as our Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, until there is objective proof to reduce my status.
Those who believe in me and consider me to be ‘local’ would naturally share in the essence of my work of Global standards. This is the higher value of our sharing through these projects.’
As per my assessment of myself, for the purposes of my Will in regards to the Sri Lankan war, I am leaving behind Positive Net Value for the next generation as well as for those who are currently ‘external’ but who would one day become ‘internal’ and work without needing proof to be part of the family.