Letter to the Editor

Leaders of the G2012 have concluded their meet at Los Cabos, Mexico, the Earth Summit Rio +20 are today assembled in Brazil to thrash out sustainability development, elections have been held over the past weekend in France, in Greece and in Egypt, it appears the world is going round and round in a carousel, trying hard to make sense of events.

“Our world is a microcosm of tensions and contradictions trying to forge a viable sustainable development policy amid the tug of war between progress and environmental protection.”

Sustainable development is about finding better ways of doing things both for the future and the present. “The Future we want,” according to the U.N., is living within our environmental limits of sustainable development. “This policy emphasises a holistic, equitable and farsighted approach to decision making at all levels with intergenerational equity, with the government and business working together.”

Many find this as jargon. But the crux of the matter is Jobs, Energy, Cities, Food, Water, Oceans and Disaster management. Some 50,000 people and 120 Heads of State or Government, environmentalists, business leaders and even protesters, are all gathered in Rio de Janeiro again, to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

Amid the global pessimism, there is yet a ray of hope not only at Rio but everywhere. People everywhere wish to feel good. The essence of this wish could hardly be simpler. In the heart of every human there is infinity of fear of potential fulfilment. When we list what makes us feel good and which actually makes us feel bad, we try in every way to balance both, or show the positive seem more than the negative, so that we regain control over the unknown.

We say that the Greek election is not a done deal, but we counterbalance this situation by seeking more time to pay back the crippling debt mountain. Our reasoning is that structural reforms are naturally going to take time to implement. We can extenuate Plan B, a further election in Greece within six months time to sort out the crisis of a crisis, hoping against hope meanwhile that Chancellor Angela Merkel will not cave in, but “give in” to saner counsel, as seen at the G2012.

On the jobs front, we try to overcome the gloom by new initiatives and maintain jobs will return to UK and to the Eurozone, particularly to Spain, by reducing service cost, improving customer satisfaction and increasing revenue. The vocabulary of outsourcing is highlighting segment identification. Vertical integration model is dead. What was once outsourced to the developing world is coming back to the Developed world to create jobs. This is the trend, but it is not broadcast. The difference is not everything is returning back, only tech specific industry, knowledge process outsourcing namely analysis and research; market process functions are being brought back to create the thirst for employment.

Whilst we unravel the global trends to contain the Euro debt crisis affecting the international economy, we also see a cracking down of industrial espionage. I.E. is a real source of worry for business in the Western World. The race is on to fill the vacuum in economic espionage. In France we see a new law passed to face the daily attacks on its most vulnerable technical research businesses, a loophole which was covered in U.S. sometime ago by stringent laws, fines and jail sentence.

What is a State secret, a trade secret or a Defence Secret? This is a subject for a lengthy debate and for deeper investigation. Suffice here to state that we in Sri Lanka are, according to some sources, light years away from protection of our most valuable assets, our artefacts, our heirlooms and even our trade secrets. The timing is eerily symbolic to take action to safeguard not only our nation but our valued treasures for sustainability of our future generations.

Change is in the air. There are many and varied ways people tackle change in today’s environment. The above listed initiatives are not isolated incidents how people around the globe are facing up to the imponderable in change.

The most important way, in my view, of cracking the crisis in to have the political will to contain the crisis. Governments, politicians and opinion makers wish to make or promote changes. Whether it is racial or religious tension we cannot continue to sweep it under the carpet. We can procrastinate but someday the chickens will come home to roost. Whether it is months, years, decades or even centuries, we need to take on the leadership to face realities.

“Political will is the ghost in the machine of politics, the motive force that generates political action.
It can seem like a will o’ the wisp. It is hard to define, harder to grasp and hardest of all to measure. It can be defined as a combination of three factors: opinions + intensity +salience.”

The issue on which most people in Sri Lanka agree is reconciliation. We hope we will not have to wait for the end of the Maya civilisation on 21 December 2012 or perhaps a re-election of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2013, for the political will to crack our crisis of reconciliation.

Victor Cherubim
Email:victorcherubim@aol.com

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