14 December, 2017

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The Four Segments Of The Lankan Left Movement

By Shyamon Jayasinghe –

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

The scenario of what is left of the Left Movement in Sri Lanka can be broken down into four categories:

Those who have gone to bed with the Right, those who have gone to bed with the Right but who are pretending otherwise, the ambiguous Left and the start-over- again Left.

The start-over again Left is the new Frontline Socialist Party (FSP). These passionate young people and their not- so young mentors start off with the premise that Sri Lanka has not yet seen a “proper Left movement.” There is substantive truth when the FSP says that because what we have seen thus far are fake Left movements.

The Lanka Samasamaja Party and the Communist Party go down to history as two big cruel jokes. These two parties came to the limelight at the beginning largely because they had some men and women of high callibre and breed at the top. NM Perera, SA Wickremasinghe, Leslie Goonewardena, Peter Keuneman, Colvin R De Silva, Phillip Gunawardena, Edmund Samarakkody, Bala Tampoe, Vivienne Goonewardena and some others of lesser prominence. The ordinary masses just ignored their announced policies as the latter simply did not touch their consciousness. Nor did the masses take the leaders seriously when they addressed them as ‘Sahodarayas.’ Indeed it was an unresolvable puzzle to the masses when in a country highly characterized by non-egalitarian feudal values leaders wanted to pretend to be equals. It is legend that Colvin R De Silva had benches for the ‘lower sahodarayas,’ and cushioned seats upstairs for the ‘gentlemen types.’ At May Day meetings Colvin used to come in his luxury car, park it at Borella and then cycle to the Campbell Park venue amidst cheers from other Sahodrayas. Perhaps Colvin was simply brilliant and such weird behavior went unnoticed. The LSSP eventually went to bed with the right wing government headed by Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Personal sacrifice was too much to bear for so long.

Vasu, DEW and TissaThe rotten stumps of these two parties are represented by those now in Parliament having gone to bed with the extreme Right Wing Fascist regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa. They are Gone-to–Bed pretending types. Dr Tissa Vitarana and DEW Gunasekera declaring their support for Mahinda’s Third Term scramble had been a bit of a comedy act. These gentlemen, however, pretend to be not fully with Mahinda. They “do not like the dictatorial powers of the President.”  Yet, they voted for that extremely backward and retrograde 18th Amendment that did away with all checks and balances to executive power that is the decent norm in all modern governments. Furthermore, DEW was the head of the COPE that investigates the performance of government run business agencies like the Electricty Board, Petroleum Board, Water Board, and 273 other similar agencies. These agencies constitute about 15 per cent of government expenditure and their performance do have a sizeable impact on the quality of governance. Our friend DEW , some few years ago, came out with a scathing attack on the corruption and abuse of these agencies and even pinpointed that Ministers had been involved. He was a hero at that moment in time. But the moment really became a dew-drop moment as DEW forgot about pursuing this. Here you are, now DEW announces proudly that his Communist Party is for Mahinda Rajapaksa. How many Commies are left with him is another issue.

When these Gone- to -Bed Pretending Left speaks they do not bat an eyelid at their inconsistencies. Something they never told us when they were young was that the people are dopes. That is Mahinda’s view, too, judging from his odious acts of commission and omission.

The Gone –to-Bed non-Pretending Left is represented by good old Wimal Weerawansa alone but it has the potential to recruit more. The first group will eventually have to give up their pretence. Mahinda Wijesekera had been one such member. Wimal has no compunctions about backing Mahinda. He is a good actor as he sporadically “kicks up a row” with the President or is able to perform a fast-unto death without meaning to die at all. Had he carried out his threat it wouldn’t have been a bad idea.

The JVP that Wimal left behind became the Ambiguous Left. They still are attempting, as they do, to spin their way and remain in the political Opposition. They have an excellent speaker in Anura Kumara Dissanayake whose talents are really lost in the group that he is in. This Ambiguous Left openly criticizes the government and are very vociferous at that. Yet, they fall short of making the only logical option open to them, namely, joining the growing common opposition and ousting the present system of government. The JVP can get back to their party strongholds after that demolition work is done. However, for the essential demolition act to take place they must wholeheartedly back the common opposition candidate, Maithripala Sirisena. On the other hand, logic defies the JVP. Wimal Weerawanse came out with a classic crack at the JVP’s ambiguity: “They say,” says Wimal, “here is the enemy, here’s the stick; now beat the enemy. In our case we prefer not as we have taken Sil.’ ”

Having summed up the other Left groups of today we are left to mention the new one, namely the Frontline Socialist Party. A lot of young and enthusiastic people are in this Party. While the other groups are at the end of the cycle of the Left movement, having in varying degrees leaned to the Right, here is a party that believes they can start again, all anew. FSP points out that all Left parties have failed and so it is ripe to start all over again and commence a new Left. But what guarantee do they give that FSP will not eventually follow the pattern of the Old Left? None, in terms of policy development and none in terms of structure. The slogans are like old wine in new bottles. What difference is this party going to make and how are they making? I have asked a few of them and got no clear answers.

My own view is that the erratic and terminal path of Left movements is an embodiment of the fact that the days of the Marxist Left are over.  The fallacy of socialism is its ideological base. Socialism and collectivization are contrary to human nature. Man has a “selfish gene,’ as Richard Dawkins demonstrated in his wonderful treatise called “The Selfish Gene.” We cannot have an economy that goes against that grain. One has to build on the self-interest of human beings and initiate a social system that that would provide for governance that would check any abuses of self-interested capitalism. The capitalist liberal order has come to stay as pointed out two decades ago by Fukuyama in presenting his thesis of “the end of history.” Fukuyama basically states that with crude capitalism having evolved into Liberal Capitalism the task of humanity’s search for a political economy is complete. If socialists ignore this history they will find history repeating itself. The great thing about Liberal Capitalism is that it provides for an efficient mechanism for private investment and growth in the economy. Socialism and collectivization cannot do that as there is absent in the latter ideology the personal motive or drive to invest. Liberal Capitalism generates energies in the individual to invent, to  work hard and  to prosper. With the prosperity of the individual effort the whole nation prospers. The resulting growth of the national pie enables government to provide an attractive portfolio of social welfare measures for the poor that cannot make it. Just look at the welfare benefits available in strong Western economies.

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    Right Wing Fascist regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

    Fascism is a left-wing past time. Its actually a misnomer to say Fascism has anything to do with the right.

    Fascism is a combination of Nationalism and Socialism or Nazi. Mahinda Rajapaksa is a Nationalist as well as a Socialist so the cap fits. Other left-wing Fascists are S.J.V. Chelvanayagam, Mussolini, Stalin, Pol-Pot, Hitler, Prabarakan et al.

    Typical “extremists” in the right were General Pinochet, Margret Thatcher and so on. The Right has not produced mass murderers any where near what the left has.

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      Must read these to get a full picture of Sri Lanka politics:

      Sri Lanka’s Secrets, by Trevor Grant is chronicle of genocide

      Book review by: Bruce Haigh is a political commentator, retired diplomat, who served in Sri Lanka and former member of the refugee review tribunal.

      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/book-review-sri-lankas-secrets-by-trevor-grant-is-chronicle-of-genocide-20141201-11shqn.html#ixzz3L6HyqhpR

      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/book-review-sri-lankas-secrets-by-trevor-grant-is-chronicle-of-genocide-20141201-11shqn.html#ixzz3L6Hhp2OD

      • 3
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        “US Ambassador offered me a bribe’: Minister”

        http://www.ft.lk/2014/12/06/us-ambassador-offered-me-a-bribe-minister/

        • 3
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          “US Ambassador offered me a bribe’: Minister”

          Was it Higher than what MaRa offered?

      • 2
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        You can paste the same message on as many threads as you like but you will never get Eelam. Defeat hurts huh?

        • 3
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          Taraki

          “You can paste the same message on as many threads as you like but you will never get Eelam. Defeat hurts huh?”

          I hate to agree with you not because Sri Lankan battle harden, UN Human Rights Charter wielding, war criminals but because Hindians are against it.

          However if and when Hindian’s strategic interests are threatened there is a distant possibility of a Sinhala Eelam appearing in and emerging out of South.

          Does Bangladesh ring a bell? If it doesn’t please contact Pakistani state for further details.

          The nasty Brahmans are still in control of South Block, RAW, ….

    • 6
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      Shyamon Jayasinghe –

      The Four Segments Of The Lankan Left Movement

      Socialism and poverty for the masses and working people, the Proletariat.

      Hegemony, Capitalism and Nepotism for the “Leaders” and their cronies, the New Left Feudalism.

  • 5
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    The acceptance that there always is a point of bifurcation where all but less than a handful would yield when balanced against the raw bling of money, I lull myself to the following position. The stem cells of the current political cancer in our country is the absence of the rule of law. Our country needs to rot some more before a viable seed could start its process of germination. I support MR securing a third term, and extension of the current rule of nebulous and arbitrary values (or the lack thereof), which I’m sure wont see it’s “planned end”. Sri Lanka will turn into to Egypt, and if the process starts at an appropriate stage of maturity, people will take the power unto their own hands which would first result in mass unrest within which arbitrary executions of perceived justice will take place. Public executions of the corrupt, loot and arson of the symbols of corruption (e.g. homes of the corrupt), and anarchy will reign in the darkest of hours. This cosmic cloud of chaos will be the nursery where seeds of justice will start their process of germination. IN OTHER WORDS… as long as politicians perceive that there will be future immunity to the consequences of their current day crime and corruption, they will continue to weaken and fall at the points of bifurcation, i.e., the man who held his head high and stuck to his morals at Rs. 10 Billion will fall at Rs. 25 Billion. If this theory is all but baloney, could somebody explain to my why Rajapaksas cling onto their US permanent resident statuses and citizenships?

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    In my opinion the left movement in Sri Lanka is now left out.

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    Vasu, DEW, Vitharana,Athauda and the crowd- see how fake they look in the picture with their heads bent down and in red suits.
    “Sadukin Pelenawun
    Den ithin negitiyaw
    Anthima Satanata
    Serasiyaw!”
    This was the song sung at LSSP meetings and it is still sung by the red clowns I mentioned above. What utter idiotic hypocrites. They take the people as bloody fools. These paper revos will not win a single seat if they contest outside the list. They bend in two before Rajapakse. They will soon creep under the table where MARA sits, as Pavithra the apavithra did. Shameless!

    • 2
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      “They take the people as bloody fools…” They are not…??

  • 2
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    Thanks Shayamon.

    For those who does not know about Podemos http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podemos_(Spanish_political_party)

  • 2
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    Who are the allies of the left.
    1. Gotapaya Rajapakse who is the head of BBS and haed of assasination unit of the Government .
    2. Mahinda Rajapakse who is the master of LIES, CORRUPTION, THREAT and BRIBE.
    3. Basil Rajapakse: Master of BRIBE and RANSOM.
    4. Muraleetharan: Master of abduction and Murder.
    5. Douglas Devanantha: Supplier of women and Master of abduction and assist Basil Rajapakse in BRIBE.

    Speciality: Raise the hands in Parliament and assist in creating 18th amendment to bring back King adminstered SriLanka.

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    “The Selfish Gene” has become a new facade for proponents of Narco Crony Capitalism, snake oil vendors and the like. For them democracy is something which should be tilted in favour of their predatory capricious whims to justify the suffering of people as a means for a society to grow and evolve.
    As humans we know that the only universe we can know anything about comes comes to us only through our minds.
    Selfishness is something condemned while selflessness a pure and natural creation of thinking is to be sought after.
    Who know that it may not materialise tomorrow?
    That is when the “Rule of Law” will become established.
    When that happens Justice,Dignity, Equality will become the foundation of a vibrant society.
    Our task should be to achieve that object.

  • 3
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    Shyamon,

    I think you have misunderstood Richard Dawkins’ argument in his book The Selfish Gene. He is arguing that natural selection (and evolution) is driven by the survival of genes rather than individuals – hence his title “the selfish gene”. He does not claim that human beings are naturally selfish.

    This is like using Charles Darwin’s arguments to justify capitalism and the privileges of the rich (‘Social Darwinism’) – this was another example of scientific theories being misused for political arguments along similar lines and to justify an unfair ‘natural order’.

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    I haven’t read “Selfish Gene”,.I intend to read it shortly.
    One of the quotes from Richard Dawkins is: “Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspires to do” So what does Dawkins means?
    Anyone comments.

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