12 December, 2017

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An Open Appeal To The LSSP And CP Leaders

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

It appears that not only the country, but also the Left parties, particularly the LSSP and the CP led by you, are facing a crisis as a result. This is inevitable. However, the question is how you would come out of this crisis, uniting the parties that you lead, and addressing the issues at hand, not based on short term benefits for the party or for yourselves, but for the best interest of the country and the people.

In short, I urge you not to support Mahinda Rajapaksa at the planned forthcoming presidential election for a Third Term. It would be a disaster for the country.

I make this appeal as a long term supporter of both your parties, the LSSP and the CP, and this appeal is particularly addressed to Tissa Vitarana and DEW Gunasekera.

Do you recall?

Let me first recall our last personal meeting at the UPFA parliamentarians’ seminar that took place at Beruwala in July 2010 when the proposition of a Third Term or the 18th Amendment was first mooted. I participated as a resource person. Mohan Peiris also was there as a resource person and now I believe that a Third Term was his idea for the President.

Vasu, DEW and Tissa

I recollect that you were both stunned at the development as you expressed at lunch we had together along with some others. Vasudeva Nanayakkara was quite open at the seminar opposing the proposition. That was also my turning point withdrawing my support to Mahinda, although not straightaway but eventually. In a way I regret that I was not in a position to join you to meet the President and express our dissatisfaction on the move when Tissa phoned me at home somewhere in August to go with you as a delegation. Perhaps I was also not clear, as we all were at that moment, or perhaps I didn’t want to compromise myself without clearly knowing what you would stand for.

No one is infallible on these matters driven by various pressures and interests and only through experience and dialogue that a person or a party would be in a position to correct their positions eventually. I was extremely happy when I came to know that both the LSSP and the CP decided last year that their support for the 18th Amendment was a mistake. However, it appears that both of your parties now again have started to waver and backtrack on the matter.

Withholding ‘Aththa’

What prompted me to write this appeal is the crisis looming within your parties on the issue. The circulation of the ‘Aththa’ issue for this week is withdrawn by the CP. This is obviously a spillover effect of what happened at the LSSP Central Committee a week before. As I understand, a suddenly brought resolution to support Mahinda Rajapaksa for a Third Term was opposed by 13 members within the Central Committee.

I understand DEW, you must have been displeased to see a critical article on Tissa in ‘Aththa’ in its feature pages. But the writer, Chameera Perera, is a LSSP Central Committee member. Although the article was critical of Tissa, it was based on the policies and principles of the LSSP, first and foremost to abolish the presidential system and uphold democracy. I have all my respects for the ‘Aththa’ Editor, (Dr.) Michael Fernando, who is an astute academic from Peradeniya. He has also given equal prominence for Tissa’s views on the same page. Freedom of expression is important for the country as well for the political parties.

In your interview on 4 November Tissa, as reported in the same issue of ‘Aththa,’ you have stated that the LSSP decides its policies at its 5 year conventions and the last convention held four years back decided to ‘work continuously with the SLFP.’ However, as you had expressed to ‘The Island’ newspaper (23 November 2010) just after that last convention, you expressed the view that the “LSSP would consider issue by issue when extending its support to the ruling coalition.” I am directly quoting from Harischandra Gunaratna who reported that media interview. If that were the party position at the last convention, there is no binding agreement to support the government or the SLFP.

Is it a dogma?

Working with the SLFP has never been a dogma for the LSSP or the CP in its history. And on this particular issue of ‘family rule and attempted dictatorship,’ the SLFP itself is greatly divided and the position of Chandrika Kumaratunga and her supporters is entirely different. During the 1940s, the CP was cooperating with the Ceylon National Congress, the predecessor of the UNP. Both the LSSP and the CP were extremely critical of the SLFP policies particularly on the ‘Tamil national question’ well into the mid-1960s. After 1975, both parties had to leave or were expelled due to differences with the SLFP on both economic and political policies. The differences were milder compared to today.

How does the LSSP or the CP could defend the rampant corruption or financial perversions in the name of development today? If not for corruption and financial banditry, the country could have achieved a double digit growth with equity, given the conducive conditions in the region and greater Asia. The Rajapaksas and their close associates are exploiting the economic growth for their personal ends and dictatorial rule.

The predicament of the Tamils in the North and other minorities should be much concern for the LSSP and the CP as political parties of the oppressed and the marginalized. It is unfortunate that even within the debates on constitutional change or presidential elections these minority issues do not take a prominent place as they deserve.

The SLFP today is not the SLFP of yesterday. It is within the grip of a family rule. Opposition to a Third Term is necessary to save the SLFP itself as a democratic party.

There are many instances that you yourselves have admitted these tendencies. What required now is pure guts to make a final break and join the right thinking people in defeating the family rule.

Growing Opposition

I understand that you and your parties have had useful dialogues with Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha and his National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ). I urge you to continue the dialogue and come to an understanding. The NMSJ is pivotal but only one movement in the opposition. Ven. Athuraliye Rathana and the JHU also have taken bold initiatives to oppose the dictatorial and family tendencies. Why are you lagging behind? This is a mind boggling question. Their argument is based on the fact that there is no hurry for a presidential election and the incumbent has two more years to go.

In contrast, it is only the BBS that has vehemently come forward in defending the incumbent’s Third Term. It would be a historical tragedy, if the two main left parties – the LSSP and the CP – go along with the BBS on this matter.

As you are also aware, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) and former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva have very clearly pointed out that even the 18th Amendment does not allow the incumbent to contest for a Third Term. It is to subvert this obstacle that the matter has now been referred to the de facto Chief Justice. He is the very person who was behind the Third Term proposition from the first instance, as you would recollect. He has not allowed the lawyers who oppose the move to submit their motions in the Supreme Court. What a justice?

It is strange, but the Dictatorship has begun from Hultsdorf.

Opposition to a Third Term for Mahinda Rajapaksa is not a personal matter. It is a principled one. It is linked to the abolition of the executive presidential system altogether. If we understand the gravity of the situation, a broader unity is necessary to stop the already fragile democracy turning into a full blooded dictatorship.

On this matter, the lead story of the withheld ‘Aththa’ issue is quite instructive. It reads “A Different Horse from the UNP Instead of Ranil.” According to this news, the UNP leader Ranil Wickremasighe is now willing to propose a different candidate acceptable to all opposition parties and also on the platform of abolishing the executive presidential system.

‘Aththa’ is not any other’s newspaper DEW, it’s yours. This is not merely a news item but positive thinking. This opens up (although you two are far behind) immense opportunities to unite, put forward your own views, come to agreement with all others who would join for opposing a dictatorial Third Term.

I hope and wish that you would reconsider your present stance in supporting Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    2

    It is sad that the so called leftist parties sold their leftist fundamental values to Mahinda Rajapakse and his Family who is running a ethnic politics in the name of BBS. They are now part and partial of racists and responsible for the massacre of thousands of innocent children, women and elderly. The Mahinda bought them paying high price and they are just there to say “YES” Mahinda we don’t bother about the people, nation or human values. It is time for those working class people to remove their red shirts, otherwise there will be more blood in the streets of the nation.

    • 2
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      Dear Dr. Laksiri Fernando,

      RE: An Open Appeal To The LSSP And CP Leaders.

      Dr. Laksiri Fernando, make your own Common sense Pamphlet and distribute, like Thomas Paine in 1776. Do not depend on the leftist whores.

      This is like asking a Whore not to get paid for being laid by the Johns.

      So, the LSSP And CP Leaders ate whores getting laid by Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa and their cronies. Were they the the First? No.

      Dr. N. M. Perera, Leslie Gunawardana, Colvin R de Silva, Cholomondely Goonewardena and others were laid by SLFP, by Mrs, Srima Bandaranaika!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanka_Sama_Samaja_Party

      In 1964 the LSSP held a conference, at which the majority agreed with a theoretical categorisation of the SLFP by Hector Abhayavardhana as a petty bourgeois party, leaving the door open to a united front with it. A minority faction, led by Colvin R de Silva and Leslie Goonewardena, opposed the move but opted to stay within the Party. Another minority faction led by Edmund Samarakkody, Merryl Fernando, V Karalasingham and Bala Tampoe, left the party and formed the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (Revolutionary)- LSSP(R).

      Later that year, the LSSP joined the coalition government of Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Three of its MPs became Ministers; Dr N. M. Perera (Finance), Cholomondely Goonewardena (Public Works) and Anil Moonesinghe (Communications). The LSSP was expelled from the Fourth International, and the membership was passed on to LSSP(R).

      • 0
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        Dear Dr. Laksiri Fernando, [Edited out]

  • 5
    1

    The left has never been so spinless and optertunistic in Sri Lanka. These morons have no future abd they know it.Why else are they suppporting family rule?

    • 5
      1

      Dr. Laksiri Fernando’s appeal will for sure fall in deaf ears. The lure of toothless ministries, perks & privileges are impossible to resist.

      The non-existent, lunatic, self-serving, “left over” left, is now a fully functioning arm of the Rajapassa Clan – has made another plainly despicable call.

      But it’s okay. They did it for the right reason – to make sure King Kong, his clan, cronies & henchmen retain complete control of Sri Lanka. With dictatorial powers, minimal transparency, checks or balances. For many more decades to come.

      Is anybody surprised? This bunch of self-serving clowns just let the country down again.

      Cheers!

  • 2
    1

    Will they be nominated as MPs and Senior Ministers, if they side with the opposition?

    Their response will depend on the answer to the above question.

    The standards of the opposition too will be judged by their answer.

    A double edged sword!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 1
    4

    The predicament of the Tamils in the North and other minorities should be much concern for the LSSP and the CP as political parties of the oppressed and the marginalized. It is unfortunate that even within the debates on constitutional change or presidential elections these minority issues do not take a prominent place as they deserve.(what the heck the minorities issue to do with constitutional change and presidential election?)

    I understand that you and your parties have had useful dialogues with Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha and his National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ). I urge you to continue the dialogue and come to an understanding. The NMSJ is pivotal but only one movement in the opposition. Ven. Athuraliye Rathana and the JHU also have taken bold initiatives to oppose the dictatorial and family tendencies. Why are you lagging behind? This is a mind boggling question. Their argument is based on the fact that there is no hurry for a presidential election and the incumbent has two more years to go.

    It would be a historical tragedy, if the two main left parties – the LSSP and the CP – go along with the BBS on this matter.

    This is what the Sinhala intellectual put forward as Buddha said to their disciples, the so called Sinhala Buddhist. The basic idea here in the preaching is, your enemy is not going to carry the raft after election, what is your problem in selecting the equally merited rafts and cross the election and push away the rafts? Even the Mahavamsa Modayas have identified the preaching of the Lankan Communist Parties (LCPs) from 1930 and they have not given a place for them in Lanka.

    The preaching goes like this: “Even the SLFP army did not vote for the UPFA in the North’s provincial council election. Election is only two months away. Certainly Tamils votes can make change against the enemy. Don’t you see the enemy has been claiming Indian Yarl Devi as their achievement and asking for Tamils votes? Don’t you see the helies are flying all over the mountain after the mudslide? Don’t you remember UPFA paid the money in 2005 and made the LTTE to reject the election? This time Tamils should be with us. Why don’t you pick up this raft? Idiots, don’t you feel this is a good choice for this election?”(I want to ask from these Sinhala intellectuals, when were the last time, these workers parties talked for the Indian coolies? aren’t they any kind of workers? Why there is sudden interest in Jaffna Vellalas? )

    “Don’t you see, you the Sinhalese Buddhist idiots, that the enemy has BBS as their spittoon. Why don’t you unite with Athurileye? Aren’t you the communist supposed to preach Sinahala Buddhism with Champika and Athurileye in Lanka? If it is sex, tick is not a matter, sleep even with dogs. Forget about the talk of teaching a secular government for the Mahawamsa Modayas. Sobitha Thero has good standing within the the both, Sinhala Buddhist and Sinhala Intellectuals. What is your problem in using this raft? After the election, this raft will go on its own path to destroy the country. You don’t have to carry it in your back”.

    ” Here listen. I don’t have any issue with the King. I have been supporting him all the way. The problem I see here is if the 18 amendment kicks (3rd term close) in only Kings Family will be benefiting. Don’t join the JVP in teaching the Sinhala Buddhist Modaya’s about the 18A. JVPa are not leftist. They are Dalits. Anura Kumara is not in Sinhala Intellectual team. Champika, Atthurileye, Chandrika are Real Vellalas like you, the communist. We can use the 18A a better way than the JVP Dalits. Think about bringing back Bandaranayake family. Isn’t Chandrika is asking for 3rd term? So start a campaign that the 18A amendment is ok; it will not bring any future dictators, but we don’t want the King’s family continue, We want to return back to the real Attanagalla Princess Chandrika. Get rid of King. Bring Chandrika. She will abolish the EP system like she has already done twice.”

  • 2
    1

    Well said Dr.Laksiri Fdo. Comrade Dew, at this crucial juncture, we do not wont you to become a party to an authoritarian rule. Do not become a traitor to the nation. Be with the people.

  • 0
    0

    Once the pleasures and perks of bogus ministerial positions are tasted and savoured, it takes great will and determination to break away for the welfare of common citizens.
    Viarana even as an undergrad at Thurston road, was a full member of the then LSSP – which later split apart.
    It is time for educated citizens to choose between continued political dictatorship of the terror regime, and true democracy.

  • 0
    0

    Dr.Laksiri Fernando.
    I respect you for your sober and Humane views.But,the LSSP and CP lost their souls way back in 1970.
    LSSP would consider,issue by issue,when extending its support to the ruling coalition.
    What then was this issue they considered in extending support for a third term?

  • 1
    0

    Dr. Laksiri Fernando, What are you regretting? What are you repenting? What are you waiting for?

    The objectives of LSSP were abandoned, not by Tissa, or you, but by NM.

    Whatever motives or justification both NM and Colvin had in backing SLFP does not redeem LSSP.

    The LSSP that survived was a shell of its core principles and values.

    In this very article, you confess that you didn’t want to compromise yourself without clearly knowing what Tissa would stand for. Isn’t that dereliction of responsibility?

    The country has moved on. The country has not had a socialist minded politician or party for the last forty years.

    You leftist credentials are tattered and hence suspect.

    If you want me to believe that you are a leading leftist I am willing to go with that. But, that doesn’t help to resurrect the LSSP I know of. It had its untimely death in 1972.

    One doesn’t have to be a leftist or a rightist to be a patriot.

    Even now, it is not too late for you or any other to be a true patriot.

    Our country is more important than your political affiliations.

    What is Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is the home of Sinhalese and Tamils. It is our duty to give our children the opportunity to grow in a country that is not fragmented and torn apart, by race, language, religion, politics or any other hue.

    LSSP and CP are just names. They are long past their life expectancy.

    Get out of your shell. Work towards a patriotic front. Lay down your goals. You may not reach your goals yourself or in your time. But, there will be a generation, in the future, that will remember you with thanks for your patriotism.

    The rest is just talk.

  • 1
    0

    Just like in China, the Sri Lanka leftists have now become part and parcel of a most reactionary and ruthless capitalist dictatorship in the world, where businessmen, including rapacious ROBBER BARONS, are given total freedom to rob and plunder, where workers’ rights are totally suppressed under the threat of white vans (no need for any anti-union legislation), where rulers are above the law and corrupt beyond belief, where newspapers are suppressed, where the police, military, judiciary, and public administration are not only all politicized but are in cahoots with the criminals that roam the land and the drug lords that literally (not just metaphorically) feed ‘opium to the masses’ by the container load with the container clearance business located in the PM’s office. Just shows the putrid moral jelly in Tissa, DEW and their paid hangers on. Marx, Lenin. Trotsky et al, must be rolling in their graves as must be NM, Colvin, Peter et al.

  • 0
    0

    Where are these Political Parties called LSSP & CP? Please do not waste your time on unproductive efforts. Also please let those who say that they are representatives of those parties live in peace in their “ripe old age” and enjoy some comforts at our expense and fade into oblivion. Also, please do not disturb us by reminding us of their “worth” to the country, because all of them are “dud notes”. Only value that remains in them is the “Antique Value”.

  • 0
    0

    For the UNP candidate or opposition common candidate to win, he/she/Rev should promise Ministries to the current Ministers and add another 100 ministries and promise 100 of the present MPs in the opposition and the govt. They of course will make their promises to the key vote gatherers the Deputy Ministership and Chairmanships etc to get enough votes for the common candidate to win. This is the Sri Lanka’s election winning strategies that have worked. But the “Family” can do the same and also create an Upper House and appoint “Senators” with fat salaries and Perks. The Common candidate then have to up the Anti and play poker Las Vegas style or should I say Colombo Casino style.

  • 0
    0

    A very courageous request from Laksiri. The question is whether there is a genuine CP and an LSSP. NO is the answer. They jointly represent opportunism. Laksiri’s call will fall on deaf ears. However, it is worth trying to sound the death knell of both parties before they are finally buried. Bensen

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