Monday, February 15, 2016
The JUNKET to Germany and Austria – IS it with a goal in mind?
Aren’t we glad that our President does not hijack a plane from the National Airline and take a troupe of time wasters for a jaunt? At least now it is a relatively small delegation that is going to Germany today, and later on to Austria, even though it was a hurried change in plan to extend the journey to far afield too.
Having said that, is the agenda a clear one? Is the whole delegation necessary to meet with the Chancellor, as it should ONLY be the President and the FM for example, and the SL ambassador to Berlin. These are things that have to be reviewed at a meeting that is held by the Secretary to the President to make sure that the trip results in optimum benefit to Sri Lanka.
As is usual, they throw the whole kitchen sink into these trips, and I understand they are going to talk about tourism into Sri Lanka. That is a wholly unnecessary exercise, for a Presidential visit, especially when the Country does not have a proper Tourism policy. What are they going to talk about? I know it is a tendency of the leader to allow a pushy minister to come, jut to keep him quiet, lest he makes a nuisance. That is NOT the way to deal with them by taking them for a ride! They should be given clear work to do, and be judged on it, and if found wanting been given a pasting. Only the PM and Pres can do that, and that they MUST. It will prevent further abuse by others later, once the gossip of this gets around. Simple way to control your ministers who are behaving out of line, so just use it.
In any case that is not a topic for discussion with the Chancellor as there are more important matters for us to discuss, that should NOT be distracted by topics that are NOT relevant.
That is what I mean by a proper pre-brief of the visit, and then shortly after the visit a good debrief, under the Chairmanship of the President who can then asses if the jokers that joined him on the trip actually did anything useful for Sri Lanka, or if they only joined in as joy riders.
The link alluded to the fact that the Presidential delegation comprised of 25 members, which for anyone’s criteria is about 10 TOO MANY and a pre-brief meeting would have pointed this out without any ambivalence.
There is a huge amount of work to be done in Sri Lanka by those elected and their various Ministries. If time is taken on jaunts without much to say for themselves, then someone MUST point this out to the PM who never wastes Sri Lanka resources unnecessarily, though his sycophants are past masters at taking the Country for a ride.