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Universities and Cycle of Truth

by Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam

(January 17m Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) This is in response to the speech by Professor Kalinga Tudor Silva, published in yesterday’s Sri Lanka Guardian.

Professor Silva raises the question ‘What should be the role of universities in post-war reconstruction and reconciliation in Sri Lanka?’

In suggesting solutions, Professor Silva says ‘In my view the post-war rebuilding in Sri Lanka should serve two related purposes. One is to rebuild infrastructure including houses, hospitals, roads, railways, public buildings and livelihoods, community organizations, mutual trust among communities destroyed during nearly three decades of armed conflict. Second identify, analyze, explain and respond to root causes of the ethnic problem so that a recurrence of similar events in future may be avoided and the all too familiar cycle and pattern of communal violence dating back to 1958 language riots is not repeated all over again.’

The ‘lesson’ that comes to mind is about the Kalpaga tree (wish-giving tree). The root of this tree is in the sky/heaven and the tree is standing upside down. Likewise, the solution to the ethnic problem. The problem is in earth – the root of the problem is in the land. When we have a solution to that problem, the root will be up above the sky based on the same fruits. It is not by growing another tree or repairing the existing root below the surface. Repair would at best restore to the old state which is currently obsolete.

As per the Tamil community, one of the root causes of the war was the ‘quota’ system to University entrance. The conversion of Ramanathan and Parameswara colleges into University of Jaffna was a quick answer, similar to alleged development aid to Tamil areas. The real solution to this system came from the ‘sky’ – migration of Tamils to western countries during the war. Most children of Tamil migrants in Western countries are known to do exceptionally well in the university systems of those countries. That was the Natural solution. Those who are not able to appreciate this, seem to want to have it both ways. Hence the ongoing expressions of revenge from parts of Tamil Diaspora. Revenge gives the problem another form.

Suicide bombing to the extent it was revenge driven was also one form of the problem. No person has the authority to kill / damage someone else’s genuine investment. Our parents, relatives, teachers and others invested in us through various positions. Until all those investments are repaid we do not own ourselves even at the physical level. Hence, when we commit suicide, we are killing all their investments and therefore their motivation to live to the extent of that investment. When we kill others through such suicide, the damage is exponential.

The solution that is indicated from within is – Research – about our own psyche. Research by Schools of psychology and psychiatry within University of Jaffna, would lead to the Truth about the inner damage to Tamil psyche through the war. But this needs to be ‘pure’ without outside interference. We must be facilitated to research and find the answers. We must have the courage to publish the Truth we found.

The media is, to a degree, fulfilling that role. Like with Study Circle discussions at our Sai Centers, we exchange feelings and views through the media. Sri Lanka Guardian, to me has been a healing medium. To the extent we share through our own experiences rather than ‘tell’ as per theory, we are being democratic. To the extent we talk theory from above, we need ‘faith’ to derive value.

In the case of University of Jaffna – a local University, faith based opportunities are lacking especially in sciences, due to emigration of professional elders/academics. As I say to my students, education helps us (1) improve our knowledge to wards job opportunities and (2) develop common faith through our institutions and therefore strengthen our character. Through faith in others, we naturally identify their Truth. That is Divine power.

Through the media, genuine seekers relate to others’ experiences and that helps complete the experience through them. Institutions and their rules regulate us to find the Truth through their activities. But where the rules are more theory and there is not enough faith in the institutional elders to know the Truth about the institution, we tend to keep the issue open. Hence the more we fill our memories with alleged facts and knowledge from others – instead of knowing through our own experiences, the further we are from completing the Cycle of Truth.

When we complete the cycle of Truth the issue becomes a natural part of us. So long as we are in our natural environments, that Truth will drive our thoughts and actions. Where we are fearful of identifying with our Truth, we need others who have the positive side of that fear. The same damage that makes one fearful would be accepted as natural by one who has completed the Cycle of Truth at that level or higher.

Local Universities need to complete their cycles of Truth and be self-sufficient to produce their own work. That is a true University. Such a University will naturally heal all those who have faith in It.

Today’s Sri Lanka Guardian highlights the value of this through the article ‘Remembering RR Sivalingam And Thiruchanduran of the Indian Tamil Community’

To me, Tamil refugees in Western countries are suffering the return karma for alienating Up-country Tamils when fighting for autonomy at the National level.

Completing our Cycle of Truth at the highest level possible is root the real heavenly solution.

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