Tuesday 20 June 2017

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

20 June 2017                               

Canada's Inheritance of Tamil Legacy 

Value of Advocacy
The outcomes of the issue of  Dismissal / Disciplinary Action against some  Ministers in the Northern Provincial Council of Sri Lanka confirm to me the value of Advocacy in Democratic Government. To the extent I am genuine I am able to identify with my contributions in the outcomes. Some are apparent, others are known through improved processes  and the rest goes towards Commonness Energy – residing in those who are Natural to the issue/place.
Part of the process contribution was confirmed as follows:
[Today, prominent religious leaders such as Srila Sri Somasundra Thesika Gnana Sambanda Paramachchariyar Swamy Peedathipathy of the Hindu Nallai Aatheenam and Catholic Bishop of Jaffna, Rev. Justin Bernard Gnanapragasam visited Wigneswaran to sort out the issue in an amicable manner.]

This is the parallel of Buddhism foremost provision in the Sri Lankan Constitution. It is heartening to identify that Hindu and Catholic Leaders have formed a common force of advocacy in Northern Sri Lanka. My beliefs are given form through both religions as per my seeking. I was born in a Hindu family and was educated in Catholic schools and hence my values are based on both religions. I pray daily through  both religious forms – these days more to say ‘thank you’ to the Natural Powers. Today’s one is especially for the Northern Province settlement. It’s a lesson learnt in many ways – most of all that Advocacy works towards establishing self-governance through natural Powers.
Often investors in Governance give up when they cannot ‘see’ immediate benefits. But those who bear pain to hold a group together – as Mr. Wigneswaran has done – develop Common structures. As I said recently to a student in Management – ‘economic benefits do not develop relationships. They often bring disorder where common structures are not maintained’. If we give or receive money without a common need – we disturb the order of a relationship. In Tamil culture – Dowry for the daughter  and Muthusum for the son are established to complete the relationship and take the net value of the relationship into next stage. Dowry is given to the daughter at marriage – so that if she does not get enough recognition in her new family – she would remember the family that did value her – and use that to value herself instead of depending on the new family. Dowry helps us to remember our parents and siblings to whom we were valuable. Sons are expected to earn status from outside and hence are not spoilt by early distribution of wealth. They have to ‘wait’ until the parents pass away to inherit the residual wealth known as Muthusum.

In the Northern Province issue – Politicians who have been sent to Colombo are like daughters and their dowry is the status to vote at  National level Administration and law making and include other cultures in the structures that govern us. Provincial level Politicians are like sons and they inherit as Muthusum – the Traditions particular to that place. It is a requirement that they remain independent of the daughters/national politicians. Federal structure requires this completion of primary level relationships. By interfering in Provincial  Council Administration, Mr. Sampanthan acted in breach of the principles of Thesawalamai Law applicable to Northern Sri Lankans. Thesawalamai in which 

Mr. Wigneswaran also has invested – saved us our Muthusum/Heritage.
A political leader is entitled to make subjective decisions on the basis of belief only as per voters’ rights entrusted to her/him. In strong structures such belief is regulated through positions – service providers holding senior positions and beneficiaries holding junior positions. Where flow of benefit is  reversed with senior becoming dependent on junior / child / voter – the senior needs to become a ‘facility’ – as in ‘user pays’ system. A junior does not have the authority to ‘tell’ / instruct the senior purely on the basis of reverse flow of benefits.  When the junior ‘tells’ the senior, inherited structure is damaged and the relationship becomes dysfunctional. When the junior is a stronger contributor than the senior at total level, there needs to be separation of powers including to preserve the previous structure.

Parents who do encash their higher status – need to surrender their right to lead at community level. If indeed there is reverse administration – that must be confined to their homes and not be made  Public for such publicity damages the Community structure. When more and more daughters started earning money and status through their professions – the practice of ‘dowry’ ought to have ceased. Instead we started ‘trading’ as to which bride came with more money and which bridegroom came with more salary and official status – and hence the collapse of relationships. The Business Unit approach in Democracy would fail unless it has a zero-advantage start. The TNA leadership based on ITAK majority failed due to taking advantage of its past – prior to the establishment of Provincial Councils through the 13th Amendment. It is the duty of the junior who has higher status with wider world to move away from dominating parents like ITAK. ITAK is thus as guilty as the government using majority power to avoid merit based Administration.
Like Mr. Sampanthan in the case of Northern Provincial Council Administration, National Government seems to be failing in Advocacy based management in the case of Sri Lankan Airlines:
[Informed sources revealed that several Ministers had expressed concern over the delay in a proper restructuring of the airline and other issues relating to staff recruitment, procurements and failure to act on the Weliamuna report, which called for]

Management of Sri Lankan Airlines has been polluted by Politicians and the Weliamuna report, like Mr. Sampanthan’s communications,  failed to Advocate. They were ‘judgmental’ and hence the verdict was punishment. One who has the solution and educates on that basis disciplines internally. One who purely judges without real advocacy – is punishing. The Government did not have the authority to punish Sri Lankan Airlines staff on the basis of Weliamuna Report. To the extent the effect was internal punishment – the Air Line’s Human Resource was depressed.

Where there is active participation in management by Politicians – the institution is likely to become more and more like a Government Department. Recently when discussing staff performance reviews with my daughter whose main management training has been with Lend Lease where I believe I added heritage value – I said to first bring the staff into her and view their performance as per that relationship. I said to leave out other strengths and weaknesses of that staff being reviewed – for they were outside the boundaries of this relationship and the reviewer could be using hearsay. I urged my daughter to maintain that reporting hierarchy and stay within the boundaries of her relationship and to consciously not think of using the opportunity to take credit for her skills. Mr. Weliamuna did just that. The boundaries of a relationship are important in developing institutional values.  I was unhappy therefore when I read this morning that our Foreign Minister the Hon Julie Bishop is planning on going to Sri Lanka in relation to Dengue Control which is outside her portfolio.

The predecessor of Sri Lankan Airlines - Air Lanka in which I invested,  continues to support me in my Tourism related activities. It is not adversely affected by the Weliamuna report  but is the positive base for my Advocacy in relation to Air Lanka’s junior - Sri Lankan Airlines. The Weliamuna report happened due to this Government’s interference in Sri Lankan Airlines’ Management. If Sri Lankan Airlines acted as per that report – all that the staff would do is find fault with each other. If Mr. Weliamuna was not capable of developing the new structure needed by Sri Lankan Airlines, his report effectively was purely for political purposes. Hence the Airline is naturally money-strapped as the Sri Lankan Government. It is the parallel of our Foreign Minister going to Sri Lanka in relation to Dengue Control. The result will be Australia ‘telling’ Sri Lanka what to do. When a minister comes outside her/his portfolio borders – in this instance when there are so many issues needing Foreign Ministry involvement – it means the move is Political and carries of the risk of disorder in our Foreign Relations – so we scratch each other’s back.

The Weliamuna report failed to facilitate Advocacy from, investors of corporate wisdom in Publicly owned enterprises. As per the Island news report headed ‘President Sirisena to sort out crisis at SriLankan Airlines’:

[Attempts at  finding an international partner for the national carrier on a debt for equity swap by the current government, has failed.  ]

The previous agreement with Emirates ended due to reversal of this swap by Mr. Rajapaksa’s regime. That Government effectively cancelled the agreement when it placed Government status above business interests. Given that Mr. Sirisena was part of that Government structure – it will be interesting to see as to how he would now advocate to suite a Commercial operation? Like our Foreign Minister taking credit through Health and Education portfolios, it seems as if the Sri Lankan President is seeking status through Tourism portfolio!  More disorder in Politics at the expense of Commercial structures?  One who identifies with this true cause would expect debt levels proportionate to the Government.

I advocate using Ms Bishop’s visit to negotiate settlement of that debt out of  Aid funds and facilitating Sri Lankan Airlines to be self-governing or liquidating based on its commercial viability. That would give greater credibility to the promotions of Tourism  by the Australian High Commission in Sri Lanka, in partnership with the Minister for Tourism. That collaboration created this obligation. May be a strong Northern base to cater to the Indian Market – along the lines of Adani-Turnbull partnership?

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