04 January 2018
Confidentiality or Transparency ?
‘I have learnt that the exercise of Subjective Power becomes unlawful the moment one or the other side fails the test of Confidentiality. I learnt through the pain of this experience, that from that point onwards the need for Transparency arises to protect the alienated individual’s / group’s rights. I learnt that from then on, if the custodians of powers act without being transparent – it amounts to secrecy and any decision made becomes morally invalid’ University of Jaffna Academic in training at Australian Tamil Management Service.
The above came to mind when I read this morning, the Daily FT report headed ‘SriLankan Airlines Board resignation accepted’. This report states:
‘This decision was made when Ministerial Committee chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met yesterday to review the progress of the revival of SriLankan Airlines’
As per my wisdom and knowledge about the National Carrier, the problem at the top is largely due to lack of separation between Governance Powers and Administrative Powers. I learnt with deep appreciation the high value of this included in the Section 45 of the Universities Act., which prevents the delegation of Disciplinary Powers in relation to Teachers and Officers, to the Vice Chancellor. To my mind therefore, if a Teacher is to be disciplined, the Governing Council has the responsibility and vote through the Truth identified by each member of the Council. A mind that is active about Administrative rights and wrongs would fall short of stillness of mind, needed by a Governor.
Common, Faith based Governance never fails. Where Administrative powers are exercised beyond the level of this Common Faith, the institution demotes itself to trading level and lower – to Welfare level.
To prevent such downfall, every ‘Public Service Enterprise’ needs to have this separation – just as there needs to be separation between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch of the Government. The Legislative Branch needs to be driven by its Truth based faith – which represents at tertiary level, the consolidated faith of the voters at the primary level, escalated through Administration and with the blessings of Administration, to policy level. Academics being required to maintain their Intellectual Integrity, through Independence – could be managed but not directly Administered, so as to preserve their sense of Independent thinking.
The parallel of Academics, in Airline Industry are those who specialise in various aspects of the Airline’s core purposes. The CEO would not have Disciplinary Authority over them and the power of the Public who own the Airline, is exercised through the Board who have the responsibility to be driven by Truth and not by Administrative or Outcome based rights and wrongs.
To the extent the National Carrier seeks to be competitive in Business, its various arms need autonomy and not be interfered with directly by individual members of the Board. The Board needs the discipline to use Truth that they identify with and not merit based determination. That is the pathway of ownership. Many of us contribute to governance of the National carrier through our feelings being added to the ownership power which is carried by every person who has taken/drawn less value than s/he has contributed. That is the feelings based intuitive power. Such contributors are the elders of the institution. The way Indigenous land rights are respected here in Australia – at Government level, during official functions.
As per the report of Xinhua – the Governor of Governor of Eastern Province, the Hon Rohitha Bogollagama said on Wednesday that ‘Sri Lanka will develop the sites around one of its ancient Hindu temple "Thirukoneshwaram" in Trincomalee in the Eastern Province of the country as the main pilgrimage destinations’. This to my mind, is ultra vires the Constitution due to Article 9 which provides as follows:
[The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).]
Article 14 (1) (e ) states:
[Every citizen is entitled to the freedom, either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching;]
The authority to develop Hindu sites belongs to Hindus by virtue of Article 14 (1) (e ) of the Constitution. Even if one Sri Lankan Hindu genuinely objects to the above Development, based on her / his faith - it would invoke ancestral powers of that Sacred Land to defeat the Government that wants it both ways – Buddhism foremost as well as Religious Commonness. Religions should not be mixed on the way to their final destination of ownership.
The parallel of this in the case of the National Carrier is Government indiscriminately mixing Governance with Business. Former needs Confidentiality and the latter Transparency.
‘Mei Porul KaaNbathu ARivu’ / Knowledge is that which leads to Truth’