Friday 2 October 2015

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 02 October  2015

We Need Hybrid Public Management for Northern Sri Lanka

I watched with heightened emotions the video clip ‘How A Walk Healed A Nation | Nathan Sivagananathan & Sarinda Unamboowe | TEDxColombo’ at: to me by a Sri Lankan  Diaspora leader.  It brought to me the recollection of Yoga Swami walking from North to South – Swami’s heart filled with Love for and Belief in Lord Muruga. I learnt from my family elders that in the olden days one had to feel ‘the call’  to go to Kathirgamam in Southern Sri Lanka. Watching the above mentioned video clip – which was about Southerners – ordinary Sri Lankans – having had ‘the call’ to walk from South to North, I concluded that the Southerners have had ‘the call’ to lead the healing. Paatha Yaathrai / Foot Pilgrimage is about Spiritual healing led by those at grassroots level. The result of the South-North walk is the Cancer Hospital in Thellippalai – the home town of the Hon SJV Chelvanayakam – recognized as Father of the Tamil Nation by a large section of the Tamil Community.  Thellipalai is also the home town of the first Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna – Professor S. Vithiananthan, and most importantly – the place that had the honor of the Salt-Walker - Mahatma Gandhi’s feet touching it. Today being the birth anniversary of that great soul – this message gives us true direction.

To my mind, the success of this ‘down-to-earth’ walk – was due to the combination of the Common Cause of Cancer being undertaken by a Tamil and Sinhalese working together in Colombo. As my mind, the ethnic problem alone would not have brought about this outcome. Whether it is  good Energy or bad Energy – the Earth keeps it in store. I myself was invited to Administer / Manage the Tsunami Reconstruction work in Eastern Sri Lanka, by organizers of Paatha Yaathrai from Sella-Sannithi temple in North to Kathirgamam Shrine in South – by Living Heritage Trust made up of multi-ethnic devotees of Lord Muruga.  The Common purpose in that instance was Tsunami Reconstruction. Most of the time I worked as per my own wisdom in management  – supported by two Americans – Patrick Harrigan and Julia Hall. The proposals were finally presented to the President (then Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga). It happened naturally – confirming the natural mergers of powers of Common Belief.

I believe that the way Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike facilitated the 1977 Leadership position in Parliament for Tamils – Madam Kumaratunga facilitated the 2015 Tamil Leadership position in Parliament. They are both first ladies to be Prime Minister and President in the World and in Sri Lanka respectively. Those of us who are first ladies in our own areas of expertise, in a male dominated group, would naturally feel a connection with them.   This would naturally influence their powers as leaders.

During our Seminar on Effective Communication – conducted in Jaffna – Ms Rani Ratnadevi Karthigesan Sinnathamby – of Vaddukoddai highlighted especially in regards to Public Service -  that there was often  a communication gap between Providers of Service and Beneficiaries of Service.  In Democracy – the two are taken to be of Equal status until known otherwise through current performance. Equal Opportunity Laws facilitate this Zero-Base and hence the Zero-Base Budgeting that the Sri Lankan Government has committed itself to. When Politicians play the role of Administrators in a Democracy – they need to consciously ensure that their Political status is Zero at the beginning. This is needed for them to Experience Democracy where their benefits from the system are based on the principles and values of Democracy. This is easier for minorities – including females, than for members of majority power.

As a member of minority in Australia – I did feel upset when I got positions far below my parallels who were considered ‘Australian’ and were males. But I worked as if I was the best fit for the position allocated to me. I have now learnt that as per God’s system the following happens in any relationship:
Once we complete our duties as per the position we are in – and we continue to maintain the relationship as per the structure of the whole relationship and not just our position – we promote ourselves naturally towards becoming  the whole. The person in the higher position in a relationship is therefore disadvantaged if s/he is not able to fulfil her/his duties as per her/his position at the same time or before the junior in the relationship. That is how many parents become beneficiaries of their children – and hence go into second childhood.

This I believe was why Krishna said ‘Do your duty and leave the rest to me’. It is the Lord’s system that facilitates our Experience of the whole. Tamils who have fulfilled their position requirements at Governance level but hold junior positions – become Governors before Sinhalese who are yet to complete their duties in the senior positions. I use the majority power reality in picturing the above example.  This applies also to minorities in any country. Hence in terms of Experience – being a minority is not a Disadvantage. Be it in Australia or Sri Lanka – when I take my allocated position – I find it more enjoyable due to this Experience while the other party assuming higher position – is yet to reach the common destination of Ownership/Love/Truth. Once we reach the destination whatever we do is right for the whole and anyone who works against us is wrong for the whole.  This is how the system of Natural Justice works.

The latest challenge that Tamils face within the Tamil Political Leadership is ingratitude for Mr. CV Wigneswaran. As per my observations Tamil Political Leadership was more keen to include Mr. Wigneswaran – with the idea of replacing the Military head of the Northern  Province – the cultural capital of Tamils of Sri Lanka. While this was the best choice Tamils could see – in terms of Educated Civil Leadership the structure of the position – Chief Minister - went against the  Doctrine of Separation of Powers between the Judiciary and the Executive. Some of us took Mr. Wigneswaran at his real value –and he has not let us down so far. Mr. Wigneswaran who was already part of the Judicial Governing group at National level – would have found it difficult to start from Zero Base at political level. This is confirmed by him keeping on the title of Justice. It is therefore to be expected that Mr. Wigneswaran would naturally share his Judicial wisdom with those who believe in him. That was how I took Mr. Wigneswaran’s advice to his People in the lead up to the recent Parliamentary elections. As per Daily Mirror article ‘Wigneswaran lashes out at concentration of power in his party’:

[Sri Lanka’ Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran on Sunday publicly lashed out at “concentration of power” in the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), the party to which he belongs.

ITAK is the single largest constituent of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
Striking a belligerent note in his address at the 125th anniversary function of Jaffna Hindu College, Wigneswaran vowed to stick to his convictions and urged the younger generation to do likewise. 
 “In certain political parties one or two persons are taking all decisions. These power centers expect others to accept the decisions they take. If others point out  deficiencies in these decisions, they are branded as opposition parties,” he said.
Though Wigneswaran did not mention the ITAK, it was clear that the cap fitted it.  He has been having a cold war with the ITAK leadership troika comprising R.Sampanthan, M.A.Sumanthiran and Mavai Senathirajah. While the ‘troika’ views the Supreme Court judge-turned Chief Minister as their protégé who should take orders from them, Wigneswaran feels that he got elected on the strength of his own credentials as a Tamil nationalist. On Sunday, he said that he was a Tamil nationalist at heart even while being a judge.  
While the troika has been veering towards cooperation with the new and liberal Maithripala Sirisena-Ranil Wickremesinghe government at the Center, Wigneswaran feels that the Tamils have not got much from the change of regime. He feels that the TNA should keep up its uncompromising line on the Tamil question.
In the run up to the August 17 parliamentary elections, Wigneswaran unilaterally issued a statement saying that he would be “neutral” and  appealed to the Tamils to vote for genuine and un-buyable Tamil nationalists. The ITAK leadership took this as an endorsement of the radical Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF). They charged that ITAK/TNA lost two seats because of Wigneswaran’s statement.

As per my observations Northern Province needs more balanced thinking than one-way path of Politicians cum Rebels. As a Community, we Tamils, take pride in being well educated. Often however, we do not use our intellect to make decisions and to my mind this happens when there is excessive Politics through ‘seeing’ one-way  powers of Politics and Armed Rebellion.

ITAK is entitled to interpret the expressions of Mr. Wigneswaran politically for its own political purposes. It would be very wrong of ITAK to expect Mr. Wigneswaran to nod his head and say ‘Aye! Aye! Sirs’ to those who have taken up Senior Political positions. Administratively – Mr. Wigneswaran is their Senior at the Provincial level and given the structure – he is a Governor for the portfolios devolved to Provinces to the extent  he has invested at National level through Legal Administration beyond the maximum value needed in his current role. National level politicians do not have the right to interfere with that. They may have different interpretations but such must run parallel to the Provincial Council’s expressions.

Some in the Tamil Diaspora have expressed strong views against Mr. Wigneswaran. One of them wrote to me when I declared  that TNA had earned the position of Leader of the Opposition position in National Parliament:

[Gaja Param
You should know only a section of the UPFA/SLFP has joined the national government.
About 60 MPs have decided not to join the government but remain in the opposition.
In that situation, surely one of the 60 MPs must be appointed to the post of Opposition Leader.
For Sampanthan with 16 MPs to function as Opposition Leader is extremely ridiculous.
The situation at the time Sampanthan wrote the letter is different from the situation now.]

But today the National Government has upheld my assessment in action and even taken credit for its own recognition of the earned positioning at the global level in terms of the ethnic issue. I believe that I was able to project because I became the Government through my genuine investment in the positions concerned – irrespective of who held/occupied the position at the physical level. That is how we are all Government. Ultimately at the individual level our higher thinking is confirmed by our own Truth.

When the above mentioned section of the Tamil Diaspora declared that the Chief Minister should resign, I wrote:
[Mr. Wigneswaran is entitled to his own message.  It’s a shame that we are intolerant of opposition. If Mr. Wigneswaran is promoting Self-Governance of the individual – as opposed to Political grouping – we need to respect that. Mr. Wigneswaran would think as an individual – because he is a law-expert. I see nothing wrong with that. We also need to be more Hybrid in our Politics.]

Another leader of the Diaspora wrote:

[My view is that CW should be allowed serve the people who elected him with a clear mandate.
It is not correct to be critical from out side ,living miles away. The Northern electorate is mature enough to decide on his fate .May be some with a hidden agenda are behind the agitation to get rid of him and we must not join that bad wagon. His actions and statements are by and large vindicated by the UNHCR report and the support given by some governments and many NGOs, may not be by India or the US.CW is not a poodle of Ranil either. He is on the ground and is acting with a purpose and not being dictated by any hidden agenda. One has to trust his instincts and maturity. TNA needs to be more democratic. Mavai is not TNA. This is not the time for power struggle or look at how CW dresses or what colour pottu he has on his forehead!]

To this I responded further as:

[I identify with this. We may think from different angles but our base needs to be One. We need to respect Diversity internally also. I believe CW is genuine and that matters very much.]

Unless we have a Hybrid system of internal management – we would not have the Hybrid experience as recommended by  UN Human Rights Commissioner.  I feel that Mr. Wigneswaran must be part of the Panel of Lawyers and Judges – to represent the Tamil Case in its fullness. TNA needs to facilitate this on behalf of Tamils and also to uphold the True value of a Tamil Leader that Mr. Wigneswaran is.  Long before Mr. Wigneswaran became Chief Minister of Northern Province, I met Mr. Wigneswaran at the Temple within Ratmalana Hindu College in Colombo – when we gathered to comfort and heal young ones affected by war.   He does not need a Political role to lead war Recovery efforts. Tamils needed him to oust the Military leadership and we need to remember and honor that. Otherwise Northern Tamils would owe a debt to Southern Tamils.

Today is Gandhi’s birthday and I believe that all of us driven by Truth in seeking Independence - are being blessed by Gandhi – the Independence Leader of our times and of our own Continent. 

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