Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sri Lanka: A Think Tank or A Folly Tank?

By all means, it is time for this lamebrain to take off from the most sensitive area in the country. Donkey is not capable of doing what horse is obliged to do!

by Our Defence Correspondent-
( May 9, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Despite all professional qualities earned by the senior security personnel through genuine experiences in the relevant subject matter, there are some who are riding the ladder out of empty poses and big words merely through their political affiliations. This has reached the pathetic level which never was the case in the past. Therefore most of the time in the National Security Council and other defence related meetings by the ruling government, the order confirms one to recall sadly the wise words of Plato who lived centuries ago and enlightened us with the following discovery:
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something,”.
Let’s beat the drum over the so-called “defence Think Tank” initiated by the Ministry of Defence under the “patronage” of the incumbent Secretary of Defence. We do not have any personal disagreement or vendetta with the secretary; in fact we believe he was installed in a repugnant place, whereas he would have done much better and made healthy contribution to our motherland if the authority had taken the trouble to work out a proper position in the area he has specialized in.
Let’s highlight certain portions from the history book to understand the importance of appointing a person in the order of his knowledge. “Despite the abundance of irrigation constructions in Sri Lanka, Yoda Ela or Jaya Ganga, an 87 km long water canal carrying excess water from Kala Wewa in Polonnaruwa to ThissaWewa in Anuradhapura, is a construction dependent on remarkable instrumentation precision. Its gradient of 10 to 20 cm per kilometer still baffles experts today for its minute precision.” (Quoted: ) This wonderful project, according to written history, was initiated by King Dathusena in fifth century AD.
When we read such fascinating parts of thousands year old history in this country we can do nothing better than to sadly mourn by singing, “Oh when will they ever learn, oh when will they ever learn?”
Today, the country is suffering from worst drought after four decades. Millions are without clean water. Aftereffects of this worse crisis could be extremely dangerous. Our irrigation system has been dismantled and abandoned. Mega development projects carefully ignored the core notions of true development principles. Why? That is what is proven in action by the Ministry of Defence by having unsuitable persons in most sensitive chairs.
Positions are dignifying so long as the person holding the position has reasonable understanding about what needs to be done in relation to the core purpose of the institution.
We would again like our people in Sri Lanka to know that the recent initiative by the Ministry of Defence on “Think Tank” is not only wastage of public money and opportunities but also a black mark on the reputation of the nation which has vanquished the most brutal reigns of terror that lasted for decades.
None of the countries around the globe have succeeded in countering the insurgencies in recent past though they are spending million times bigger budget than the people of this country have allocated to conquer the Tamil Tigers.
Take the situation in India, where Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Kashmir are burning every hour, though India has promulgated the draconian laws like Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA) since 1958. Similar situation in Pakistan over Balochistan, Nepal over Madeshi, Maldives over corrupted extremism and so on.
But, Sri Lanka is different. That does not mean the country should allow all matters to be taken lightly and everyone to craft the pot of National Security as per their taste.
Why do we have strong criticism about the Institute of National Security Studies of Sri Lanka, Premiere National Security Think Tank of Sri Lanka. As we clearly mentioned in our previous account, unanswered questions need to be asked once again;
What are the qualifications of the representatives of this Tank to be the policy makers or representatives of the state on the subject (National Security)?
What exactly is the director of this tank is thinking and what is the true motivate of the director in holding the position with authority to influence policy on such sensitive subject?
How do they appoint the “Researchers” or “Senior Fellows”?
Do they follow the basic principles of the administration or have they allowed “personal favour” to play key role in selecting the personalities?
Can Think Tank provide the details related to the public interest under the RTI?
Why are many genuine security officials either avoiding or being avoided?
What is the uniqueness/ differences of this Think Tank from other Think Tanks?
Do they check the background of those resource persons and their previous activities?
Are the members of this Think Tank truly capable enough to enhance the National Security and related areas?
You will get nothing but negative answers to all these questions if you have a chance to dig into the details. Let’s have a careful look into just one “opinion” written by the director of this Think tank on Sri Lanka-Russia relations during the President’s official visit to Moscow.
The article was published without any disclaimer whereas others’ thoughts have gone in with disclaimers.
Therefore, we believe that the small opinion on Sri Lanka- Russia relations by the director of this Think Tank is expected to be taken as the stance of both INSSSL and the Government of Sri Lanka. What is his tiny brain trying to calculate as the policy of the President?
“…… This was Sirisena exercising his own foreign policy, carefully calibrated in the right direction. No previous Sri Lankan president has held in high esteem the values and teachings of Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx. In contrast, their pictures are placed in the main boardroom of the current president’s residence. This is a clear indication of the deep socialist values that President Sirisena holds”, he entertained the readers.
Is this writer trying to say that the President Sirisena is Marxist? If so, what is the relevance of his point to National Security? Will this irrational romanticizing produce anything good? What will happen when teachers are forced to learn from a student?
Sri Lanka as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) kept high moral on “non-aligned foreign policy” while keeping all concerned parties as “friends”. It was a strategic move by the governments; therefore they could earn support from all. This is exactly what happened when internal insurgencies erupted in the country.
But, what is this lamebrain trying to portray as policy of the President or the government?
He has gone further;
“These values probably echo in reminding the president not to sell any state resource. If the United National Party (UNP) is the pro-Western business-oriented party that advocates joint ventures, Sirisena is the inward looking farmer attempting to advocate the importance of an indigenous economy. Russia, with its gilded chambers suffering from the imperial hangover, is a reminder of deep nationalistic values. Neither the US, Europe or China want it to be strong. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s gesture of handing a 19th-century sword belonging to Sri Lanka to President Sirisena was a reminder of the need to preserve the Sri Lankan values and historical treasures smuggled or taken out of the island nation,” he argued.
Are these two paragraphs by the Director of this Tank the stance of the Government?
This, we find to be not only folly thinking but also attempt to divide the coalition government based on an extremely poor reading of the present political context. This is yet another example out of thousands this Think Tank has no idea where it is heading and what could be the consequences by pouring words from lamebrain as state policies.
By all means, it is time for this lamebrain to take off from the most sensitive area in the country. Donkey is not capable of doing what horse is obliged to do!
What can one expect from a “nation of sheep, ruled by wolves and owned by pigs?”

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