An Old Marriage with Deepening Ties?

Ranil + BiswasGamini Ilangakoon, in the Daily News, 14 January 2016, with his chosen title being “Harbinger of Democracy, Diplomacy and Development”

The Government’s Economic Policy Statement was made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament on November 5, 2015. It stated, “Our final goal is to improve and enhance the living standards of the people; it is the goal for which we have obtained the approval of the people at the election. When we came to power on January 8, Sri Lanka had been caught in a tremendous and dangerous international quagmire. This was as a result of a lack of foresight by the previous Government. We must be able to get the economic foundation right. Multi-disciplined economic strength; local competitiveness, international trade and investments must be in our sights”. The international quagmire, the Prime Minister stresses above is not only political, but also diplomatic, globally branding Sri Lanka as a country of failed diplomacy.

Global diplomacy: One of the strong pillars, supporting the super-structure of economic prosperity of any country, is the fertility of the diplomacy, capable of delivering right results. An external affairs policy of any country must profit the nation, which it internationally represents.

The policies are dead by themselves, in the void of professional people, who implement the framed policies. Now, the individuals, who implement the foreign policy, are diplomats. The majority, if not all, of under-developed and developing countries have only the country to country diplomacy (C2CD). Sri Lanka is not an exception. C2CD diplomat is a limited professional. C2CD is an outmoded phenomenon and its professionals do not fit to the modern world, wrapped in globalization, embedded in internationalized sustainability and powered by global diplomacy. Therefore, Sri Lanka, apart from its C2CD team, is in burning need of a generation, armed with the global diplomacy theory and practice. Hence, America’s Indian Nisha is the best example for Sri Lanka. She is not a C2CD officer, but, represents the American generation of global diplomats. She does not deal with one particular country, yet, is a global figure, efficiently engaged in the execution of external affairs of United States in the South-Asia region.

Diplomacy explosion: Sri Lanka needs an explosion. A vibrant eruption into innovation. The novelty should comprise the formation of a generation of diplomats, talented in global and globally regional diplomacy. Its members must be well educated, erudite, sufficiently armed with the history and the theory of diplomacy and indeed, with multi-linguistics too. That is what the American global diplomacy is. That is where, the global diplomat, Nesshastems from.

This is not to say that the current writer is against the political appointments, generally executed by certain politicians, though, such placements are usually absent in the domains of the diplomacy of developed capitalist countries. Therein, what matters is the subject-pertinent education, theoretical arming, character purity, talent, absence of the evidence on corruption issues and experience.

The personality cult, the blood relationship, the solidification of the political party one is belonging to etc., do not portray essential factors. Now, what is suggested is, that if the case of political appointment cannot be dropped, to the benefit of the nation, then, at least, to confine them to a limited figure, retaining the majority of vacancies for qualified professionals.

The Government of good governance, its self-sustenance and its public respect and recognition, will very much depend on, how it would respond to the above stipulated sine qua non. Thus, Sri Lanka, if it is to gain its prosperity and identity growth and find its right place in the international community, is in dire need of exploding in to new domains of empirical knowledge, related to its global politics. One such knowledge realm is the knowledge of power personalities, who facilitate the destiny of developing countries. Nisha Desai Biswal from United States is one of them. She was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs on October 21, 2013. She oversees U.S. foreign policy and relations in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

During her tenure, the United States has focused on strengthening bilateral and regional relationships to enhance the security, stability, and prosperity of South and Central Asia. Under her leadership, the United States has supported economic development and encouraged increased regional connectivity within South and Central Asia, as part of the U.S. re-balance doctrine to Asia. From India to Kazakhstan the region’s emerging economies can drive growth and deliver sustained benefits to the peoples of the region.

She has led the annual bilateral consultations with Central Asia for the United States as well as deepening ties with South Asian nations. Sri Lanka was one important one among them. Hence, a conscious awareness of Nisha and her power role in international politics of Sri Lanka, whispers a pragmatic secret. Biswal’s official carrier is a critical and risky one. She deals with executive branches, legislative bodies, as well as with the non-governmental organizations of Sri Lanka, linking the human security with national security. She has a particular priority, specifically ascribed to her.

That is, her diplomatic endeavours and development efforts in the island are based on the principle of sustainability, via a strong focus on people and not just Governments.

Opposition suspicion:Nisha was very active in Sri Lanka’s international and indigenous politics so much that after the victory of President Maithripala Sirisena and the formation of the National Government, she visited Sri Lanka and had several elite discussions, with a focus, on the action nucleus of UN Human Rights Council issue. She was so prominent and welcome by the governing heads of Sri Lanka that her efficiency in Sri Lanka led to raising doubts in the opposition. Some of them have already began to blame the Government that Sri Lanka’s foreign policy is rooted in the middle path and frequent visits of US officials violates the island’s external policy, locking Sri Lanka in a lopsided bias, in preference to United States.

John Kerry: Nisha’s role, as a top diplomat, in blossoming America’s relationship with Central and South Asia and Sri Lanka is so powerful that Kerry was forced to say the following: “I’m particularly grateful for Nisha more especially because she’s making really critical efforts in a key part of the world, obviously, as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia. I was delighted to select her for that job, and she has not let me down.”

American Democracy:  Nisha was born in India. It was at her age six, went to USA. Literally in just a few decades, she’s become one of the important leaders in American foreign policy. Her odyssey, if we call it that, really speaks to the power of the American dream. It shows how the aspirations and traditions and histories from all over the world come together still in this melting pot of American democracy.

NISHA BISWALNisha Desai Biswal

This powerful democracy pot revitalizes the decrepit factors and empowers America with new and fresh driving forces from all over the globe, gifting the American community a new nation, catholicized in to universality. Nisha is only one example of it. That’s really what makes Americans different from many other communities. Americans are not constrained by one race or one ideology or one history. They are defined by the beautiful American reverie of all people, being created with equal opportunity and being able to rise and exercise their rights and duties, to pursue the seeing dream in the US, but, simultaneously, retaining the American identity in doing so. The American democracy melting pot represents a beautiful blend of real resplendence.

US Trilateral partnership: The proposal was to create a partnership among US, India and Japan. Among those who opposed, it was Nisha who was prominent. She based her arguments, opposing the presented partnership proposal, which could end up in a military partnership as well, on the factors of exclusivity and exclusionariness. She consciously knew that there are no partners, who are to be exclusive and who could be excluded in the successful implementation of US foreign policy in Asia. Her beautiful approach was holistic. This is what, the Sri Lankan politicians and appointed professional diplomats can learn from America in general and from Nisha Biswal in particular.

Diplomacy wisdom: Nisha was interested not only in military cooperation, but also in economic collaboration. She well apprehended the latest developments, blooming in the region of Asia. Among the factors, Nisha’s attention had been centred on, was, the streaming democratization of Asian countries, in which, according to American standard, what was reigning was despotism, totalitarianism or quasi-military and semi-democratic regimes. In this, she could see a light and a splendour of many opportunities. A vivid example of this is Sri Lanka itself, the people of which could change its direction of democracy in consonance with the policies of US fact sheet. Political transition in Myanmar is another paradigm.

Nisha, not only contemplatively grasped these evolutionary changes, but also efficiently envisioned an opening and opened opportunities to support trade and economic connectivity across the region. Besides, she could penetratively understand the tasks, the US could be precisely engaged with. The strengthening of humanitarian assistance was one of them. The disaster response with India, China and Japan was the second. The third was reinforcing of maritime cooperation and maritime security.

The fourth was initiating the anti-piracy measures and creating the safe transportation navigational routes for America-South Asia commerce and many more. Thus, Nisha’s depth of wisdom wished to partner with and work with, rather than to exclude and to be exclusive. She is a heroine of inclusivity. Nisha is a people oriented diplomacy expert. After coming to power, she does not drop the very people, who, in truth, generate power, abused by some politicians. The pragmatic international agenda of Nisha can serve, as one of the best example for the implementation of the external policy of Sri Lanka.

Nisha vs.RBS2A:  In her tactical approach, in the execution of the US “Re-balance Strategy to Asia (RBS2A), among those, who are eminently conspicuous in rendering preference to India, Nisha is ranked among the first five. She treats India as a rising regional nation, with a global leadership, economic growth and strategic significance, the United Sates could be deeply interested in.

Thus, her attitude to India makes her to be strongly qualified, to be respected as a figure of power, which may impact the affairs of Sri Lanka in an immense measure. Hence, the right knowledge about her, a right approach to her attitudes and the right coordination with her international agenda may truly profit Sri Lanka, not only politically, but also economically.

Nisha is not a mere diplomat, but an inexplicable and well-balanced blend of politics, economics and military. Nisha’s approach to India, in a way, can be portrayed as “Strategic bet” of the United States, designed for India. Nisha’s aptitudinal analysis of India appears to have cleverly comprehended the contemporary achievements of India in the domains of infrastructure, manufacturing, the modernization of the military, energy, security, space technology and specially, her great foreign investment attraction determination.

Thus, America may acquire an expanding access to skills training, education and many other key priorities, India is in dire need of, mutually partnering, profiting and enriching both countries. In such a concatenation of US-India bilateral relationship regulation, Sri Lanka must direct its conscious eye of persistence on the action plan of Nisha and regularize its own international intercommunication and inter-action agenda, prudently and solicitously, in order to find its right place in RBS2A.

Nisha vs. Madhuri: My most favourite actress in the Bollywood is Madhuri Dixit. She acts. By acting she attracts the viewers. That attraction is a phenomenon of externality, which is more physical than heart-associated and therefore, transient and ephemeral. Nisha is an Indian, Madhuri too. Nisha is a professional diplomat. She deals. In dealing, she bends the minds of people and lets their hearts feel. Thus, dealing is a power of internality. It comprises no physicality. She democratizes. She peoplizes. She regularizes decrepit, castrated and/or lost liberties of men and women. She globally causes burgeoning of impaired economies. Hence, Nisha is reminiscent, memorable, and difficult to erase our memory of her. She deals with the centre of the people.

Madhuri attracts people in to her. Nisha decentralizes herself to reach people. But, the moment she reaches the proximity of people, the people become distracted from themselves and attracted to Nisha. Madhuri has a beautiful smile, for men to be enamored of. Nisha possesses an innocent smile, which too is beautiful, but with a powery threat. There is an astute allusion to it, “Look guys, be in line with democracy, human rights and peoplization. Otherwise economic embargos are possible”. Besides, her smile is to be rightly reckoned with both by men and women.What is meant by this unusual comparison, generally uncharacteristic to the texts of current type, is, that Sri Lanka, as is interested to know Madhuri, so too, must be keenly conscious to professionally comprehend Nisha. The present writer assures that the right knowledge about Nisha shall be, much more profit-generating than that of Madhuri.




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