23 June, 2024

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The National People’s Power (NPP)

By Fr Chryso Pieris SJ

Fr Chryso Pieris SJ

It is strange; everybody is attacking the NPP (The JVP alliance). Normally the opposition attacks the incumbent government when an election is to be held. The current government is such a corrupt, illicit, failed, impotent and incompetent government, it should attract, like a lightening conductor, all accusations, blame and attacks. But when the leading party in the opposition, SJB (the new name of the broken off majority of the old UNP) begins to attack another party in the opposition (NPP) with only three seats in the parliament, one must go deeper into the story.   

I normally tend to sympathize with the underdog. It is not just a matter of sentiment and feeling but a matter of justice. When the opposition is disunited and attacks one another who benefits? It is the rotten illicit government. If our aim is to rid the country of this illicit government all the parties of the opposition must unite. It would be interesting to find out why SJB is behaving funnily.  

This election is not going to topple the government. It will show, however, the people’s latest political trend. And the political trends have substantially changed after the glorious Aragalaya. The trend, I believe, that dominates and overrides other trends and party interests is the clamour for System Change. 

The system change that Aragalaya visualized is not just a change of ideology or some ism. What the Aragalaya wanted was revolutionary. It is taking power, non-violently of course and democratically, from the traditional elitist governing family groups and give it to the common people’s leadership. All the current and past governing families are really a kleptocracy who have robbed the country to bankruptcy. The change envisaged by the Aragalaya is not to reform the existing power holders with new laws, policies etc. What the Aragalaya clearly said was “enough is enough”; we do not need the Ali Baba and the 225 incorrigible parasites, any longer. All of them must be thrown out of power to save Sri Lanka.  

The very fact that SJB is viciously attacking the NPP shows where the dividing line is. The dividing line between the governing elite and the exploited people is now drawn and we can see who is on which side. In this primary, basic power struggle, many parties in the opposition are on the same side with the current illicit governing cabal. That is the present state of affairs. 

The NPP is on one side of the fence with a few small people-friendly parties and all the others are on the opposite side. The NPP, led by the JVP, has clearly taken a stand for the people and against the power elites. That is the gist of AKD’s speeches in their rallies. Naturally they are viciously attacked by all the traditional power elites with the communal parties as usual playing a waiting game to see how the dice rolls. 

The foregoing was a preparation as background for what I am presenting now. Whatever their ideology or party affiliation, people must take a united stand at this juncture of our current history to give the world a message that, finally, we the people, are truly free and independent. And I say we must vote for the NPP if the rotten government allows the local election to be held. We must unite not so much to put NPP in power but to show that a new post-Aragalaya clean political culture is installed. 

The new post Aragalaya culture is basically founded on the three values that spontaneously emerged in the Gotagogama. It is easy and cynical to criticize the Aragalaya saying that it was betrayed by its leaders, that they had selfish ulterior motives etc. The critics are wrong. It was declared that Aragalaya had no leaders and was “Nirpakshika”; everybody at the Galle Face Protest accepted it and nobody denied or opposed it. It was shown when both Sajith Premadasa and AKD were peremptorily ushered out of Galle Face Green. “Nirpakshika” means the individual citizen is sovereign, free and independent. He is not a slave of a political party nor is he an ever-devoted fan of any leader. He is totally free. He will judge the situation from day to day and make his decisions accordingly. 

Secondly, it was declared “Nirprachanda”. Nirprachanda is the sequent of equality and brotherhood that trash racism, communalism and all other obstacles to brotherhood and sisterhood of all the citizens, like religion, caste, gender, social status etc. This was an achievement par excellence. That it emerged spontaneously is a feather in the cap of all our citizens. It is the height of civilization and a richly cultured quality. It was proved on the 9th of May last year when the government goons attacked the sleeping Gotagogama when the protesters had already announced that they were leaving that afternoon. It was the traditional governing families, barbaric Neanderthals, armed with wooden and iron poles and chains attacking a small group of un-armed, non-violent, civilized and cultured citizens. 

Finally, the crown jewel of the Aragalaya was that it was an “Aadaraye” struggle. A struggle with love. Nobody knows how it came about. Again, it emerged spontaneously. It borders on spirituality reminding us of the Maithree of Lord Buddha and the Love of Jesus Christ. For it is only love or unselfish dedication to the welfare of all that will bring about equality, fraternity, law and order and prosperity. The cynics and the anti-Aragalaya fools can voice negative and damning statements about Aragalaya sounding off like some intellectual critique of it but the fact is it happened. Nobody can deny it. 

We must always keep these values in mind for they are ours; we found them at the Aragalaya; they are endemic to us and we must protect them. Aragalaya will go down in history as the moment when our nation came of age and became truly independent after 75 years of some fake, weak and deceptive independence. 

I always had reservations about the JVP and I voiced them openly in articles in national newspapers. Firstly, I called them the safety valve of a rotten, corrupt political culture. When people can no longer tolerate the greedy excesses of the Ali Baba and the 225 thieves, when the pressure builds up to the point of explosion, JVP comes out vociferously but innocuously against the excesses carrying files to the Bribery Commission etc. Of course, nothing happens but the public cools down. Then I found that they were getting thoroughly acclimatized to the rotten culture, enjoying the illicit and exaggerated perks and privileges of the corrupt regimes. They took the undeserved pensions, the tax-free vehicles and even crept back into the parliament through the crooked national list after losing elections.  They had become part of the system I thought. But the NPP is not the JVP in toto. It has many acceptable, reliable and authentic professionals, academics, artists and other community leaders. They give credibility to the NPP. Now that they openly and in public have taken the side of the ordinary man in the street and given the common people leadership, my reservations about the JVP are minimized. We must in full force support and vote for the NPP to save Sri Lanka from the rapacious scoundrels of the traditional governing families and their coterie. 

My humble suggestion to the NPP is that they never deviate from the three inestimable values of the Aragalaya. For System Change is not only getting rid of corruption and malpractice but changing from the mendacious mentality and the greedy, crooked attitudes of the current evil culture to a new social culture where people voluntarily practice the three Aragalaya values and are proud of them. 

I have noticed also that AKD in his speeches at their rallies and conferences promise to right all wrongs done to all communities. The speech on justice to the hill country plantation workers was really moving and most welcome, at last, after 75 years of their neglect and oppression. But when he promises so much to so many, I wonder whether he is being carried away by sheer political rhetoric or whether he is really serious. A doubt creeps in.  Therefore, to gain credibility and secure a strong majority of votes I plead with the NPP to sign the accord called CAG; the Citizens for Accountable Governance Lanka (CAG Lanka) Trust (Guarantee) Ltd. Which requests all voters to register with it to hold politicians and State officials accountable and also to acquire illegally earned finances and properties by them.

Everything available and possible must be done to make the country take the 180 degrees U turn to move towards a hope-filled bright future.

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Latest comments

  • 9
    0

    OK, so the NPP was born out of the Aragalaya, which had no political affiliation or leadership, in order to bring about the ‘system change’. That’s fine by me & is what everybody wants but why ‘led’ by the JVP, a party known for its violent past & makes no bones about its communist ideology, still venerating the past murderous leadership? Aren’t their ideology poles apart, in which case, how would there be any synergy? The past JVP alliance with CBK govt. didn’t work, so what would make this work? Apart from questioning & revealing the mismanagement & corruption of the govt., what has been their impact so far in Parliament to address wrongdoings? Was anyone convicted from JVP allegations? Have they refused, as a matter of principle, the generous perks & privileges, which are funded by the average citizens who they are passionate about providing a better life?
    Are we naïve or is it me that fails to see the new saviour(s) of our nation?
    Cont.

    • 7
      1

      Cont.
      I am not always up-to-date with the political situation in SL but looking at the NPP website doesn’t provide answers to my questions. Election promises in SL are like those made in the ‘heat of the night’, forgotten in the morning. There is no word count restriction in a website, the purpose being to clearly convey the vision, objectives, policy & the strategy to convince the reader but all I see are vague promises. I understand the NPP consists of intellectuals, academics, professionals & trade unionists, so lets have a detailed political manifesto which spells out their key principals & objectives, how they intend to achieve them, the costs & the funding. I am sure there are academics & number crunchers in its membership who can do that, or if they are not sure, check the UK Labour Party manifesto for inspiration.
      By the way, why don’t they start by identifying the membership, party donors, the ‘shadow’ cabinet (how many ministers etc), their CV & personal wealth? I will then be convinced it is the system change we all want.

      • 8
        0

        “we do not need the Ali Baba and the 225 incorrigible parasites,”
        I beg to demur. Throwing out Ali Baba would be an injustice. He was the guy who defeated the thieves, dear Father.
        Be that as it may, one doesn’t have to think too deeply about the animosity between the SJB and the JVP.
        The SJB leader is the son of R.Premadasa, who put down the brutal JVP insurrection using equally brutal tactics. The SJB nowadays is more or less a reincarnated 1989 UNP. The JVP, I think, would find it easier to get along with a Ranilist UNP than the SJB.
        Whether the JVP of today is different is moot. The party is notoriously secretive about its inner workings. Nobody knows who really runs the show. Certainly AKD is no Kumar Gunaratnam or Somawansa, both doctrinaire Marxists.
        But does he have real power? Does the NPP actually have an independent existence? We wouldn’t know unless they are voted in.

        • 4
          1

          OC,
          Simply put, JVP/NPP relationship is aptly explained by the Former President DBW’s theory on Sinhalese and Tamils/Muslim community in this Sinhala Buddhist nation country!!!
          The former is the TREE and the latter is the CREEPER, providing cover and nourishment for the TREE to grow UNHINDERED, until ‘D’ Day!!!???
          Mystery solved!!!??

        • 5
          1

          OC
          “Certainly AKD is no Kumar Gunaratnam or Somawansa, both doctrinaire Marxists.”
          Kumar Gunaratnam uses Marxist analysis, however flawed on the national question.
          Somawansa was no theorist at all. I once had a meeting with him in London, and his racist thinking was transparent. His only qualification to lead the JVP on return was that he was the sole member of the PB to be spared by the government (thanks to Hameed some say).
          The JVP’s theoretician was Tilvin who went quiet on theory some years ago. He was better read in Marxism than the rest I thought.

          • 3
            0

            S.J,
            “he was the sole member of the PB to be spared by the government (thanks to Hameed some say).”
            Wasn’t he related to Sirisena Cooray? True thathey were more racist than Marxist. But how do you explain KG?

        • 2
          0

          OC,
          .
          Does the NPP actually have an independent existence? .
          Answer is easy, it s no.✌
          .
          Even schooling children are aware that ours has always been a multi party representation. If that is not the case why do we have various party representations in the parliament?
          .
          This is why I repeat either they should open the door wider for all good politicians that represent lot more srilankens .
          (All 225 are “horu” is well thought to mislead the very same stupid dominated nation again)
          .
          Or
          They should first rebuild the society.
          .
          Latter is impossible at this critical stage of lanken economy🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔.

      • 5
        3

        “I am not always up-to-date with the political situation in SL”
        Really?
        Good to know. Thanks.

        • 4
          0

          Dear SJ,
          .
          I’ve been studying the comments made by Raj-UK, carefully for a very long time. It is clear to me that he’s very intelligent, successful, rather right of centre politically, but having a fine sense of values.
          .
          I deliberately put the “but” in there, because most right-wingers today don’t give a damn what happens to the poor, or even to those outside their immediate family. Caring for our immediate family is, of course, biological; Dawkin’s “selfish gene”.
          .
          Raj-UK, hasn’t resided and worked in Lanka for a long time, although he clearly has relatives here, and visits the country off and on.
          .
          Why not take what he says here at face value? I take even oc, seriously, and you, SJ also seriously.
          .
          I was also happy to see this article.

          .
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/to-be-or-not-to-be-a-us-military-base/

      • 3
        0

        Raj-UK,
        “Election promises in SL are like those made in the ‘heat of the night’, forgotten in the morning.————-understand the NPP consists of INTELLECTUALS, ACADEMICS, PROFESSIONALS & TRADE UNIONISTS, so let’s have a detailed political manifesto which spells out their key principals & objectives, how they intend to achieve them, the costs & the funding. I am sure there are academics & number crunchers”
        What’s the difference, those CHARACTERISTICS APPEAR TO BE DIFFERENT from, Viyathmaga which guided Gota’s election and as a result reincarnation of MaRa, with their “VISTAS OF PROSPERITY AND SPLEDOUR”, to end up ultimately, 180 degrees in the opposite direction – BANKRUPTCY, STARVATION, DEPRIVATION AND AGRICULTURAL IMPOTENCY BY ORGANICS RUBBISH!!??
        Poorer and destitute, than 19th November 2019!!!??
        These intellectuals I have highest respect, their intellectual, educational attainment!!!?? Unfortunately, after election all come ‘UNSTUCK’!
        Unless revealed with Solid GOLD Guarantee – even which could be changed after election, in this EFFERVESCENT, thrice blessed state nation of Sri Lanka!!??
        Anything could happen, all that happens is for the betterment of Sri Lankans!!!?
        Therefore your guess is as good or more realistic it would seem than mine!!!
        “Incha Allah”, with God’s grace Hope for the best and be POSITIVE!!

        • 2
          0

          We all know it that too many cooks spoil the Soup. But no one ever noticed that the culinary skills of too many Doctors and Professors make the Devils’ Broth more lethal.

      • 1
        3

        Dear SJ,
        .
        I’ve been studying the comments made by Raj-UK, carefully for a long time. It is clear to me that he’s very intelligent, successful, rather right of centre politically, but having a fine sense of values.
        .
        I deliberately put the “but” in there, because most right-wingers today don’t give a damn what happens to the poor, or even to those outside their immediate family. Caring for our immediate family is, of course, biological; Dawkins’s “selfish gene”.
        .
        Raj-UK, has resided and worked in UK for a long time, although he clearly has relatives here, and visits Lanka off and on.
        .
        Why not take what he says here at face value? I take even oc, seriously, and you, SJ also seriously.
        .
        I was also happy to see this article.
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/to-be-or-not-to-be-a-us-military-base/
        .
        I haven’t read it yet, but I notice that you have already made a comment on it. If Ranil is still President this time next year, I fear that we will be like Duvalier’s Haiti, or Ngo Dinh Diem’s Vietnam.
        .
        If we get an NPP government in, the going will still be tough, but there will be hope for the future.

  • 5
    1

    “What the Aragalaya wanted was revolutionary. It is taking power, non-violently of course and democratically, from the traditional elitist governing family groups and give it to the common people’s leadership.”
    Such things need serious [political and economic analysis and much planning.
    Aragalaya Mark-1 I tried its best to keep political analysis out. If one cannot figure out what went wrong, how does one get things right?
    *
    Let us start with what the hidden sponsors of Aragalaya had in mind: they wanted to make a beach side tea party of what could have been a step towards a revolution.

  • 6
    0

    ‘But the NPP is not the JVP in toto. It has many acceptable, reliable and authentic professionals, academics, artists and other community leaders. ‘
    .
    The NPP is a coalition of many parties and organizations but it is lead by the JVP. The NPP is the democratic public face of the JVP. Once in power the JVP will discard their professionals, academics etc. To the JVP they are just useful idiots. God help us all if the JVP come to power.

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