Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 13 June 2015
Central Bank Governor – Policy Contributor or Businessman?
As per today’s Sri Lankan news ‘CBSL (Central Bank of Sri Lanka) forms new Legal and Compliance Department’. My attention was directed by a Diaspora Leader to the interview with the Governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka – Mr. Arjuna Mahdendran conducted by the Naduwa program: http://varunamultimedia.com.au/videos/btv/vmtube2/sathyagaraya/naduwa_-11-06-15/play.html
In the meantime, in response to my article one reader wrote:
[You are a real waste. If you could do some of what Sumanthiran, Lingam type people are doing then you are worth living.]
To me that is self-exposure of the same problem faced by the Governor of CBSL as it translates at the citizen’s level. Both are about lack of authority to mark someone right or wrong but doing so without giving such any thought. My response to the above member of the Tamil Diaspora was:
[Well I accept that to you I must seem a waste. I am however happy that you value Lingam’s work. My enjoyment will be derived through Lingam to whom I am a respectable manager. As for Sumanthiran – no I do not play politics. I go from Administration to Truth and v.v. and that did not come by wasting my time. If you are not able to identify with that value and make the connection – I conclude that you are expressing beyond your earned authority and that IS a shame]
The Central Bank problem was shown by the current Political Opposition as that of ‘insider-trading’. The indicators were that the firm of the Governor Mr. Mahendran’s son-in-law was one of the beneficiaries of a special bonds issue. In his article ‘Arjuna Mahendran Must Step Down as Central Bank Governor to Give Credence to Investigation Promised by Harsha de Silva.’ Mr. Malinda Seneviratne – who is described in Wikipedia as Sinhala Buddhist nationalist - raised the question:
[Mahendran claimed that Aloysius had resigned from Perpetual before he, Mahendran, took up the post. But why speak of resignation and appointment in the same breath? After all, Perpetual is a legal entity and there’s no legal requirement for Aloysius to give up a lucrative business just because a relative got a job, surely?]
No there is no legal requirement. But in Sri Lanka, one does not need a legal requirement to be found fault with. Even here in Australia which enjoys higher status than Sri Lanka, in terms of Democracy, I was arrested without legal authority – by officers who did not know the provisions of the law. One would expect worse to happen in Sri Lanka.
As Mr. Mahendran kept pointing out in his interview – previous managements do not like changes and hence the opposition. Here in Australian Public Service, I encountered severe opposition to changeover to Democratic Accounting Systems in which I had strong expertise due to my private sector experience. This resulted ultimately in me being arrested and sent to prison because unlike Mr. Mahendran who has the support of the Government – I did not have any official support. As pointed out in my latest article – in relation to Lingam above – we lose Human Resource support when we come leave Sri Lanka. No Sri Lankan would have made the above accusation to me in Sri Lanka - that I was a ‘real waste’. I am a one-person institution even now most of the time here in Australia. But the advantage in this is that I go faster to the Truth than most others who come as a group. That is the Divine Power that supports those who live close to Truth. I discover the Truth of the other side in a relationship and then add my own investments to complete the relationship to merge the experience – including as a person with negative status. But the structure is strengthened through that completed relationship and I recognize this through the Lord’s system of Truth.
I therefore conclude that the question raised by Mr. Seneviratne was politically motivated and needs to be dismissed from the minds of those who are seeking Sri Lanka to become more global. Applying the above basis of judgment by Mr. Seneviratne on Mr. Seneviratne himself – one needs to ask Mr. Seneviratne to dismiss the politician in him to understand the workings of a money institution within Public Service.
Following is an excerpt from my book Naan Australian, regarding my meeting with the Head of Research – Mr. Cook - at the University of New South Wales, which highlights this conflict:
Mr. Cook: You come from a Commercial background, but we do not operate that way here at the University. This University like all other Universities operates on a Cash Basis and semi accrual basis.
Gaja: I have worked also with Public Service
Mr. Cook: ‘Shirley Kueh will be moving to the Research Office soon. We receive grants from various bodies and we have to report to them in a specific manner. We have to have a united approach together with all other Universities. (This said to me that Peter Cook was relying heavily on group power and not individual merit based power. Later I heard reports about his heavy reliance on male power. He was one of the persons I complained against but Professor Alan Pettigrew abused his discretionary powers to leave him and Chris Lidbury out of the investigations) This University cannot do anything on its own.(An admission of dependence on the more powerful universities). The Researchers may want this and that but you have to tell them how it is to be done. As far as the Medical Faculty is concerned, the Faculty had it all under control until almost three / four years back. But this has not been the case since then. (The recorded fact is that Peter Cook was the executive officer of the Medical Faculty at that time – before Jeff Warnock)
Despite getting upset - I learnt that the oldies were attracted to my way of relating through Income (Business) rather than Expenditure. But they did not like it that I a migrant woman was expressing that wisdom. In a Public Service organization that deals directly with the Public – the Income approach is the better approach. The Treasury bond issue to the Public was that kind of approach.
Taken at family level – which is the lowest common structure known to most of us – the man who deals with outsiders/the public – is the Income (money and status) provider. The woman who spends the money is the Motivating Energy provider. If therefore we have strong men who make income through Business – but do not have the appropriate savings/structures through which to extend that enjoyment over long periods – including beyond our physical life – we end up hoarding or wasting.
Likewise, we have strong women as structural builders/developers who ‘show’ more than is needed by the family – we over capitalize and the next generation wastes our earnings.
Usually where it comes to the family/institution, dealing closely with the public, the income producers would need to lead. Where the service is ‘internal’ and confidential – the quiet structural developers need to lead. Hence in Hinduism the woman is known as Shakthi/Energy. The reason is that the real value of the work for which no visible reward – including status - comes, becomes Divine Energy. When such a person blesses – the Energy is shared with the Blessed – who could be from outside that family structure. When the Blessed is from outside the family structure – that lady becomes the First Lady and is the Force that merges the family with wider community. This applies to Public Service also.
The Income side of Public Institutions is the parallel of income producing men who traditionally brought home the bread. The Expenditure side of Public Institutions is the parallel of the women in traditional families who were primarily homemakers. Only one who is driven by Commonness above individual – would become that motivating Energy going towards lasting structure development through Common Values. This usually happens to be the one who enjoys pain before pleasure – as mothers do through child-birth. Within CBASL therefore – who is the Income Producer and who is the Structural Energy?
All institutions are made up of relationships. When each relationship is completed – it becomes a healthy part of the whole structure. In democracy it is becoming more and more difficult to identify with who the income earner is and who the home maker is. Both may be within the one person. But when it comes to reporting to the next level internally and/or to external parties laterally – this completed relationship is the basic authority to represent. Without completion – we are individuals coexisting and/or continuously finding fault with each other – not to educate but to ‘show authority/rights’ – as the above responder did when she found fault with me saying I was a real waste. But my Energy brought me message of respect from Uthayaragavan who refers to me as CEO even after he left our institution physically for a more income producing job with Jaffna Heritage Hotels close to Nallur Murugan. To Ragavan an Accounting student – I am still his CEO. That is how I know that my investment in professional leadership did not get wasted. But unless we ‘get-even’ we are not in the system of democracy – through which we need to have Equal Opposition outcome at that time. We do not ‘wait for time to tell’. Hence my immediate response to that lady.
The likes of Mr. Mahendran who has been highly recognized in Singapore would continue to face these challenges which would have been faced by Mr. Lee Kwan Yew also. But those who have realized financial freedom through economic pursuits would take that as necessary costs/sacrifices and keep going. Contemporary Indian acting hero Mr. Rajinikanth stated publicly that the person he most admired was Mr. Lee Kwan Yew. These are part of social and cultural sharing which empower us on ongoing basis. It is understandable that Sinhala-Buddhist nationalists would feel threatened by these natural coalitions with Tamil Nadu which makes Sinhalese minorities of Tamils and Buddhists minorities of Hindus in that Region. But that is the price one has to pay to go global and democratic.
Mr. Mahendran is one form of such threat to Sinhala-Buddhist nationalists. The more global Sri Lanka becomes the lesser the awareness of local borders and hence the loss of political power for such politicians. This applies also to Tamil-only Tamil leaders who are seeking money without appropriate Strategic or Business Plans or Budgets using principles of Democracy. Even Politicians need these multi-tasking skills to be Democratic and exercise their rights to speak about a higher professional of global stature.
Legal & Compliance division may give more income to lawyers. It would not help the Central Bank to become more healthy. The reason? Most lawyers in Sri Lanka either play politics or produce income to hoard and be wasted by their children. Internally – their corporate wisdom is very weak. They need home-makers who would pool their work-values in Common Social Values.