The Political Conjuncture:
Following the decimating military defeat of the LTTE, the Tamil National Movement (TNM) has entered a profound political impasse. It remains without independent initiative, leaving it vulnerable to foreign predator powers, with the State unilaterally dictating the terms. The dominant trend within the TNM is that based on the Tamil Diaspora, which is compelled to rely upon the very same imperialist and regional powers that supported and aided the military decimation. Such is the cruelty of justice being served under the system. Internally, progressive, radical –democratic, and revolutionary forces that seek solutions beyond the system are effectively disconnected and remain subdued. Those who call for building the unity of the national liberation struggle with the proletarian class struggle in a common front of struggle against imperialism and neo-colonial domination are particularly vulnerable, and are hounded and targeted for suppression. This is because they constitute the fatal strategic threat to the whole system and the entire neo-colonial order. The reality of the conscious revolutionary forces from across the barricades and borders pursuing shared objectives, principles, strategies and goals is a living nightmare for the State and its ruling class, and for the imperialist/ neo-colonial status quo in the South Asian Region.
A Question of Scientific Theory, Line and Strategy:
Inasmuch as there are diverse and interconnected reactionary agendas being followed by the various imperialist and regional hegemonic powers, in league with the Lankan State, there are different networking class interests within the TNM that pursue their own political agendas and seek strategic balance/ superiority accordingly. There is the fatal danger that Tamil National Liberation Struggle would be taken down the very same path of defeat and subjugation, as has already befallen It. Whatever it is, there has to be clarity regarding the real enemy and on the line, strategy and program, and the forms of struggle it would take to overthrow and uproot the economic foundations, political structures and ideological sources of national oppression. This is so that the Tamil Nation would exercise its right to decide its future, freely, voluntarily and independently. For our part, we should all together raise the immediate struggle for democracy, independence and freedom such that the Tamil Nation would seek its liberation in the context of the liberation of the People of Lanka. There are fatal illusions spun by the State and the Regime, as there are among the prevailing, dominant Tamil National Leadership concerning the path of liberation. It is best to study the Nature of the Enemy. We would have to study the Lankan State, of which the MRR is a logical trajectory. We would have to analyze the internal contradictions and their logic of motion, in conjunction with the external environment, that account for its conditions of existence and passing away. We would have to study its forms of domination, manipulation and control, and its methods and instruments of suppression. Only then can we formulate a scientific strategy for overcoming and transcending it. In the end, the future of the Tamil Nation will be decided by the leadership and the path of liberation to be chosen by the oppressed Tamil people, through their own experience. Yet, it is the responsibility of advanced revolutionary-democratic forces to engage in summing up experience, learning lessons and advancing the struggle for liberation on a whole new level of scientific theory and practice.
A Strategy of Survival:
The military occupation and political subjugation of the Tamil nation is neither whim nor fancy of the Mahinda Rajapakse Regime (MRR). This policy and necessity is not an expression of some grotesque aberration of history. Nor the result of a pathological megalomania. It is a natural and inevitable logical trajectory of social evolution, given the class character of the Feudal-Colonial Lankan State, which the MRR inherits and represents. It is its strategy of survival and regeneration. It has to do with the necessity for erecting a militarist-chauvinist, hegemonic, Sinhala-Buddhist unitary Capitalist State, under the rule of the MRR. This necessity arises due to the reason that the Mahinda Rajapakse Regime can maintain its hegemonic grip over State power only by permanently mobilizing its Sinhala chauvinist social and political base. An ever imminent threat perception of mortal danger against the Sinhala-Buddhist nation- equated with the Motherland – emanating from a resurgent Tamil separatist movement is the cannon fodder being daily fed to the masses to rally them to the banner of ‘Patriotism”. A “Patriotism” embodied in the MRR and personified by H.E. Executive President, Mahinda Rapakse. The MRR cannot survive a day without spewing out the venom of Sinhala supremacy. Every player has to dance to the tune and fall in line with the agenda, or else! This official ideology of Sinhala ( “Aryan”) Supremacy, containing even racist elements, is meant to inject the social consciousness of the majority Sinhala people to regard the Tamil and all non Sinhala-Buddhist people, as their dreaded historical enemy, or at best, intruding ‘aliens’. It is the ideology and politics of Sinhala supremacy, woven into Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism, of the neo-colonial Capitalist State that necessitates and breeds communal prejudice, hatred and violence- and the politics of separatism. Bodu Bala Sena, Mahasona Brigade, the number of such sprouting chauvinist vigilante mobs are essential products of the Capitalist State, organically linked to its ideological and repressive apparatus and functions.
A Structural Necessity:
The ideology and politics of chauvinism- is not a Rajapakse invention. Its enforcement had been intensified by every successive regime. The MRR has simply raised it to a whole new level. Under the MRR, exercising Sinhala supremacy, ingrained into a hegemonic official ideology of Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism has become the condition of it’s very survival and regeneration. The MRR has transformed the State into a chauvinist-militarist-terrorist apparatus of deceit and suppression as never before. This is under the hegemony of a class of crony-mafia, comprador- capitalist agents, commanded by the Rajapake troika. It represents the extreme putrefaction of the feudal-colonial State rigged up by the British, and perpetuated by every successive Regime- and its Parliamentary Opposition.
The “Grand National Consensus”:
This crowning glory has succeeded in winning over not only the oppressed Sinhala masses, but almost all privileged and oppressed classes and communities cutting across national and ethnic divides. This is the Grand National Consensus over the military victory and decimation of the LTTE that feeds and sustains the MRR. This Grand National Consensus is a based on a misty veil of deadly, diabolical illusion that buries the truth and celebrates the false. That turns cause into effect and turns reality upside down. That makes the rapist the victim, the terrorist the democrat. The oppressor, the oppressed. This is the ideological game of imperialism and the Capitalist class dictatorship. This is the power of state ideology that the MRR has mastered beyond anything the Nazi’s could conjure. This is the political and ideological function of the military victory and its regular public rituals, endorsed by the majority of the people and enforced by the MRR, with singular determination. This is the true nature of the State that we have to confront and defeat.
Majority-nation Sinhala chauvinism, is mobilized by the MRR as the official State ideology and pumped and driven through all the blood veins of the Social-Political Order, invading its collective consciousness in a constant, multi-pronged assault. This ideology is drummed into the consciousness of the Sinhala masses – man, woman and child- through regular public rituals, regaled with all pomp and pageantry, that glorify the military victory as a political conquest of the Sinhala-Buddhist nation over the Tamil nation. It is claimed as a military and political triumph aimed at finally liquidating any recognition of Tamil nationhood and statehood. The military victory is heralded as the decisive, historic liquidation of the demand for independence and freedom of the Tamil Nation. As such, in its political and ideological essence, the victory embodies the politics of military conquest, occupation and political subjugation. It is symbolized and synchronized as a reassertion of undisputed and undivided supremacy and sovereignty of the Sinhala Buddhist Nation over its ‘sworn enemies’ and ‘intruding aliens’. This hegemonic official ideology of the MRR is the most deadly poisonous illusion and web of diabolical deception woven to split, manipulate and command the subject masses and oppressed nations, and pit them all into a permanent state of violent antagonism.
The ideology of Sinhala supremacy also perverts, manipulates, and mobilizes genuine, deep-rooted, nationalist aspirations of the oppressed Sinhala masses and their own need for independence and liberation. The cry for liberation of the oppressed Sinhala masses from semi-feudal/ neo-colonial bondage is effectively suppressed, displaced and manipulated. This anti-imperialist need and aspiration is turned into a slogan for the ‘defense of the Motherland against the Tamils, backed by imperialism and their local traitors”. One of the most vulnerable and dependent neo-colonial States, plundering, devouring and thriving in wholehearted partnership with imperialism, is able to paint the Tamil Liberation Movement, and any and all opposition and resistance, as sources and agents of Imperialism and separatism carrying out a conspiracy to overthrow the MRR. This is the ideological contortion fed to society and drummed into its consciousness through every instrument, agency and institution of the State. On this basis, the MRR has succeeded in winning over the majority of privileged and oppressed classes, strata and castes cutting across all national and ethnic divisions, in the continued celebration of the military victory over the LTTE. It is this central, unifying ‘grand national consensus’ that is applied by the MRR as a basis for legitimating and enforcing its dynastic, hegemonic dictatorship over society.
Political Economy of the MRR:
All these classes, strata and groups cohere in this self-serving ideology also because the MRR offers, in the absence of any real perceivable alternative, some form of basic survival in exchange for eliminating the scourge of ‘separatist terrorism’ and the promise of peace and paradise. The political economy of the MRR, based on an extreme form of crony-mafia, comprador capitalism, allows for massive graft and corruption, amounting to trillions, to be an integral function of the system. Trillions are routed and circulated off a thriving, highly connected narco-trade, that is, drug trafficking. It is also rapidly becoming a powerful narco-economy in its own right. Tourism, prostitution, sexual perversion, catered to by night clubs and spas, brothels and bars, sky scrapers and super highways, all feed into this narco-mafia political economy. This is one of the most sophisticated crony-narco-mafia economies in the world, since it is dressed up and sold as “In defense of the Motherland, of the Land, Language and Religion of the Sinhalayas! “ “In the “Defense of Sovereignty, Democracy and Freedom”. This illegal, underground political economy-allows lucrative and opulent lifestyles for the rich and powerful, which has spin off benefits to other related consumer markets.
It feeds the economic appetites of the big, monopoly capitalists as well as wide sections of the middle bourgeoisie, upper classes, privileged professionals and technocrats, the new, rising managerial, technical and technocratic bourgeois and petit bourgeois strata and privileged service workers. It forms the reactionary social base of the MRR. As for the workers, peasants, fishermen – the vast majority of toiling, oppressed masses- along with genuine progressive, radical and revolutionary forces, they are effectively terrorized and suppressed due to the lack of leadership and organization. Selective abduction and assassination, controlled mob violence, and a generalized state of terror legitimated by official impunity, serve to control and contain the system. The dazzling glitter and glamour, the regal pomp and pageantry, the sheer awe of towering sky scrapers and sweeping flyovers, the thrill of night races, the promise of forbidden pleasures, merging into a virtual reality of an emerging “Miracle of Asia”, is administered as the ideological hallucinogenic to dope and dupe the backward masses. Imperialism and Neo-liberal Capitalism thrives in this form of political economy, since it opens the flood gates to wholesale robbery, corruption, plunder and profit, while effectively deceiving, dividing and suppressing the masses.
Militarization of the State and Society:
To enforce this form of tribal, chauvinist, neo-colonial bourgeois ideology requires a highly militarized State to secure unwavering popular compliance and mass submission to the political agenda of the MRR. This is why the entire budget gives such lop-sided precedence to defense and internal security and beefing up a bloated Armed Forces and Police. This is to modernize and equip the repressive apparatus of the State. This is to fortify and consolidate the terrorist dictatorship of a defunct, bloated and parasitic comprador-capitalist ruling class which is impelled to suck the life blood of the masses, destroy all civilized, democratic values, and condemn society to decay, degeneration and self-destruction. All for the perpetuation of a decomposed Comprador-Capitalist State and Dictatorship, corrupt to the very core, raining blood and misery without let or reason, spreading terror and enforcing submission throughout the Land, commanded by the MRR and its troika. The glue that keeps the whole stage and the act together is the ability to sustain the ideology and politics of Sinhala Supremacy, ingrained with Sinhala-Buddhist Chauvinism. This is the basis to enforce a terrorist Capitalist Dictatorship over society, in the service of world imperialism and its neo-liberal agenda, in which the MRR lives and thrives. A permanent state of militarized occupation and political subjugation of the Tamil Nation, is the sine-quo-non, the essential condition- for perpetuating the feudal-colonial State and for exercising the terrorist dictatorship over society. This condition makes the future of the Tamil Nation bound up with the future of the Lankan State, and the liberation of the Tamil Nation integrally connected with the future of the Lankan Revolution.
Military Occupation and Political Subjugation:
The military occupation and the supremacist politics of liquidating the political status of the Tamil nation are integrated strategies to maintain a permanent state of undeclared war and sustain a highly centralized, militarized and politicized State. , The military occupation and political subjugation of the Tamil Nation is the key strategy of the MRR in mobilizing its chauvinist base, diverting the attention of the masses from their own real issues and to identify all opposition and resistance as part of an imperialist conspiracy, in league with Tamil separatism. So, whatever anyone says or pretends, the military occupation, political subjugation and the systematic liquidation of the political status of the Tamil nation is a condition of survival of the MRR. It will play its habitual game of duplicity and connivance, in league with the imperialist and regional players. They are all working together to work out some scheme whereby the flames of armed struggle would remain extinguished and the Tamil National Movement brought under effective control, in order to exploit it to their own advantage. This while they sink their fangs into the blood lines of our people and our country. Besides, the MRR, and its form of chauvinist-terrorist, crony-mafia, comprador capitalist dictatorship, is a true model of democratic governance in neo-colonial states all over the world. It has proven to be ideal for deceiving, dividing and terrorizing the masses into mute submission and for ruthlessly enforcing the monstrous and perverse hybrid neo-liberal development agenda being implemented in full force in Lanka.
Defeat of the LTTE and Crisis of Leadership:
With the defeat of the LTTE, the oppressed Tamil masses have no effective leadership to defend their lives, freedoms and rights against the marauding aggressions of the chauvinist-militarist, Sinhala hegemonic, Comprador Capitalist State. There is no one to represent the vast majority of the workers, farmers, fishermen, women, youth, elders, people surviving at the very bottom. The downtrodden masses have been robbed of dignity and freedom, robbed of their land and livelihood, and forced to live on their knees in abject subordination to the military rule of the Generals, Ministers and Local Warlords of the State. This is under an all-embracing octopus form of military rule enforced through a routinely institutionalized, ‘control and contain’ machinery of neo-fascist repression.
Taking Responsibility for the Movement:
A theoretically informed and scientifically guided critical summation would lead to a new and higher level of conscious understanding of the nature of imperialist domination and neo-colonial subjugation. That is, of the nature of the real enemy, and a better understanding of how to wage a united revolutionary struggle of the masses that could overthrow and uproot imperialist domination and neo-colonial subjugation. We have to think in terms of a united revolutionary struggle of the masses that would deliver genuine national unity, independence and peoples democracy. This shall be the basis to secure the dignity, equality, autonomy and democratic freedom of all the constituent nations, nationalities and ethnic-religious communities of Lanka. Two armed Sinhala youth insurgencies in the South and the national liberation struggle of the Tamil people have been militarily liquidated with brutal, State terrorist repression. Three generations of freedom fighters have paid the price. We cannot repeat the same deviations, we cannot adopt the same ideology and politics, the same disastrous paths of struggle that have led to these historic defeats. That would be a crime against history.
All advanced revolutionary forces of Lanka – North-South-East-Hill Country- should get together to discuss and critically sum up the crucial lessons paid in blood by this experience of armed struggle. They should strive to raise it to a new and higher level of scientific theory and practice. They should unite to raise the level of conscious, mass revolutionary class struggle aimed at overthrowing and uprooting the foundations of imperialist domination and neo-colonial subjugation. Only such a path of uncompromising proletarian revolutionary struggle can lead to a new and higher form of State: a People’s Democratic State. The PDS shall represent the unity of all exploited and oppressed classes, nations and nationalities as the People of Lanka, in the common struggle to liberate their Land from the shackles of imperialism, neo-colonialism, and feudal oppression. The PDS shall build their revolutionary unity, consciousness and fighting capacity along the forward path to Socialism and the final goal of Communism.
The future of the Tamil nation is locked in to the future of the People of Lanka, inasmuch as the future of the People of Lanka is organically interconnected with the future of the Tamil nation. The liberation of the Tamil nation is integrally bound up with the liberation of the People of Lanka. There is a profound lesson to be learnt and applied. Lessons Paid in BLOOD. Either we shall all be free OR none of us shall ever be free! Either we unite to overthrow the Master’s table, or remain enslaved, each and all! But, if we fight side by side to WIN, then the People of Lanka shall gain VICTORY and FREEDOM! IT IS TIME TO UNITE!
*The writer is Secretary: Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist)