Wednesday 25 February 2015

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 25 February  2015

Leadership Crisis in Sri Lanka?

The accusation by the Sri Lankan Prime Minister the Hon Ranil Wicremesinghe – that the Australian Prime Minister – the Hon Tony Abbott – made secret dealings with former President of Sri Lanka – Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa on the basis of personal relationship – is a serious one – and influences one to question whether Sri Lanka is facing a leadership crisis?  To my mind, what happened between the two leaders at that time is truly secondary to why Mr. Wicremesinghe is raising this issue at this point in time – when he needs to be working towards delivering the election promises  made to the People through the 100 day program. One such promise is the passage of ‘Right to Information Bill’ by 20 February 2015. It is expected that the real authority to present such laws come from within the persons whose job it is to make laws that would regulate the thoughts and actions of citizens towards COMMONNESS.

The Daily News Editorial  of 21 February 2015, states in regards to this legislation:

The R2I legislation is part of the drive towards good governance espoused by the Maithripala Sirisena administration which faces the onerous task of putting things right in just 100 days before the next General Election. This must also be appraised in the context of many other measures that have already been taken to bolster media freedom, such as the unblocking of websites critical of the Government, facilitating the return of exiled journalists, giving a free hand to State media and restarting investigations on attacks on journalists during the previous regime. R2I is one of the most progressive measures ever initiated by a Sri Lankan Government since the country obtained independence 67 years ago and will help usher in an era where transparency and accountability will reign supreme

Was the Prime Minister practicing the principles of Transparency when making the above accusation against Australian Prime Minister? Transparency is an intrinsic part of the Democratic path through which one produces independent outcomes. Such outcomes need to be objectively measurable for them to be included as is in the big-picture outcomes that are produced. They must stand on their own rights. Expressions exchanged between two persons – in this instance – Mr. Rajapaksa and Mr. Abbott – need to have been transparent for them to have global value. An expression that cannot be verified by an independent reader is only as independent as the speaker/author  in  the mind of the listener/reader. The onus is on the junior in the relationship and not the senior that Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is. If not – there is no need for the Right to Information Legislation. The word of the master is the law – as it was under Mr. Rajapaksa’s rule – justly or otherwise.

As per the Daily News Editorial:
‘ R2I will become a fundamental right in the country. This is a momentous turn of events that could not have been foreseen even a few months ago. Once R2I becomes a basic right, there will be a fundamental shift in the way in which the Government works. It will no longer possible to hide any details from the public and misuse public funds.’

The right to access information also needs to be earned by the citizen – as per her/his contribution to the management of Public Resources. If used selfishly – it would lead to irresponsibility in the user and others led by the user.  Every citizen who seeks to produce independent outcomes has the responsibility to stay within the rules governing her/his position and thereafter produce outcomes only as per her/his Truth. Given that at the moment this Bill is not yet Law, the expressions by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe would not be part of his portfolio duties. If Mr. Wickremesinghe was speaking as a citizen – through his Truth – then one needs to question whether Mr. Wickremesinghe qualifies for the top job by producing outcomes prematurely and/or using his insider knowledge to show his cleverness?

As per the Daily News Editorial:

Although R2I was very much on the cards during the previous UNP administration of 2001-2004, the process could not be completed due to the change of Government. The next Government led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa blocked all moves to enact R2I legislation from time to time, citing flimsy excuses. The main excuse was national security concerns, but they never mentioned that R2I legislation explicitly prevents information that affects national security from reaching the public domain. The real reason for keeping R2I was most likely to be the opaque nature of the previous government's financial transactions which were shrouded in secrecy.

If the current regime was indeed respectful of the provisions ‘preventing information that affects national security from reaching the public domain’  - then has this regime not confirmed its inability to respect the provisions of its own laws?  The boat-refugee / Naval protection issue is an issue directly connected to national security of not only Sri Lanka, but also of  Australia as well as other nations such as India.  Not a good start towards democracy!

Sri Lankans continue to be largely subjective in their assessments. The more we think on the basis of the subject in the position – the less likely we are to move towards Democratic systems where the two sides in a relationship are taken to be of Equal status. A democratic Administrator would allocate equal status to her/himself,  as the citizen being administered. Below is an example of the effects of irresponsible assessments:

One member of the Sinhalese Diaspora a primary group  likely to use the above statements by the Sri Lankan PM, wrote in response to my article ‘Who Burnt the Tamil Public Library?

Yes pull out all the past. Well done. 

Who slaughtered 600 forces men. 250 Buddhist priests. Pregnant women. Babies children. Bombed the streets. Bombed bus stands. Killed presidents, M P.s. Brought the nation to ridicule. Caused anarchy. Fed cyanide pills to other kids. 
Dashed babies on the floor. and thousands more. 

This is not the way forward to bring about reconciliation using unilateral " finger pointing" .

Everyone knows that there were problems in the past. The British killed the  Sri Lankan Royalty and hundreds of thousands of people. Mandela was jailed for 25 years. Over 20 million indigenous American Indians died after Columbus Let's start the 111 rd world war through hater and revenge.’

Another member of the group responded to the above:

‘Finally, someone understood Gaja Param's game! She is a tigress.’

Another senior wrote:

‘I had mentioned that Gaja Param was more in line with the Tamil Diaspora than with moderate Tamils. She did not respond to that.  I felt that she got on well with the Mahinda supporters in this forum.

These responses give me a picture of how I am seen by the ‘other’ side – so I can complete the picture of my reality. No Sri Lankan legislation can change the mindset of these members of the Diaspora – because they are outside the net of Sri Lankan law enforcement authorities and eventually become laws unto themselves. Their thoughts become disorderly – producing contradictory judgments – as demonstrated above. Truth and Law based on Truth render the highest mind order.

As per my assessment of myself – I am neither a Tigress nor a Rajapaksa fan. I cannot be both at the same time for the one matter - through a subjective system. In terms of levels of interpretation I identified more with Mr. Rajapaksa than with LTTE Leader Prabhakaran.  Between Mr. Rajapaksa and Mr. Wickremesinghe I do identify more with Mr. Wickremesinghe because of his global investment. It therefore is painful to the individual in me.  That which is global does not look very nice when interpreted through the local language of the primary level investor in governance.

The Tamil issue could easily be resolved through implementation of Democratic systems. Some of us are already doing so including through our electronic media. If this is not matched by the Sinhalese – they would continue to cling to their Subject Administration. This would lead to another war and/or continued supply of Sri Lankan labor to Western nations that are committed to Democracy more than Sri Lanka is. It is difficult to use both systems at the same time in the one matter.

The Diaspora continuing to use subjective assessments – but benefiting from the freedom of speech in Western Nations – is the first block to Sri Lanka becoming independent of  its slavery to the past. 

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