Friday 6 April 2018

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

06 April 2018                                         

Charity by Sri Lankan Airlines Board?
[“Our prime focus is to restructure the national carrier and make it profitable within three years,” SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ranjith Fernando, a veteran ex-banker, along with rest of the Board members told the media yesterday. “This is a big challenge and we are ready for it and will need support from all stakeholders,” he emphasised.] – Financial Times article - New SriLankan Board ready for “challenging” take off to viability
The new Board of Sri Lanka’s national carrier had the effect of distressing this owner.
The Sri Lankan Airlines website presents the new team as follows:

A new Board of Directors under the Chairmanship of Mr. Ranjit Fernando has been appointed at SriLankan Airlines in order to accelerate the restructuring process and create the enabling environment to proceed with entering into a Public-Private-Partnership with a strategic investor. Other Board members appointed include Mr. Mano Tittewella (Ministry of Finance), Dr. Roshan Perera (Central Bank), Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathi (Air Force Commander) and Mr. Susantha Katugampala (Lawyer/Barrister).]

Financial Times article includes the following background information about the new Board:

[Fernando, Tittawella and other co-directors SusanthaKatugampala, a successful entrepreneur based in Australia, Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathi and Central Bank Additional Director Dr. Roshan Perera, akin to walking the talk, have decided not to draw a salary until the airline is made profitable]

I did my Due Diligence checks on the member who seemed most common with me as Australian and also a little bit commercial out of the above group.   I was disappointed to learn that Mr Susantha Katugampala – the Australian on the Board was a migration lawyer. This then means that there is no one on the board through whom we, the Commercial savvy alumni of  Airlanka / Sri Lankan Airlines can channel our Ownership Energy.

As for no-pay basis, my heart sank even further. When I was invited to a conference at the University of Jaffna, in 2010, I accepted that invitation stating firmly that if my services were sought – they were available strictly on Business basis. That prevented me from becoming politically influenced. Even my service projects in Northern Sri Lanka, are based on this business basis to suit the zero base budgeting system that the government said it was moving towards.

If Sri Lankan Airlines is to move away from welfare mentality the new Board needs a zero base start and evaluate on merit basis. Otherwise the welfare mentality gets strengthened and the taxpayer would suffer even more depression than s/he already does through poor performance by Sri Lankan Airlines.

Even with my own children who are now parents, my rule is that I would only support them when they are in dire need or when the system through which they were groomed has heritage value in their current system developed by them. That’s when we become ‘Common Parents’ and parenting roots become deep in the family – able to support tall traditional or wide global family trees.

I guess I have to move away from this part of my Sri Lankan life, as I do with family members who fail to develop ‘common values’.  I resigned from many work places here in Australia, where I ended up doing charity work due to relatively lesser pay. Eventually I ended up contributing to National Policy through my book Naan Australian which does present the book as an account of racial discrimination in Australian University system. The courts failed me but the true intellectuals did not. I thus carried the ‘ownership’ value with me into the next stage of my life. It’s that value that is my common-parent supervisor at the workplace – wherever that may be.

My investment in Air Lanka is ‘ownership’ Energy  which sustains me in all global activities. I guess I will move on and share my Energy with other commercial operations of national and global ownership value.  But it is sad that the real owners have been ignored while the Government is fooling the people whom those real owners represent – with more and more physical changes to the structure – the latest including Australian immigration lawyer who lacks big business experience.

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