10 October 2016
Media Watch from Australia
I received an intelligent response from a reader who as per my understanding is of Sri Lankan origin living and is living in Malaysia - as a core part of Sri Lankan Diaspora in Malaysia:
[Hi Gaja, When there is little Meritocracy, weak Integrity and over Protection -
we get Deterioration !! ]
I responded as follows:
[The question is – what do we do about it. I am doing something and I believe that it does cure and repair at least some of the deterioration. Others who hold status as Sri Lankans seem to think that they would take it into their next life and thereafter!]
To which the Malaysian responded:
[We have to fight injustice on earth and not wait for the next life !]
If the above were genuine – the above mind is part of the restricting force of Sri Lanka. The timing said to me that it was genuine. We keep on talking and when it is taken to a depth where the Truth of the other side is facilitated to merge with ours the Common mind must be given structure. Such a structure would lead to long term solution for the group that the two naturally belong to. This re-invoked my hope that Sri Lankan Airlines and therefore Sri Lanka could be positively restructured to carry the core values of Air Lanka. The value of Research as a core purpose of a University is based on its ability to go to this depth where Truth is still alive. If the roots are dead – the Truth needs to have a completely new form. The roots of Air Ceylon were not dead and hence were included in the foundation of Air Lanka. Air Lanka’s roots are still alive through the likes of myself who carry Singaporean standards of excellence in terms of commercial performance. The current Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, who seems to want Singapore standards in Commercial aspects, has the opportunity to tap into this root power. The previous government which celebrated victory over LTTE as if they were its Sole-Enemies – inherited the negatives within the Tamil Community that supported the LTTE.
When we carry out funeral ceremonies/memorial activities – we facilitate not only for the contribution of the dead to be raised to the highest level through divine powers so they would hold high positions in our mind, but also lose consciousness of their negatives. Those who fail to so attribute, keep the structure/relationship open to the influence of majority. Someone may attribute negative status to the dead but to the extent we have made them a part of ourselves we would be immune to such negatives. Without our own assessment through the combined mind, we would go up and down by majority forces. Hence the saying that one should not talk ill of the dead. Since they are no longer there to give form to the negatives – we step into their negatives. This is the case even when talking about the LTTE’s negatives. Likewise, Sri Lankan Airlines during the previous government at the controls. Airlanka predates Sri Lankan Airlines but to the extent I took the position as elder/ advisor to the current staff – and/or they attributed to me at least some of their credits, that heritage is shared with current staff – who as per my observation continue to see me as a senior. To all of them Air Lanka is still alive.
After reading the above response from the Malaysian, I went back to Sri Lankan news and noted the Island Editorial of 08 October under the heading – ‘Some frightening numbers’. It was about Air Lanka & Sri Lankan airlines and I was able to identify with most of the logic presented about the Airline. I had not read this article prior to writing my own under the heading ‘Selling Sri Lanka’. I must say that I was a little surprised by this ‘common understanding’ and as is my way these days, thought of the deeper connection. Then the voice within said ‘Sugath Rajapakse’ with origin in Upali group which is also written in my memory as the parent group of the Island newspapers. Sugath joined Air Lanka and spoke highly of his training in Upali Group. He felt sad about the loss of their boss Mr. Upali Wijewardene who obviously shared his status generously with Tamils also. This is confirmed through Wikipedia as follows:
[On 13 February 1983, his private jet, a Learjet 35A, took off from Kuala Lumpur at 8:41 pm, bound for Colombo. On board with him were his Malaysian lawyer S.M. Ratnam, Upali Group Director Ananda Peli Muhandiram, pilot Capt. Noel Anandappa, co-pilot Sydney Soysa, and steward S. Senenakye. Fifteen minutes later, the aircraft disappeared while flying over the Straits of Malacca. Extensive search operation by air and naval units of Sri Lanka, India, United States, Soviet Union, Australia, Indonesia, and Malaysia failed to locate any evidence of a crash.]
Many of the names in the above group are Tamil names – confirming that like the current Sri Lankan Prime Minister – the Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe, Mr. Upali Wijewardene did not have any need for Reconciliation. The strange connection was also that the above person who is registered in my mind as Malaysian chose to respond to this particular article. These are connections that go deeper than our conscious mind. Sugath and I also did not need Reconciliation due to our common investment in Air Lanka.
Hinduism is another common area through which Sri Lankan Buddhist minds would merge naturally with the minds of Sri Lankan Hindus. But the more the leaders emphasize Buddhism as a separate pathway – the less the natural merger of minds by their followers. Sri Lanka’s News 1st made connections between the ‘disappearance’ of the above plane with the fate of Malaysia Airlines MH 370:
[Malaysian plane revives memories of Upali Wijewardene who disappeared
Just as many nations have come forward at present to look for flight MH 370, in 1983 too, a broad search operation involving the US, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and other nations was undertaken in search of the L35, a Lear Jet.
With the discovery of a wheel suspected to have belonged to the jet near the Pulau Pandung islands on February 21, 1983, experts surmised that the jet may have exploded mid-air.
However, it was discovered that the wheel strut had not been manufactured by the company that manufactured the jet.
Thirty years later, the fate that befell the seven people on board including Upali Wijewardena, remains a mystery.]
Different groups would make different connections. Every connection through belief will merge. But in the meantime leaders must not try to enforce their conclusions on those of different culture. When Australia experienced the pain and loss of Bali bombing – I looked within – deep into our past karma and connected to the present through Hindu culture common to Bali and I. Now, in the case of MH 370 also the connection I see is through Hinduism. As per news.com.au:
[A PIECE of an aircraft wing found on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius has been identified as belonging to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Malaysian and Australian officials said on Friday.
The piece of wing flap was found in May and subsequently analysed by experts at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is heading up the search for the plane in a remote stretch of ocean off Australia’s west coast.
Investigators used a part number found on the debris to link it to the missing Boeing 777, the agency said in a statement.
Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai also confirmed the identification.
Several pieces of wreckage from the plane have washed ashore on coastlines around the Indian Ocean since the aircraft vanished with 239 people on board during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing on March 8, 2014.
So far, none of the debris has helped narrow down the precise location of the main underwater wreckage. Investigators need to find that in order to locate the flight data recorders that could help explain why the plane veered so far off-course.]
Hinduism is a common religion between Malaysia and Mauritius. The above findings are indicators of deeper reasons for the disappearances. We may never know the logical connections but those who make the intuitive connections would identify with the deeper connections – as the ghosts and angels in that airspace. Angels would be invoked by positive power. To my mind, Thai Poosam which is celebrated in a big way in Malaysia as well as in Mauritius is a strong indicator of Hindu influence in that airspace. Lord Muruga – the Tamil Deity who went around the world on His peacock is the Deity whose powers are celebrated as the powers that helped humans release themselves from brawn powers of the Asuras - those of animal behavior. To me Lord Muruga is also the Deity of Air Lanka. I wrote about the connection I made as follows:
[My work with Air Lanka happened after a holy-man from Thiruketheeswaram temple said to me ‘Like Murugan you will go around the globe on the peacock’. I felt the greater significance of this when I learnt later that the logo of Air Lanka was the peacock. The Air Lanka staff magazine was named ‘monara’ – meaning peacock. My first overseas job happened due to Air Lanka. I believe that my natural way of attributing credit to elders / seniors within family and at the workplace until I felt that the total of my work through that relationship / position is common – helped me become global through Singaporeans who trained us in Management of Aviation activities at international standards. Mr. Colin Martinus, the best Administrator known to me was part of this team headed by a Tamil Mr. Kulesegaram who honored me by asking Mr. Martinus to second me from Commercial Administration to Financial Administration. Mr. Kulesegaram honored us by worshipping with his family, at the Ganesh temple (New Kathiresan temple) at the Colombo suburb of Bambalapitiya. These are natural connections that invoke the invisible forces. They continue to influence me from within to share my current work with the needy at Air Lanka / Sri Lankan Airlines – even today. The medium are those who have faith in me. Mrs. Yasmin Pakeerally Majeed whose first job started at Airlanka, and who continues to work at Sri Lankan Airlines in a senior position, for example feels free to contact me anytime she needs advice in relation to work issues. I am always introduced by Yasmin to others as her first boss and mentor. The sharing through such faith is the strongest foundation known to me. Based on such strength, the current merit-based work needed for fulfillment through such positions is very little. Those lacking in faith have to do the work from zero base. This is the basis for Equal Opportunity laws.] Sri Lanka Guardian Article of December 7, 2012 – under the heading ‘Jaffna Plane and Global Hawk – Lest we Forget’
Some persons, families and institutions raise their structures to become training institutions even though on the outside they may seem to be ‘Business institutions’. The above mentioned Island editorial confirms this as follows:
[The technology that Airlanka brought into the country and the experience gained by thousands of Lankans privileged to work for the airline enabled the acquisition of skills and abilities that have enabled a very large number of our people to find jobs not only in this country but overseas. These ranged from stewards and stewardesses, aircraft engineers and mechanics, ticketing and catering staff and many more. From a backward airline boasting it was accident free in a small but well located country, we were able to take a great leap forward towards modernization thanks to the decision to set up that airline, utilizing the goodwill that the J.R. Jayewardene government was able to mobilize in Singapore. This enabled the harnessing of the proven expertise of Singapore Airlines to develop Airlanka and we were able to make remarkable progress. Obviously there was no free lunch and Singapore Airlines also wanted to take advantage of the relationship. Eventually there was a parting of the ways with an arrangement with Emirates that came in as an equity partner and manager to follow.]
Some of us were meant to complete our experience before Emirates took over. Those who lacked investment in higher global standards – assimilated with the new donor. Unlike the above groups mentioned by the Island editor – I did not get big jobs based on my experience with Airlanka. My first job in Australia was as bookkeeper in a small Travel Agency owned by a Singaporean Tamil who appreciated the value of Sri Lankan Chartered Accountancy. I moved on from there because the owner could not afford to pay me more and I needed to make more money towards a reasonable living in Sydney Australia. But the standards I genuinely inherited from Singapore Airlines-Airlanka supported my higher thinking in Commercial areas. It’s part of the foundation of my global mind.
As per my memory – there was no criticism from the Island, over the alleged accusations by the Mr. Weliamuna about which the above Island Editorial states as follows:
[The new regime, typically, appointed the one man Weliamuna Committee to find out what has been going on in the airline. There was a lot of whistle blowing in response to its invitation for information and the committee, whose work was necessarily not as in-depth as the situation warranted on account of a tight timeline among other reasons, came up with a report. But even such a preliminary investigation surfaced a lot of material, some of it salacious, for further inquiry. But nothing seems to have been done since with no bloodhounds unleashed to get at the culprits. The government has sensibly come round to the viewpoint that no more public funds can be poured into a bottomless pit and is looking for a partner to take a 49 percent stake in the airline with the buyer given management control. This is similar to the previous arrangement with Emirates for the termination of which President Mahinda Rajapaksa has not been brought to account]
The Weliamuna report is like the search for the logical answers to the disappearance of MH 370. What was the benefit to the Airline from the Weliamuna report – which to my mind was a Business loss to the Airline. If done for political reasons – the investigation ought to have been limited to politicians within the airline. This indiscriminate exposure has resulted in Sri Lankan Airlines giving up on themselves and the institution becoming more like a Government Department. If Sri Lankan is up for sale due to cash losses – then so should the other Government Departments that do not make cash profits. The measures are different. The parallel of that in terms of Malaysia Airlines MH 370 is for Singapore Airlines to takeover Malaysian. I continue to specifically ask for Malaysia Airlines when I travel to Sri Lanka, except when I seek to visit my sister in Singapore. I believe that my positive karma in using air-space would strengthen Malaysia Airlines at its roots. Those who believe include the needy as part of themselves. To that extent Hinduism has been a global power in my case.
Going back to Sri Lankan Airlines’ cash problems, even the Island editor shows his bias towards locals as follows:
[Any new arrangement will obviously necessitate the government (read taxpayer) assuming responsibility for the airline’s existing debt or a big chunk thereof. There was a Reuter report last week that about half a dozen parties are interested suggesting that despite the depressing figures that emerged last week the airline still offers some value. After a previous management downsized its payroll to reasonable proportions through an expensive voluntary retirement scheme, a new government merrily added more recruits to the airline bloating the numbers above the previous level! SriLankan can be properly run as has been previously demonstrated by a board headed by a respected and capable civil servant that included such personalities like the late Lal Jayasundera of Hayleys. But travel perks attract freeloaders appointed by political patrons to the board and it is unlikely that the political powers that are have the backbone to do away with such pernicious practices.]
Mr. Rajeeva Jayaweera reports about this as follows:
[The first in depth study for re-fleeting was carried out some time during 1987/88 during the stewardship of former Civil Servant Lakshman de Mel as Chairman. Directors included such eminent industry captains as Lal Jayasundera of Hayleys and MTL Fernando of Ernst & Young. They project was spearheaded by the then American CEO John Fleming who had a Corporate Planning Dept. carrying out the necessary spade work. The study concluded to replace the aging Boeing 737 with a newer version of Boeing 737 and Lockheed L1011 aircraft with Boeing 767 aircraft.]
Missing from the Island Editor’s write-up is the contribution from American – John Fleming who says as follows about his contribution to Airlanka:
[As CEO turned around AirLanka (Sri Lankan Airlines) in 18 months after technical insolvency;] Linkedin
The contribution by the late Lal Jayasundera ought to stand on its own merits in relation to Airlanka and not Hayleys. Instead I identify more with Rauf Reffai who was part of Human Resource Management during my time at Airlanka. In his analysis published by Daily Mirror on 12 October 2015, Rauf reveals his insider picture as follows:
[Therefore if you study the history of the airline it was never run profitably (except in that golden era of John Fleming though short lived) The Joint Venture with Emirates was good for the airline but could not be sustained]
To my Hindu eyes – the problem with the Northern Province Management structure and that of the National Airline are rooted in the structuring of positions. Between Mr. Wigneswaran and Mr. Reginald Cooray, the former has demonstrated more ‘Governor’ qualities and the latter has demonstrated more ‘Administrative’ qualities. Yet the positions are the other way around. Likewise in Sri Lankan Airlines – where those with roots in Airlanka and those with quick business skills, are positioned inappropriately. Whilst this is beyond the influence of the staff – they could take the position of bottom-up governors under money-driven executives. Towards this they need to go as deeply as possible to stay connected to the roots – Airlanka.
The current Government which is claiming to be changing over to Zero Base budgeting system has the responsibility to provide that base to a restructured Airline. As per State Enterprise Development Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne in relation to Sri Lankan Airlines:
[SriLankan Airlines has launched its internal restructuring process to make it more attractive to prospective investors. “The mandate given to them is that we want to eliminate the losses of the airline – so for that they have to do route rationalization, fleet rationalization, and cost rationalization to make the airline more efficient.” Wickramaratne said the government is struggling to turn the airline around because it had been mismanaged by the last regime. “….because they have made payments excessively for aircraft and aircraft leases. There needs to be further investigations and it will be investigated,” he stressed.]
If the last regime is identified as the culprit then the slate needs to be wiped clean by the current regime – so the staff would not be riddled with the huge debt burden and give up on themselves. It is for this reason that we do not remember our past life but through horoscopes know that we carry negative karma. Consciousness of positives could be used to work through our strengths more actively to override the past negatives. But neither should be used as is. That is true restructure through inner transformation. The Minister has the responsibility to demand Mr. Weliamuna to at least present his solutions for problems published by him. Otherwise – any new management with active memory of that report would sink the National carrier – through its own staff’s guilt. The strength of the Airline lies with the feeling of ownership that staff feel in the airline. When they fear the future due to their past, they lose confidence in the present. New recruits fail due to lack of connection to the roots that have the experience based standards of Singapore International Airlines.