| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
( December 9, 2013, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I write in response to the Sri Lanka Guardian article ‘Mandela: Saint Or Sinner?’.
To me the parallel of this in the Sri Lankan context is ‘Are the Tamil Tigers Freedom Fighters or Terrorists?’
On a personal basis – some would wonder whether I am a ‘democracy crusader or a nuisance?’
Those who work through the matter and get to the depth of the issue, would not get influenced by either label. They would on the other hand use the discoveries of that person in their own research and do so with respect for the person who made the discoveries. That is the subjective path.
The author of the above article states ‘The question of whether the individual is right to take up arms against their state is a difficult one. South Africa was one of, if not the most, democratic country in Africa at that time, even though only a minority of its people were allowed to vote (or even be classed as citizens). This question challenges the very nature of democracy – as I frequently do – is the legally-mandated government ever really morally legitimate?’
That question could be asked about many decisions by Administrations in most countries. Recently, a senior legal expert who I believe cared about me, said to me in relation to commenting about judicial officers – that it could amount to contempt of court. I wrote in this regard:
‘As per my own Dharma, I usually do not exceed the authority of the head of a household even in family gatherings. Where I am not able to bear it any more I just leave. That’s what happened at the UNSW. I was still sent to prison for trespass – which to me was unlawful arrest. But they were the apparent bosses at that place. Likewise the Judge in a court. To me, using higher authority than the CEO of an institution is contempt of that institution under any circumstances. Given the criticism of the Sri Lankan Government by various personalities – including the British PM during CHOGM – we need to have clear guidelines on this at the Administrative level also. Otherwise the judges acting outside their lawful authority earn the karma of the likes of LTTE to whom their law was the only law. Just by questioning that judge outside the Judge’s jurisdiction – I believe I was negating such accumulation of karma.’
Young investors in an issue are often driven by immediate / short-term returns. Hence decisions through majority vote. If they were ‘right’ decisions and/or were based on Truth – those decisions would support the group over a long period of time. Otherwise there is rapid change in leadership. Those of us who are swayed by majority opinion are likely to take the side that is likely to ‘win’ – as many Sinhalese take the side of the Government, in the war to eliminate the Tamil Tigers. They would call the Tamil Tigers Terrorists – as per the label given by the Sri Lankan Government. It makes little sense to wonder whether this label is right or wrong – because the win was through exercise of subjective powers.
Similarly, Tamils who have not invested in democratic governance through their everyday living but seek to see their own in leadership positions – would accept the label of the Tamil Tigers that they were Freedom Fighters. Those who have invested in democracy, more deeply than the LTTE or the Sri Lankan Government, would identify with the discoveries made by both sides and keep proceeding along their own paths to independence. The decisions made by them and actions manifested by them would support their environments and beyond over a long period.
As per my experience, if someone has experienced deeper pain than myself in an issue – and I participate in that pain without consciously allocating rights and wrongs – the result is as if I have had the experience myself. I did this with the Tamil Tigers who fought through the path known to them. I did not identify with those amongst them who ‘talked big’. I identified with the ones who worked with commitment.
I believe that those who identify with Mr. Mandela without allocating rights and wrongs to his actions – would share in Mr. Mandela’s experience. Given that Mr. Mandela found his own freedom and shared it with his people, those of us who identify with his experience would add strength to our own investment to be ‘free’ and ‘self-governing’. If Mr. Mandela had been ‘wrong’ he would have been only a short-term influence for his people to attain independence. Rights and wrongs through common principles are written in moral judgments whether or not there is legal manifestation. When we take legal action, the moral process waits for the real effects of that legal action to expire – before the moral process delivers its own judgment – often as the ‘other’ side/effect that returns to the person/s who caused the pain/pleasure. The intensity of the return is as per the strength of the original pain / pleasure with interest over time and/or space. The form is as per the environment in which the return manifests Itself / ‘happens’.
Legal victories in a weak judicial system, often dilute our moral strengths. I brought legal action against Senior Administrators and the Australian Judiciary recorded in its ledgers
many defeats under my name. Later when I sued my relatives for failing to uphold my marital status as per the law – the above were used to legally defeat me yet again. The net effect of this in our legal Balance Sheet is that the migrant who sponsored those who claimed to have been affected by war – is listed as a lower value citizen than the sponsored who failed to respect the law. Until they were able to be self-governing, they needed to bind themselves by the person sponsoring them – even when the sponsors were younger than them in age. Hence to me such migrants who use money to win in court - before they are self-governing are economic migrants. Their sponsors are their government until they become self-governing through the laws of the country.
One who had endured war pain enough to flee – would be grateful to the sponsors for the rest of her/his life and beyond through her/his family. They may be legally mandated migrants but – from the moment they failed to feel gratitude for the sponsors they are not morally legitimate Australians. Yet our legal system supports them above that of the morally legitimate Australian migrant. This in turn earns that Government boat loads of such bogus migrants who are neither here nor there.
The karma of a nation is written by all its morally legitimate citizens. Those who are merely legal Australians are actually writing the karma of the country of their birth – in this instance Sri Lanka and to the extent they believe they belong only in particular parts of Sri Lanka – they write the karma of that part.