| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
( May 16, 2014, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) It’s Vesak week for Sri Lankans celebrating the birth of Lord Buddha on full moon day in May. Last year I was in Colombo during Vesak but due to problems with my eye, I could not enjoy the lights of Vesak celebrations. I was in fact tearing due to the sudden glare when we entered Colombo from Jaffna, in the early hours before dawn. Thinking back, it made sense to me that I did not enjoy the lights – but brought out the sadness of the land where Truth manifested Itself to reflect the ‘opposites at the same time’ for one country called Sri Lanka. Mentally – I was returning after sharing with victims of war and hence I was not in a joyous mood.
As if to enlighten me about the above - I was yesterday directed to a report by Mr Malinda Seneviratne written in 2011 when Vesak fell on 17 May – one of the days in 2009, the events of which led to Sri Lanka’s demotion at global level through the UNHRC. I felt that my belief in Buddha helped me make the connection – that Sri Lanka is a divided country for some and hence celebrations for one half is mourning for the other. In November too – celebrations for Hindus – the full moon day of Karthigai Theepam (Flame of November) – celebrating the birth of Lord Muruga is a time of fear / anxiety for Sinhalese due to Tamil Tiger supporters celebrating as memorial day – their heroes who died for their cause. These celebrations are held on 26 November - the birthday of their leader Prabhakaran. Using Christian language it’s like celebrating Good Friday and Christmas on the same day.
In the above article, Mr. Seneviratne says in confirmation of this fear/anxiety:
[ ‘Now, after all, we can go to see the Vesak decorations without fear; there are no bombs exploding.’ This is what a neighbor who sells betel, sweets and sometimes king coconut told me a short while ago. True.
There was a time when parents did not travel in the same bus. Indeed, a time when families deliberately split themselves wherever they went. This is one of the key differences between LTTE-time and post-LTTE time. ]
Relative to those who feared the LTTE due to their bombings – it is understandable that Tamils would fear armed forces and their indiscriminate bombings over that period and beyond. The Jaffna Tamil affected by war still fears going out as s/he did before the bombings and the encampment in 2009. To most of them it’s the experience that gave them that fear - rather than any discriminative thinking about rights and wrongs. After my visit to Thiruketheeswaram temple in 2006 where I went in memory of our nephew Lingam who passed away in Vavuniya - I myself was stopped at gunpoint by an army officer while I crossed the road to buy dinner. I had noted that officer’s ‘looks’ when we were stopped at a checkpoint on the way to Mannar from Thiruketheeswaram temple. I had to wait until past 8 pm to catch my bus to return to Vavuniya and hence thought of getting some dinner. The officer kept grilling me and I felt that he was going to take me away. Then his senior officer came over and asked me where I was going and when I said ‘to buy dinner’ he just let me go. Relative to me, majority Tamils in those areas – would have made less investment in law and order. Hence they are likely to carry similar memories of fear invoked at that level – the level of the above neighbor of Mr. Seneviratne. Many junior officers would have tried to score points by punishing Tamils and/or drawing their own benefits at personal level – as was confirmed through Channel 4 TV. I relied on the higher officer through my higher investment in law and order. I thus consolidated that experience with many more when I was able to readily invoke the protection of armed officers who happened to be Sinhalese. But those who have active memory of their unpleasant physical experiences – are not likely to have this consolidated base. Hence the duality which blames the other side for this side’s experiences.
That night, a short while after we left Mannar – our bus was stopped and we were asked to disembark for a search. After that we had to cross the checkpoint on foot and it was pitch dark. It was an / Amaavasai/no-moon night. This kind of checking usually happened regularly on the way back from Jaffna to Colombo where we had to carry all our luggage and be inspected. We had to disembark and cross on foot and catch the coach again from the other side. Back in Mannar I really felt sorry for all those folks – including ladies travelling with their young daughters to other parts on regular basis. During the war Tamils suffered more than Sinhalese and yet there is little sensitivity from some Sinhala Nationalists using LTTE as their relativity point to elevate themselves. A true Sri Lankan going from being a Sinhalese-only to a Sinhalese-only not would have included the pain of Tamils during the war. One to whom Tamil-only is visible and Tamil-only Not is absent – will blame it all on the LTTE. It gives at the same time credit to the LTTE for raising the issue to the International level. Only a clever group could have done that. In duality – one needs the ‘other’ side. Hence LTTE needs/needed the Sri Lankan army as Sri Lankan Government driven by armed win – needs the Tamil Diaspora to be alive and performing at UN level.
I did not read the above article in the morning but later in the day, when out on a job I had time to read Sri Lanka Guardian and read the article ‘Understanding Bududahama’ by Mr. Seneviratne’s guru Professor Nalin de Silva. Before leaving I wrote as follows in my article ‘Completing the cycle of Governance’ :
[One that is sovereign is not relative and v.v. Citizen is relative to Government. Hence without Government the citizen is not Sovereign. Our Natural and Inherent Sovereignty does not depend on Government. It’s up to us to protect it. The separation at the physical side helps us make only a part of the contribution at any one time. Under hierarchical structures – that part for the citizen is less than the part that is needed to be done by the government. In turn it is the duty of the citizen to demonstrate respect for the government. In the system of Democracy – this contribution is 50:50. This often is not the case.]
I was conscious of this duality becoming non-duality when I went out on that assignment. Hence I feel I was interested in the article by Professor Nalin de Silva who states:
[... In Catuskoti both A and not A could be true or both A and not A could be false ……. In western knowledge the closet that comes to mind is Quantum Physics where a particle could go through two slits at the same time. In other words the particle is at A as well as not at A..]
This to me in lay language – particular to current Sri Lanka, translates as - Tamil Tigers are Sri Lankans and Tamil Tigers are not Sri Lankans. May is a month of celebration for Sri Lankans and May is not a month of celebration for Sri Lankans. It is the point at which the animal in human transcends to divinity – attaining Nirvana (pure nakedness) by losing body consciousness altogether.
In common human language it’s the point of liberation of soul from body / energy from matter - where one accepts inherent consciousness that there is life in every body.
In academic language – it is the meeting point of Research and Teaching. In social language it is the meeting point of experience and knowledge.
The cause is known not through prior knowledge but through complete identity with the effects – i.e. - having the experience so you do not ‘see’. Einstein claimed to have had this experience of light when traveling with light to discover the theory of relativity as follows:
[“The velocity c of light in vacuum is the same in all inertial frames of reference in all directions and depend neither on the velocity of the source nor on the velocity of the observer”]
The soul without any earthly attachments is dependent neither of its Source (we commonly express as God) nor of its Application (commonly known as human).
It is also confirmation of Sovereignty. There is a Tamil saying about this – ‘One who sees stone/statue does not see God and one who sees God does not see stone/statue’. A human who has transcended body consciousness and yet lives in average human environment sees both.
The soul experience happens when we effectively have no memory of physical experiences – not because of a physical deterioration of memory cells – but because we are conscious only of the experience – which become Lessons Learnt for the next generation who have faith in us. The soul continues even after our bodies pass away.
Completing the cycle of Governance
| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
Elections are very much in the minds of Indians as well as Sri Lankans. Recently, I was requested by a Sri Lankan Tamil to edit his work in relation to Governance structure that he thought would suit Sri Lanka. There was no Tamil bias in that structure. It was a common structure for all Sri Lankans. I was not provided with details of who the work was being submitted to. It was more an expression of this Sri Lankan’s own investment in Public Administration. Many of us feel a need to contribute back to society to complete our life cycle. In terms of Public Service – Government is the Provider of Services and Citizens are the Beneficiaries. One becomes a natural Governor once one pays off her/his debt to society and then starts being a provider. From then on every official government has the duty to become a facility to that citizen as if s/he were part of them.
Those who draw benefits beyond their positions become more indebted than the citizen who stays within the borders of her/his position to receive benefits. Those are natural grounds for rebellion. Often under such circumstances, one form of structure is sought to be replaced by another form due to restlessness of the young. JVP as well as LTTE are of this category. They needed as part of their group - contributors to those ‘natural grounds’ to complete the cycle – as rebels – and not necessarily as official government. Once completed – it would be counterproductive to give life to their previous processes and activities. Rebirth is a good example of not carrying forward details of one into the other. The essence of our previous life would be the basis of our individual character to which we add through current life.
The above requester asked me to help him understand my statement ‘ Until a citizen settles her/his debt to the country – s/he is not a provider’. The requester said ‘The “inherent sovereign' rights of the citizen” is the one in my mind.’
One that is sovereign is not relative and v.v. Citizen is relative to Government. Hence without Government the citizen is not Sovereign. Our Natural and Inherent Sovereignty does not depend on Government. It’s up to us to protect it. The separation at the physical side helps us make only a part of the contribution at any one time. Under hierarchical structures – that part for the citizen is less than the part that is needed to be done by the government. In turn it is the duty of the citizen to demonstrate respect for the government. In the system of Democracy – this contribution is 50:50. This often is not the case.
To realize our inherent sovereignty – we need to eliminate layers of Maya / Delusion as beneficiaries or providers. Until we lose consciousness of our position as service provider ONLY or beneficiary ONLY we would not identify with our inherent sovereignty. It helps when we remain close to breakeven line – the line of Harmony.
As in marriage - Voting helps us to identify with / ‘see’ this sovereignty through another person. Eventually we become that – through or without that person. In a country where governments draw benefits beyond their relationship with the citizen – governance is bottom-up where the citizen shares her/his Truth with society. That is the primary role of the media. But where citizens who are still indebted to the country seek to replace the current with new – and use their ‘rights’ towards this – governance would continue to be weak at that level.
Voting is the birth of our personal government - even if that person does not win seat in parliament. It is our confirmation that we have the ‘right’ as per God’s creation. The cycle is completed when we become providers of Public Service and therefore become the Government ourselves. Voting is the outer form of the government within ourselves. No amount of voting alone could complete the cycle for us. On the other hand one could become governor without voting at all. They are eternal voters who contribute to outcomes.
We vote naturally in a group to produce outcomes. In weak groups the natural governor’s vote is likely to be for the losing side. Hence just because one side wins election does not mean that they are winners in terms of the issue of governance itself. Voting is subjective. Strong contribution to Public Service by minorities (apparent losers) would go directly to the issue of governance itself. The winning side has to do more to match the higher benefits of their position – for their contribution to strengthen real governance. It is to uphold this value that the losing side – is endowed with Equal status as Opposition. Minorities in multicultural societies are facilitated to operate on Equal Opportunity basis towards this purpose. Equal Opportunity laws confirm recognition by the government of our sovereignty. We need to first identify with them before expressing them outside our position portfolios – including during voting times. If we go outside we would be contributing to weak governance for ourselves – irrespective of whether the side we voted for is in government or not.