From Sri Lankan Frying Pan into Indian Fire?

image003I have, from time to time expressed my concerns about the risk of Indian dominance in Sri Lanka through Tamils. The US sponsored UNHRC Resolution against the Sri Lankan Government was seen to have been without the vote of India. But a deeper  sight into India’s attitude through Tamil Nadu – would raise the question as to whether India’s abstention was a manifestation of  the objection not to the Resolution itself but to the country that sponsored it. In effect it was a no-vote. 

According to The New Indian Express – Bangalore: 

[Justice still eludes the victims of 2009 Sri Lankan War when tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed, said Ramu Manivannan, author of the book ‘Sri Lanka: Hiding the Elephant’.

Speaking at a programme organised by the Forum Against War Crimes and Genocide to launch the book here on Sunday, he said the work highlights the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils in their own land and the crimes committed by their government.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has passed a resolution against Sri Lanka sponsored by five countries led by the US. Though the resolution requests UNHRC and the High Commissioner’s Office to investigate the allegations of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, it is yet to call for an independent international investigation mechanism to probe allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide of Tamils by Sri Lanka, said Manivannan, who also heads the Department of Studies in Politics and Public Administration, Madras University.]

The above report confirms that Professor Manivannan is not in agreement with his own Government’s abstinence at the UNHRC. As Head of  Public Administration studies at Madras University, Professor Manivannan is expected to demonstrate respect for position based relationships. Culturally speaking – Tamils have made strong investments in structured approach – including  at family level.  Relationships help us structure our paths to commonness through  Faith /Truth / Love.

The Sri Lankan issue needs to be seen through appropriate relationships that form the structure through which power is shared. Truth of an individual needs to be expressed beyond the relationship through which that individual participates in discussion of  issues affecting wider society. It is for this reason that holy personalities often expressly move away from family to share their Truth.

Since Provincial Council Elections 2013, the Provincial Government led by Tamil National Alliance is also responsible for just Governance in Northern Sri Lanka.  Tamils elected former Judge of the Supreme Court – so our Law and Order diseases would be naturally healed through faith.

As per Tamil culture – a marriage arranged by elders for example is attributed higher status than one chosen by the young couple without the blessings of elders. To my mind the reason for this is that even if the couple do not love each other – the structures would provide a ‘working-relationship’ with each other as well as with other relations in the family. The parallel of this in Public life is to allocate higher status to decisions made through structured paths of  seniors rather than through the ‘free’ path of juniors.

Structured paths help us travel in common with least deviations/wastage. In a family, one needs to express as per one’s position until one’s owing to the family is settled. From then on one becomes a common head of family. From then on  that person becomes the bridge between family and society. Hence it is healthier for the family as well as society when  such a person expresses her/his Truth as an observer of the whole family rather than as a relative of individual parts. In the above instance, it would indeed be better for Professor Manivannan to express his Truth as an observer of the whole of  Indian Public Service – once he has become an independent citizen of India by paying his dues to India as an Indian. Alleged love for Tamils has lower status as in love-marriages.

As per this report :

[P Venkatesan of the Forum against War Crimes and Genocide, Karnataka observed that Sri Lankan citizens are still being persecuted though the country is independent.

“The native Tamils cannot cultivate nor carry out fishing activity, and the worst is that even for simple functions like a naming ceremony they have to obtain permission from the military. In a few places, Tamil businessmen are killed. This should be stopped,” Venkatesan said.]

When I go to Sri Lanka I live as a Sri Lankan and I reside in strongly war affected areas in North and East.  All of the above activities – farming, fishing, naming, trade –  take place as normal business.  We in fact resource some of these including through donations from fellow members of the Tamil   Diaspora including from Australia, Malaysia and Singapore. The above expression is therefore false and it is indeed in breach of the cultural structures – where Sri Lankan Tamils are seniors in this issue to Indian Tamils. Taken as a whole community – Sri Lankan Tamils are an independent group to Indian Tamils.  One does not have the right to represent the other indiscriminately.   One may become a facility through which the other expresses itself, but one does not automatically become the leader of the other through majority – a core reason for the problem in Sri Lanka.

As per the above report:

[The book was earlier released in Tamil Nadu and Delhi and will be released soon in Hyderabad and other cities. Through this book, the forum aims to bring out the truth to the people so that they can raise their voice for the voiceless, the forum’s office-bearers said.]

I do not know which  the voiceless Sri Lankan Tamil group is?

The book – Sri Lanka: Hiding the Elephant – according to the above report is about the war without witnesses. Hence those to whom it is a war without witnesses – any reasoning is for their own purposes, unless they were ‘insiders’ – for example Professor Manivannan’s parallel at the University of Jaffna. My book ‘Naan Australian’  is based on my experience of  racial discrimination here in Australia.  Even in courts even though I am not a lawyer, I represented myself so as to protect my work from ‘outsiders’.  Likewise, even though I am not a trained writer, I wrote my own book despite the pain when revisiting the experience. That was also a war without witnesses. But it has rich internal powers to heal both my nations – Australia as well as Sri Lanka.  Faith is the first and natural healer.  To such a person/country – only a small doze of external medication is needed to get cured.  India’s Tamil Nadu needs to strengthen that internal healing ability and not try to profit from our pain.

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam