31 December 2018
Unitary State – Castle in the Air
In Management, especially human resource management, we use the subjective pathway with some and the objective pathway with others. Where common belief is strong, one does not need to ‘show & tell’. One relates directly and therefore uses the subjective system. In the subjective system, the senior includes the junior and the junior is respectful of the senior. The way the senior thinks is taken as right. In business relationships, supplier is taken as senior.
When common belief is weak, one needs ‘substance’ based interaction. Both sides relate through the ‘substance’ and not directly. That way there is harmony. In the meantime, one should not interfere with the other’s process. Hence the need for separation of powers.
The recent political turmoil in Sri Lanka confirmed to us that there is lack of common belief between the two major Sinhala-Buddhist parties. This I believe happened because they made Buddhism a ‘substance’ to be traded for ‘votes’. The deeper we feel, the lesser the need to ‘show’. The more we ‘show’ the stronger the confirmation that our common belief is weak. Religion and State ought to have separated when Buddhist leadership became more and more visible in politics and politics became more and more ‘show business’ than about relationships. One needs common belief to have a relationship. When votes are bought – the need for objective pathway is confirmed. The common belief is confirmed to have been at that point when ‘trading’ began. Thereafter the way one provides and the way the other receives are taken to be different. Hence the need for separation and independent production of substance / objectively measurable outcomes.
Reconciliation would help us understand and keep our distance from each other. But where the senior desires position of authority – reconciliation would not work. I know this from my personal experience here in Australian workplace. Substance in the middle is the only way out for fair sharing.
If Reconciliation would work between cultures – then the senior ought to have confirmed this capability within its environment. The President and the Prime Minister – both of apparently Sinhala-Buddhist culture confirmed that their differences were irreconcilable. The possibility of reconciliation between Tamils and Sinhalese or Muslims and Sinhalese – at community level is zero.
Where differences are irreconcilable – Unitary State structure of Government would lead to greater disharmony. It has the capability to develop dictatorships. The current Sri Lankan government has firmly confirmed that it is not able to reconcile internally.
Even in the case of the position of Leader of the Opposition, there is difference in interpretation between the Tamil Political parties and Sinhalese parties – including the UNP of which the speaker who made the decision is a member. Tamil National Alliance and Tamil Progressive Alliance (led by the Hon Mano Ganesan) have interpreted the principle that the same party cannot be in Government as well as lead the Opposition and hence Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa was not eligible to hold the position of Opposition Leader – despite his party, which is also the party of the President holding 2nd highest number of seats in parliament. To my mind, the flaw is in the law – according to which the President was part of the Parliament. Where there is seniority – there is no separation and hence no opposition and v.v. Since Buddhism is the senior religion as per the Constitution – those who expressly promoted Buddhism in politics can only be seniors and not be Equal opposition. That is how Lord Buddha worked to restore Dharma in Sri Lanka. This happened because of those who were genuinely seeking Dharma.
By producing a diverse interpretation of the principle of democratic governance through the objective pathway, Tamils have confirmed that their deservedness of Federal structure of governance instead of the Unitary structure. In turn the Sinhalese have confirmed that they are not able to reconcile differences and therefore have abandoned the Unitary system of management even amongst themselves.
Truth must prevail for there to be long term harmony. Unitary structure would promote disharmony in Sri Lanka – not because of Tamils or Muslims but because Sinhala Buddhist leaders have become substance driven. Every Buddhist who used the name of Buddhism to get votes and/or status – moved away from being senior by deeper belief. Belief does not need proof. The moment we need proof – we must take independent position – including independence from the junior. This applies also to Tamils and Muslims who ‘show’ religion in Politics. The Northern Provincial Council failed due to showing more self-determination than they actually had to through common belief with the community. The more we ‘take’ the less there is for belief.
When seniors in Sri Lankan governments appreciate the need for democracy in everyday life – there will be harmony in Sri Lanka. If one continues to be attached to past benefits – one fails to live in democracy – which is the current system applicable to those who produce independent outcomes. Anyone who continues to promote Unitary system – is cheating the People and is asking for disharmony in her/his home environment.