Posted on June 24th, 2012 ( Lankaweb)
Prof. Hudson McLean
I have read several articles when the Average Citizens try to communicate with the High Office in the Sri Lanka Government, either they receive a “cold shoulder” or “no comment”.
Whilst the letters sent by me to President Bill Clinton, HRH Duke of Edinburgh, Premier Tony Blair, President Premadasa whilst they were in office, received a prompt response, typed by a Secretary of course, but signed by the man himself, whilst Premier Edward Heath prompted with a hand-written note.
I write this letter after reading an article published in LankaWeb by a patriot who was treated without civil courtesy or human sympathy by several High Officers in Colombo.
Most of these “jumped-up” nobodies, reaching a position of prominence, tend to think above their Status, and tend to forget who elected them to that position.
I hasten to point-out that even the Governor of Central Bank lacks such common courtesy to respond to a polite business request on Export related subject whilst he travels at the Tax Payers expense on “jaunts-of-no-return”.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has succeeded in his fight against terrorism, largely due to the loyalty, wisdom & professional judgment of Colonel Gothabhaya Rajapaksa. Whatever ex-General Sarath Fonseka might claim as a Commander, the last word was given by the Commander-in-Chief the President, on the advice of the brother.
The closeness of the Rajapaksa Foursome has been the success story of Sri Lanka. The fragmented Opposition, at this moment, has no credible alternative, even when the Rajapaksa Regime and its popularity is on the wane.
In fact, both Gothabhaya and Basil are the best conduits to reach the upper echelons of the Command Structure, if all other communications fail.
Speaking from experience, HE the President and the First Lady have developed a reasonably active Line-of-Communication with the normal people such as I am, a positive way to receive Feedback. I presume, both Gothabhaya & Basil, two persons oozing with empathy, have developed a similar facility. Other Ministers and their “hangers-on” are, presumably (I hope I am wrong), busy looking after their own pot!
I still remember, during the Premadasa Regime, when I visited Sri Lanka with several inward-investment projects, the “front men” of the relevant Minister, started giving me hand written gift lists to be arranged either in Colombo or in the foreign country to facilitate the inward-investment. Even foreign-funded-Aid projects had strings attached, required to be “greased-up” and trusted men were sent to donor countries (ie Sweden) to collect the commissions each month to be deposited in Luxenbourg.
Question: “Is this still going on?”
During the past few weeks I have been trying to contact a government funded institute, in Colombo by email, fax, telephone without any success. At the end, I got a contact of mine to download my email and hand-deliver to the appropriate Minister, and “Bang” I received a response from the Chairman of the institute.
If the country wishes to learn something, look at Singapore. Once again Singapore! Yes!
From the Prime Minister downwards, Singaporeans are taught to Read & Write, Be Polite, Smile, Respond to Mail or Phone Calls. One missed call may carry that vital revenue generating opportunity. And Sri Lanka possibly misses many such calls.
As an additional note: Get every Public & Civil Servant to open a SKYPE account. Its FREE and saves money on outbound calls.
Start Reading your mail, please! And an e-mail response costs nothing, except time.