15 December, 2019

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Strike While The Regime Is Weak

By TU Senan

TU Senan

TU Senan

If Sri Lanka’s next president were to be decided purely on the basis of electoral arithmetic, then Mahinda is a goner – as the excellent article by Kusal Perera (How will the SL electorate behave?) outlined. But events cannot always be relied upon to follow an expected route. Among many other factors, the organisational strength of the masses can be a vital factor in determining an outcome that will be in service to the masses. Unfortunately in Sri Lanka no mass organisation has participated in the process. It is for this reason that we argued against all the would-be illusionists who wanted to paint a picture of a common opposition crushing the monster with one blow to the executive presidency.

Now that the shine is coming off the so-called opposition, we must credit the father of the common candidate proposal himself, Kumar David, who was first in line to call Maithri a ‘renegade’ and all that. Can he and others make use of this belated wisdom to argue the case for something new – a proposal for the building of a new mass alternative? Maithri never even pretended to be in the camp of those who want real change. So it’s pointless to call him names now. He lives up to what he is – a loyal servant of Sinhala nationalism and a brutal face for capitalism. This is in fact one of the main faults of the proposal itself. None of these candidates can be trusted to deliver on our behalf which we pointed out time and time again.

It has however been proven beyond doubt that Mahinda’s family do not enjoy majority support. But their multi-pronged power needs to be challenged in every sector – economy, military and parliamentary. Ranil’s idea of replacing the Chinese dominance in the economy and elsewhere with that of the west does not even approach dealing with the aspirations of the masses.

The regime is weak - we must strike while the iron is hot

The regime is weak – we must strike while the iron is hot

The TNA’s actions to date can be summed up as counterproductive – they have neither had success in mobilising the Tamil masses nor in appealing to the progressive and poor Sinhala masses. They rely on support by default. If, however, the vacuum of political representation were to be filled then a different social process could take centre stage. But who is ready to put their weight behind such a step is the key question. It is linked to the question of how we can defeat Rajapaksa’s grip?

Sri Lankan politics have been known to produce major surprises – the unthinkable has occurred on many an occasion. But even in the unlikely scenario of a defeat for Mahinda in the presidential election, we cannot expect to see the family surrendering power.

Praying for such a miracle, with the likes of the JHU, will get us precisely nowhere. The reality of the need to build a democratic opposition among the people in all corners of the country must be looked squarely in the face. Trade unions, student bodies, civil societies, and other progressive organisations should come forward to begin the formation of such a non-sectarian, democratic, mass organisation, formed and controlled by us. This could start to fight for real solutions.

There are no shortages of intellectual capacity among the people who live and suffer in Sri Lanka to provide backing for such an initiative. Mahinda has lost significant support. The likes of Rajiva Wijesinha, or Dayan Jayatilleka have been the ‘intelligent mouths’ of a dim-witted family drunk on its own victory mania. That is no more. It is sickening that they have so far tolerated and defended the regime despite knowing all its short falls including its chauvinist attitude towards Tamils, the adamant refusal to implement even the puny recommendation of the LLRC, etc. This quote from Rajiva is illustrative:

“In 2007 Dayan had been very positive about the Secretary of Defence, and had indeed helped him in arms procurement. During our visits to Geneva for the Human Rights Council, he would set up meetings for Mohan Pieris with various ambassadors, and I came to understand that this was about arms deals. Mohan at that time, though still in the private bar, was the head of the procurement agency that Gotabaya had set up which helped to clean up the corruption that had reigned before in the Ministry about such matters.

“Gradually however Dayan began to feel that Gotabaya was becoming intransigent about a political settlement, and he felt that this was because he was getting too close to Israel, and assuming that he could adopt an Israeli approach both to international relations and also to containment of future Tamil political aspirations, once the LTTE was overcome. He told me that he had once warned Gotabaya of possible consequences of such an approach, and met with the flat response, ‘So what?’”

But the bitterness against those who supported the war and served the regime in the past will be tolerated – even forgiven and forgotten by the victims if they move into decisive action against Mahinda. Even with the understanding that they are doing this to secure their positions and privileges, we would like to see more truths come out. They know too well that what happened to those who find themselves at the wrong side of Gota. If Gota has his way all dissidents will be persecuted in one way or another. So they must pull their weight beyond the election campaign. The more the truth is out, the stronger can be the opposition.

It can now more or less be taken as a given that the regime no more enjoys the support of no ‘sensible’ being. To merely acknowledge this without drawing conclusions can be considered a political crime. This is one of those moments in history when action is required to take the necessary step – a bold call for the building of a mass opposition organisation around a far-sighted programme that can draw in the masses to fight for a future without exploitation, repression, or inequality.

The regime is weak – we must strike while the iron is hot.

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Latest comments

  • 2
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    TU Senan –

    RE: Strike While The Regime Is Weak

    But the regime is throwing mud Hashtags

    #Rajapaksa #SriLanka #Colombo #Sirisena #Cricket #Lanka #Mahinda2015 #Dictatorship #Mahinda Gets into Mud Throwing

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vchlNLghD70

  • 3
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    .
    The regime maybe weak… but not GoRa and his 200,000 armed men.

    :-)

    • 2
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      GoRa is in hourly consultation with the big beasts of the forest and his men are well-rehearsed. His has promised the King that any ‘foreign conspiracy’ to destabilise the promised land will be immediately expunged. There is much to play for, and from time to time the battle will not be fair. Expect a few surprises.

  • 0
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    Sivaram,

    I knew you would think this way. Actually i had read your article about 1989 and how you suggested that the LTTE align with the JVP in order to attack Colombo or at least take advantage of the situation.

    This approach would not have worked in 2009, and I think also in 1989 LTTE didn’t go with this approach. Targeting the regime would have had negative blowback for the LTTE. Just imagine if LTTE had come against Colombo, and then Rajapaksa won the elections still. Surely the political project with the TNA and the Northern Provincial Council would have then ebbed negatively.

    I mean this approach would not have worked in 2014 not in 2009. 2014 I mean how can one align with a foreign coup to take out the president. This at least was also presented in 1989 and the same decidion process was carried out.

    I think you have to bear in mind who are the final handlers, and who erally bears reaponsibility for 2009. And in this there was partisan behavior by the Atlantic Federation and also a dreadful desire from the Congress Sonia Gandhi. It is hard to say when Congress behgan to think this way but at least by 2009 this was the way they thought…

    Tamils can not get locked up in the paradigm that Colombo is the final handler, then you will just see them get partisan support from another power, you see you have to think beyond that to have won.

  • 2
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    “The likes of Rajiva Wijesinha, or Dayan Jayatilleka have been the ‘intelligent mouths’ of a dim-witted family drunk on its own victory mania. That is no more.”

    Looks like Rajiva has turned tail (although still defending MR on occasion), but Dayan seems to be in a quandary, judging from his recent posts – maybe hoping against hope that MR will somehow prevail.

    Both of them high-grade hypocrites…

    • 1
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      Motor-mouth Rajiva will bend over every which way to please his master. Those who remember him at the Peace Secretariat will surely remember his daily master classes in kneading lies into credible truth. His re-writing of history should carry a warning; ‘economical with the truth when needed’.

      His recent dilemma has been to judge which way the wind is blowing. He knows his old master has been cornered BUT he cannot make up his mind as to who his new master is going to be (the common candidate is still a many-headed Hydra (truth be told).

      Hedging bets, sitting on the fence, turning lies into truth, Rajiva is the biz.

  • 0
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    I would have rooted for Rajapakses, dynastic-authoritarianism and all, if not for the BBS and Anagararika Dharamapalism(racism at the fore).

    Instead of Sri Lankans being one Nation irrespective of races (even under the auspices of Sinhala-Buddhist culture), Rajapakse attempted to make it official that Sinhalese race came from North India. They therefore disregarded and sidelined the South Indian element of all Lankans.

    Both BBS and AG are/were terribly anti-Muslim. It is true that Sri Lanka cannot have a fanatical culture of another land on our shores, (on top of any majority one – that being a bit more legit, anyhow), but the problem could have been solved in more multifaceted and sophisticated manner, other than to invoke the name of AG in ceremony with the Chinese, and disgrace Buddhism with BBS. Rajapakses have lacked that Unifier-Aptitude, and opted for the artless approach.

    I prefer the US understanding of things, to China’s quest for global power which does not involve much holistic dimension for global equilibrium and sustenance- the West in the end having a better take on globalism due to long historical expertise.

    Nowadays, the West is more in tune and understanding of Sri Lanka’s predicament with terroristic-separatists than they were 5 years ago. We hope that whoever takes over will be non-aligned and resist the temptation to indulge in project upon project (from either US or China), with the subsequent project a sorry necessity to uphold the previous project.

    If Rajapakses win, I hope they will change their ways in the midst of all their triumphalistic glory. I hope that when they bend down and kiss the soil of Lanka, they will know that that soil is of the flesh and bones of a million-year unique race of South, South-Asians.

    • 1
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      ” If Rajapakses win, I hope they will change their ways in the midst of all their triumphalistic glory. I hope that when they bend down and kiss the soil of Lanka, they will know that that soil is of the flesh and bones of a million-year unique race of South, South-Asians. “

      “Change their ways”? Dream on!

      If they do win, wait for their retribution…

    • 0
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      ooops…..wrong article I put these comments on.

      • 0
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        I meant it for “Democracy or Dynasty.”

  • 0
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    The problem with Rajiva Wijesinha is that he only types, and never listens

  • 1
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    Rajiv Wijesinghe left with Maithree 6 weeks ago and has been exposing weaknesses of MR governance whilst DAyan J who behaves as he is the only person who understands politics and governance, is looking at MR camp thinking of picking up some bones but the writing is on the wall. The huge sign of support shown by all types of groups, parties (not BBS) to Maithree is going to bring a grreat victory unless …………

  • 1
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    At least HALF a MILLION votes are going-a-begging in the North and East, and that is where the forces of the challenger needs to work hardest. If you go by the last Presidential election, this is MR’s Achilles heel. Together with MR’s receding popularity with the Muslim voter, Sirisena, should, in theory, be home and dry. But there is many a slip twixt cup and lip. Sirisena’s challenge now is to keep all his disparate supporters singing from the same kavi kola.

  • 0
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    Not a chance! Will never happen! Trouble is, the masses , in all their suffering, will never be able to mobilize enough with their “iri-shi-awa” mindset(part of the dna).

    For the fellows are the types that cannot understand that in the midst of the different facets of human society (levels of ability and histories and things), are many persons even at the top, who truly want to be inclusive of all Lankans with their very socialistic mindset.

    Instead, the latter does not dare tread, or can find no way to interact between any privilege they might have, and the masses dead on throwing S#%@ on them whenever they try to reach out. The suspicion and hatred of those masses are diabolical.

    So if you want to truly find a way to mobilize a true representation of what Lankans need as good governance, and stop the harassment and ragging in the universities, for example, of anyone not looking or acting like Rajarata prototypes. For Rajarata prototype is a delusional form away from wholesome humanness (Dharma of Buddhist thought).

  • 0
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    In spite of all the hoopla this election will be about pragmatism.
    Without General Fonseka and President Rajapakse, Sri Lanka would have turned in to another Afghanistan, Somalia or a Pakistan. Few weeks ago a class room of 80 students were killed in cold blood by the rebel groups in Pakistan.

    Thankfully We don’t have this type of situation in Sri Lanka now.

    To win this election comfortably, President Rajapakse has to swallow his own pride and pardon General Fonseka; and appoint him as ambassador to a friendly neighbor such a Singapore or Malaysia.

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