There is a growing sense of frustration among those who wish to see the Mahinda Rajapaksa Regime ( MRR) being superseded by a more responsive, responsible and accountable system of democratic governance. Following the impeachment and sacking of the Chief Justice and her replacement by Mr. Mohan Pieris, who had been a government spokesman and a legal advisor to the Cabinet, along with such credentials as withdrawing a murder case and a rape case against two favored members of the government while functioning as a former Attorney General, the sense of frustration has turned into a feeling of helplessness and despair. Some claim that Mr. Mohan Peiris had lied to the Committee Against Torture when he claimed that he has reliable knowledge that Prageeth Ekneligoda, a journalist disappeared now for three years, is quite safe and living in self-exile in some foreign country. Consequently, after appearing in court, He had claimed that he had no knowledge of the matter and that only God knows where he may be. This lackey is now the head of the Judiciary! Chilling! It is not just the constitutional fait accompli accomplished by a kangaroo parliament majority that struck fear and despair, but the unleashing of naked state terror upon the legal fraternity and against all democratic opposition, which contributed to a sense of utter helplessness. It is felt that the passage of the Divineguma Bill and the Amendment to the Criminal Procedure Act, combined with the intention to introduce a 19th and 20th Amendment to the Constitution has spelt the death knell of freedom and democracy in Lanka. Together, these policies and actions of the MRR have accomplished the immediate objectives of the MRR.
They have ensured that the MRR shall freely defy the Rule of Law and perpetuate its dynastic dictatorship. It can now freely rig up elections without any legal compunctions, since it is assured of a loyal, lackey Chief Justice. It has cleared all obstacles towards the unlimited aggrandizement and monopolization of all sources of wealth, power and the dispensation of privileges through the passage of the Divineguma Bill. It has institutionalized and legalized its terrorist dictatorship by empowering the hated Police to torture and murder at will and to ram anyone through the courts. It now enjoys the freedom to nullify the 13th Amendment and rob the Tamil Nation of all the national-democratic rights won through decades of struggle and sacrifice. It now has the freedom to unleash its Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinist political base as part of entrenching a centralized unitary Crony-Mafia / Comprador-Capitalist State under its hegemony and command. The Bodu Bala Sena is the latest version of this political crusade of the MRR, not to mention the Mahasona Brigade and other such fascist organizations, operated by the various centers and agencies of state power.
What then are the strategic options available for those who dream of Freedom and Democracy- and just simply civilized decency? There are those who rely on the so-called “International Community” to rescue them. Whether it be the US, EU, India, China or Russia or any other imperialist/sub-imperialist power, they shall advance and execute their own respective geo-strategic political agendas with the same ruthless and callous disregard for any principle of democracy. This hope is the expression of ultimate political and ideological bankruptcy. Besides, this illusory reliance will play into the hands of the MRR, who rides on the platform of ‘anti-imperialism and patriotism’, and the threat of a foreign conspiracy, aided by pro-LTTE forces bent on dislodging it. This platform and this call for patriotic loyalty continues have resounding resonance within its disparate Sinhala chauvinist social and political base. The MRR has truly mastered the art of manipulating and exploiting genuine and enduring anti-imperialist sentiments, needs and aspirations of the oppressed Sinhala masses unlike any other Capitalist regime before it. This is the calculated profit gained by the military victory and the culture of triumphalism and supremacy persistently and insistently drummed into the masses by the MRR through all the apparatuses of the State. This type of drugging the consciousness of the oppressed masses is more potent that heroin, since it mobilizes the worst, most narrow, introverted and selfish aspects of the oppressed Sinhala psyche, leading them to believe that the MRR is the only hope and savior that shall protect them from “Tamil Invaders” and foreign predators. This is Nazism at its very perfected best! (Still, some wormy, careerist, sycophantic lackeys of the Regime claim that we still have not entered the stage of Dictatorship!).
Yet another grotesque illusion is being spread by so-called “Left” forces who ally with bourgeois oppositional forces of the ruling class against the MRR. This is a form of the worst self-deception and class collaboration. Whether it be Ranil Wickremasinghe or Sarath Fonseka, they shall all compromise with the MRR and serve their imperialist masters precisely to derail a genuine revolutionary alternative. These “Left” forces play into the game of the ruling classes to deceive and divide the workers and the oppressed masses, and so preserve the feudal-colonial State.
As a result, the workers, farmers, fishermen, small and middle traders and entrepreneurs, students, youth, women, political prisoners, journalists, professionals- all of whom suffer the terrible oppression and violent repression of the MRR- remain isolated and effectively marginalized. The oppressed Tamil nation and the Moslem and Hill Country Tamil nationalities and ethnic-religious communities remain isolated and marginalized, without an effective and powerful Center to combine and coordinate sustained resistance to the MRR.
This is not their fault. It is the fault of the oppositional forces and their leadership who remain divided, seeking to advance their own private advantage and agendas. The heroic struggles waged by FUTA, the Inter-University Students Federation, the workers and peasants etc, have been forced to capitulate and surrender due to the lack of an unified, powerful Center of Mass Resistance that has its vision sighted on a bright new world and a whole new way of social organization that would have no need nor reason for the social relations of domination, exploitation and oppression. The path to the future lies in unyielding and persistent struggle to forge such a Mass Resistance Center with clearly defined goals and objectives.
*The writer is Secretary: Ceylon Communist Party- Maoist.