Dismantling the Supremacist – Hegemonic Unitary State is the Bed-Rock of Democratic Reform
We note the accelerated steps being taken by H.E. Maitripala Sirisena and the new Regime in dealing with major issues of corruption and abuse of power. This is as it should be. The twin issues of corruption and abuse of power had dragged this country into the pits of political decomposition and moral degradation. They robbed us of our wealth and violated our collective dignity and freedom. This is while staining our country internationally. These twin issues relate not only to financial fraud, but to the whole gamut of gross and deliberate violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. This includes crimes against Nature, Humanity and the People, and crimes of Genocide. This is the depth of criminality descended by the Rajapaksa Regime.
The military victory set the stage for consolidating a chauvinist-militarist/hegemonic-supremacist unitary State under the command of the Rajapaksa troika. Corruption and abuse of power reached unprecedented astronomical heights. It was fuelled by an extremely twisted form of a dynastic-crony-mafia Capitalism, powered by a narcotics-driven political economy. The narcotics trade reached unprecedented levels, as drug barons and related war lords (and murderers, rapists and political pimps) were elevated to the pinnacles of political power. Financial racketeers in high command, including the Governor of the Central Bank, Secretary to the Treasury, Politicians and Ministry Secretaries and Heads of State Corporations greased the machinery of corruption and abuse of power. The drug trade and casinos functioned as the circuits for money laundering. Mega projects and secret deals paved the way for massive bribes and commissions, amounting to billions. Highways made possible the highway robbery of the people. The naked abuse of power crystallized in the form of an attempted coup by the deposed President to retain power. We were among the first to expose this attempted coup in the pages of Colombo Telegraph.
Are the issues of corruption and abuse of power being pursued without regard for status, position, wealth or power of the former regime, including members of the deposed Rajapaksa troika, family and dynasty? If such is the case, then a process of investigation and prosecution should be effected against Mahinda Rajapaske as the kingpin of crimes against the people, including corruption and abuse of power. Instead, we find Ranil Wickremasinghe stating that Mahinda Rajapaksa would go down in history for his role in defeating terrorism! He has vowed to protect Mahinda Rajapaksa from the on-going international investigation into war crimes. The bogey, spineless bourgeois liberal and trusted agent of US imperialism would surely ensure that his partner in crime would be protected, lest he himself would be exposed, and the whole system of neo-colonial plunder and robbery be fatally undermined. Furthermore, if this policy is being effected with regard to the due process of the Law, then it is foremost that the institutions of Justice – the Supreme Court and all the institutions and practices of the Judiciary be held accountable for any and all violations committed. The de-facto Chief Justice, Mohan Pieris, should be prosecuted for his culpability in the attempted coup in the face of barefaced evidence. What about Gotabaya, Rakna Lanka and the hoarding of containers of heavy weapons in complete secrecy? None of the real kingpins, none of the Godfathers of the Mafia have been prosecuted, let alone be charged!
For the more perceptive observers, the question arises from whence this fevered compulsion to deliver justice and accountability from a system and a ruling class that thrives on selling the country to foreign powers for a share of the spoils of profit and plunder, that is corrupt to its core and drenched in the blood of the people? Some of the very same forces who are passionate about justice, accountability, human rights and good governance remain complicit- silent or otherwise- in these crimes against the people. Some of them would seem to be attempting to cover their own soiled tracks. The system itself may require such a public regurgitation of the accumulated rot, just to gain legitimacy and survive. It may be that the New Dispensation needs with utter desperation to gain accelerated momentum to stay ahead with this selective populist campaign. Therefore, the masses shall subject the New Dispensation to an acid test and exert vigilance, lest the people be taken for yet another ride. We shall observe whether the New Dispensation is merely engaging in a surgical operation to pump new blood and life into the same old defunct State and System. Or, whether it is really serious and sincere about delivering justice, democracy, accountability, decency and freedom to the people. Unlike the self-appointed watch dogs such as the JVP or the JHU, who have their own history and complicity in rabid chauvinism and terrorist violence against the people, we shall remain independent of the rotted Comprador-Capitalist State and rely on and mobilize the people to defend their rights and freedoms.
There are larger issues than corruption and abuse of power currently pursued, although they have to be prosecuted in their own right. We will have to monitor whether the New Presidency is being driven by the US geo-political global agenda to gain a solid strategic foothold in our country with the aim of displacing China. We simply do not wish to be subjugated and be chained as a link in the strategic chain of any imperialist power, whether it be the US, China, India, EU, Japan, Russia or any other. We shall have to see if the New Dispensation is about selling out the country and the people to the imperialist-driven neo-liberal development agenda on new terms and conditions. We remain suspect that Modi rushed to greet the new President and invite him to visit India. We shall remain alert to the fact that the US, Britain, EU, Japan rushed to greet and embrace the New Dispensation, and that China jumped the gun to offer even more aid. Why would all these imperialist predators rush with panted breath to embrace the New Dispensation and offer unstinted support? Is the New Dispensation committed to implementing the “Regaining Sri Lanka” sell out first designed by Ranil Wickremasinghe and then raised to a whole new level by Mahinda Rajapakse in the form of the “20 Year Development Plan”? At this crucial turning point, all genuine patriots, progressives and democrats should remain alert and mobilized to protect national unity, independence, democracy and freedom.
The acid in the litmus test shall be whether the New Dispensation shall take systematic steps to dismantle the neo-colonial state built on the foundations of chauvinism and supremacy designed to keep us all divided, subjugated and pitted against each other. This would mean concretely whether the ND shall deliver justice to the Tamil nation cohabiting in the North-East on the basis of recognizing its right of national self-determination. Whether the national-democratic aspirations of the Moslem, Hill Country, the Ja, Burgher national minorities and the freedom and security of the religious communities would be secured. The litmus test would be to observe whether the new regime shall implement policies to address the following key issues that alone can provide the basis for a bourgeois democratic reform of the State and Political Order:
- Providing a democratic solution to the National Question whereby all the nations and nationalities of this country shall coexist with dignity, equality, security and democratic freedom, without any form of discrimination, violation or subjugation.
- Adopting a secular, democratic Constitution that shall give concrete expression to the equality, dignity, plurality, and diversity of the people of Lanka and their inalienable human and democratic rights.
- Ensuring a return of the Land taken over and robbed by the State and ending any form of forced colonization and militarization in the historical homelands of the oppressed Tamil and Moslem people in the North-East.
- Constitutionally enshrining the democratic right of the Hill Country Tamil people to own land, build their own homes, enjoy unrestricted citizenship and achieve a life with dignity and access to equal opportunity to reap the benefits and freedoms of the 21st
- Ensuring accountability, justice and redress for all violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including abductions, enforced disappearances, torture, rape, and extra-legal killings.
- Repeal of the PTA and release of political prisoners who are being detained illegally.
- Providing a system of public adjudication and litigation whereby all political representatives and public officials shall be brought under the direct supervision of the people, with the power of immediate and effective recall.
- Abrogation of all agreements with foreign powers that offer strategic-military partnerships that endanger national unity, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Land of Lanka, including the “Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement” with the US.
No amount of democratic reform from above can do away with the fact of imperialist domination, exploitation and plunder. Neo-colonial subjugation and national oppression will not only continue, but will be intensified. Inter-imperialist rivalry for world domination will continue to create crisis, anarchy and genocidal war throughout the world, and in the Land of Lanka. In the case of a neo-colonial State, in the era of Imperialism and proletarian revolution, only the most radical democratic revolution waged by the workers, peasants and all oppressed masses and nationalities, under the leadership of the proletariat can break the stranglehold of world imperialism and achieve genuine national unity, independence, people’s democracy and economic prosperity. In this historical context, the Ceylon Communist Party-Maoist will stand committed to ensure that the New Dispensation shall not be a New Round of the same old game of neo-colonial subjugation at the hands of a New Fraction of the very same ruling class. A ruling class that has taken turns in selling out the country, robbing, bleeding and terrorizing the people, as a means of sharing in the profits of imperialist exploitation and plunder. The Land and the People of Lanka shall not be played forever in the game of imperialist chess.
*Ajit is the Secretary of the Ceylon Communist Party-Maoist. This a statement by the Ceylon Communist Maoist