Newspapers cannot take credit for the services they render, however crucial or important the service would be, as it is their public duty.This was aired by T. Vedamanickam, an investor and a trader who participated in a forum in Colombo on Wednesday to discuss the formation of an association to safeguard the interests of the Independent Minority Shareholders (IMS) under the auspicious of Business Times (BT) – the facilitator.
Mr Vedamanickam said that despite the fact that the initiatives and promotion of the rights of minority shareholders becomes a part of the services of a newspaper, the services thus, rendered by BT in this regard has been remarkable and unprecedented, which rarely is visible in this country – championing the underprivileged.
BT Editor Feizal Samath, who led the discussion group, said that when the market is growing and when the economy is growing regulatory machinery has to be in place to ensure a level playing field and in this regard an association to safeguard the interests of IMS is paramount. The BT was only responding to the call by its valued readers, based on recent polls, to facilitator the formation of such a body and its involvement is purely the role of a fascinator, and nothing more – once the association gets off the ground.
K C Vignarajah, who has championed the cause of good governance, highly appreciated the role of some media organizations that stood by his cause and which invigorated his campaign of fighting against a highly politicised public service and against the might of the controlling interests.
Emphasizing the grave importance of bringing IMS together as one group, he indicated that this is much stronger than acting as individuals. Mr Vignarajah said “As individuals, we are very insignificant, – tiny drops, but as a group we are very much strong. Tiny drops make the mighty ocean and tiny grains of sand constitute the mighty earth”.
He said that IMS are confronted with enormous problems, difficulties and issues and they are powerless to fight back to gain their rights and get reasonable returns on their investments, irrespective of the quantum of their investment. He said that despite the might of all CI his persistent representations on wrong doers have brought in some relief, but the remaining backlog is rather heavy.
There was a ‘houseful’ of small-time shareholders, and every one present was highly appreciative of the role played by Mr Vignarajah and of the BT were eager to grab the opportunity to voice their grievances through this association once it is formed.As a first step forward the group elected a core group of 10 out of those present, to formulate a constitution and other preliminary essentials to form an association.