| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
( November 25, 2014, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) In the wake of the Presidential Election announcement in Sri Lanka, there has been some discussion on the basis of the Ground Views article ‘The Sirisena Surge: Why Mahinda Is Still Way Ahead’ by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka who stated about the Common Candidate of the Opposition: ‘Mr. Sirisena is a brave and decent man; possibly our last hope. He deserves better than to be overshadowed or drowned out by his current companions and patrons who represent and recall the failures of a past from which Mahinda Rajapaksa, to his lasting credit, rescued the country.’
The credit that Dr. Jayatilleka refers to is the defeat of the Tamil LTTE. If LTTE was considered a serious threat to Sri Lanka – by Dr. Jayatilleka ( who referred to them as Terrorists ) then he would have been steadfast in his loyalty to Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa. Likewise with anyone who referred to the LTTE as Terrorists. To all those who are defecting to Mr. Sirisena’s side – LTTE were never Terrorists by belief. Belief can be overridden only by larger belief at a later time or by another person one feels part of.
The above article confirms – that now that the LTTE is out of the way – the beneficiaries are desiring to play the ‘good administration’ music and are jumping from the bandwagon of Baila dancers to the leftovers of Ballroom mail trains.
Our expressions are various combinations of ‘emotions; knowledge and feelings/Truth’. In terms of Governance – they are ‘Politics, Administration and Self-Governance’. The first and the last when they are genuine - are sovereign powers. The middle is relative. The expressions of sovereign powers need to be based on belief. The good voter – believes in the Leader and therefore includes her/himself in the Leader. The Governor believes in the whole and therefore includes the voter as part of her/himself. The Administrator structures and facilitates the passage from voter to governor. Rights and wrongs ; benefits and costs – are used, towards regulated travel along this path. In a system of Democracy it is the voter’s duty to contribute to at least 50% of the development of this pathway to Governance.
As an Administrator – Dr. Jayatilleka had/has the duty to use UN laws and principles in judging rights and wrongs. So long as he claims credits through UN structures - Dr. Jayatilleka continues to have the duty to accept the decisions of the UN whether he agrees with them or not. On that basis Dr. Jayatilleka no longer has the authority to attribute credit to the Government of Sri Lanka led by the President, in relation to that victory over the LTTE, after the UN decided to investigate the war processes. One wonders whether the inner mind of Dr. Jayatilleka is influenced by the UN’s decisions to investigate war related processes undertaken by the Sri Lankan Government and hence the defection. Any UN judgment against the Sri Lankan Government would have the effect of diminishing the status of Dr. Jayatilleka’s own work through UN positions. Hence the shift away from the current regime – into the gentlemen’s pool?
When faced by such challenges - my mind often uses the Mango Legend relating to Lord Muruga – the most Common Deity to Hindu Tamils and Buddhist Sinhalese. In that legend – about Power sharing – the younger brother Muruga renounces all his wealth from the old structure – the structure of His parents before claiming equal leadership position with Palani Hill in South India as His capital. Often those who want it both ways end up separating at the lower level. Hence the reduced status of Tamils through LTTE who were juniors to politicians within the Tamil community but took up leadership position without renouncing benefits from the old structures. Likewise Dr. Jayatilleka’s choice (as stated earlier this year) for a JVP (the Sinhalese parallel of LTTE) member to be Presidential Candidate against Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa. Renouncing the benefits (including Goodwill) from rebels who acted in breach of the law - was needed for Dr. Jayatilleka to be self-sufficient in the official system. One looking for leadership positions in both – would keep wavering.
According to news reports, the Common Candidate – Mr. Sirisena has stated that he would appoint Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister – within 100 days of winning the Presidency. Anyone who backs Mr. Sirisena is backing Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe’s leadership. Earlier this month, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe confirmed his stand to treat the LTTE as terrorists when he confirmed that he had approached the European Union to lodge an appeal against the EU Court decision to lift sanctions on the LTTE. Hence a vote for Mr. Sirisena is a vote against the LTTE.
Where does this leave the Tamil Community? There are already discussions regarding the side Tamils need to take and vote for. Under Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa – the Sri Lankan Ethnic issue came to the surface at global level. This was because the Government led by Mr. Rajapaksa was not distracted by ‘Good Administration’ credits. Their Armed forces fought on their own at Equal level to the LTTE. The UN found both sides to be in breach of war rules. Tamil leaders are responsible for the breaches by the LTTE. Sinhalese like Dr. Jayatilleka who are running away from such responsibility – would fall within the category of ‘traitors’ as per LTTE rules. My cousin was stabbed to death by the LTTE due to their fear that my cousin would divulge information when he was required by the Armed Forces to report every week to them. My cousin was labeled a ‘traitor’ for his support for another armed rebel group.
In summary – the Tamil Community has a share in the loss of status suffered by the Rajapaksa leadership in facilitating the Escalation of the Conflict to the global level. Without the ‘other side’ – the Tamil Community could not have achieved this Escalation and therefore the Opportunity to participate through International mechanisms. In terms of deaths - it is a shared responsibility – as the Tamil side also were ruthless in many ways – the above example of my cousin being only a tiny example of such a tragedy.
By claiming victory – Mr. Rajapaksa separated that which was Common. Once we separate – consciously or subconsciously - we weaken the forces of unity that support us. By following the group led by Mr. Sirisena, the likes of Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka are scattering the Government structure of their Community.
As per the values of Doctrine of Separation of Powers – the mind that expresses Political power through vote or Governance power through Judgment on behalf of the whole, using discretionary powers – is one sided. Both need to have privacy / confidentiality to add strength to Justice in that environment. The section of the voter in the mind needs to be separated from the section of administrator – for the vote to have political value. Otherwise it is an extension of weak administration – as Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka’s seems to be.