Sunday, March 29, 2009

Left viewpoint on Tamil issue gaining currency

By Vickramabahu Karunaratna
(March 29, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The UNP leader has saved his skin. Already, serious damage has been done to the image of the party, by the so-called loyal opposition. It is not clear to many what they were really asking for, other than to change the leader. Surely the personality of a leader cannot be the reason to build an opposition to oust a leader! It is proved once again that the UNP has no other leader with the same level of political intelligence. But the plebeian rebellion in the UNP is a bad sign. It is a Sinhala petty bourgeois rebellion led by the landed gentry from the rubber producing region.

It became so powerful because of the vacillating policy of Wickremesinghe. He took the formidable step to sign a peace accord with the LTTE but he could not check the conspiracy of Milinda Morogoda and the others. Hence he lost the confidence of the Tamil people and then lost their vote too. After the presidential elections, he virtually ABANDONED the pre election stand for a federal solution. He brought in Janaka Perera and started talking a pro war policy and in the end sent good wishes to those who were conducting the war. If the policy of war is correct, then the policy of appeasement is wrong. That is the simple logic on which the masses take the turn. Wickremesinghe gave an opening to Sinhala chauvinism in his own party by his vacillation in relation to the issue of war.

Contain Sinhala chauvinism

It is true that he was able to contain the ugly Sinhala chauvinism and keep it from raising its head within the confines of Srikotha. But mistrust created among the Tamil speaking masses has put Mano Ganesan and others into a difficult situation. On the other hand, these masses cannot turn towards the government. Hence the Left could gain from this incongruous situation.

On a daily basis, the government publishes the number of people arriving from LTTE held territory to the government zone. Now the number has gone beyond the 50,000 mark. But still there should be over 150,000 people in the area still held by the Tigers. Are these people prepared to do their bit until the Sinhala armed forces come and suppress them? Or are they really captives of the LTTE as the government maintains in its public statements? Of course, from time to time, the government changed its count of the numbers living within Tiger held territory.

Recently one such count admitted that it should be more than 100 000. As Trotsky said once, the ability to sacrifice the oppressed masses is the most powerful bomb created by humans. Suicide has become a part of the struggle of the Tamil people.

Left Front Colombo district candidate Ranath Kumarasinghe has done a great job with his speech at the protest rally in Geneva that was held on March 15. His stand in relation to this barbaric war is nothing new. That is exactly the position that the Left Front has maintained in the past few decades. It is surprising that the media minister got excited about it. What the government should do is to invite the Left Front to television debates and counter their views. In the past, all TV channels kept the Left Front out of debates - for more than two years - assuming that their ideas were irrelevant and had no place in Lankan society.

Taken seriously

But suddenly, the government and the media bosses have realised that the viewpoint of the Left Front has been taken seriously not only by the Tamil people but also by the international workers’ movement. Ranath’s speech has appeared in many international journals and magazines and he has been invited to participate in several important meetings.

What will be the attitude of progressive people who want a peaceful solution to the Tamil national problem? What will be the attitude of the progressives who abhor the intervention of global capitalist powers and the dictates of the IMF/ WB? Left tendency has become a global phenomenon.

It can even be recognised in Latin America. In India, the Left is leading the third force against both the Congress and the BJP. The Left is playing an important role in almost all European countries. In France the anti capitalist presidential candidate Oliver has become so important that Newsweek magazine thought it worth to invest three pages on him!

No comments:

Post a Comment