Sunday 22 January 2017

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
22 January 2017

The Forgotten Mother

'This comprehensive survey of the field by an able scholar will be a leading contribution, both to the literature on aviation law and to a better understanding of the manner in which the problems attendant on the airline industry can be addressed and overcome. It is a work of great value, not only to the international lawyer and the specialist in aviation law, but also to all those who are involved in the aviation industry. I commend this volume and wish it the special success that it deserves.' C.G. Weeramantry, International Court of Justice, The Hague, The Netherlands

Which  Book ?            - Aviation Trends in the New Millennium
Price ?                        - A$247.56
Presented  by             - Book Depository,
Author?                     -   Dr. Ruwantissa I. R. Abeyratne 
About the Author       – Dr. Ruwantissa I.R. Abeyratne works as a senior professional with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Montreal, Canada, co-ordinating air transport programmes of the Organization. He is also Chairman, Advisory Joint Appeals Board of ICAO. Previously he worked with Air Lanka as the airline's Chief Co-ordinator and Head of International Relations and Insurance, holding both positions concurrently, until he joined ICAO, in 1990. He holds the degree of Doctor of Civil Laws from McGill University, is a masters graduate in law of Monash University, Australia and a law graduate of the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Dr Abeyratne has published several books and articles on international law and air law.

If the above were taken as valid claims to qualify Dr. Ruwantissa Abeyratne to write at Policy level – then one gets some insight into why Sri Lankan Airlines failed. It is due to lack of loyalty to one’s Alma Mater by many of its children who continue to claim benefits as her children but without participating in the challenges faced  by the Alma Mater now.

Then  there are other passers by like Mr. J.C. Weliamuna who reported on the National Carrier’s woes but without the medication nor the commitment to find the proper medication.  

The above book is reported to have been published in 2001 April.  It brings to mind the saying ‘Nero Fiddled while Rome Burnt’.

To my mind, a manager / a professional is a combination of owner and activist. Others may hold such positions but they do so merely for status and/or money benefits. I believe that every owner who is currently active in Sri Lankan Public issues – has the duty to cast their vote on important issues of Governance. Those who care but are not confident enough to take a public stand – would, if they were / are true managers, add their vote to those who openly take a stand they identify with – as in confidential voting. When they are genuine, the system of Truth does the rest of the work.

Such confirmations happen through ‘free media’. When I publish independently and there are responses in common media – I accept that as the work of Truth confirming that my feelings of ownership have been recognized. This is the way of a mother with intuition.

I intuitively felt that the mothers within Air Lanka were forgotten in 2004 when we celebrated the 25th year Anniversary. Mr. Rajeewa Jayaweera also of Airlanka wrote to me in November 2016 – ‘As I recollect, the person I am referring to refused to come up and accept the plaque as Chief Marketing Officer Jeyaseelan, due to an oversight had overlooked to mentioned the name of the first Singaporean General Manager Kulasekaram

My response was:

‘Thank you Mr.Jayaweera. Yes I am that person. I refused to accept the plaque not only because Mr. Kulasekaram was left out – but Mr. Martinus and Capt Wickramanayaka were also left out.  The Commercial  team led by Seelan was disciplined and Mr. Shirazee also endorsed my view albeit later.’

We carry our feelings wherever we go. Such feelings strengthen all the environments we are part of.  Such owners would always be right for those environments. As individuals – all of the above in management positions may have had their weaknesses. But as officers/managers – they performed to earn my respect and hence they are carried as part of my Airlanka experience. On their own – they are passive. It is when they/we  combine forces that they  become active to be either positive or negative values for the institution. When there are enough such positives, Airlanka will resurrect itself to represent the global investment by majority Sri Lankans to whom there is no avenue other than the National carrier,  through which to relate to wider world.  

All the laws we talk about and all the good practices we copy to ‘show’ are of little value if we cannot save our ‘home’ from sinking. If we a few Sri Lankans do have enough positive value to balance the negatives and more – Natural forces would support us to restore our heritage to its right value for the true heirs.

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