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.
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?
Comrades of United Socialist Party (CWI-Sri Lanka) including Srinath Perera Piyarathna, Dhammika Silva were brutally attacked by 50 Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) thug Monks and a lorry load of hired goons of around 100. The comrades of the USP were conducting a Motor Cycle Rally in memory of Ernesto Che Guevara and the slogans were against Racism and against Communalism of the right wing Buddhist monks.
The extreme right-wing section of the Chauvinist Buddhist clergy, hand in gloves with the top echelons of the of the Political leadership of Mahinda Rajapakse’s government that killed lakhs of Tamil people in a Genocidal war is now unleashed against the Muslims in the Island Country.
We need to condemn this in unequivocal terms through mass protests all around the world. The New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) through its Tamil Solidarity campaign will be approaching other like minded groups and parties to come together for a massive protest in various parts of the country in the very near future.