Sunday 12 July 2020

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

12 July  2020

Money in Politics

While at national and global levels some are analysing the  ownership of Mattala Rajapaksa Hambantota Airport, due to Indo China politics – there are questions being asked about Canadian money to Tamil politicians  in Sri Lanka. The Tamil Diaspora in Canada is the parallel of Chinese government in the issue of ‘donations’ to Lankan politicians.
As per  the Indian News 18 report headed ‘Sri Lanka PM Rajapaksa Says India Heeded His Request Not to Seek Joint Venture to Run Mattala Airport’:
[The $210 million facility, 241km south-east of Colombo, is dubbed the "world's emptiest airport" due to a lack of flights.
The Mattala airport was funded through high interest Chinese commercial loans. The airport, built with the capacity to handle one million passengers a year, was officially opened in March 2013.
Mahinda Rajapaksa said he and his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, have asked India not to press ahead with seeking a joint venture to run the airport in his hometown.
During campaigning in the southern district of Hambantota on Thursday for the August 5 parliamentary election, Rajapaksa charged that the previous government headed by Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe had sold national assets to foreign governments.
The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government in 2018 said they were having talks with the Indian Airports Authority to enter into a possible joint venture to operate the loss-making airport.
"They (the previous government) sold the port, but the airport could not be sold...During my recent visit to India (in February) and also by the President I told them please do not take it (airport). It is located in my village and it is only our second international airport. They (India) heeded our request, so we were able to save it," Mahinda Rajapaksa said.]

The question here is whether the money was for ownership, Business or Charity / Aid. In other words -  Governance, Administration or Politics. In the Tamil case the Treasurer of TNA Canada is reported to be the political  person responsible to Account for the money.
In the case of Sinhalese – Mr Rajapaksa is expected to be Accountable. The Accountability responsibility rests with the person/group that benefited from the deal.
Money without common purpose becomes a problem. In both instances the core purpose was to ‘get’ votes – as if the vote is a commodity. When money is processed through Administration – it takes on institutional value. It is then protected by the Energy of all those who developed that institution and/or maintained it.

A good example that comes to mind is Dowry under Thesawalamai law – applicable to Northern Lankans. The principle is that dowry is inheritance and not a current benefit. My sisters in law claimed in court that they were given ‘donation’ and not dowry. The Canadian money as well as the China money are likewise being ‘claimed’ to be donations and not purchase of shares. They both cheapen the value of our heritage.

Jaffna Courts ruled in breach of Thesawalamai law and thus contributed to weakening of law and its order in Northern Sri Lanka. Mr Wigneswaran was silent on the issue – confirming lack of heritage value to his life as a law expert. In the communications that came my way  - there were parallels drawn between him and the Canadian also. The Canadian money is reported to be 20 million rupees. The value of the Estate over which the Dowry question was raised was also about that amount. We have not yet received an account of it or how it was administered. All this happened with the full blessings of the Jaffna judiciary that many Tamil politicians are closely related to. Am I surprised? No. In democracy the government is expected to represent the people as they are and not as we ‘show’ them to be.

All these confirm that we Tamils are not read for independent Administration of Common funds. There may be others more capable of reliable Administration but they may not have the popular vote.

During the time China allegedly lent the money – Mr Rajapaksa was in Opposition. His protests if any are not registered in my memory. The New York Times reported on 25 June 2018, under the heading ‘How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port’:

[Mr. Rajapaksa and his aides did not respond to multiple requests for comment, made over several months, for this article. Officials for China Harbor also would not comment.]
Given that it was Governance issue – it was the DUTY of both sides to actively debate it in Parliament before handing over the port to Chinese company for 99 years. The claim by Mr Rajapaksa that he had stated ‘It is located in my village’  shows that it was political. A Head of state would have stated ‘It is part of my nation’.
As per the system of Democracy -  People share their belief to empower government. Those who are self-governing continuously team up with appropriate leaders who then become the media of the People. Those who ‘show’ outcomes are incapable of forming or becoming members of such teams. Any money or vote given or taken on ‘commodity’ basis dilutes the power of Governance which confirms team formation at Energy level.

China became the first victim of Corona virus due to disturbing the Governing powers of young countries. That is the equivalent of spoiling someone else’s child for one’s own selfish pleasures. Likewise the Canadian Tamil Diaspora which is trying to buy over ownership rights that it abandoned when emigrating from Sri Lanka on the basis of war. When we migrate we need to take only the spirit of our structures. When we return we need to be global and not local.

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