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Right of Reply: Imelda's comment hurtful and unacceptable

Right of Reply: Imelda's comment hurtful and unacceptable

2010 Nov 06


"Truth has no rights and wrongs. Truth is a part of us. If we are talking to ourselves – without any expectations of benefits or fears of costs – then we are experiencing Truth through that ‘talk’. That is what happens during meditation – expect that mediation is passive observation of ourselves. The moment we start allocating rights and wrongs – we are no longer experiencing Truth, but are moving towards ‘knowledge’ and ‘facts’. Once we experience Truth – that Truth is often expressed to educate others. Facts, Knowledge & Truth are the parallels of Body, Mind and Soul. The ultimate goal is ‘Soul’ – at which level we naturally share with all genuine seekers of Truth – each as per their level of seeking."

by Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam

 
Dear Mr. Jayadevan;

I refer to your report published yesterday in the Sri Lankan Guardian, on statements made by Mrs Imelda Sukumar. I focus particularly on the following passages relating to Mrs Sukumar are reported by you:

1. ‘The Government Agent, Imelda Sukumar who was the Mullaitivu GA during the war, …. vehemently denied claims that those who crossed over from LTTE controlled areas to Government controlled areas carrying white flags were fired at by the army during the height of the war.’ As the agent of the government, Mrs Imelda Sugumar went out of the way to assert that ‘no one’ carrying white flags was killed by the army.’


2. ‘In the article of Pearl Thevasagayam published in the Sri Lanka Guardian titled ‘Imelda Sukumar: victim of a propagandist media’ the statement of the GA was quoted as ‘no civilians carrying white flag was shot’ thus qualifying and limiting the issue to civilians not being killed. From Pearl Thevasagayam’s quotation, one can adduce some killings of white flags carrying persons other than the civilians had taken place in the war front. Verbatim of the LLRC evidence of the GA only can reveal which of the above statements is correct’


3. ‘The white flag killings cannot be brushed aside like other killings, as it has definite involved parties as witnesses. This single most event has exposed Sri Lanka to open its horrendous war crimes agenda against civilians, the non armed and non state actors. Mrs Imelda Sugumar should have been careful in her utterances if what was widely reported of being said by her is accurate.’


‘Forgetting the sensitivities, she blatantly acted as a mouth-piece of the government that is trying very hard to beat about the bush to circumvent the truth of white flag murders. The GA cannot claim of her ignorance, when circumstantial and tangible evidences are stacked up on the white flag killings. Having failed to measure her comments, she cannot be defended for her irresponsible and insensitive outburst at the LLRC.’

Mr. Jayadevan, I work closely with the Government Agencies in Northern Sri Lanka and feel as if I am a part of them. This approach is necessary where one is not able to understand and relate to the official structures and their realities, and hence has to rely on common faith and beliefs. As you have rightly stated ‘The Government Agent (GA) Mrs Imelda Sugumar of Jaffna deserves the praise for her hard work under trying circumstances in the war ravaged north.’ Your introduction (1 above) confirms that to you, it was the Government Agent of Jaffna who gave evidence before the Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). As Government Agent, Mrs. Sukumar has the responsibility to be bound by the limits of the position she holds. As Mrs. Imelda Sukumaran, the citizen – the lady was free to give her independent evidence. The Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission needs to receive the evidence within its proper context and not mix the two indiscriminately. Likewise reporters who feed the Commission and the Public. That is when we would get to the Truth within and naturally share peace with all others who genuinely seek that Truth. This is why sometimes such Commissions are called Truth & Reconciliation Commissions.

Truth has no rights and wrongs. Truth is a part of us. If we are talking to ourselves – without any expectations of benefits or fears of costs – then we are experiencing Truth through that ‘talk’. That is what happens during meditation – expect that mediation is passive observation of ourselves. The moment we start allocating rights and wrongs – we are no longer experiencing Truth, but are moving towards ‘knowledge’ and ‘facts’. Once we experience Truth – that Truth is often expressed to educate others. Facts, Knowledge & Truth are the parallels of Body, Mind and Soul. The ultimate goal is ‘Soul’ – at which level we naturally share with all genuine seekers of Truth – each as per their level of seeking.

Families, Institutions, Governments – are formed towards achieving this goal as a group of people – with least real loss to particular individuals. Within Families, one’s weaknesses are balanced by another’s strengths and the whole family is even to that extent in terms of the outside world. It is when the weaknesses are larger than the strengthens that a family / institution / government is to be downgraded. A strong and just society would do that. It is for this reason that ‘confidentiality’ is a virtue in hierarchical systems. To be effective – we as a society need to accept the facts produced by the whole family /institute /government for our own purposes. To take each part separately amounts to dividing and ruling and would deviate us from our path to the Truth that could be experienced by all of us. To allocate rights and wrongs before we get there is to narrow our world. Within families / institutions / governments – we should allocate rights and wrongs only towards internal compensation and not for external consumption.

If we ‘see’ facts before we feel Truth – then we are third parties to that extent and hence we need evidence based lateral system. Once we move towards that system – we must follow the rules applicable to third parties. Under this system – we accept facts without thinking and accept as correct the verdict given by majority picture that the facts show. As third parties, we have the responsibility to not ‘think’ for the parties that produced the facts. We use them for our own purposes. That is the core value and purpose of the Doctrine of Separation of Powers – between Executive Government and the Judiciary; between Management and Auditors and between Makers and Users. Those who rely on facts and objective evidence are users. That way we do not waste energies by intruding into others’ privacies. If we want to express why something happened, we need to become part of the experience which has common belief as its foundation.

Like in coordinate geometry we use both systems – the vertical system of belief as well as the lateral system of observed facts. The former promotes sharing qualities/public service and the latter promotes private enterprise/business. The story of the Divine Mango as the prize for the one who went around the world first – in the competition set between the two sons of Lord Shiva (the Lord of the Mind) – Ganesh and Muruga highlights that both systems are right. Ganesh represents the vertical system – where no proof through facts is required but the belief that the parents were the world of the children. Muruga on the other hand did the physical work (parallel of cash in business) and produced facts to prove to all including non-believers that He won the race. We follow both systems and if combined with care – we would always uphold the Truth. To be like Muruga, we needed in this instance to be soldiers at the coalface. The parties mentioned below and yourself – are closer to Ganesh rather than Muruga. Mrs. Sukumar was close to Ganesh when she was part of the ministerial team which is now and not then and to the extent she was serving in the war zone – Mrs. Sukumar was close to Muruga – the soldiers on either side. The facts Mrs. Sukumar produced then ought to be taken as they happened by third parties including yourself.

Some of the facts that Mrs. Imelda Sukumaran produced as a citizen are her property – and we have the prerogative to take it or leave it. They are like her affidavit evidence. If Mrs. Sukumaran stated all that she sees in her everyday work – which is part of the root cause of the war – then she would not be able to hold that position of Government Agent – but would at best be a low level clerical officer. To the extent we relate to this issue through the Government – we need to not attribute that weakness of the Government to lower level officers. In this instance the officers who produced the facts at primary stage were the armed forces over whom the senior ministers responsible for tertiary stage did not have direct control. The most senior officer of the army at that time was the responsible person for those facts. If those facts were produced as per their policies and orders – then they are not to be blamed but only the seniors mentioned below:

You have reported in this regard:

4. ‘The parties involved in the white flag surrender effort were the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse who had given the okay to his brother Basil Rajapakse as Commander in Chief of the state forces for the surrender, UN’s Nambiar, US embassy in Colombo, Norwegians, a senior journalist of the UK Times newspaper, President’s brother Basil  Rajapakse, a Sri Lankan MP and a Tamil from London who acted as go-between to execute the peaceful white flag surrender of the desperate persons. ‘

None of these persons would have felt an intuitive connection with the soldiers at the coalface and v.v. at that point in time. In fact the soldiers are likely to have been on their own and at best would have been driven by their regular training – which was to eliminate the LTTE. To therefore change within a short space of time – is to expect extraordinary outcomes for which one or more in the above group ought to have had extraordinary credits / positive karma in Peace. What happened was ‘normal’ behavior on the part of the soldiers and the blame needs to go to all members of the above group who did not foresee /project that ordinary behavior from the soldiers who were facing one of the toughest challenges they would have ever faced or were likely to face. To them, winning would have been more important than Peace – as it was to the LTTE.

You seem to be expecting transparency from Mrs. Sukumar who is working in a system that needs confidentiality for it to be functional for Tamils of North. At the same time you have failed to be transparent in terms of the names of the above senior members of the ‘white flag’ team.

If you base your search along appropriate principles and policies, you would realize Truth and Peace – with or without Mrs. Sukumar with or without her title of GA.

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