Damage Limitation Exploitation with No Limits
Posted on May 7th, 2011

Prof. Hudson McLean

The earlier article Battle of the Two Presidents – Prof. Hudson McLean (LankaWeb – 05/05/11) illustrated the parallel between Sri Lanka & the USA, a David & Goliath in comparison, achieved a similar objective, utilizing quite similar tactics, with a massive difference in budjets.

However another blunt difference was, the global reaction accorded to Sri Lanka and the USA.

Sri Lankan authority responsible for projection of SL image globally should accept the blame. Either SL plays to the global audience as a Priority in a professional manner or simply play to a domestic population.

And then STOP complaints about the remnants of the LTTE Tiger Terrorists attempts to create a Government in Exile.

In all, no country,  or HRW, Amnesty International, UN, whilst raising all objections available against Sri Lanka, act like mice in a steel cage when it comes to USA.

The blame for getting so much “stick” from all & sundry, falls fairly and squarely on the Sri Lankan government bureaucrats, the SL Diplomatic Missions, right onto the saddle of the Ministry responsible for the Public Affairs.

There is hardly any point in defending the goodness and the values achieved by the SL leadership defeating the biggest gorilla in terrorism. Damage Limitation should start before the first stone is thrown at the window.

The SL Government PR Mission acted more like an alarm clock with no battery!
The Press & Public Relations programme seem to stagger-on with no defined long term agenda, playing only to the Domestic Audience.

Agreed, it is important to play to one’s electorate, with daily Front Page pictures of the Presidential activity. There must be another authority playing to the International audience, the Media, based on different objectives, Political, Economical, Public Awareness, Cultural and other revenue generating values.

One other major Point of Complaint is the Lack of Response or Feedback from the Powers in Sri Lanka.  The basic, essential Civilised Courtesy of responding or a sending even a simple response to overseas appeals, seemed to be overlooked by the Leaders of Industry and Official Authority.

I have had creative, prompt, responses to my letters to Her Majesty QE2, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, and hordes of other important persons, who found the time to direct one of their subordinates, and then scribble a signature, then post or email.

But Sri Lankan government authority, including the Governor of the Central Bank either seem to think that they are above the rest of the world, and fail to appreciate the civilised courtesy of getting a secretary to respond to communications, however less important, or low-priority, in their opinion.

Today, sending an email response, only costs a few Cents (in time & Bandwidth) and takes less time than to lick a stamp & envelope.

Such a response or no response, may have an immense effect in Damage Limitation. “How to Win & Influence People”, starts with one simple “Thank You”!

Blaming the world opinion for lack of giving kudos to Sri Lanka, and at the same time dreaming that Sri Lankan world begins and ends in the simple “water-well”, is a contradiction. Friends such as Russia, China, are good to have, but the future political changes of wind, may have an adverse effect. Therefore Sri Lanka, as a small “dot” on the global sphere, cannot afford to “close doors” on any faction, as long as they do not encroach on Sovereign Territory.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has demonstrated, his greatness in forgiving those who “spat” on the Sri Lankan territory. HE shook hands with Norway, UK, India and the rest, which portrayed him as a Statesman. OK HE also sat together with Muhammar Gadhaffi, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who may not be on the same chair by 2012. See what I mean?

The current leadership in Sri Lanka is the best Sri Lanka has had since the independence.  But its not prudent to lie back on the golden sand and then expect others to pat on the back, since there may be better opportunities and indeed better leaders, beneath the sand.

The outlook should be wider, far-reaching, Definitions of Objectives, using professionals who appreciate that there is a bigger world awaiting with potential opportunities, beyond the shores of Taprobane, without Limitation to Exploitation!

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