Equal Opportunity to Kangaroo Courts

| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam    

( January 10, 2013, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I write in response to Sri Lanka Guardian article  ‘Scheduled Impeachment Debate Is Not Constitutional  by Professor Laksiri Fernando.
.................... Summery : Play the Video ...........

Professor Laksiri Fernando states ‘Therefore, if the ruling Rajapaksa regime stubbornly goes ahead with their scheduled impeachment debate on 10-11 January, it would not be a proper procedure and not even a proper Parliament, but a mock one like their Kangaroo Court of the PSC. Both the moral and the legal legitimacy of such a debate would be at the lowest ebb. Any sensible President who wishes to respect the rule of law and the constitution of the country cannot consider a resolution based on such a debate a valid ‘Address of Parliament’ to remove the Chief Justice.’
Some societies / communities work well with Kangaroo Courts. To my mind they are really political courts used by ‘jumping minds’ that  are not strong enough to relate through common principles and laws. To my mind, my parallel experience to that of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, happened due to Equal Opportunity claims. The Chief Justice is also being punished for claiming her right to Equal Opportunity as the President to interpret the law and judge accordingly. Unless we connect to our own experiences or the experiences of those whom we feel are a part of us – these events do not become experiences. Hence I look for my parallel experience.

Hence I state that I have had experience with the Kangaroo Courts (as per my mind) here in Kangaroo land. At one stage of my custody, I was assessed by the Court’s Psychiatrist - Dr.O’Neil whose report is reproduced at Appendix 1
As per this report based on which I was threatened with enforced medication, I was considered to be mentally ill and hence my actions in challenging the Administration of the University of New South Wales. As per the evidence available,  I was considered mentally ill due to my belief in Gandhi and Sai Baba. There is no objective evidence in the report, of any other cause.
The side that is showing support for the Judiciary may or may not win. Those close to the politicians – especially the President and his brothers would be in a position to better project what they who do control the outcomes in Sri Lanka would do. Since independence, majority vote was used to ‘show’ outcomes that were attractive to the voters of majority race.  We the minorities have learnt to accept Kangaroo Court rulings since independence. Mere acceptance at that level, without fighting at the higher intellectual level, led to the birth of the LTTE in Sri Lanka and 9/11 attackers in the USA. In other words, we got the behavior we rewarded.
The Sri Lankan Parliament’s judgments have for a long time been through Kangaroo Administration. That is the nature of those driven by majority vote without real common belief. One without strong roots would keep jumping from place to place; decision to decision. Here in Australia, the judge who ruled that I was mentally ill – is of Aboriginal origin. Aborigines are well known for their walkabouts. Unless therefore a judge of that clan consciously used common principles to judge – her/his judgment would be as per her/his natural thoughts based on her/his culture.  This is the reason why there is Separation of Powers – so that the two groups would travel parallel to each other and never meet. I have written as follows in this regard: ‘Parent-child relationship is the most common form of relationship known to us. When a child fulfills more than 50% of the responsibilities to keep that relationship complete, the child is sharing in the leading part of that relationship and v.v. Hence a child who has successfully completed the parent-child relationship would be a reliable  and confident parent. One who contributes more than 50% to that relationship starts owning the ‘whole’. Once we own the whole – it does not matter whether we follow the vertical hierarchical system or the lateral democratic system. Under the latter, we would comfortably include ourselves as children and hence become their equals on the outside, whilst still carrying the higher values in our consciousness. Being seen to be their equals helps the child to be transparent. Hence we find that young democratic parents often use ‘rules’ and ‘reasoning’ with their children in place of subjective authority from a higher level.   These values are naturally shared when children are able to freely access us. Likewise our juniors. Completing the relationship requires one to identify with and be driven by that Truth. If we accept the Truth at the lower level of the relation – i.e.- before the one with minority status is naturally able to step into the higher half of the relationship – towards achieving the higher status  - we would be downsizing our relationship and the positions we hold through that relationship. This often happens when parents become dependent on children. It’s when our first relationships are not completed that we encounter problems in new relationships. This leads to lack of motivation to changeover to Democracy from Autocracy. Sri Lanka suffered from uprisings due to the  inability of the leaders to complete their  relationship with the British.  In turn these leaders accepted rebelling citizens who were yet to complete their part of the old relationship and therefore to step into the higher part of Government – as per the old system. Hence the government has downsized itself and hence the  current problems with the Western world.’  
To my mind, if the Sri Lanka Judiciary had successfully completed its relationship with its citizens, it would now be able to comfortably come down to the level of the common citizen and influence that common citizen to defeat the Politician who is currently using Kangaroo Administration and then calling the outcome  a judicial decision.  By accepting such unprincipled ways against the Tamils – Sinhalese naturally downgraded themselves to Governance by majority vote ONLY.  Tamils who desired the parallel downgraded themselves to Governance by armed power ONLY. We’ll keep copying each other round and round the mulberry bush of physical control.  

Appendix 1
Referred by Legal Aid, mental health concerns.


Mrs. Paramasivam is a 55 year old lady originally from Sri Lanka and currently resident in Coogee. She has been resident in Australia since 1985.

She states she was previously employed as an accountant with the University of New South Walesuntil 1998. Following a disagreement with her employers she resigned, although she subsequently returned on a casual basis. She feels that she was dismissed on racial grounds and that her former employers should be jailed. (instead of her). She has appealed her case to a number of organizations but has not been reinstated.

She has not worked with this organization since 1998, she states, (Gaja’s note: I did not because I did do consulting work thereafter – but Dr. O’Neil was speaking to someone on the phone and hence wrote his own imagined version) but nonetheless states she writes to her former employers on a daily basis for the past seven years to advise them on policy matters. She feels the Police, University and Judiciary are colluding against her. She states that eventually the truth will be revealed and likens her predicament to that of Mahatma Gandhi. (Gaja’s note: Dr. O’Neil asked me specifically whether I thought I was reincarnation of Gandhi and I said ‘NO – but I identify with some of Gandhi’s work’).

She denies any previous contact with psychiatric services other than a recent assessment at Prince of Wales Hospital (1/11/2004) in which no evidence of mental illness was discovered. She denies any history of self harm.

At interview today, Ms Paramasivam was courteous, pleasant and appropriate. She was neatly dressed. She denied depressed mood and there were no biological correlates of affective disorder.

Speech was normal in rate and volume. She described a number of unusual religious experiences in recent years.

She described a number of “visions” of a Hindu deity, Sai Baba. He has appeared to her in the sky. “He had an orange glow and He showed me the gap in His teeth”. She states that red dust miraculously appeared on the hand of an image of Sai Baba in a picture in her house in 1998. She states that as recently as yesterday she saw Sai Baba and that He spoke to her calling her “daughter”. She states she was able to touch His Feet.

There was no evidence of formal thought disorder or cognitive impairment. She feels strongly that she must continue her current course of action in the name of a “higher truth” and that her religious experiences are not unusual. (Gaja’s note: They are not unusual  to millions of Hindus or even to Christians who celebrate Easter).

She denies any thought of harming herself or others, in particular University staff members.

Based on my interview with Mrs. Paramasivam and perusal of a lengthy letter addressed to the Registrar and Prosecutor of Waverley Local Court dated 18-11-2004, I believe it likely that Mrs. Paramasivam meets criteria as a mentally ill person within the meaning of the Mental Health Act. She describes a range of beliefs meeting the definition of delusions and hallucinatory experiences.


For non custodial disposition:
·                     That Mrs. Paramasivam be transferred for assessment and possible admission under Section 33(1)(a) of the Mental Health (Criminal Procedures) Act 1990

For custodial disposition
·                     She will be referred to the prison mental health services.

Dr. Conor O’Neil MB DPM MRCPsy
Senior Registrar in Forensic Psychiatry
Statewide Community and Court Liaison Service

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