Much about Dr. Kohona’s Case

The Hon Julia Gillard
Prime Minister
Parliament House

11 March 2011
Dear Ms Gillard,

(March 11, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I refer to your response to ‘Inner City Press’ in relation to Dr. Palitha Kohona’s involvement in the Sri Lankan war. This morning I received from Jaya BT E-Mail Services, a communication entitled ‘As Gillard Is Asked Of ICC & Australian Sri Lanka Citizen Kohona, UN Still In Denial’. I was particularly interested in your response which was – words to the effect “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”.

Madam Prime Minister, I agree with you that it would be in breach of the Doctrine of Separation of Powers to deliver judgment on the particular case against Dr. Kohona, now reported to be before the ICC. By the same token to me, it is not inappropriate of Dr. Palitha Kohona to discuss political actions of his government in a global academic forum such as Harvard University, until the case before the ICC has been dealt with and their judgment delivered. That judgment may or may not be identified with by others – especially the community that the victims belong to. But at least this separation keeps undue influence away from the forum that is required to be independent. Intellectual decisions and judgments are required to be independent of the two sides. Hence the need for Separation of Powers. That was also the reason why the LTTE fought for a separate state on behalf of those whom they represented. This was NOT the Tamil community as a whole. To my mind, in essence, they represented Tamil victims of politics.

Had the Government of Sri Lanka recognized the LTTE as a local military power and left it to the two sides to fight it out at the military level, there would have been no just grounds on which to take this matter to the ICC. To the extent other arms of the Sri Lankan Government got involved – the issue came out beyond military borders. To the extent the UN got involved, the issue came out beyond the local Sri Lankan borders to global level. Australian Tamils have been taken to court for financially supporting the LTTE. When I filed a complaint last week with the Australian Human Rights Commission, against Dr. Kohona, who to me was interfering with the intellectual processes at the global level – including through the ICC, I received communications expressing appreciation (this included Australian academics) as well as concern that I might be punished when I went to Sri Lanka. Had you read my communications – at least the ones I wrote in November and December on this issue, which is closely related to Boat Refugees – your response to the media yesterday is likely to have been different.

As a citizen without portfolio, I am not expecting you to personally read all our letters. But considering I took Mr. Howard to court on the basis of unlawful racial discrimination and considering that his lawyers submitted as evidence in defence the letters written by me, I would have expected your department to have been more aware of communications from me and communicate to you the essence of those communications. I did this for years in Australia through Due Process and beyond. To me yesterday’s claim by you that you were not aware of this particular case was return karma for the person in that position through which I was denied my earned benefits and opportunities – and ended up going to prison – like the refugees in Christmas Island.

Yesterday, I heard parts of your speech to the US Congress which speech has been described as being an emotional speech by the media. I note that you were asked by the media about this emotional response, after your comments on Dr. Kohona of Sri Lanka.

Emotions, Intellect and Feelings are the three levels of influence that we go through in making decisions. We do not discriminate when we use emotions or feelings. Emotions are personal/local and Feelings are universal in value. Until we feel for all countries as if they were a part of us and we of them – we need to use intellectual discrimination towards deriving global values for our work. It is the genuine pain of Tamils of Sri Lankan origin that has resulted in the case against the Sri Lankan government going before the ICC. Madam, as our Prime Minister you had the duty to demonstrate in a Global forum, same level of feelings for Sri Lankan victims as you did for American victims . In a local forum, it should be more due to there being more Australians of Sri Lankan origin than Australians of American origins. Given that your feelings for Sri Lankan feelings seem lower than for Americans, I submit that it was important to limit your expressions of feelings towards Americans to that equal level and share the rest in ‘private’ forums as if you are family. That is the appropriate protocol expected of world leaders.

Emotions are personal to the individual and those physically connected to the individual. It is understandable that you would feel connected to Americans emotionally more than you would to Libyans or Sri Lankans. Hence, your statements delivered to the US Congress are lacking in global value.

I was shocked to hear you endorse Mr. Howard and glorify his presence in America during 9/11. As my previous communications, including to the Office of Prime Minister, would confirm, I believe that Mr. Howard was present in America during 9/11 because of his negative karma / investment in racial equality. The feelings of a victim are far more powerful than the emotions of a person responsible to protect the victim. Belief is the source from which feelings flow. That which is felt collectively within one’s local group becomes emotions when expressed outside that circle. For example, your feelings as an Australian when used within Australian borders – physical and mental – would produce results that could be comfortably integrated at the global level. But when expressed in an American or Global forum without links to common values at that level – become emotions. Neither feeling or emotion - is the result of conscious discrimination using the intellect – Puththi – as we say in Tamil. When we are emotional we think like those in our physical and mental environments. Hence I am able to identify with the following media observation “Neil Mitchell said PM Gillard 'sounded more like John Howard than John Howard'.”

Emotional persons tend to be reactive and change as per the environment they are in. Hence the need for conscious intellectual discrimination. To my mind, it is due to lack of this intellectual discrimination that Australia continues to suffer from low status in racial equality. Conscious intellectual discrimination is the tool to be used in practicing Separation of Powers between the Judiciary and Politics – a reason quoted by you in the case against Dr. Palitha Kohona.

In terms of Australian Politics, you were required to represent the emotions of your party and not that of the opposition – i.e. – Mr. Howard’s party. Towards this you needed to keep your distance from areas emotionally covered by your opposition. This is the alternative to intellectual discrimination. The intellectually driven would have the capacity to keep the two sides of a physical result, in their mind towards completing the picture and realizing the Truth through that wholesome picture. This is

necessary for all concerned. Those who need to see to believe – i.e. – the emotionally driven – need to fill their minds with only their side and present their picture which in a democracy would be 50% of the picture that represents the problem and therefore the basis of the solution.

To my mind, by joining sides with Mr. Howard, you have denied Australians the benefit of connecting to the victims of unjust subjective discrimination including on the basis of race - within America. The better path would have been for you to take the intellectual approach and keeping both sides as equal in your mind.

Separation of Powers are needed when we are not able to use intellectual discrimination in preference to emotions. Intellectual powers are the basis of merit. Politics in a democracy is based on majority vote – which is an expression of our local faith. If a Government is driven mostly by this and therefore by votes – the country would not progress intellectually and therefore towards global values. Hence the need for Separation of Powers between politics and legal systems; between local faith and independent judgment that would benefit the whole.

Where merit basis is not used, the consciousness of Equal status of the other side needs to be maintained at all times. In other words, within America – the emotions of victims of multiculturalism ought to have been recognized as being equal to the proponents of multiculturalism or the proponents of physical revenge – persons seeking an eye for an eye – should have been afforded equal status as the victims of revenge actions. Had we done that – we would have made wholesome contribution to the world. I point out that on this basis I questioned the payout to Dr. Haneef even though at local level, Dr. Haneef and I are on the same side – as migrants from the Indian Subcontinent.

In the case of Dr. Kohona, I submit that there was nothing to prevent you from discussing the issue of civilian victims of Sri Lanka, at the same level as you discussed Libya. Appendix 1 is a communication in response to the protest by Dr. Kohona’s predecessor in the United Nations – against applying Middle East model to Sri Lanka. If that is taken as correct, and it would be at emotional level – then you and Mr. Howard were wrong in including yourselves in the victims of 9/11 which was against Americans at that time. One needs to wonder whether Bali Bombings would have excluded Australian victims if we had used the intellectual basis. If you claim that our support for victims of 9/11 was on intellectual / independent global basis – we have a moral obligation to discuss the Sri Lankan issue to the same extent as we are discussing the Libyan issue or limit the open discussions to the level common to both countries. As per my observations, Sri Lankans on both sides to the war have contributed more towards global level development of intellectual skills and culture of democracy than Libyans have. Hence we are entitled to greater attention once the immediate danger has passed.

Madam Prime Minister, we take our real values with us when we go as individuals beyond our local / family borders. That is like turning 18 in politics. That is how we help others complete their cycles of Truth through our own Truth – for better or for worse. We cannot DO it for them. We have the ability to facilitate them if they are genuinely seeking. I believe that even Nature would respond to those who uphold Truth under difficult circumstances. If not for belief in this Natural Power, we Australians would not have sought Sainthood for Mother Mary McKillop. Libyan as well as Sri Lankan civilians without arms are part of Nature. Only those to whom Truth is Natural would be able to and are helping those children of God/Nature. All others when they seek to help are mere messengers of these souls.

Let us therefore not lose sight of the message on Human Rights Day from the UN Secretary General:

“Laws to protect and promote human rights are indispensable. But quite often, progress comes down to people, courageous women and men striving to protect their own rights and the rights of others, determined to make rights real in people’s lives.

Diverse in background, sometimes part of a civil society organization, or a journalist or a lone citizen, they all share a commitment to expose wrongdoing and stand up, speak, and today tweet, in the name of freedom and human dignity. Far too often, their work entails tremendous risk. Defenders are harassed, stripped of their jobs and wrongfully imprisoned. In many countries, they are tortured, beaten and murdered. Their friends and family members are also subjected to harassment and intimidation. Let us remember that everyone – no matter their background, training or education – can be a human rights champion. So let us use that power. Let us each be a human rights defender.” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

As explained in my communication below (Appendix 1), history / politics based on genuine work would always show complete picture which is the wholesome problem and therefore the basis of wholesome solution. We can all complete the picture for ourselves and for others who have faith in us. Like different religious forms of the One God – we would all be true if our work is True – however different our pictures may look on the outside. As pointed out by fellow Sri Lankan Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke, they cannot be applied as is at the physical level. As we say in Tamil – the pain of a child crying that his rice-soup is lacking in salt is the same as the pain of a child crying that his milk is lacking in sugar. Their parents/governments are different and hence their pains look different. We need to bring them to common level through us. In your shoes I would seek and find someone I believe is a true Libyan and also another who is a true Sri Lankan and know through them as to who needs me more and also who would be relieved more by my assistance. It is that real relief that is a Blessing for Australia and flows as Goodwill. Where this is not possible, I would keep my distance from both because I believe that every wrong move naturally reduces our real powers of democracy – earned through sacrifices of many ordinary Australians.

Yours sincerely,
Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam

Appendix 1

 Are You a True Diplomat Dr. Dayan?

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