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The infamous ‘kick’

17 May 2013 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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   a shared guilt of all governments  

By Afreeha Jawad

Being kicked upstairs is nothing new and has been around for quite some time in  this country. Indeed it is just the required tactical measure to handle what is referred to as belligerence or non - conformism. An obedient student is the teacher’s favourite, a docile child - the parents’ pet, a quiet, meek and humble worker - the apple of any boss’s eye.   Particularly in the Sri Lankan context, an oft’ heard passport to virtue is , ‘oh what a nice guy,  so very quiet and unassuming.’ That’s as far as the Sri Lankan penchant for the ‘being nice’ attribute goes.





 To avoid a straying from the topic’s mainstream, my kick-off point of being kicked upstairs - the seemingly ‘ star class ‘ promotions that follow in dismantling those that stand up for justice is progressively rising. Not that the number of whistle blowers have blown out of proportion. Yet there have been instances of going against the tide noticeably in the police particularly in relation to sand mining where some political  units show overwhelming concern for the great dividends it brings in fattening bank accounts.    One police stalwart has already been shown the local big apple after being uprooted from the wilderness where he lost his head in the sand following his adventure into arresting irregularities in sand mining.

Noteworthy  are the reputed designations that  follow the  infamous kick- chief among such, being  the post of consultant, a glorified idler who in a bona fide system would have been a very productive hand, no doubt a positive contributor to moral administration.  

Intellectuality, integrity and professionalism, this country no longer needs - the reason being the mismatch between intellectual delivery and the system’s needs.
Apart from the ‘being kicked upstairs’ syndrome, observable indeed is the ‘peripheral dumping’ - surely the outcome of a challenge to authority. In such instance one is sure to risk complete sidelining with little or no work at all- even the little work being of not even least significance. This writer is witness to reservoirs of resourcefulness drying up as a result while the, ‘’Yes Sir’’ empty heads take the elevator to success. Their stupendous rise from one promotion to another- the cause for much heartburn in the discriminated. “Never mind who gets what, yet I am happy I did what I felt was right,’’ they would say.

The coin’s other side is that such cunning and crafty strategies when   left unimplemented threaten the system itself. In whatever form it may come - the kick upstairs or the peripheral dump, human resources will  continue to make ‘good’ subject matter for ‘eloquent’ speeches  within the confines of workshops or rather ‘talk shops’ of recent fame.  Against this backdrop some of the extremely talented - finest to say the least, have ended up as frustrated elements - at times the private sector being beneficiaries of such productivity.

Significantly ironic is that those that give up functioning within the system whose numbers are like finding a needle in a haystack are no  longer viewed as men of moral stature. Instead, the uncultivated ordinary mind sees them as weaklings filled with fear and incapable of task handling. One of those that rose to such moral eminence was Ray Forbes - a rare Sri Lankan intellectual who preferred moral isolation in the Vanni’s wilderness to being a servile ‘ ‘Yes’ man in Sri Lanka’s   foreign ministry. Such men of moral stature kick the system and do not wait for a kick to come their way when their moral conscience collides with orders from the top.

Contrastingly, there are others that feign innocence, who, come retirement, opt for public speeches. When winding up their long drawn delivery they unfailingly say,’’ You know at that time I was holding office and was helpless.’’ Ray Forbes stands out amidst such insincere utterances.

Sonia Gandhi was yet another viewed as incapable of task performance when on moral grounds she shunned the prime ministerial offering. Striking a very high moral chord she said,’’ I do not want to further divide an already divided India.’’

The prevailing lacuna for moral governance is an international phenomenon except to some extent in social democracies such as in the Nordic countries.
In the absence of equality, justice and human dignity, moral governance ceases to be. Political interference in law enforcement, loss of judicial independence, a politicised public service, are in themselves  most non-indicative of moral administration needless to mention the infamous ‘kick upstairs’ and the ‘peripheral dump’  being all part of the above.

Stunting the intellectual growth of undergraduates by politicising universities also contributes to loss of credible governance. Dulling the intellect enables any unhealthy system to go unchallenged.

Yet the greed for power overrides the need for moral governance where all of the above have got to be made dysfunctional. Nevertheless, despite all these irregularities of governance, the patriotic sentiments expressed of the ‘unbounded devotion’ to country, race and religion has been around since independence - a shared sin of all political parties. This then is to stampede on the people’s sovereignty - the very people that licensed political authority to whatever party in power.

 Our politicians on all sides of the divide suffer an innate disability to reach out to clean governance for which purpose depth of character is needed. Where there is greed for power there is no depth of character. A third force with such depth,  even  the distant horizon denies, favouring status quo continuity.

The present regime itself could fill that space and prove their moral eminence before the Sri Lankan people by restoring the lost independence of the three commissions - namely the police, public service and judiciary. Politicisation must be made buried history for the country’s well - being.

Providing infra- structure alone will not suffice which is part of the physical aspect of governance, similar to hardware. The spiritual aspect of the software in governance lies in its unattended moral side. The shell without the pearl is of no value.

 Yet, to arrive at such state, the country needs politicians of unimpeachable integrity which is what patriotism is all about. Patriotism is a distant wail from the acquisition of wealth, even for generations unborn, and the unceasing thirst to be in power which all governments in this country ought to be guilty of.
Till such governing grandeur sets in, no politician can claim to be practising Buddhists and patriots.

Being kicked upstairs is nothing new and has been around for quite some time in  this country. Indeed it is just the required tactical measure to handle what is referred to as belligerence or non - conformism. An obedient student is the teacher’s favourite, a docile child - the parents’ pet, a quiet, meek and humble worker - the apple of any boss’s eye.   Particularly in the Sri Lankan context, an oft’ heard passport to virtue is , ‘oh what a nice guy,  so very quiet and unassuming.’ That’s as far as the Sri Lankan penchant for the ‘being nice’ attribute goes.

 To avoid a straying from the topic’s mainstream, my kick-off point of being kicked upstairs - the seemingly ‘ star class ‘ promotions that follow in dismantling those that stand up for justice is progressively rising. Not that the number of whistle blowers have blown out of proportion. Yet there have been instances of going against the tide noticeably in the police particularly in relation to sand mining where some political  units show overwhelming concern for the great dividends it brings in fattening bank accounts.    One police stalwart has already been shown the local big apple after being uprooted from the wilderness where he lost his head in the sand following his adventure into arresting irregularities in sand mining.

Noteworthy  are the reputed designations that  follow the  infamous kick- chief among such, being  the post of consultant, a glorified idler who in a bona fide system would have been a very productive hand, no doubt a positive contributor to moral administration.  

Intellectuality, integrity and professionalism, this country no longer needs - the reason being the mismatch between intellectual delivery and the system’s needs.
Apart from the ‘being kicked upstairs’ syndrome, observable indeed is the ‘peripheral dumping’ - surely the outcome of a challenge to authority. In such instance one is sure to risk complete sidelining with little or no work at all- even the little work being of not even least significance. This writer is witness to reservoirs of resourcefulness drying up as a result while the, ‘’Yes Sir’’ empty heads take the elevator to success. Their stupendous rise from one promotion to another- the cause for much heartburn in the discriminated. “Never mind who gets what, yet I am happy I did what I felt was right,’’ they would say.

The coin’s other side is that such cunning and crafty strategies when   left unimplemented threaten the system itself. In whatever form it may come - the kick upstairs or the peripheral dump, human resources will  continue to make ‘good’ subject matter for ‘eloquent’ speeches  within the confines of workshops or rather ‘talk shops’ of recent fame.  Against this backdrop some of the extremely talented - finest to say the least, have ended up as frustrated elements - at times the private sector being beneficiaries of such productivity.

Significantly ironic is that those that give up functioning within the system whose numbers are like finding a needle in a haystack are no  longer viewed as men of moral stature. Instead, the uncultivated ordinary mind sees them as weaklings filled with fear and incapable of task handling. One of those that rose to such moral eminence was Ray Forbes - a rare Sri Lankan intellectual who preferred moral isolation in the Vanni’s wilderness to being a servile ‘ ‘Yes’ man in Sri Lanka’s   foreign ministry. Such men of moral stature kick the system and do not wait for a kick to come their way when their moral conscience collides with orders from the top.

Contrastingly, there are others that feign innocence, who, come retirement, opt for public speeches. When winding up their long drawn delivery they unfailingly say,’’ You know at that time I was holding office and was helpless.’’ Ray Forbes stands out amidst such insincere utterances.

Sonia Gandhi was yet another viewed as incapable of task performance when on moral grounds she shunned the prime ministerial offering. Striking a very high moral chord she said,’’ I do not want to further divide an already divided India.’’

The prevailing lacuna for moral governance is an international phenomenon except to some extent in social democracies such as in the Nordic countries.
In the absence of equality, justice and human dignity, moral governance ceases to be. Political interference in law enforcement, loss of judicial independence, a politicised public service, are in themselves  most non-indicative of moral administration needless to mention the infamous ‘kick upstairs’ and the ‘peripheral dump’  being all part of the above.

Stunting the intellectual growth of undergraduates by politicising universities also contributes to loss of credible governance. Dulling the intellect enables any unhealthy system to go unchallenged.

Yet the greed for power overrides the need for moral governance where all of the above have got to be made dysfunctional. Nevertheless, despite all these irregularities of governance, the patriotic sentiments expressed of the ‘unbounded devotion’ to country, race and religion has been around since independence - a shared sin of all political parties. This then is to stampede on the people’s sovereignty - the very people that licensed political authority to whatever party in power.

 Our politicians on all sides of the divide suffer an innate disability to reach out to clean governance for which purpose depth of character is needed. Where there is greed for power there is no depth of character. A third force with such depth,  even  the distant horizon denies, favouring status quo continuity.

The present regime itself could fill that space and prove their moral eminence before the Sri Lankan people by restoring the lost independence of the three commissions - namely the police, public service and judiciary. Politicisation must be made buried history for the country’s well - being.

Providing infra- structure alone will not suffice which is part of the physical aspect of governance, similar to hardware. The spiritual aspect of the software in governance lies in its unattended moral side. The shell without the pearl is of no value.

 Yet, to arrive at such state, the country needs politicians of unimpeachable integrity which is what patriotism is all about. Patriotism is a distant wail from the acquisition of wealth, even for generations unborn, and the unceasing thirst to be in power which all governments in this country ought to be guilty of.
Till such governing grandeur sets in, no politician can claim to be practising Buddhists and patriots.
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