Wednesday 13 May 2020

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

13 May  2020

What went wrong in the Rajapaksa Raj?

Raj poses the question ‘Quo Vadis Sri Lanka’s economy? An appeal to President Rajapaksa’. The question  was asked on 12 May 2020. On 12 September last year, Raj wrote under the heading ‘Gotabaya – A breath of fresh air at Viyathmaga anniversary celebration’

So what went wrong in exactly 8 months? Or was the picture in the mind of Raj and others like him in September 2019 imaginary? Did that have a causal influence in the current outcome that Raj and others are not happy about? Like in the case of coronavirus we need to use the ‘effects’ because we do not know the causes.

Raj begins with - Quo vadis?’ is a Latin phrase meaning ‘Where are you going?’ That is the meaning of one who does not recognize’ . This is the parallel of using only money value to quantify success. At total level, success is confirmed by Ownership plus status plus money/physical value. Ownership is least visible and money is most visible.

On 01 April 2020 I wrote under the heading ‘CORONA :  QUO VADIS?


As per the timing of our published work – I intuitively knew before Raj - that the President had money problems and hence Malle Salli Nae (no money in the basket). The reason is indicated by the picture of Jesus carrying the Cross and pointing in the direction of Rome – saying He was going to get crucified again.

Where there is excessive money the physical needs to die for the spirit to become free. Since I believe in Jesus and Resurrection the structure of the mind that gave ‘Quo Vadis’ that interpretation was the natural foundation of my further thinking. It is for this reason that we attribute credit to our elders  especially our gurus in public intellectual work. Thereafter it is Common and we access each other’s mind.

The current President of Sri Lanka  is confirming investigations into Easter Sunday bombings that happened prior to his time as President. It is obvious that he did not seek the blessings of Jesus nor demonstrate that he felt the pain of victims as his. Like China invoking the Silk Road heritage – for current economic power – this President invoked his wartime credits when the Buddhists were left out of the Muslim-Christian conflict. In Democracy – the elected President’s real power is limited to the power of the People who believe in the candidate/president. Before elections – they see themselves through the candidate – as Raj saw his economic success through Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, back in September 2019. Now the same Raj expresses disappointment. Corona played a key role in blocking any cover-up. Also relative to his elder brother this President is more innocent in undercover politics.
Raj highlights this as follows:
[Dr. Jayasundera makes the point that this sacrifice is needed to demonstrate to the outside world who are trying to help us, that we are making a sacrifice as well.  If the intention of his appeal was for this purpose, then, such an appeal should have come from the President or the Prime Minister and not a Government official. When this official who was the Secretary to the Minister of Finance during the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa Government, makes such an appeal, it signifies it is an economic decision and he is looking for that proverbial raft in turbulent waters.]

The Corona’s power was to separate us to our own sovereign groups. The stronger our sovereignty the weaker the attacks of the virus as perceived by us. Imagination and Sovereignty are without form. When one fills the mind there is no room for the other. Hence the need to close our borders to foreigners. Sri Lanka also closed its borders but internally the government is yet to confirm strong commitment to preserving the Sovereignty of  minority religions. Hence within Sri Lanka in the mind of this government, other ethnic groups are ‘foreigners’. Hence the fear of coronavirus is greater than the one felt by Australian Government for example.

When I read the report about the above call for public officers to sacrifice their salary, I thought of the lowest paid public officer known to me and asked him to let me know if he had any financial needs due to such pay-cuts. He said that since they were saving in tuitions – they are at the moment ok – even without the extra money they made from tailoring. This guy has been trained to fit the following message quoted by Raj:

[Thrift is that habit of character that prompts one to work for what he gets, to earn what is paid him, to invest a part of his earnings, to spend wisely and well, to save, but not hoard – Arthur Chamberlain]

Distinguishing between that which is Capital and that which is Recurrent is an essential part of this process. Raj failed to demonstrate this distinction in his use of Quo Vadis Sri Lanka’s economy? There is no infrastructure capital shown in this question. But Raj does rectify that in terms of his field:

[No doubt there has been several laudable development activities, and we have had to endure a costly war and other challenges. The costly war also arose perhaps due to our inability to have recognised some challenges, political, economic and social and not taking action to nip things in the bud as it were, and avoid escalation of conflicts through discussion and compromise]
The war outcome happened due to both sides claiming in words that it was to protect their Sovereignty but both went outside to foreigners to help ‘win’ . Recently I indicated that LTTE would invoke itself. This morning I was directed to a message that glorified Tamil Tigers   

The message paid no credit to our politicians and therefore had no heritage value. The claim of Tamil Nation is based on Jaffna Kingdom and undisturbed, uninterrupted, adverse possession of that Kingdom.

Given that the Tamil Tigers killed Tamil law makers – they have no right to make such ownership through uninterrupted, adverse possession. Only politicians and voters who opposed such killings have the authority to such a claim.

Raj highlights this philosophy as follows:

[What is this framework? Leaving aside a myriad of measures and indicators, there are two fundamental accounting operations to consider
(a) A rupee account and (b) a foreign currency account] 

The same money works differently in different environments. It takes a long time for local currency to become common with the past or foreign currency to become common with local currency of the present. Raj explains the philosophy of Profit and Loss account as follows:
[The rupee account of the country has two components, the current account and the capital account. The current account has an expenditure side and an income side. In a healthy economic situation, these two sides balance, and in a healthier situation, there will be a surplus in the income side.]

Raj hit the nail on the head as follows:

[To the best of the writer’s knowledge, the country has not been able balance the current account, except perhaps during the very early days of independence when the healthy financial legacy left behind by the British colonialists allowed us to do so, and over time squandering that healthy economic legacy. ]

In Sri Lanka, Independence from ‘foreign rule’ is celebrated not as a memorial but as a current victory. Tamil Tigers copied it and started celebrating Great Heroes Day on 27 November. In both instances they celebrated the body and not the mind. When Tamil minds that carried the belief that manifested as  the Vaddukoddai Resolution were killed – that group that so killed - lost its right to claim Tamil nationalism. They thus became soldiers who died in combat which is the heritage of that armed group and not the community taken as a whole.

Likewise Sinhalese who celebrate remembrance days as vote-winning activities. Both amount to drawing on Capital until there are no more savings. This president promised the withdrawal from commitment by the former government through UN Resolution and thus lost connection with the global community. This makes foreigners of the civilian population and hence we now learn that even the Health secretary is a military person.

Raj makes further distinction on the basis of Sovereignty as follows:

[A confusion caused by a structural deficiency here is that most likely, the rupee income derived from capital projects which is funded not by rupees but with foreign currency loans is also included as income in the rupee current account. An example would be road toll income. The sole if not primary source of funding for all the highways subject to tolls have been funded with foreign loans where the capital and interest of such loans are payable in foreign currency. This is of course subject to correction if these receipts are treated differently.]

Taking that they are included in local income one is entitled to conclude that this happens due to desire to ‘show’ more than we really have earned and is the parallel of victory and independence parades. Given that the Government sought intervention of other nations including the UN  - it has the duty to attribute credit to those structures after the mission was accomplished. Otherwise it is shown as local/recurrent followed by imaginary victory.

Raj has highlighted another indicator as follows:

[The two white elephants that swallow a large component of Sri Lanka’s meagre resources is Sri Lankan Airlines and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.]

I do not know about the latter but I do know about Sri Lankan Airlines in which my contribution matured as ownership. The current custodians of power fail to pay their respects to Singapore Airlines nor Air Lanka which was commercially viable. During Rajapaksa time – it became an extension of Air Ceylon which did not distinguish between periods through Accrual Accounting.
My specialty in Australia at Public Service level is to move away from cash accounting to accrual accounting. This was highlighted by Professor Dowton – then the Dean of Medicine at the University of NSW:

[Her focus was on development of an activity based budgeting system which began to move us away from an inappropriate emphasis on cash management to a modified accrual system.]
It was inappropriate because of private money – which is the parallel of ‘foreign’ money. To the extent students paid for the course also the institution became ‘private’ and hence the need to move away from cash accounting which applies largely to inner-budget sectors.

In Australian Public Service this separation began in the 90’s. I expect the Sri Lankan system to be continuing with the old system which can be sustained only by having those of one faith in the system. This has been confirmed by Military personnel running Public Service and we are fast becoming little China. Was the money from China earned Raj?

Sinhalese became subservient to China through this government and Tamil rebels to India’s Tamil Nadu – through ‘summa money’/free money. Did you ask for accrual accounting for that money through which Hambantota Port  became part of the ghost power of the Silk Road Raj?

There is a special chapter in Accrual Accounting in Public Service due to the difficulty in two structures. One is project based and the other is program based. If the income from roadways  were shown as foreign – then how do you bring them into Programs of the Government? The former is Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundera’s suggestion and the latter is the President’s ongoing need for money from outsiders including its employees who were made idle during the curfew.  The next president would inherit a weaker system.

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