Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 22 June 2015
Shared Leadership for Democratic Sri Lankans
The voter gets the Government s/he deserves. Soon it would be voting time in Sri Lanka and to me it is more about the structure needed by Sri Lanka. Hence this sharing through an excerpt from my book ‘Beyond Consciousness’, which I believe is relevant in current Sri Lanka:
“The efforts by the Tamil Diaspora to take the perpetrators of, suffering by Tamil civilians, in the Sri Lankan ethnic war – to be heard by Independent International Legal Body – is also such a balancing force at the International level. It is healthy for Sri Lankan politicians of all ethnicities to accept this reality. Within the Tamil Community also – we need this Equal Opposition at the political level – including social political level. This Equal Opposition is the foundation on which reliable Administration is developed. The 2015 Presidential Elections confirm the internal solutions we have found. Any UN led inquiry would need to not probe into that aspect – but focus more on Foreign interference which eventually brought the matter down to jungle war standards.
When roles are reversed – ( as demonstrated through the inverted pyramid structure in management) – in majority relationships of a particular category – for example parent-child – within a particular culture, family, institution - the old senior who now seems a junior needs to consciously take Equal Position with the old junior who is now new senior. Hence the flat structure in Western nations. Even though the pyramid is inverted – the top is flat – confirming Equal/Shared Leadership.
The relationship should not grow beyond the original senior position, as such would deviate us from the total structure that the relationship is a part of. Internally and confidentially the former senior may submit to the former junior. When the old senior becomes dependent on the old junior – the structure is dwarfed – as happened in Sri Lankan Politics on both sides of the ethnic border. Rebels – JVP (Sinhalese) and LTTE (Tamils) took over power and eliminated those who represented the higher pathways. These happen naturally if those higher pathways are neglected by those who hold the positions of caretakers.
The challenge in Sri Lankan Governance structure now is being tested due to the old junior Mr. Maithripala Sirisena now becoming the new senior to Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Sri Lankan Governments of my times, are, as per my observations, not strongly committed to relationships. They are largely interactions on bilateral bases – and hence lead to chaos when the benefits or costs are from outsiders / unknown providers. Where a government loses consciousness of the citizen as representing the Public – it starts separating itself from the Public and other parts of the government itself become its Public. The Common and Equal Opposition is the Public in a democratic, government-public relationship. This Equal Opposition was the Tamil Community until the Presidential Elections 2015 when Tamils joined forces with the internal opposition within Government – to dilute this position. Whether this would bring about greater harmony depends on whether the Government forms structure that would be the parent structure for all governments – including at family level.
To my mind, the reason why the Rajapaksa regime became chaotic was the same as why LTTE became chaotic. Often the Common Tamil observes about the LTTE that the ‘Boys started off well but went astray’. This is being said also of the Rajapaksa Government – as has been demonstrated by the defections including by the current President – Mr. Maithripala Sirisena. In both instances – to my mid - it was due to ‘outside’ money which went towards elevating the status of leaders above the original level.
In countries like Australia – this ‘outside’ money happens not only through global administration which allocates high status that is not necessarily earned by the government – for example that Australia is a democratic nation – even though Equal Opportunity practices are more nice style than reality. The credit is often earned by citizens following global systems – whether they believe in them or not.
The common reason for damaged relationships at citizen’s level is the ‘open’ end through which senior migrants – especially white migrants - who fail to complete their relationships within their own cultures – take higher status with new migrants to continue to be the bosses. Given that there is lack of common investment in the relationship – such elevation becomes dictatorship by the senior especially where the new migrant is in need of the benefits and is ready to compromise to continue with the benefits.
New migrants often get paid less than their counterparts within old migrant groups. Where this is not addressed over long periods, this naturally promotes a society of servitude. Such is more apparent in nations like Sri Lanka than in nations like Australia – due to the gap between economic and social status between government and the common citizen – as perceived by the common citizen - being wider in poorer countries than in money rich countries like Australia. Balance Sheets of Leaders – be it Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa or Mr.Velupillai Prabhakaran – would confirm whether they have abused their positions for private purposes. The reconciliation between personal net wealth at the time of entry and the time of exit respectively, would confirm whether they strengthened or abused their positions:
- Personal wealth at the beginning of the relationship through the position – plus
- Official remuneration through the official position – less reasonable expenditure at the level of status of that position - plus
- Offerings from their Public (as are made to spiritual leaders) – in appreciation of Service beyond the official position less the known expenditure to benefit that public
The total of the above is the wealth earned and saved by the leader at the time of exit.
Any wealth in the name of the leader and/or in direct custody of the leader – above this total – is confirmation of abuse.
The Public from whom offerings are received beyond the taxes as per official system – are part of the public – including the Diaspora Communities and outside governments. Where such offerings are accepted – one has to recognize that they become part of the Public for that leader. Foreign governments, Indian leaders and Tamil Diaspora who funded LTTE but to whom LTTE failed to be Accountable – contributed to the abuse of leadership position by Mr. Velupillai Prabhakaran. Likewise Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa who kept rejecting unpleasant International Judgments. Both accumulated wealth way above the level of their positions – official and service positions.