The prevailing political situation is centered on the impeachment and sacking of the Chief Justice by the Executive President, following an address approved by a majority of 155 rubber-stamp members of parliament. The entire process surrounding the impeachment has revealed the inner workings of the Capitalist dictatorship exercised through the State, under the present Rajapakse Regime. The logic and dynamics of this process should be carefully analyzed, since there are many related dimensions and aspects involved. The bourgeois parliament, already a circus of clowns, racketeers, drug lords, rapists and murderers, was further qualitatively degraded to the level of a kangaroo court, where the complainant functioned as the judge, jury and executioner. The verdict was given by a parliamentary select committee made up of government members. Both in method, procedure and practice, all norms of natural justice were flouted with bloated arrogance, while state terrorism was unleashed against all democratic protest. The debased process of impeachment certainly violates all norms of natural justice, democratic procedure and decency, and should be righteously condemned. Bringing the judiciary under direct control of the Executive and a rubber-stamp parliament, takes away even the basic minimum safeguards against the imposition of an arbitrary, unrestrained, bulldozing despotism.
The impeachment attests to a profound and intensifying structural, and if you like, organic crisis of the political system, headed by a Regime that is driven by a singular and overriding need to monopolize absolute state power and control all its instruments of enforcement, while spreading its tentacles into all avenues of aggrandizement and enrichment, with a single will to perpetuate the Rajapakse dynasty. The Rajapakse regime, as much as all previous regimes, represents the feudal-colonial State foisted on us by British colonialism. This model of representative parliamentary democracy is the most effective form of exercising the Capitalist Dictatorship on behalf of world imperialism. This form of bourgeois dictatorship is the most effective means of dividing and deluding the masses into believing that it is they who exercise political sovereignty over the State and that they wield political power to decide their life and future, when in fact, it is the comprador-bureaucratic ruling class representing the interests of imperialism that wields sovereignty and the monopoly of political power in order to manipulate the people ideologically, divide them politically and suppress them through violent terrorist repression. We know that elections are a trap to ensnare the masses to take sides in this deadly political game and participate in deciding on which party or individual of the ruling class should rule over them- and still believe that they enjoy the supreme and sovereign democratic right to decide their life and future. Representative parliamentary democracy, everywhere in the world is the tried and tested system of exercising and covering up what Lenin termed “ the naked terrorist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”.
All the various institutions of the State under the capitalist dictatorship- the Executive, Legislature, the Judiciary, Armed Forces, etc, are integral parts of the apparatus of control, manipulation and domination by the ruling class to preserve and perpetuate their rule. This is their essential and defining function. A terrified and supine Elections Commissioner legitimized the most grotesque hijack in electoral history to bring the Executive President to power. Is it not a fact, that the position of Chief Justice was, and remains, a powerful and indispensible force in enforcing this dictatorship? The Supreme Court paved the way for the consolidation of the Rajapakse regime. The sacked Chief Justice legitimized the grab towards centralizing absolute dictatorial power of the Regime by approving the 18th Amendment as an urgent bill, through which the limits of tenure of the Regime were lifted and all institutions and organs of state power brought under the Executive President. This is besides the other acts through which the SC was consistently deployed to suppress the fundamental democratic rights of the people. In spite of all the constitutional guarantees, the Tamil nation remains under brutal military occupation and political subjugation. Student leaders are hunted down and killed. Abductions, disappearances, torture and extra-judicial killings continue with absolute impunity. The Executive Presidency has been instituted constitutionally by this very same bourgeois parliament and reinforced by every successive government. It serves the exact needs of Imperialism and Finance Capital, and its local feudal-comprador ruling class to enforce the form of dictatorship that would best facilitate imperialist penetration, domination, and exploitation through imposing its neo-liberal economic agenda on the country and the people. This hijacking of the judiciary and centralizing state power in the hands of the Executive Presidency is a logical culmination of a political trajectory followed by every single political party and government representing the ruling class.
In essence, content and purpose, all the institutions of the Comprador Capitalist State, including the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, are necessary instruments of domination, deception and suppression in maintaining the neo-colonial system. Yet, the system of bourgeois democracy and representative government require some formal degree of constitutional limits and separation of powers to ensure that the ruling class as a whole may share state power and to ensure some degree of protection against the arbitrary exercise of totalitarian dictatorship. The Mahinda Rajapakse Regime is merely reordering and fine tuning this apparatus of the State to suit its agenda of consolidating and perpetuating its dynastic rule through centralizing and concentrating hegemonic state power and subordinating all its institutions of enforcement to the writ of the Executive Presidency. Whatever guarantees of basic constitutional principles, human and democratic rights that even bourgeois democracy requires to grease its system of domination has now been effectively negated, paving the way for the naked terrorist dictatorship to function without any pretense of constitutionality or legality.
Considering these realities, the strategic orientation of genuine proletarian revolutionary forces should not be reduced or confined to the defense or restoration of the Chief Justice, or restoring some balance or separation of power between the three branches of the State, or for calling for the ‘Rule of Law’ or the ‘Independence of the Judiciary’. These are important issues in the defense of bourgeois democratic rights in the face of the chauvinist-militarist-terrorist juggernaught represented by the Regime. However, the spiraling crisis of a rotting and defunct neo-colonial system based on perpetuating imperialist exploitation and plunder cannot be addressed, let alone fundamentally resolved, by restoring these values and norms of bourgeois democracy. It would be like oxygenating a corpse. The strategic orientation of the revolutionary proletariat at this moment should be to expose the essence of the naked terrorist Dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie and mobilize the masses to overthrow it and replace it with a Proletarian Democratic State.
This does not mean that we cannot unite with the anti-Regime protestations of honest radical and progressive democratic forces who demand the defense and restoration of bourgeois democratic rights, when they are being trampled and dispensed with by an extreme chauvinist- militarist, crony-narco- mafia, comprador capitalist regime, as concentrated in the politics of this impeachment and sacking of the Chief Justice. The real agenda behind this repulsive move by the Regime is to ensure that in the future no institution or agency of the State shall defy its will to secure absolute state power in perpetuity. The crimes and atrocities of the corrupt and blood-soaked Regime is such that it cannot afford to lose power, lest it is brought before the tribunal of the people. To be sure, world imperialism and its regional agents- whether the US, EU, China, Russia nor India, give a damn about democratic rights, or issues of governance. They shall accommodate the Regime and all its crimes and atrocities, until it fails to deliver, and a better option is at hand. All these reactionary powers act in their own interests in advancing their geo-political strategic agendas.
What has been the role of the so-called Parliamentary Opposition? The UNP has played along, dancing to the tune of the Regime, while putting up a show of the most feeble and sterile opposition. The JVP, Cotta Road Communists, LSSP, DLF, DNA and other agents of the system have taken utmost concern to wriggle their way out, while legitimizing the sanctity and sovereignty of the feudal-colonial state and system. Some other ”Left” forces have capitulated to the agenda of the various fractions of the ruling class, while some have taken an extreme stand in dismissing the whole crisis as just an intra-class conflict of the ruling class in which the people have no stake.
The proletarian revolutionary stand and line should be to unite with all democratic opposition to this drive to aggrandize all power and wealth in the hands of the Regime, while not merging with, or tailing behind bourgeois oppositional forces of the ruling class. It should seize upon all cracks in the system to isolate the Regime, while maintaining its own independent revolutionary line and initiative. The cracks and splits within the judicial system as expressed by the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal in declaring the entire impeachment process to be illegal and unconstitutional are strategic openings in isolating the Regime. Certainly, the defiantly courageous and determined stand by the legal community in the face of state terrorist repression should be united with and supported. The need of the hour and the way forward is to mobilize the proletariat and the oppressed masses to grasp the real essence of the naked terrorist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie through all this impending crises and political turmoil, while taking tactical steps to isolate and overthrow the Rajapakse Regime. A parliament of the people, baptized on the streets of resistance, representing the political will of the workers and all oppressed people, could be a focus of advancing democratic struggle. This should be conceived as an integral step in overthrowing the Comprador Capitalist State and establishing a People’s Democratic State as the necessary path towards waging the Socialist Revolution, in the context of advancing the victory of the Communist Revolution worldwide.
*Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe: Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist)