தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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thirukural
Whatever may be said, who ever may say it - to
determine the truth of it, is wisdom - Thirukural

Reflections 2006 : Chinthanaigal

Reflections 2007 Reflections 2006 Reflections 2005 Reflections 2004 Reflections 2001 Reflections 2000 Reflections 1999 Reflections 1998



Reflection by Jayalakshmi Satyendra

Tuesday 19 December 2006

"There is a sense of exhilaration that comes from facing head on the hard truths and saying, “We will never give up. We will never capitulate. It might take a long time, but we will find a way to prevail." Jim Collins in Good to Great

"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die." G.K. Chesterton in Orthodoxy

Friday 24 November 2006

Throwing a bomb is bad,
Dropping a bomb is good;
Terror, no need to add,
Depends on who's wearing the hood.
- R. Woddis, "Ethics for Everyman," quoted in
C.A.J. Coady, "The Morality of Terrorism," Philosophy, vol. 60 (1985), p. 52.

Friday 3 November 2006

"bongo
with my lingo
And beat it like a wing yo
To Congo
To Culombo
Can't stereotype my thing yo
I salt and pepper my mango
Quit bending all my fingo
You wanna win a war?

 Like P.L.O., don't surrendo " Maya Arulpragasam
M.I.A. (Missing in Acton) in Sunshowers

Thursday 5 October 2006

"...Ubuntu - I am because you are. Ubuntu speaks to the very essence of being human… A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs to a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed, or treated as less than who they are."  Desmond Tutu, 1999 quoted by ex President Clinton at Labour Party Conference, September 2006

"You know, you could not see me unless you could also see my background, what stands behind me. If  I, myself, the boundaries of my skin, were coterminous with your whole field of vision you would not see me at all. You would not see me because, in order to see me, not only would you have to see what is inside the boundary of my skin, but also what is outside it. This is terribly important. Really, the fundamental, ultimate mystery, the only thing you need to know to understand the deepest metaphysical secrets is this:

That for every outside there is an inside,
and for every inside there is an outside,
and though they are different, they go together.

There is, in other words, a secret conspiracy between all insides and all outsides, and the conspiracy is this: To look as different as possible and yet underneath to be identical, because you do not find one without the other." - Alan Watts in Om - Creative Meditations, Edited and Adapted by Judith Johnstone, 1980

 

Monday 2 October 2006

When will  we arise, arise from our misery - Shine Tamil Rap

Wednesday 27 September 2006

"...Who is the enemy? Who is holding back more rapid movement to the better society that is reasonable and possible with available resources? Who is responsible for the mediocre performance of so many of our institutions? Who is standing in the way of a larger consensus on the definition of the better society and the paths to reaching it? Not evil people. Not stupid people. Not apathetic people. Not the “system”. Not the protesters, the disrupters, the revolutionaries, the reactionaries……. The real enemy is fuzzy thinking on the part of good, intelligent, vital people, and their failure to lead, and to follow servants as leaders. Too many settle for being critics and experts. There is too much intellectual wheel spinning, too much retreating into ‘research’, too little preparation for and willingness to undertake the hard and high-risk tasks of building better institutions in an imperfect world, too little disposition to see ‘the problem’ as residing in here and not out there. In short, the enemy is strong natural servants who have the potential to lead but do not lead, or who choose to follow a non – servant. They suffer. Society suffers. And so it may be in the future. - Robert K. Greenleaf, et al - Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness  

Tuesday 13 September 2006

" Every adherent of the Congress, however noisy in declamations, however bitter in speech, is safe from burning bungalows and murdering Europeans and the like. His hopes are based upon the British nation and he will do nothing to invalidate these hopes and anger that nation." Retired British civil servant, A.O.Hume writing, not about writers on  the world wide web, but about the Indian National Congress that he founded in 1885

Saturday 9 September 2006

1. "...We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way..." Viktor Emil Frankl  in Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning

2. Circle of Concern & Circle of Influence: "We each have a wide range of concern - our health, our children, problems at work, the national debt, nuclear war. We could separate those from things in which we have no particular mental or emotional involvement by creating a "Circle of Concern."

As we look at those things within our Circle of Concern, it becomes apparent that there are some things over which we have no real control and others that we can do something about. We could identify those concerns in the latter group by circumscribing them within a smaller Circle of Influence. By determining which of these two circles is the focus of most of our time and energy, we can discover much about the degree of our proactivity.

Proactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about. The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging and magnifying, causing their Circle of Influence to increase.

Reactive people, on the other hand, focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern. They focus on the weakness of other people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over which they have no control. Their focus results in blaming and accusing attitudes, reactive language, and increased feelings of victimization. The negative energy generated by that focus, combined with neglect in areas they could do something about, causes their Circle of Influence to shrink." Stephen Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People : Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Sunday 3 September 2006

“Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can't prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you're presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power.” - Blaine Lee author of The Power Principle : Influence With Honor

Thursday 31 August 2006

"..How much longer will blood flow so that force can justify what law denies?... In the age of globalization, the right to express is less powerful than the right to apply pressure. To justify the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, war is called peace. The Israelis are patriots, and the Palestinians are terrorists, and terrorists sow universal alarm..." Eduardo Galeano

Tuesday 29 August 2006

"...the reductionist fallacy lies not in comparing man to a 'mechanism powered by a combustion system' but in declaring that he is 'nothing but' such a mechanism and that his activities consist of 'nothing but' a chain of conditioned responses which are also found in rats. For it is of course perfectly legitimate, and in fact indispensable, for the scientist to try to analyse complex phenomena into their constituent elements - provided he remains conscious of the fact that in the course of the analyses something essential is always lost, because the whole is more than the sum of its parts, and its attributes as a whole are more complex than the attributes of its parts..."  Arthur Koestler in Janus: A Summing Up

Thursday 24 August 2006

" An idea is bullet proof ... People should not be afraid of their Governments: Governments should be afraid of  their people "- Quote from the film V for Vendetta, A.D.2006

 "Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too." - Marcus Aurelius, circa A.D.150

Tuesday 22 August  2006

A Story - சொல்லத்தான் நினைக்கின்றேன்...

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers. That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual..

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling.. "Really?" she heard whispered. "I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!" and, "I didn't know others liked me so much," were most of the comments.

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.

The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.

As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pall bearer came up to her. "Were you Mark's math teacher?" he asked. She nodded: "yes." Then he said: "Mark talked about you a lot."

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.

"We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket.. "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it." Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him. "Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it."

All of Mark's former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album." "I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary." Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: "I think we all saved our lists."

That's when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again..

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be. So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late...  - சொல்லத்தான் நினைக்கின்றேன்... Remember, you reap what you sow. What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own.

Sunday 13 August 2006

“We trounced them. The LTTE ran for life. That will be the trend for the future also..” Sinhala Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka to State Controlled Sri Lanka Sunday Observer, 13 August 2006 - following in the footsteps of  Sinhala Deputy Defence Minister Ranjan Wijeratne in 1990 and Sinhala Sri Lanka Deputy Defence Minister, General Ratwatte in 1997

Sunday 6 August  2006

1. "Now they (the LTTE) are running without their shoes. Very soon their pants will go too. There will be no LTTE or watch posts soon. (We will) flatten the LTTE ..The IPKF got rid of the hard core elements. What is left (of the LTTE) is the baby brigade of young boys and girls. They will wet their pants when they meet my armed forces..."  Sinhala Sri Lanka Deputy Defence Minister, Ranjan Wijeratne, 15 July 1990

2. "...Linking of the land based Main Supply Route (MSR) to Jaffna through Killinochchi would be achieved by February 4, next year (1998) - I will shake hands with Pirabaharan after we defeat him.. Those who scoff at our plans are in for a shock" - Sinhala Sri Lanka Deputy Defence Minister, General Ratwatte, 14 December 1997

Monday 31 July 2006

"ஆற்றிலும் குளித்தேன் சேற்றிலும் குளித்தேன்
காற்றில் பறந்தேன் கல்லில் நடந்தேன்
ஊற்றுப் புனலில் ஒளியினைக் கண்டேன்
மாற்றுப் பொன்னிலும் மாசினைப் பார்த்தேன்
பார்த்தது கோடி பட்டது கோடி
சேர்ந்தது என்ன? சிறந்த அனுபவம்" - Kaviarasu Kannadasan quoted by P.Nedumaran

Thursday 21 July 2006

"For more than 40 years, I have been describing Tamil as a barbarous language (Kattumirandi Mozhi) used only by barbarians. When Brahmins and the Brahmin-dominated government wanted to make Hindi a State language, I started, to a very limited extent, advocating the promotion of Tamil language only to oppose the imposition of Hindi language. The only language that ought to replace Tamil is English. What is not there in English which can be found in Tamil Language?'  Periyar quoted by M.Venkatesan in E V Ramasamy Naickarin Marupakkam

Tuesday 18 July 2006

"The key objective of ARMY Magazine is to encourage teenage boys and girls under the recruitment age of 16 to move from a simple 'interest' in the Army to a position where they actively consider a career...The judges felt that 'the magazine is clearly on brand and appropriate; it has very high production values and the back-up research results were impressive.'" UK Association of Publishers 2004 Award for  Most effective public sector title - Army Magazine, British Army Recruiting Group - Haymarket Customer Publishing

Thursday 13 July 2006

“..Propaganda is a means and must be evaluated as such, from the standpoint of the goal... It is wrong to want to give propaganda the multi-sidedness of scientific instruction.... the rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious...The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly... it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” Adolf Hitler on Propaganda

Monday 10 July 2006

"...politics is concerned only formally with power and government and fundamentally with the moral development of human beings. Politics is about people, and how they endeavour to face the challenge of their times. When a man really wants freedom and to live in a democratic society he may not be able to free the whole world . . . but he can to a large extent at least free himself by behaving as a rational and moral being, and if he can do this, others around him can do the same, and these again will spread freedom by their example.". Non Violence as a Political Strategy: Gandhi & Western Thinkers - Hugh Tinker, 1980

Sunday 2 July 2006

"....The public habit of judging the relations between states  from what appears in the papers adds to the confusion. It must be remembered that in international affairs things are often not what they seem to be. ..A communique which speaks of complete agreement may only mean an agreement to differ. Behind a smokescreen of hostile propaganda diplomatic moves may be taking place indicating a better understanding of each other's position. ..."   K.M.Pannikar, Indian Ambassador to China from 1948 to 1952, and later Vice Chancellor, Mysore University in Principles and Practice of Diplomacy,1956

Friday 23 June 2006

 "...Against partisans backed by the entire population, colonial armies are helpless. They have only one way of escaping from the harassment which demoralizes them .... This is to eliminate the civilian population. As it is the unity of a whole people that is containing the conventional army, the only  anti-guerrilla strategy which will be effective is the destruction of that people, in other words, the civilians, women and children..." Jean Paul Sartre's Statement 'On Genocide' at the Second Session of the Bertrand Russell International War Crimes Tribunal on Vietnam, held in Denmark in November 1967

Monday 19 June 2006

"..I have been struggling in my mind against the conclusion that the Sri Lanka government is trying to kill or terrorize as many Tamil people as possible; that the government is trying to keep the conditions of the war unreported internationally, because if those conditions were reported, the actions of the military would be perceived as so deplorable that foreign nations would have no choice but to condemn them. And this would be embarrassing to everybody. But it seems now that no other conclusion is possible..." Professor Margaret Trawick from New Zealand, 10 years ago in 1996

Sunday 18 June 2006

When I was:
Four years old: My daddy can do anything.
Five years old: My daddy knows a whole lot.
Six years old: My dad is smarter than your dad.
Eight years old: My dad doesn't know exactly everything.
Ten years old: In the olden days, when my dad grew up,
things were sure different.
Twelve years old: Oh, well, naturally, Dad doesn't know
anything about that. He is too old to remember his
childhood.
Fourteen years old: Don't pay any attention to my dad. He is
so old-fashioned.
Twenty-one years old: Him? My Lord, he's hopelessly out of
date.
Twenty-five years old: Dad knows about it, but then he
should, because he has been around so long.
Thirty years old: Maybe we should ask Dad what he thinks.
After all, he's had a lot of experience.
Thirty-five years old: I'm not doing a single thing until I
talk to Dad.
Forty years old: I wonder how Dad would have handled it. He
was so wise.
Fifty years old: I'd give anything if Dad were here now so I
could talk this over with him. Too bad I didn't appreciate
how smart he was. I could have learned a lot from him.

- Contributed by Sabapathy Thillairajah, USA

The first Father's Day was observed on June 19, 1910 in Spokane Washington. At about the same time in various towns and cities across American other people were beginning to celebrate a "father's day." In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father's Day. Finally in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day. Father's Day has become a day to not only honor your father, but all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and adult male friends are all honored on Father's Day.

Tuesday 6 June 2006

1.  "...I think the European Union ban is extremely harsh, unfair, untimely and one-sided, unlike the Donor Co-chairs declaration, which is a well-crafted, well balanced statement censoring both the parties for the escalation of violence..." Anton Balasingham, Interview in the Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Sunday Times, June 2006

2. "..Today it is clear beyond all reasonable doubt that India and the US-UK-Japan Bloc are trying to influence and manage Sri Lanka's peace process to promote and consolidate their respective strategic and economic interests...The creeping intellectual/political barrenness (amongst Tamils) should be stopped without further delay. LTTE officials too should stop making pedestrian, boringly predictable utterances on public forums and, instead, make every endeavour to stir the people's reason, intellectual curiosity, their sense of community, their imagination and their intellectual fervour. This is the only way forward to decisively break the vicious circle of political obfuscation by which our people are deeply but blissfully afflicted today. America may be the mightiest nation on the earth today but that cannot detract an iota from our right to live with honour, dignity and freedom in the land of our fore bears. It cannot for a moment make us give up an inch of our lands to help India or the US Bloc stabilise the Sri Lankan state for the sole purpose of furthering their strategic and economic interests." Mamanithar Dharmeretnam Sivaram, 2003

Tuesday 30 May 2006

“Ultimately we have to make a choice...There are victims, there are executioners, and there are bystanders... Unless we wrench free from being what we like to call ‘objective’, we are closer psychologically, whether we like to admit it or not, to the executioner than to the victim...” Howard Zinn quoted by David Edwards in 'The Difficult Art of Telling the Truth', 2001

Saturday 27 May 2006

"..the people's patience is not endless. The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices: submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa. We shall not submit and we have no choice but to hit back by all means within our power in defence of our people, our future and our freedom. ...Refusal to resort to force has been interpreted by the government as an invitation to use armed force against the people without any fear of reprisals..." Nelson Mandela, December 1961

Wednesday 24 May 2006

".. Petitioning which we have so long followed, we reject as impossible - the dream of timid experience, the teaching of false friends who hope to keep us in perpetual subjection, foolish to reason, false to experience.... It is a vain dream to suppose that what other nations have won by struggle and battle, by suffering and tears of blood, we shall be allowed to accomplish easily, without terrible sacrifices, merely by spending the ink of the journalist and petition framer and the breath of the orator. Petitioning will not bring us one yard nearer freedom .. without organised resistance we could not take more than a few faltering steps towards self emancipation. But resistance may be of many kinds .. the circumstances of the country and the nature of the despotism from which it seeks to escape must determine what form of resistance is best justified and most likely to be effective. " Sri Aurobindo, 1907

Monday 22 May 2006

"...We are fully aware that the world is not rotating on the axis of human justice. Every country in this world advances its own interests. Economic and trade interests determine the order of the present world, not the moral law of justice nor the rights of people. International relations and diplomacy between countries are determined by such interests. Therefore we cannot expect an immediate recognition of the moral legitimacy of our cause by the international community...In reality, the success of our struggle depends on us, not on the world. Our success depends on our own efforts, on our own strength, on our own determination.." Velupillai Pirabakaran, Mahaveerar Naal Speech, 27 November 1993

Friday 19 May 2006

"...We always had faith that in the end we would win, that everything we were doing in the country led to the independence of the Jewish people and to a Jewish state. Long before we had dared pronounce that word, we knew what was in store for us...I want to say to you, friends, that the Jewish community in Palestine is going to fight to the very end. If we have arms to fight with, we will fight with those, and if not, we will fight with stones in our hands... During the last few years the Jewish people lost 6,000,000 Jews, and it would be audacity on our part to worry the Jewish people throughout the world because a few hundred thousand more Jews were in danger. That is not the issue. The issue is that if these 700,000 Jews in Palestine can remain alive, then the Jewish people as such is alive and Jewish independence is assured.  If these 700,000 people are killed off, then for many centuries, we are through with this dream of a Jewish people and a Jewish homeland..." Golda Meir - The Speech that Made possible A Jewish State, 1948

Wednesday 17 May 2006

ஒருமையுடன் நினது திருமலரடி நினைக்கின்ற
உத்தமர் தம் உறவு வேண்டும்
உள்ளொன்று வைத்துப் புறமொன்று பேசுவார்
உறவு கலவாமை வேண்டும்
பெருமை பெறு நினது புகழ் பேசவேண்டும்
பொய்மை பேசாதிருக்க வேண்டும்

பெருநெறி பிடித்தொழுக வேண்டும்
மதமான பேய் பிடியாதிருக்க வேண்டும்

 - 
இராமலிங்க அடிகள் - Vallalar
 

Thursday 12 May 2006

"Some quarrellers do not realise that in this world
We must all at some time cease to live
But there are others who do realise,
And they will settle their quarrels."

(from the Dhammapada, quoted by a Sinhala teacher in a tribute to Somasunderam Nadesan on his 10th death Anniversary in 1996)

Tuesday 2 May 2006

''I was once asked by an Englishman connected with the British Refugee Council: 'You say Tamil Eelam, but where are the boundaries of this Tamil Eelam that you talk about? Show me.'  I was taken aback by the directness of the question. I thought for a while, searching for an appropriate response. Then I replied: 'Take a map of the island. Take a paint brush and paint all the areas where Sri Lanka has bombed and launched artillery attacks during these past several years. When you have finished, the painted area that you see - that is Tamil Eelam.''" Sathasivam Krishnakumar, (Kittu), founding Member of LTTE, speaking in Zurich, on Maha Veerar Naal, in November 1990

Saturday 29 April 2006

“One man does not assert the truth which he knows, because he feels himself bound to the people with whom he is engaged; another, because the truth might deprive him of the profitable position by which he maintains his family; a third, because he desires to attain reputation and authority, and then use them in the service of mankind;  a fourth, because he does not wish to destroy old sacred traditions;  a fifth, because he has no desire to offend people; a sixth, because the expression of the truth would arouse persecution, and disturb the excellent social activity to which he has devoted himself...” Leo Tolstoy  on Truth

Easter Sunday 16 April 2006

"... everyone is responsible for everything that happens in life. When you produce peace and happiness in yourself, you begin to realize peace for the whole world. With the smile that you produce in yourself, with the conscious breathing you establish within yourself, you begin to work for peace in the world. To smile is not to smile only for yourself; the world will change because of your smile. When you practice sitting meditation, if you enjoy even one moment of your sitting, if you establish serenity and happiness inside yourself, you provide the world with a solid base of peace. If you do not give yourself peace, how can you share it with others?" - A Contemporary Zen master quoted by Mu Soeng Sunim in Ancient Buddhist Wisdom in the Light of Quantum Reality
 

Good Friday 14 April 2006

"I have been convicted and sentenced, a very distressing experience. But I still believe I was right to make the stand that I did and refuse to follow orders to deploy to Iraq - orders I believe were illegal. I am resigned to what may happen to me in the next few months. I shall remain resilient and true to my beliefs which, I believe, are shared by so many others."

"Iraq was the only reason I could not follow the order to deploy. As a commissioned officer, I am required to consider every order given to me. Further, I am required to consider the legality of such an order not only as to its effect on domestic but also international law. I was subjected, as was the entire population, to propaganda depicting force against Iraq to be lawful. I have studied in very great depth the various commentaries and briefing notes, including one prepared by the Attorney General, and in particular the main note to the PM dated 7 March 2003. I have satisfied myself that the actions of the armed forces with the deployment of troops were an illegal act - as indeed was the conflict. To comply with an order that I believe unlawful places me in breach of domestic and international law, something I am not prepared to do."

"The invasion and occupation of Iraq is a campaign of imperial military conquest and falls into the category of criminal acts. I would have had criminal responsibility vicariously if I had gone to Iraq. I still have two great loves in life - medicine and the RAF. To take the decision that I did caused great sadness, but I had no other choice." Doctor, RAF officer, and now war criminal - Flt Lt Malcolm Kendall-Smith on being jailed for refusing to serve in Iraq, 13 April 2006

Sunday 2 April 2006

“...To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.”  Arundhati Roy (contributed by Father Chandi Sinnathurai from Tamil Eelam)

Sunday 26 March 2006

“It is modest of the nightingale not to require any one to listen to it; but it is also proud of the nightingale not to care whether any one listens to it or not. The honoured public, the domineering masses see only one side of the dialectic and takes offence at its pride and do not perceive that the same thing is also modesty and humility. It is not the masses, and not mankind and not the public, not even the highly educated public, which is its Lord and Master  but GOD.” Soren Kierkegaard (contributed by Father Chandi Sinnathurai)

Tuesday 21 March 2006

"Unsavoury regimes these days hire the best talent available to spruce up their international image... The PR technique is simple enough: minimise the human rights abuses, talk about it as a 'complex' two sided story, play up efforts at reform... If possible, it is best to put these words in the mouth of some apparently 'neutral' group of 'concerned citizens', or a lofty institute with academic credentials."  Richard Swift, New Internationalist, in Mind Games, July 1999

Sunday 12 March 2006

"I would say, favour the question, always question. Do not accept answers as definitive. Answers change. Questions don't. Always question those who are certain of what they are saying. Always favour the person who is tolerant enough to understand that there are no absolute answers, but there are absolute questions. " - Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize for Peace, 1996

"Whatever may be said, whosoever may say it -  to determine the truth of it, is wisdom" - Thirukural

Thursday 9 March 2006

"... As it is we have played at war . . . we play at magnanimity and all that stuff.... They talk to us of the rules of war, of chivalry, of flags of truce, of mercy to the unfortunate and so on. It's all rubbish. I saw chivalry and flags of truce in 1805. They humbugged us and we humbugged them. They plunder other peoples' houses, issue false paper money, and worst of all they kill my children and my father, and then talk of rules of war and magnanimity to foes ! Take no prisoners but kill and be killed ! . . . If there was none of this magnanimity in war, we should go to war only when it was worth while going to certain death, as now.... war is not courtesy but the most horrible thing in life; and we ought to understand that, and not play at war.. The air of war is murder; the methods of war are spying, treachery, and their encouragement, the ruin of a country's inhabitants, robbing them or stealing to provision the army, and fraud and falsehood termed military craft.... " (The fictional Prince Andrew Bolkhonsky in Tolstoy's War & Peace , Book 10, Chapter 25, pp 486-7)

Saturday 4 March 2006

"இறைவன் மனிதனுக்குச் சொன்னது கீதை, மனிதன் இறைவனுக்குச் சொன்னது திருவாசகம், மனிதன் மனிதனுக்குச் சொன்னது திருக்குறள்" -

"God spoke to Man in the Gita,
Man spoke to God in the Thiruvasagam,
Man spoke to Man in the Thirukural"

Dr.S.Jayabarathi in A Short Introduction to Thirukkural 

Tuesday 24 January 2006

“மேடை மீது ஏறியிருந்து
ஏற்றம் பற்றிப் பேச்சு நடத்தும்
தேசத் துரை மாரே!
குனிந்து பாருங்கள்
பூவாய் இருக்கும்
கம்பளம் கீழே
புழுவாய் நெளியும்
மனித உடல்கள்.
அவை உங்கள்
குருட்டுக் கண்களை
வெருட்டித் திறக்கும்.
கோழியின் செட்டைக்குள்
குஞ்சுகள்தான் பாதுகாக்கப்படும்.
ஆனால் இங்கே பருந்துகள் தானே
பாதுகாக்கப் படுகின்றன.
உலக சமாதானம்
இந்த உன்னதக்
கோட்பாட்டிற்குள்
தலையைப் புதைக்கும்
தீக்கோழி நீ!”  பெண் போராளி மேஜர் பாரதி
quoted by Sanmugam Sabesan in உண்மையை மீண்டும் சொல்கின்றேன்!

Sunday 15 January 2006

1. "....We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish  people..." Proclamation of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic, 1916

2. "Nine Famous Irishmen -  In the Young Irish Disorders of 1848, nine men were captured, tried and convicted of treason against  Queen Victoria and were sentenced to death. Their names were: Duffy, Meagher, McManus, Donahue, O'Gorman, Lyene, Ireland, McGee and Mitchell.

Before passing sentence, the judge asked if they wished to say anything. Meagher spoke for all and said, "My Lord, this is our first offence but not our last. If you will be easy with us this once, we promise on our word as gentlemen, to try and do better next time. And next time, we sure won't be fools to get caught."

Thereupon, the indignant judge sentenced them all to be hanged by the neck until dead, drawn and quartered and their body parts to be displayed as a lesson to all others who would think of rebelling against the Crown. But, passionate protest from around the world convinced the Queen to commute their sentences to life and transport to a prison in the wilds of Australia.

In 1874, word reached an astounded Queen Victoria that the Sir Charles Duffy who was Prime Minister of Australia, was the same Charles Duffy who had been convicted of treason twenty-five years before. On the Queen's demand, the lives of the other eight Irishmen were researched and this is what they revealed. While some stayed in Australia, others left for North America.

· Thomas Francis Meagher, Governor of the US State of Montana.
· Terrence McManus, General, US Army.
· Patrick Donahue, General, US Army.
· Richard O'Gorman, Governor General of the Canadian Province of Newfoundland.
· Morris Lyene, Attorney General of Australia.
· Michael Ireland, succeeded Lyene as Attorney General of Australia.
· Thomas Darcy McGee, MP from Montreal, later Minister of Agriculture of Canada and President of the Council of the Dominion of Canada.
· John Mitchell, prominent New York politician, the father of John Purroy Mitchell who was later Mayor of New York City.

The Moral?  Never, never, give up!"  (quoted by Phil Steffen - contributed by Satyendra Chelvendra)
[see also Proclamation of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic, 1916]

Sunday 1 January 2006

".. If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. (Amen) That's a new definition of greatness.

And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, (Everybody) because everybody can serve. (Amen) You don't have to have a college degree to serve. (All right) You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. (Amen) You only need a heart full of grace, (Yes, sir, Amen) a soul generated by love. (Yes) And you can be that servant...

...Every now and then I guess we all think realistically (Yes, sir) about that day when we will be victimized with what is life's final common denominator that something that we call death. We all think about it. And every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And I don't think of it in a morbid sense. And every now and then I ask myself, "What is it that I would want said?" And I leave the word to you this morning.

If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. (Yes) And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school. (Yes)

I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. (Yes)
I'd like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.
I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. (Amen)
I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. (Yes)
And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. (Yes)
I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. (Lord)
I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity. (Yes)

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. (Amen) Say that I was a drum major for peace. (Yes) I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. (Yes) I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. (Amen) And that's all I want to say.

If I can help somebody as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
If I can show somebody he's traveling wrong,
Then my living will not be in vain.
If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,
If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought,
If I can spread the message as the master taught,
Then my living will not be in vain.

Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, (Yes) not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world."   Martin Luther King - Delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, on 4 February 1968

Continued - Reflections 2005.........

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