Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CHOGM 2013 – My post (after the event) thoughts

Another CHOGM bites the dust, the guests have gone, and police have been given 3 days vacation for being on duty. I hope a few journalists will linger to enjoy our hospitality and report favorably on our true beauty and hospitality of the people.

The British PM and Prince of Wales caused the biggest media story, and overshadowed the importance of CHOGM and its declarations by a mile. I am sorry that the focus was hijacked by the international politics, and the resultant domestic politics in those countries. Ironically Abbot who does NOT want any immigrants, gave MR the thumbs up, agreed to give him some ships to catch the boat people and ignored the HR allegations completely, as his constituency of Tamils don’t vote Liberal and there are more Sri Lankans of Burgher and Sinhala origin in Australia than Tamil. He took a calculated political gamble as he was elected on a strong anti immigrant ticket and just began his term.

Sri Lanka is now the Chair of CHOGM for the next two years, and the papers here keep saying it is MR, which is typical of sycophantic illiterates. How people can equate SL with MR is beyond me. They are mutually exclusive!

Despite the rhetoric there were NO immediate benefits, as all investments had already been factored in irrespective of CHOGM. The hoped for media windfall turned into an international PR nightmare, with the Country portrayed in very poor light all over the world.

There is still time to salvage something out of it, but I am afraid our stakeholders are slow off the mark, and are unable to capitalize on the notoriety of Sri Lanka. There is always a chance of turning negative publicity into positive PR if handled smartly.

We have the budget to look forward to with more taxes and less spending, which will be blamed on CHOGM, and the inevitable fight for the CHOGM cars to be distributed amongst the Ministers. What happens to their existing luxury cars? Does the next rung get them?

As I predicted, the whole thing is over in a weekend, and with most people taking Friday off, they would have not even noticed it was ever in town, except for the photos in the papers and the news on local TV extolling the pride of the nation in hosting such a significant event. What say you about it? 

1 comment:

Ratmale,Minneriya,Sri Lanka said...

An extremely objective report, surprisingly by a local journalist (why is it that only female journalists have the balls to report what is?) In today's FT (21st November 2013)