20 October 2018
Understanding Standardization through Northern CM
I identify with the following summary about the Northern Chief Minister whose current term ends on his birthday – 23 October:
[Evidently, Wigneswaran is not prepared to relinquish the sybaritic portfolio which he held and enjoyed for five years, during which, he failed in making the highly anticipated socio-economic transformation in the Northern Province.] Ceylon Today article ‘People will decide Wigneswaran’s fate’
The above conclusion is due also to TNA’s role in using ‘standardization’ methodology when it pursued Mr Wigneswaran for the position of Chief Minister – not because TNA believed that the Minister belonged in Northern Province but because they needed to ‘show’ wider world that Northern Tamils were educated. To my mind, that is also Standardization.
As discussed recently with a Sri Lankan engineering group – standardization resulted in loss of common thinking. Tamils were in majority in the last batch of Engineering entrants to University of Peradeniya, in 1971. Standardization was introduced in 1972. Merit provided the base for common thoughts. Years later, in 1983, my brother was beaten up by his own Engineering batch-mates, resulting in him emigrating to Canada and adding to Canada’s investment in higher education. I believe that this would have been prevented if University entrance was on merit basis alone. Even though language based standardization was replaced by the district based quota system in 1977, the separation was more or less permanent. This heritage was invoked by the 1983 civil riots in Colombo and Peradeniya University spread to majority rule within the University system also.
Mr Wigneswaran lacked merit in Political leadership as well as in General Administration. Judges are generally pampered by clever lawyers and those genes were carried by Mr Wigneswaran to whom the above position was largely part of his pension.
As per the above article:
[Wigneswaran is known for his emotional and wrath-inducing speech. He is criticized as a leader who could neither serve his people nor solve their problems during his five-year- term in the office. He hardly gave priority to the development of the Province, but was preoccupied with running behind a mirage of a Federal State, to serve his selfish purposes.]
The emotional and wrath-inducing speeches were, to my mind, towards covering up his ignorance in Public Administration. Tamil politicians, like Tamil students entering Universities, need more merit based grades than their Sinhala counterparts to think equal and more importantly to be recognized in multicultural groups. Popularity at home would not bring them such recognition in wider world. Most of us migrants in Western nations know this. The power of the genuine refugee is her/his pain based determination and resilience.
Mr Wigneswaran failed as CM because he did not enter politics on merit basis nor did he belong as the ordinary Jaffna citizen. Natural Political power is belief based. One of his juniors – Mr Visvalingam Manivannan – faced challenge in Court in relation to Local Government elections – because Jaffna district was NOT his home district. One must belong to have the natural power to influence. A leadership position so developed would be worked naturally by such a person. I excelled in Education in Jaffna district. I do not know the current students in that area. But in Jaffna I experience the generation of respect when I take merit based leadership in that area. It’s as if the folks of that area are ‘talking’ to me from within me. One who feels and includes develops that common follower within. The less we take or give status and cash in that development mode – the deeper the feeling and more reliable the return. Many Tamils who feel that way about Jaffna are developing Jaffna through private projects. They are not handicapped by position unearned status.
The natural electorate of Mr Wigneswaran is Colombo where he enjoyed natural leadership from Tamils practitioners of law. There is a saying in Tamil ‘Therinthe tholilai vittavanum kettaan Theriyaatha tholilai thottavanum kettaan’/ One who abandons known work fails; one who touches unknown work also fails.
All due to abandoning the Doctrine of Separation of Powers between the Executive and the Judiciary.