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Tamil Deaths In Australian Custody

| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

( June 3, 2014, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I feel sad about the suicide of 29 year old Leo Seemanpillai, in Geelong – in the Australian state of Victoria. I chanted Sivapuranam believing that it would release the soul of Leo to merge with the Lord. I feel sad that I as a Tamil had not done enough to help preserve the life of Leo. At the physical level, I could not have done much directly to prevent the death of Leo. But I could have focused more deeply to share my Energies with the group that Leo naturally belonged to, so Leo could have saved himself and lived to add and/or confirm the form given to the issue that brought him to Australia. As I say to my listeners – if at least one of us needs another to live – the other will live.

I first learnt about Leo’s self-immolation during meeting of Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum, Sydney. We were sharing our feelings about the suffering of Aborigines being similar to the suffering of Tamils – especially from rural areas - when we learnt about Leo. There was special identity through the suffering of Indian Tamils living in the Tea Estates of Sri Lanka. It was identified that Indian Tamils had less self-confidence than Jaffna Tamils in relating to Public Authorities. This was understandable given that Indian Tamils were denied citizenship in Sri Lanka for a long time. Real and prolonged injustice remains with a community to cause depression leading ultimately to not being able to value life itself. This would have naturally spread as a weakness to all in that community – in this instance Tamil community.

The question that I keep asking myself is whether Leo’s death was self-inflicted or whether caused by external forces – which effectively make it murder and not suicide. If we simply ‘see’ and conclude that it was suicide – then our Research dollars into human psychology are wasted. Various reasons were indicated by special interest groups and I do accept that those reasons would have contributed to the cause. But most of them would be forgotten once immigration rules are relaxed. I identify with a deeper influence through the past karma of Australian citizenship status and that is the suffering of Aborigines. Geelong is an Aboriginal name and Tamils to whom Land Rights are sacred and to protect which young Tamils waged war against the Government – would naturally connect to the spirits of a place. Those are the causes recognized through ‘Acts of God’.

Belief naturally connects to belief through similar forms and paths. As a Hindu, I believe that our sins and virtues (Paavam & Punniyam in Tamil) travel with us wherever we go. The mind sees further than the body. When the mind is still, the body is lost consciousness of and we feel the experience. Mediation is a well-known path to reaching stillness in the mind. When we act / express beyond the mind – that force is a natural part of us. A sin could not then be cured by calculated thought and/or visible and conscious actions that do not stem from an Inner Natural Energy. It could be cured instantaneously through quiet repentance because we need it. The lesser alternative is to merge with the mind of one who has positive karma in that particular issue and that naturally balances the sin. The more of the virtuous person we bring into ourselves – the more we become like them – until there is no ‘I’ as a separate entity. That is the subjective path.

As I advised one of my clients recently – there are activities / subject matters in which one thinks in an orderly manner and grows tall in self-esteem. Then there are other activities / subject matters short in investment and hence in which one thinks and/or acts hastily – not caring about effects on others. When we are short we are not able to have wider view. If the two could be identified with, structured and separated - the tall one would manage the short one within the same person. In a family, community, nation they are represented by different bodies/persons. When this management is natural – there is a naturally binding Energy present in the place of its birth and wherever such persons / groups feel at ‘home’. Every drop of service towards this merger with at least one other person – in our minds – empowers us and the group we belong to. When we do this naturally – and without thinking – we empower others in need subconsciously. Hence investment in common systems and policies. The older they are the stronger the Energy.

In relation to Leo, if Geelong was the birthplace of a naturally protecting force and Leo – a Tamil connected to it due to his own experiences in Sri Lanka as well as in India then it is highly likely that his mind would have rejected unjust human authority over him. My parallel experience was when I was imprisoned for peaceful assembly at the University of New South Wales on the basis that I did not ‘belong’ as an owner. I naturally sought the blessings of the Governors who gave us the Inclosed Lands Protection Act 1901. I believe that once they left their mortal coil – they became One – available to all who seek them from within. I had to therefore become part of them – go into their circle and include myself with them. Hence my prayers to the highest authority.

During custody I wrote in answering the question whether I had thoughts of suicide – I wrote ‘yes’. The Police Officer who went through the records asked me ‘why?’ and explained to me that it could result in stricter monitoring. I did feel suicidal from time to time during that period – thinking that there was no more value for my life. It’s a kind of self-pity that seems comfortable emotionally, but if unchecked would lead to depression and death. But the moment that police officer showed that he cared – I came out and started focusing on our oneness. It is sad that Leo did not have that kind of custodian. In some ways – when refugees are together with the representatives of the government that has accepted responsibility for them – and they believe in that government – that belief would protect them. Tamils as a community seem to not believe enough in the Australian Government.

I therefore wonder whether releasing asylum seekers into the community without the protection of workplace or family is worse than keeping them in detention. Camps structured and managed by good government would be stronger support than free person living outside visible structures could see and relate to. It would be difficult for the mind of the average asylum seeker to ‘see’ the wide Australian borders through the visa system, once they come side.

As per news reports – Leo donated his organs to fellow Australians. Yet we could not recognize Leo as a genuine refugee – worthy of Australian support. To the extent Australian Tamils have contributed to the wellbeing of Australians in Common, Leo needs to live through our minds and policies at National level. Otherwise, Australian soil will carry the negative spirit of Leo to cause internal rift within the community based on whose belief – these refugee laws have been activated.

As per Wikipedia report on Geelong ‘The area of Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula was originally occupied by the Wathaurong Indigenous Australian tribe…….. The convict William Buckley escaped from the Sullivan Bay settlement in 1803, and lived among the Wathaurong people for 32 years on the Bellarine Peninsula. In 1835 …Buckley surrendered to the party led by John Helder Wedge and was later pardoned by Lieutenant-Governor Sir George Arthur, and subsequently given the position of interpreter to the natives.’

Even if Leo’s family was part of the Tamil Tigers and the Tamil Tigers are considered by the Australian government to be Terrorists – if Leo had been facilitated to be protected and included by community groups including through employment – the Spirits of Geelong would have blessed the Governments concerned. As per information through news reports – all three governments – Sri Lankan, Indian and Australian governments have naturally colluded through their shortsightedness in diversity that helps communities with strong internal support grow tall. They must be connecting to the sins in their respective nations through their leadership positions.

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