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Too Many Cooks Spoiling the Jaffna Khool(Soup)?

| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

( March 24, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Sri Lankan brain is very active – due to the UNHRC looking in the direction of Sri Lanka. The latest news to surface at the citizens’ level goes:

‘Sri Lanka’s military admitted on Saturday, soldiers had abused and tortured female recruits, a rare admission of guilt after years of allegations over its personnel’s treatment of Tamil rebels during an uprising.’ Then at the other extreme, Sri Lanka’s well known diplomat - Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke urges through his Sri Lanka Guardian article ‘Last Week, Last Chance In Geneva’ :

‘More pressingly, resolving the Northern Question is at the very core of resolving Sri Lanka’s problems with the world.’

The real success for Sri Lankans is to identify themselves with the Truth that is quietly empowering the truly independent participant. The others will drop off as easily as they came into the global picture.

Tamils through their Vaddukoddai Resolution 1976, gave form to their aspirations of self-governance. This to my mind is at the core of the claim made by Tamils. The deaths of Tamil Politicians whose contribution empowered this Resolution – have added much strength to a political claim rather than a military claim. The Resolution’s legitimacy was blessed by the gods and hence the Equal position of Opposition to Government, in Sri Lankan parliament in 1977.

So long as Tamils are focused on immediate victory through arms and/or or their parallel in politics – words of accusations – and UN glances from time to time, they would weaken their connection to this core power of self-governance.

How each one of us interprets this declaration is as per the depth of our investment in self-governance itself. To the deeper investor – the fact that it was a political declaration within a political structure of Sri Lanka, it would mean devolution of power especially in areas relating to education and employment. To the average young Tamil it would have meant separate country. To the average Sinhalese it would have meant take over by India through Tamil Nadu. At the global level – young Tamils are looking more and more like North Indians – following young entertainers in Tamil Nadu. If therefore we desire quick wins following in the footsteps of the likes of Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke who confirms share in war ‘victory’ (The upcoming week is the most significant in Sri Lanka’s contemporary history since the victories of May 2009, almost five years ago), there is likely to be strong Indian influence in Sri Lanka through its Tamils.

In his Asian Tribune article - UNHRC: Contours for a resolution that matters for Sri Lankans - Mr. Raj Gonsalkorale states in relation to the 1983 violence:

‘This shortsighted move on the part of the organisers of that pogrom has been the straw that broke the back of Tamils, and the turning point for the separatist movement and for violent means to take over from political negotiations.’

My insight informs me that it was already too late by 1983 to contain the problem. The Tigers were born well before then and as per my knowledge – the government was aware of the Tigers. The Government as well as Tamil Politicians lacked the depth to project ahead and know the damage that would be caused in the years that followed.

Those driven by majority votes to get parliamentary positions would tend to stagnate at the level of the average citizen. It’s the parallel of being driven by cash at our workplaces and by immediate pleasures at our homes. Tamils worked hard to aim for higher positions to make up for their minority status. By accepting Jaffna University as compensation for the quota system problem at University entrance level – Tamils lost this inner advantage of minority. They matched an eye for an eye, saw equality and diluted the urge to use their third eye/insight. Majority power is animal power – which is the primary power of humans. Both sides are fighting for this primary power – even at UN level.

We often talk of empowerment. The source of this empowerment is the Truth within us. It resides at a level deeper than our external knowledge – knowledge that is yet to be experienced. To the extent we become ‘local’ we lose the connection with the core power of Democracy. We must pay through the system of democracy to reap the benefits of democracy. Surfacing democratic outcomes through external powers often blocks the lateral spread of the investments made by those who think beyond the local through common principles and values and those who seek to raise their deep local investment to benefit wider world through the system of democracy.

A friend of mine once said at the Sydney Murgan Temple – that during our times also there are ascetics in India who could move by sight – an object from one place to another. Until I had the parallel of that experience – I did not believe but acknowledged that power. Back then to me it was more an acknowledgement through my investments as a Hindu. But now, I believe in that invisible power – which is available to all but is identified with / realized by only a few. To the extent my friend was not able to identify with this power within himself – to him that was mere external knowledge good for business. He would not be able to move those powers within when he is in need.

Most of the debate relating to Sri Lanka at UN level is based on external knowledge. Those to whom LTTE were terrorists because the UN said so – now have the duty to recognize their opposition also as terrorists. As a woman working with the LTTE through a UNDP project – in 2003, I felt safe even when I walked along the streets of Killinochchi to observe Sivaraathri vigil in 2003. LTTE men had enough discipline not to rape women. Their credit rating goes up on this score. I take it that to that extent they were empowered by their mothers and sisters much more than the Sinhalese soldiers who resorted to rape through their official positions. Due to treating the LTTE as enemies, instead of the opposition – these Sinhalese soldiers failed to connect to the deeper powers of the LTTE which is known to have practiced discipline internally at the highest levels. These are natural empowerments that happen all the time.

Sri Lankans at all levels need to eliminate these weaknesses from the national system – to earn the credit of global governments. Those without position status always have the avenue of belief by practice, and experience the parallel in their local areas of governance – even if it were to just govern themselves as individuals. That would then be a lasting contribution to self-governance at national and global levels. They would naturally influence outcomes by their beliefs.

Dr. Jayatilleka states ‘If the Sri Lankan government fails to seize this opportunity and talk to the TNA and the NPC, it will soon be overtaken by a dynamic of political escalation located in a Tamil Nadu which is more influential than it is after the election. Colombo must realize that it is better to talk to Mr Sampanthan and Mr Wigneswaran than it is to deal with Jayalalithaa and Mr Modi. It is far better to settle with the TNA than be caught on two fronts, post Geneva: the UNHRC resolution/OHCHR investigation and a referendum-pushing Jayalalithaa.’

Sounds as if Dr. Jayatilleka has been turning a blind eye to the development in Tamil culture – with greater market share than previously for Indian Tamil film industry – especially through their tele-dramas. Their ‘capture’ of the Jaffna Tamil market was evident even in professional accounting studies (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) – where the Indian film industry was the example through which enterprise bargaining and broadening the customer base were being taught in Jaffna. That to my mind is a quid pro quo for the Indians.

These are less visible powers that work naturally to influence the political leaders – especially those who came into public life through the film industry – as Madam Jayalalitha did. When we believe through even the smallest position – we naturally become part of the nucleus and influence the whole as if we are the whole. Hence Tat Tvam Asi – Thou Art That. This I believe is how the system of Truth works.

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