Nothing that is to be said here is meant to undermine any real victory gained by the masses in defeating the forces of the darkest reaction in an electoral contest. We shall be committed to defending these gains won by the suffering masses, who simply wished for a breath of oxygen from one of the most hated, despotic dictatorships in our modern political history. The new dispensation has provided the masses with a fervent hope for some democratic freedom from a living hell and a hope that they shall be relieved from their insufferable economic burdens heaped upon them by Mahinda Rajapaksa. There is celebration by all those who desire for a social order, a future and a civilized foundation away from the untrammeled naked, rampant political culture of deceit, chauvinist-supremacist arrogance, corruption and abuse that Mahinda Rajapaksa epitomized and concentrated. The oppressed masses, including the Sinhala, Tamil and Moslem people in their majority and all progressive forces rejoice in the defeat of a self-serving, dynastic, neo-fascist dictatorship. The Tamil and Moslem oppressed nationalities, in the North-East, Hill Country and throughout the country placed their desperate hope that the new dispensation under Maitripala, promising a government of National Unity, would deliver them from the chauvinist-militarist/ supremacist-hegemonic dictatorship. Only the likes of self-serving pariahs such as Peon Wimalaya, Gestapo SB, Rapist Drug Lord Duminda, Twisted Knickers Keheliya, Predator Killer Douglas and others, the likes of sex-crazed Neanderthals like Ecstasy Namal and Erectile Malaka, the neo-fascist agents such as Gandassara and the blood-sucking parasites of the ilk of Crony Ajith Cabraal, Greasy Jayasundera, Baboon Balasuriya, Lord Mohan, Slimey Sajin shall yearn for a return of the deposed, rotting status-quo. Please excuse the enraged nomenclature.
The euphoria must give way to a sober assessment of the new threats, challenges and vulnerabilities facing the country and the people. With the election of the new presidency, there was joyous celebration all round for the victory of “democracy over tyranny”. All the imperialist powers have congratulated this victory and pledged support to the new presidency. The US and India have been forthright and expeditious in pledging support. China, which greased the machinery of criminal corruption and violation, is on the back-foot, nostalgically recalling the historic relations between China and Sri Lanka, and biding time for regaining lost ground. In this backdrop, let us try to identify the new threats, challenges and vulnerabilities that face the new Presidency, and the people.
There are possibly two main threats facing the new presidency. One is from the US – and India. The other is from a possible backlash from the Rajapaksa camp. US Imperialism would demand that the new presidency distances itself from the Chinese strategic sphere of influence and break up the ‘special strategic partnership’ the Mahinda Rajapaksa Regime (MRR) had entered into. Any new government would be pressured to break this vital link in the strategic “Maritime Silk Route” that China had steadily built up to contend with the US, encircle India and gain strategic dominance in the Asia-Pacific region, linking up with the Middle East and Africa. Exercising strategic dominance over the vital Indian Ocean sea lanes has become pivotal in inter-imperialist rivalry and contention in the region for gaining global supremacy. This remains the US agenda and game plan behind the war crimes investigations and the politics of regime change. The new presidency will be pressured into entering into a strategic partnership with the US. The new government will be pressured to honor and even upgrade the “Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement” that the patriot Mahinda Rajapaksa had entered into with the US, secretly. This Agreement is designed to provide open access to logistical military facilities in our country – land, sea and air- to the US. This was an Agreement that Ranil was to sign, when the Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist) along with Vasu and Bahu stormed the US Embassy and Ranil’s office, and contributed in having it rescinded. There could be some horse-dealing between the US and the New Presidency over the international war crimes investigation to ensure that there would be no backlash from the Rajapaksa camp and that Maitripala would not be held up against the wall. The US will not take any chances of a come-back by the MRR. India and Modi will coax with carrot and stick to ensure delivery, on its own terms. At the same time, the US cannot afford to appear now to soft-peddle the international investigation. Besides, it has acquired its own logic and momentum. However, the promised domestic mechanism may offer a way out, while sacrificing some in the high command and below. The issue will remain a tinder box. China will exert every Machiavellian effort to maneuver and manipulate as any imperialist power, to regain its special strategic relationship. It may win back its accolades by standing firmly and loudly against the international investigation in support of the MRR. It will gladly finance and support a come-back from the MRR, while appearing to welcome H.E. Maitripala Sirisena in power. Such is the diabolical nature of imperialist politics.
There appears to be a dual policy being applied towards the MR camp. Attack and Appeasement. The duality expresses the shaky convergence of divergent political interests. This policy and approach is not only internally contradictory, it may contain a vital structural fault-line in the new equation. The Maitriapala-Ranil-Champika dispensation has already pledged that they would protect the MRR from the international war crimes investigation. This is also to ensure the whole of the MR camp and the Sinhala-Buddhist “patriotic camp” will not turn against the new Regime. The MR camp will whip up a frenzy of rabid chauvinist “patriotic’ retaliation against the Regime over the issue, if it would capitulate to the US led UNHRC agenda. And the armed forces may revolt if it is felt that they are being sold out and sacrificed. Ranil, being the supine bogey liberal, will stand for not hounding and prosecuting Mahinda Rajapaksea and his family members. He has already told Mahinda that he would go down in history for having defeated terrorism. After all, Mahinda is a supreme Godfather of the Mafia and Ranil himself a chief enforcer! Chandrika however, as according to her own desire for revenge and power, will strive to oust Mahinda and gain the leadership of the SLFP. As it is, according to its constitution, the incumbent President is, ipso facto, president of the SLFP. Ironically, this was an amendment introduced by Mahinda himself. The JHU has declared its intention to hunt down and prosecute the MRR, particularly its family members, for crimes of wholesale corruption. It may not compromise on this issue, since its own credibility will be at stake. It may well decamp on the issue and the whole delicate balance of power may be undermined.
The Tamil and Moslem nationalities, as always, will remain fatally vulnerable. Any felt, imagined or manufactured perception that the new regime is betraying the Sinhala-Buddhist Nation and its theocratic-fundamentalist Unitary State by conceding to the democratic demand for power-sharing and demilitarization, and any such contrived perception of supporting a resurgence of ‘separatism’ will feed into a reactionary fascist backlash. Such a perception will endanger the loyalty of the armed forces. The Bodu Bala Sena, Ravana Balaya and its like may be unleashed with the fury of vengeance and the Tamil and Moslem nationalities may be sacrificed at the altar of bestial communal pogroms. The JHU will also have to play its cards. Its only chance of sharing or grabbing State power is by hoisting the banner of Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism and defending the hegemonic-supremacist Unitary State – more than any other. For the JVP – and the haloed Anura Kumara Dissanayake- too, this is the only trump card. Retired General Sarath Fonseka will be knotted in a twist. He may very well decamp, since his political future also rests on being the true and trusted guardian of the Sinhala-Buddhist Unitary State. So, please do not underestimate the resilience of the MR camp to make a bloody come back. Where would this leave the TNA and SLMC? Are the Tamil and Moslem nationalities to be sacrificed, once again to the politics of rabid-fascist chauvinism? Think about it. Does this rotting, defunct neo-colonial State and System offer any radical solution and a path towards a bright future. Or, shall the Land and People be held hostage to inter-imperialist rivalry and contending chauvinist-fascist blocks and fractions of the ruling class in perpetuity?
Yet, for all the reactionary undercurrents, the new dispensation will have to appear to deliver justice to the people to retain power. The people who voted for Maitripala would demand justice by prosecuting all the dark, evil fascist forces who robbed them of their democratic freedom, who abducted, hunted and hounded them and tortured, raped them and killed their loves ones. All those who defiled and violated them in a naked lust for power and wealth. They would demand and expect justice in the name of humanity! But, could the new dispensation deliver justice? Would Mahinda Rajapaksa be tried for treason given that he allegedly bribed Pirabhakaran to the tune of Rs 700 million to win the election in 2010? Would he be tried under the PTA for placing known LTTE leaders and mass assassins as KP, Karuna and Pilliyan in positions of power? Would he be prosecuted for the robbery of the massive haul of gold held by KP? Would Mahinda, Gota and Basil be prosecuted for the billions they robbed from commissions and transferred to foreign accounts? For that matter, would the assassins of Lasantha Wickrematunge, Kumar Ponnambalam, Raviraj, Joseph Pararajasingham, Sivaram, Prageeth and others be brought to justice? What about the perpetrators of the ‘white van’ campaign of terror and extortion? Could you possible visualize a scenario where this whole rot of humanity would be brought before a tribunal of justice and imprisoned? The system and its ruling class protects itself and prevails! How can one band of traitors, criminals and murderers hold another band of traitors, criminals and murders accountable for justice? Whatever the internal conflicts and power struggles, even blood feuds, the Godfathers unite to protect the Mafia, the System and the Empire!
The system manufactures its safety mechanisms and molds the leadership required given the need of the hour. That is automatic. Even a marauding fascist predator can be tamed, tuned and turned into a democratic mouse of the deepest compassion. Traitors can be turned into patriots, fascists into democrats and terrorists into liberators. Ranil, Chandrika, Mangala, Champika, Fonseka are being bathed, perfumed, plasticized and dressed up as the angels of democracy and decency. H.E. Maitripala Sirisena himself was once a key player in the game of deception and violation! He was a forerunner and ideologue in the war and its triumphal celebrations. He is an accomplice in the militarization and subjugation of the Tamil Nation. He stood by in mute silence and complicity during the racist-fascist attacks in Aluthgama, Dharga Town in Beruwela, not to mention the grotesque violation and defilation in Dambulla. He was an accomplice in the killing of the innocents. In the killing of Roshen in Katunayake, Anthony in Chilaw and in Rathupaswela and in the sustained brutal assaults against the student movement. Can His Excellency, and Hon Prime Minister Ranil, Madam Chandrika, Hon. Champika, Mangala and Fonseka take an acid bath and wipe away the blood on their hands and redeem for their abominable crimes. Would all the drug lords and war lords, the known murderers and rapists be hauled to court? Would the Chief Justices, the Attorney Generals, the Police Chiefs, the Army Commanders, the Governors of the Central Bank, the billionaire swindlers of the Stock Exchange, the top directors of the Ceylon Electricity Board, the Petroleum Corporation, the Department of Motor Vehicles, Customs, the notorious Urban Development Authority, the Ministers and Secretaries that partook of the most astronomical corruption, that willingly complied in crime and robbed the people blind be brought to book?
After all is said and done, His Excellency and the ruling class he represents have shed the blood of the people, sold out the country and delivered us into a most simmering volcanic vortex of violent contradiction and destruction. His Excellency and the whole of the corrupt, murdering ruling class which he represents, have taken turns in delivering our country and our people into the jaws of inter-imperialist rivalry. As events evolve and the internal crisis exacerbates, there could even be foreign intervention under the guise of the R2P. Are we to choose between US, India or China? Are we so devoid of vision that we have to remain hapless pawns in this deadly game of imperialist chess? Or, shall we dare to claim the glorious heritage of national liberation blazed by the blood of the fallen martyrs and heroes throughout the centuries of colonization?
Whatever sops thrown at him, the deposed MR will fight back with a vengeance and a fury known only in the depths of hell. Look at what happened in Egypt. Sisi overthrew and imprisoned Morsi in a coup, and proscribed the Moslem Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, with the backing of the US and Israel. It is just a question of time. Listen to Wimalaya, the peon of MR. He promises a come-back with vengeance against the national minorities. Read through the lines. The next hundred days will intensify all these crisscrossing rivalries, conflicts and contradictions into a simmering volcanic cauldron. The scheduled General Election will be a test of strength. However which way it goes and the cookie crumbles, the Land and the People of Lanka shall remain hapless pawns in this deadly game of imperialist chess and intra-class blood feuds.
Is this the only option available? OR, will the prospect of the most radical democratic revolution that alone could unite the people of Lanka as an invincible force capable of overthrowing imperialist domination and its neo-colonial enforcers to establish a People’s Democratic State and a People’s Republic of Lanka, and achieve genuine national unity, independence and democratic freedom be the only path of Freedom? History is yet to decide! Revolution is the only path to Liberation!
*The writer is the Secretary: Ceylon Communist Party-Maoist