The article below was published in the January issue of Red Star, the monthly newspaper of the United Socialist Party (CWI) in Sri Lanka. The party’s general secretary, Sritunga Jayasuriya, outlines the mounting tension in the country as the government, led by the United National Party, tries to force through harsh neo-liberal economic reforms. The president, Maithripala Sirisena, and his supporters in the SLFP (Sri Lanka Freedom Party) are working together with the UNP in their onslaught against workers and students.
New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) the Indian section of the Committee for a Workers’ International, has always had a socialist stand point on the Nationality Question in the valley of Kashmir, we unequivocally stand for the democratic Right of Self Determination of the Kashmiri People to decide upon the future of their Nation, with guaranteed autonomy and fullest rights to all the minorities. We stand for the Socialist Confederation of the entire sub-continent.
Tamils in Sri Lanka had turned up in thousands to cast their votes against Mahinda Rajapaksa. After a decade of repression the sudden relief of getting rid of this war monger become an immediate feeling of the majority of Tamils in Sri Lanka and in the Diaspora. Having voted to get rid of monstrous Mahinda most will agree that the result makes no major change to their aspirations – one devil is replaced with another.Thousands followed the most anticipated election closely, various likely scenarios were discussed but no-one expected Mahinda’s to accept defeat so silently.Heavy military presence, in the name of keeping a peaceful election, was visible in the north and east. There was a sense of fear which spread among those who went to the polling stations.
There are number of questions still hang in the air. Both China and India had sent in their congratulations. Will the replaced government continue its close ties with them? Newly elected Sirisena has insisted that Sri Lanka will continue to build close ties with China, India, Pakistan and Japan equally. At the same time United State Secretary of State John Kerry expressed their desire to work closely with new ‘regime’. US in the past backed UNHRC led war-crime investigation against Mahinda regime. However, Sirisena now promised to protect Mahinda. The political situation in Sri Lanka is looking uncertain.
Socialist candidate challenges all other forces
Interview with Siritunga Jayasuriya, USP (CWI Sri Lanka)
Among those who oppose the government there is an overwhelming feeling that the opposition should stand together somehow to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa. You also oppose the Rajapaksa regime. How come you are standing independently?
Ironically, the issue of separate Telangana can be traced back to the time when the people of Andhra, part of the erstwhile Madras state were themselves agitating for the formation of a separate Andhra state, the movement reaching a peak with the death of the revolutionary Potti Sreeramulu after a 52 day fast in 1952. The First States reorganization committee that was subsequently formed in 1956 decided to redraw states on the basis of linguistic identities and formed the state of Andhra Pradesh based on a Telugu identity.