Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 13 April 2016
The Ethnic Issue & Consensual Power Sharing
‘What are the other measures that should be taken by stakeholders such as political parties, religious groups, civil society organisations, media, local community and members of the public like yourself to address non-recurrence and reconciliation at large?’
The above question is part of the feedback mechanism coordinated by the Sri Lankan Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms – a formation described as follows:
‘The United Nations Human Rights Council and the Government of Sri Lanka have agreed an approach to dealing with the aftermath of Sri Lanka’s civil war and the war crimes which were committed in the course of the conflict. While this approach might not be perfect, it represents the best (and currently only) mechanism whereby investigations, justice, compensation, acknowledgement and all the steps needed to give Sri Lanka a chance of a lasting peace can occur.
A consultation process has been set up and it is now calling for people to write to them. If this process is to work, then it will need to reflect the wishes and views of those who were directly affected by the war. If that means you, please write in and tell them what you think.’
The thrust of my response was based on the Government recognizing self-governance by those with little direct access to government structures. In the case of ethnic problem – this could be more clearly identified with than within issues that are addressed more through one party/race majoritarian system. I was therefore surprised and disappointed to read the following this morning in the case of former Chairman ‘Ceylon Electricity Board’ (CEB) being implicated in the Panama Papers scandal:
‘it was a fact that the consensual government has received a mandate from the public to save the country from corruption, mismanagement and maintain the rule of law and promote the concept of good governance.’ – :– as reported by the Daily Mirror in the article - Megapolis & Western Development Ministry
It is my understanding that power sharing at the causal end is Consensual Governance whereas decision sharing at the effects end is Majoritarian Governance. The Sri Lankan Parliamentary position of Opposition Leadership by the Tamil Community confirms a Consensual Government structure due to the long term struggle by Tamils to uphold their Diversity in Parliament. The Chief Minister of Northern Province - by asking for Separation at physical level – through a Separate State – is confirming Majoritarian mind structure as Tamil Nadu in India has become. This could be due to the Sri Lankan Judiciary in which Mr. C.V.Wigneswaran held high position - which he continues to demonstrate conscious of – also being driven by effects and therefore majoritarian structure. The Chief Minister is not asking for a constitution that would be based on power sharing. The Chief Minister is asking for Majoritarian Governance but by Tamils over Tamils.
The above claim on behalf of the Government continues as follows:
‘Therefore, this government is committed to adhere to that principle and honour the trust reposed on it at any cost. Therefore, it is quite pertinent that we must not only refrain totally from corruption, mismanagement and any other misdeeds but behave in a manner no one could level an accusing finger at us.’
By taking the above stand, the Government is confirming effects based Majoritarian structure. In a Consensual structure – both sides - the People as well as the Government -would point the finger at themselves for their respective parts.
Where Majoritarian Governance has been happening, the Government would point the finger at the Citizen through its real opposition whenever something goes wrong. When the Citizen starts pointing the finger at the Government – it is reverse Majoritarian Rule and NOT Consensual Governance.
As per the above report:
[The attention of the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry has been drawn to the listing of the name of Ministry consultant Vidya Amarapala in the Panama Papers exposure. Panama is considered a haven for high-end tax dodgers in the world. The tax evaders and holders of slush fund accounts have used company ‘Mossack Fonseca’ as a front to stash away their ill-gotten lucre. However, the list exposed by some websites in Sri Lanka that includes Mr. Amarapala’s name does not have any link to Mossack Fonseca or Panama Papers. It was a list of names of Sri Lankans published in 2013 who had allegedly held accounts or had companies in Singapore.
Mr. Amarapala was the Chairman of the CEB between 2010 and 2011, a time during which public concerns had been drawn to financial scandals involving the CEB which was even raised in Parliament. Mr. Amarapala has served as an executive at the IWS Holdings Ltd. owned by Mr. Arthur Senanayaka between 2003 to 2010. He has maintained this particular account while serving as a Director of the Sovereign Capital Corporation (SCC) belonging to Mr. Senanayaka, and that company had never been involved or charged for any wrong-doing up to now. It has also invested in Sri Lanka through the BOI.]
The Institutions where we feel ‘free’ of supervision become environments that influence us for better or for worse. This has been strongly confirmed in the case of former President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa who ‘freed’ himself of supervision – as did LTTE leadership albeit more violently. Neither shared power. Mr. Rajapaksa was representing Majoritarian mind structure by his voters. But the Tamil Community confirmed yet again through the 2015 elections that it deserved Power Sharing and therefore Consensual Governance on National and global issues.
Due the above mind structure – institutions that promote non-accountability at the top become incapable of power-sharing – as I – as a consumer - found to be the case with CEB. Changing the top does not mean that their weaknesses are taken with them. Often the existing weaknesses are strengthened and are manifested as the stronger force during such ‘free’ leadership. Overpaid idle workers become infected by weaknesses at the top and become part of the force of such manifestation.
I myself fought against such weaknesses in Central Administration of the University of New South Wales. I was not declared a winner in such battles. I accepted the verdict of being ‘frivolous and vexatious’. But when ‘Scientific Fraud’ charges were brought against the University – I was already clear of any responsibility – even as a ‘common’ citizen. A citizen who exercises her/his right as per her/his position – despite knowing that s/he would be declared a loser by Majoritarian forces – sows the seeds of Consensual Governance. Such a person cannot be cheated. What was defeated here in Australia is that Consensual Governance in form. But given that it was a true Spirit – It manifested Itself as the dismissal of the Vice Chancellor of the University and later the dismissal by the People - of Mr. Howard who also failed the test of Consensual Governance as demonstrated by a self-governing Australian.
Each one of us develops this participation at our own levels – first where we are in the top position – by sharing power rather than by sharing effects / economics / tangible property. It’s the difference between sharing the fish that is already caught or sharing the mind that had the skills and the motivating force to catch fish. In a society that is strong in investment in true education – power is shared at the causal level. My Sri Lankan qualifications were considered to be less than Australian qualifications. I was the only one to uphold that they were my highest and my performance confirmed that they were high. No one – including from the Diplomatic Mission of Sri Lanka upheld that I was acting within my rights. But I had the blessings of the Higher Power of my own Conscience supporting me whenever I looked through my Truth only. That is how a citizen earns the right to participate in governance. It is through Truth and not through mere knowledge of an alternate system .
This structure of Consensual Governance is developed through every stage of our life – starting within our families. As lower relatives we must complete our relationship once we know the Truth. If this requires us to stay away from such relatives – we would be comfortable with it when we are driven by our own Truth. That Truth will keep reminding us that all other structures above the level at which we discovered Truth – is false and the effects / benefits above that level would become burdensome. Often relationships are maintained due to attachment to the benefits.
One who does not react to such weaknesses – but keeps going - becomes the top – be it in family, workplace, nation or the globe. A homemaking mother who facilitates this freedom despite her allocated status being lower than the money-making father’s becomes such an Equal leader with the power to protect the family intuitively. Our contribution converts itself into investment where credit is denied by custodians of benefits. When it remains there long enough – it become Energy with absolute power of ownership and hence Tat Tvam Asi/Thou Art That. Like the mother, the citizen who gives birth to a government would continue to be equal when driven by the causal forces and not the effects – especially economic outcomes in this instance.