| by Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam
( February 24, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I write in response to Pearl Thevanayagam’s report ‘Sri Lanka should be jittery after Rudd’s resignation today’, published in yesterday’s Sri Lanka Guardian.
As per the pattern that has evolved, Mr. Rudd has resigned to participate in the leadership battle in his home nation. At this point in time, it is important for us to consolidate the value that Mr. Rudd added to the Sri Lankan issue through the position of Minister for Foreign Affairs. At all institutional levels, we contribute through positions and/or as individuals. As individuals we tend to produce more answers than solutions. Answers, like money, could be added and subtracted as is. It’s a simple solution for that moment at that place. It works well with strangers. It’s the parallel of majority vote and is the basis for ‘projects’ as opposed to programs.
Solutions on the other hand develop vertical hierarchy / investments. Benefits are raised to the level of Opportunities towards enjoyment of future generations. The more global we become the more likely we are to produce visible, objectively measurable outcomes which therefore reduce the contribution available towards vertical growth.
Mr. N.S.Venkataraman highlights the opportunities and losses due to this changeover through his article about the extended family system – ‘Changing Perspectives towards joint family system in India’. Mr. Venkataraman highlights ‘If the sons and daughters think that the parents should live with them and look after their children , the elders seem to think that the grand parents should not be reduced to the level of glorified servants. Now, this is the case of conflict of interests between the young and the old , brought about by changes in the socio economic developments.’
The higher the vertical growth the higher the status. Where grandparents / governments produced solutions they have earned higher status than those who produce answers / money for that moment and that place. Whilst the Diaspora is busy challenging the Lankan government, grandparents living as migrants in Australia, as well in rapidly developing areas in Sri Lanka, are losing self confidence within family circles due to young ones producing quick benefits compared to the solutions that parents carry through their experiences. When status is not developed / earned but cheaply bought – by ‘showing’ more than one’s earned credits – we lose height. This applies also to Governments – including Lankan and Australian Governments.
As per my observations, Mr. Rudd through the position of Minister for Foreign Affairs contributed more through solutions rather than producing quick answers. His contribution to Lankan issue is more a solution than a mere answer. A solution contains many answers on the way – so that others who use the solution would identify with our work at various stages and not just with the answers. This to me is the essence of Bhagavath Geetha – do the work without expecting benefits.
Mr. Rudd, came into the position of Minister for Foreign Affairs AFTER working through the position of Prime Minister. This helped us, Australians who heard his decisions and opinions on Sri Lanka, also interpret the issue through the higher position and its responsibilities. Those looking for immediate benefits may have been disappointed to some extent – but its healthy for the issue.