22 September 2019
Vice Chancellor & President = Prime Minister and Executive President
Why do we need a Senior ? The answer to that question starts with our definition of Senior in a relationship. To my mind, anyone who foregoes earned benefits so the one who does not have the capacity to earn also enjoys the benefits – is senior and one who enjoys the benefits that the senior has earned is the junior. In most reliable civilizations – this is a fundamental part of the structures that carry our heritages. I appreciated most of it through Thesawalamai – the customary law of Northern Sri Lankans.
As per Thesawalamai Customary law – accumulated wealth – which represents our past work is categorized as Muthusum (Inherited wealth) , Dowry wealth given to a daughter during marriage after which the daughter leaves the parental home; and Thediya Thettam (acquired wealth through current relationship). The way each category is shared is defined by law and those who practice those customs with faith acquire the heritage Energy of those who made and preserved that wealth. In development of heritage - the earning capacity is less important than the ‘preserving’ capacity. Usually those who enjoy less than they have truly earned – have the natural capability of developing heritage.
In the case of Sri Lankan Government – when the British rule ended and they treated the heritage left behind by them as if it was ‘free’ or earned by Ceylonese only – that distinction between heritage and current wealth was lost. This translated into majority rule in which there was no hierarchy. That would have been fine – if Buddhism had not been allocated higher status by the government. By doing so – the government made juniors of other religions. In a democracy Buddhists ought to have sacrificed for non-Buddhists – to earn that Senior status. Otherwise it amounts to enforcement. If we are talking of Buddhist Nationalism – then non-Buddhists are automatically disenfranchised from the main group. One cannot delegate powers that one does not her/himself have.
Recently when I read the following I smiled to myself – knowing it to be a frivolous statement:
[The Macquarie University Academic Senate has resolved to undertake an inquiry into academic freedom as a special project in 2019.
You will see from the Academic Senate Statement on Academic Freedom that Academic freedom is fundamental to the values that Macquarie University upholds and strives to cultivate in wider society. ] Vice Chancellor and President of Macquarie University.
When I set out to exercise my right to share my wisdom in democratic Financial Management at the University of NSW and was punished for doing so – Professor Dowton who was then part of that University did not intervene. If he did – I had no knowledge of it. I still do not enter that University due to that injustice. This morning our son wanted me to take his daughter who is keen to follow a Sports related course to Sports Medicine at the University of NSW. My heart fell and I said that I am not able to do so – because of my undertaking – to the University Administration that I would not enter the University - but that my husband would take her. That is the heritage that all Australian universities carry. Hence the smile – knowing that they lack the power to facilitate ‘freedom’ for the simple reason that they themselves do not feel that freedom. One who feels deepest pain has the ownership and therefore the Freedom. Those who avoid the truth are not entitled to Free Speech.
The pain I endured through that experience – rendered me with deeper insight into how a reliable University would function. Likewise, a reliable government. One who seeks and finds the truth and shares it with others in need of that truth – is a University – even if such is a single individual.
When I got to know the structure of the University of NSW governance – it had Vice Chancellor and then the Governing Council – elected by various stake holders. That is like the Parliament with a non-Executive President / Governor. But the Vice Chancellor trained in America – Professor Rory Hume – converted it to Vice Chancellor and President. The President component is the parallel of Executive Presidency and the Vice Chancellor is the parallel of Prime Minister.
The risk with pure democracy is that we would not have much room to be clever. One way of promoting cleverness is the Executive hierarchy which carries higher remuneration than does good governance which happens when our current costs are equal or more than our current benefits.
The 1972 Constitution through which Sri Lanka declared itself a Republic – included ‘Buddhism foremost through article 6 – which effectively promised higher rewards for Buddhists or those who promoted Buddhism. The core purpose confirms the effects. This was inherited by Mr J R Jayewardene who like Professor Hume – included ‘Executive Presidency’ on top of Buddhism foremost article (9) in his constitution. The reason is recognized as follows by his heir, in relation to the resurgence last week in Parliament of the topic of Abolishment of the Executive Presidency :
[Speaking at a school event in Mirigama yesterday 20 Sept, Wickremesinghe said that this subject comes up every time there is a Presidential Election.] – Republic Next article ‘The mysterious emergence of the abolition debate’
If Abolishing the Executive Presidency is Good Democratic Government – keeping it is needed for clever administration. It is needed also to maintain hierarchy through current cleverness rather than through inheritance which is the sacrifice made to deserve democracy. This is the reason why Presidential status was allocated to Vice Chancellor position which is not matched at Australian government level.
When ‘Buddhism foremost’ was made ‘current’ advantage – non-Buddhists who worked harder and sacrificed more – progressed faster than Buddhists who had the head start. In democracy – Equal status is allocated as the compensation to minorities. Hence those who come to power without recognizing that compensatory factor – invoke disrespect in the minorities who are actually their equals or senior on merit basis using common measure. That is the way the law of truth – known as Dharma works to maintain the sovereignty of individuals and those bound by common belief.
When a population is uniform – its average and common value would be more or less the same. But when it is not – one needs calculations that raise the value of each group to Absolute level to find commonness. Methods such as Standard Deviation are used to recognize absolute values of variances rather than simple surface value. It is the difference between the earth being flat and being global. Preferential allocation of votes is also based on this system of commonness.
In 1972 – the same year the ‘Buddhism foremost’ policy was inserted into the Constitution, the quota system for University Entrance also was introduced. The worst hit victims of this system were Tamils who relied heavily on merit basis. Urban Sinhalese also were affected but not to the extent of Tamils. Separation actually started then. It had the effect of reducing opportunities through the common system to promote artificially – the status of one’s own race – which ended up with the Rajapaksa brothers ruling the country as per their family standards.
As in the case of Equal status to Opposition allocated to the group that gets 2nd highest vote – separation required devolution of powers in order to preserve the investment made through merit basis – under One Rule. The University of Jaffna happened due to the reaction of Tamils to the Standardization Policy in relation to University Entrance. It was the compensation paid by Mrs Bandaranaike’s government. This eventually evolved as contribution to militancy by educated young youth who isolated themselves. They also had quicker access to presidential type of powers due to their ‘Group of People’ being smaller. Hence militancy including at the University of Jaffna.
Continuous criticism of the Governing Council of the University of Jaffna by their own staff is due to this isolation. The parallel of that is the National Parliament – especially after Mrs Banadaranaike who was not ‘clever’ but according to my knowledge was a good lady. When UNP had landslide victory in 1977 – Mr J R Jayewardene took it as merit based status. Hence the Presidency was born. But they did not oppose standardization nor Buddhism Foremost in 1972. Hence the leadership came with that karma. Devolution happened then – not due to militants but due to those who believed in the whole.
The negative heritage in turn upset the structure of Sovereignty – with ‘Buddhism Foremost’ value and the Executive Presidency being outliers to the Democratic mean. This means that the common voter cannot relate to these values. Yet these are the very cards used by presidential candidates as confirmed in the above mentioned article by Republic Next:
[For the past 25 years Presidents such as Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena have won elections pledging to abolish.]
When they pledge – they ‘seem’ to be Democratic – except in the minds of those such as independent journalists - whose truth was blocked through Executive powers. Once they occupy the position, the outlier ‘genes’ of the position influence them and they become subjects ruled by that heritage. Those who vote for them inherit those genes.
Mr J R Jayewardene was clever and was better able to manage the ‘clever-country’ position.
In Australia, Mr Hawk is the parallel of Mrs Bandaranaike and Mr Keating - the parallel of Mr J R Jayewardene. In terms of cleverness – Journalist Donald Horne is reported to have stated as follows:
“I think we should realise that ‘the lucky country’ provides a descriptive phrase, condemning Australia for what it was, whereas the clever country is a prescriptive phrase, suggesting to Australia what it might become.”
The Jaffna University parallel in this regard was reported as follows:
[In 1988, then prime minister Bob Hawke was cornered at the opening of a science facility in Canberra by a bunch of scientists who had been laid off in the latest round of budget cuts.
Under serious pressure and clearly rattled by this out-of-character behaviour, Hawke agreed that Australia needed to become “the clever country”.]
Mr J R Jayewardene’s Clever Country vision included the establishment of Airlanka and Prima Ceylon Ltd. with Singapore’s involvement. I invested in both establishments through my work. But that same Presidency, under Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa resulted in China taking over through ‘free flow’ of cash – as we heard last week in the case of the Lotus Tower construction – as interpreted by the President himself. A proper debate in Parliament would have prevented this outcome produced by the Executive Presidency. Any contribution by the current president to the Abolishment of the Executive would have rendered the courage needed to make such a statement.
Ranil himself is made up of merit as well as standardization. The 1972 quota system for University Entrance had the following formula:
[30% of university places were allocated on the basis of island-wide merit; half the places were allocated on the basis of comparative scores within districts and an additional 15% reserved for students from under privileged districts.]
According to Wikipedia ‘Fewer than 16% (less than 16,000 students) of those who qualify get admission to state universities’
That ‘gap’ between the places offered and the merit – confirms the Idly clever country . Their disrespect for the government becomes exponential and hence repeated militancy.
To the extent Ranil wants to be Executive President – he needs to have the cleverness to develop job opportunities for the 30% who are clever on level playing field. That would balance the karma of Standardization and lay the foundation for Unitary State led by the clever and not by the dull.
Like Australia, Sri Lanka has natural resources that makes us a lucky country. But it also makes us dull. This was proven by the Easter Bombings which targeted the tourism industry. A clever country would have prevented or diminished the pain of such tragedy.