17 April, 2024

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The NPP Factor: Rise Of Left-Wing Populism In Sri Lanka

By Ramindu Perera

Ramindu Perera

Even its adversaries would admit that the Jathika Jana Balavegaya (NPP) has emerged as the most successful force in the post-aragalaya political scene. A recent opinion poll conducted by the Institute for Health Policy (IHP) indicates that the NPP would have a significant lead over the main opposition party Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) in terms of voter preference if elections are held. Having polled only 3 percent of votes in the last general election, and having been considered a fringe political party hitherto, the NPP has succeeded in making significant inroads into the mainstream. While the incumbent Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) government has fallen into disgrace due to the economic crisis and is currently implementing an International Monetary Fund (IMF) dictated unpopular austerity program, and whilst the center-right Samagi Jana Balawegaya has failed to capitalize on the mass discontent due to limitations of their political agenda, the rise of the anti-establishment NPP has created a far-reaching effect. 

The NPP today has become the target of critics both from the right and the left. The right-wing accuses the NPP of its old-school socialist policies, and the reluctance to endorse the IMF-dictated economic restructuring process the country is going through at the moment. On the other hand, left-wing critics —mostly belonging to various ultra-left currents see the NPP as a renegade formation, lacking a serious alternative to dominant neo-liberalism. None of these characterizations sufficiently explain the nuanced character mass movements like the NPP represents. 

Populist politics 

The NPP can be seen as an example of a left-wing populist movement. Populism is a phenomenon that has been on the rise both in the global north and the south in recent times. Populism is a political strategy that juxtaposes the ‘people’ against the dominance of ‘the elite’. Populist politics envisions establishing a political frontier between the ordinary people whose concerns have been disregarded by the establishment dominated by an elite minority. Populism is a discursive strategy —an ‘art’ of doing politics.  

Depending on the nature of the values a populist project identifies with, the character of populism might assume different shades. For instance, the dominant form of populism that has swept the western world in recent times is known as right-wing populism due to its allegiance towards right-wing values such as xenophobia, racism, opposition towards marginalized communities, etc. Populist projects of Donald Trump in the United States or Marie La Pen in France that pit immigrants or religious minorities against the idea of ‘people’ — mainly referring to the white population of those countries are examples of right-wing populism. They reflect a certain anti-establishment quality due to their antipathy towards the liberal establishment which endorses values such as multiculturalism or flexible immigration policies. However, this anti-establishment sentiment is regressive due to its right-wing framing. 

Populism can also associate with left-wing and progressive values. Political history shows that the discontent of the masses against the status quo can be organized along a progressive line, defining the ‘people’ and their ‘enemy’ in different terms. The Latin American pink tide which brought a number of left-wing leaders into power in South America in the 2000s on an anti-imperialist and left-leaning platform is an example of how populism can take a leftist orientation. In the context of the developed world, the Occupy Wall Street movement that strived to establish a political antagonism between the 1 percent (the super-rich) and the 99 percent (the commoners) —and the Bernie Sanders movement that emerged from the protests, the left-wing SYRIZA movement in Greece or the PODEMOS in Spain are considered as manifestations of left-wing populism. These movements are different from traditional mass-left-wing parties based on the working class because the category of ‘people’ denotes a multi-class formation. The populist message these movements advance entails a transverse character, cutting across class lines that help in molding an alliance between the working and middle classes. 

The NPP discourse 

The main constituent party of the NPP —the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna  (JVP) is well known for the use of a dualist strategy in organizing masses. Whilst maintaining a Marxist discourse within internal ranks of the party, the JVP time to time has used different other ‘languages’ to address broader masses in popular politics. The language of nationalism was the most successful in this regard, which was invoked by the JVP both in the late 1980s and 2000s onwards. However, the JVP abandoned the nationalist rhetoric aftermath of the end of the civil war in 2009. The nationalist message was replaced by a ‘democratic’ one — questioning the failure of mainstream parties to represent the aspirations of the people. NPP was formed in 2018 as a broader platform during this transformation. 

What the NPP proposes to the masses is quite straightforward — a Dushitha walalla (corrupt circle) comprising politicians of both mainstream parties, leading public officials and corrupt businessmen is dominating the life of the nation and has robbed the common masses. The NPP introduces an antagonism between the ‘people’ who are deprived and an elite that has undermined the aspirations of the people. This narrative can be easily contrasted with the ethno-nationalist narrative of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna which happened to be extremely dominant in our public imagination in the recent past. As a movement with a right-wing populist tilt, the SLPP claimed to represent the majority Sinhala ‘people’ neglected by the liberal Yahapalana government which ‘favored’ the minorities. In the SLPP discourse, the political frontier was established between ‘the people’ and the minority appeasing establishment. 

Instead of the ‘them’ vs ‘us’ antagonism based on ethnicity, the NPP is suggesting a different narrative highlighting the crisis of popular representation Sri Lanka has been facing. The deterioration of the political culture — the way politics is done in Sri Lanka for decades has molded a certain type of antipathy in public consciousness towards politicians of mainstream parties. There is a crisis of political representation, a loss of legitimacy where people do not feel the political establishment represents them anymore. The NPP attempts to radically address this mass sentiment, and transform it into a political force. The underlying message is that the masses are suffering due to the misdeeds of the political establishment. Regardless of their party affiliation, politicians in the mainstream parties are a part of this corrupt establishment. This message appears to have appealed to the senses of a broad section of masses —from rural masses to urban middle-class intelligentsia, cutting across class lines. The NPP is building a multi-class political formation around populist messaging. 

The character of populism 

The anti-establishment, populist narrative of the NPP is associated with two other elements which are decisive in shaping the nature of its populist message. 

First is the left-leaning character of the socio-economic policies the NPP pursues. As also evident from the speech delivered by the NPP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake in the recent Economic Forum held in Colombo, the NPP advances an economic framework that combines characteristics of economic nationalism and developmentalism with a social democratic programme. The NPP argues for a larger role for the state in the economy in terms of national planning and deciding the overall trajectory of the economy. This stands in contrast with the standard neo-liberal orthodoxy believing in the virtue of the free market in driving economic development. While standing for a state-directed economic development path, the NPP also argues for the de-commodification of public services such as education, healthcare, transportation etc., and the need for a fair redistribution of the national income. 

Secondly, in the field of ethnic relations, the NPP has proclaimed that they strive for ‘national unity’ based on equality among national communities. Given the record of the JVP having a history of flirting with Sinhala majoritarianism, the NPP’s attitude towards the national question is something that has created caution among ethnic minorities. The NPP claims that it stands against discrimination against minorities and refers to various examples such as how it stood to defend Muslim communities against persecution in the recent past as proof for its record. Furthermore, the NPP programme calls for devolving ‘political and administrative power’, and pledges to introduce reforms based on that line through a future constitutional arrangement. 

The NPP is a predominantly Sinhala formation. Claiming otherwise would be an exaggeration. Reaching out to minority communities is a challenge the NPP would face in the future. To that extent, they might have to reflect on their strategies, and think about new ways of establishing links with minorities. For instance, the claim that the NPP stood against discrimination against the Muslim communities is not false per se, there indeed were several interventions at the time — but whether these interventions were sufficient is a fair question someone can raise. 

However, none of the above concerns preclude the fact that the NPP position on ethnic relations stands in contradiction to the toxic, ethno-nationalist message of the SLPP which was highly popular among Sinhala masses until very recently. NPP is the only party in the South that is vocal about the vices of communalism. Given the extent the ethnic supremacist idea of the SLPP was hegemonic in the popular imagination, the NPP’s emphasis on equality and solidarity strikes a progressive note in the South. 

Shifting discourses

The NPP project entails a number of contradictions and inner tensions which are natural to any populist movement. This short piece does not allow us to discuss these contradictions in detail. Suffice to note that maintaining the balance of the multi-class formation amidst a deepening economic crisis would be the most serious challenge the NPP would face in its future trajectory. 

Whatever the contradictions and limitations the NPP project might entail, the emergence of a left-wing populist alternative in our politics denotes a progressive turn. The ongoing election campaign indicates that the NPP is largely gaining from the collapse of the SLPP voter base at the rural level. Formerly SLPP voters tend to defect to the NPP instead of the SJB. The landslide victory of the SLPP in the 2019 elections led to the consolidation of right-wing populism in Sri Lanka. The emergence of the NPP as a main actor in rural and semi-urban electorates signifies the displacement of this regressive discourse — an indication that the common people have started looking at politics through a different lens.

*The author – Lecturer, Department of Legal Studies, The Open University of Sri Lanka

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Latest comments

  • 10
    4

    One characteristic of populism is a charismatic leader. Right wing populism had Mahinda Rajapakse and its reliance on Sinhala Buddhist supremacy. The ideology also must be tied with unreasonable hatred of other religions and ethnicities and narrow nationalism. So, Victor Orban, keeping Hungary pure and keeping migrants out, Trump with making America great again, perhaps Boris Johnson with Brexit which he did not believe in, Marie Le Pen in France are instances where leadership and c is nottertain far right notions combined. NPP does not qualify. Anura KD is not that charismatic though a great speaker. NPP’s economic policy and left wing creed are not out of the way. They have seized the hour. It is not necessary to brand them as populist.

    • 6
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      C
      “One characteristic of populism is a charismatic leader.”
      Not am essential characteristic though.
      There is an interesting study:CHARISMA, LEADER EFFECTS AND SUPPORT FOR RIGHT-WING POPULIST PARTIES by Wouter van der Brug and Anthony Mughan (PARTY POLITICS, VOL 13. No.1, pp. 29–51, 2007) among others that suggests that the importance of a charismatic leader seems to be overstated.
      I do not dismiss charisma as worthless, but that by itself has rarely delivered.

  • 14
    11

    ‘The main constituent party of the NPP —the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is well known for the use of a dualist strategy in organizing masses.’
    .
    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. Is a repeat of 1988/89 what the Ranil-bashers want?

    • 14
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      svenson: It is not the JVP that would come to power. It would be the NPP. The NPP is well aware of the “Discipline” of the JVP and that would be left to JVP to look after. However, NPP has taken one lesson from JVP and that is “Collective Decision” making. The other most important “RULE” is all to be “CLEAN”.

      The organizational structure that has been introduced to NPP speaks for its compliance with the principles of Democracy, in that there is an “Executive Central Committee”, “District Committee” and “Electoral Committee” systems. In the recent selection of nominees to Local Government institutions, all candidates have been selected through those “Institutional Channels” but not by the system that is in place with JVP. So I don’t think that JVP “Ideology” that you “FEAR” would be present at all. That is why even with the “LOSS” of life of one of their nominees and another still in “Coma” in the ICU, NPP has not resorted to “Violence”(as expected by Ranil W). Therefore, it is evident that NPP has a “Different” stroke than that of JVP which has “Changed” from “Old” styles to a “NEW”. So don’t fear, NPP would be the “POWER”.

    • 7
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      Why do you think 88/89 would repeat if NPP comes to power? 88/89 happened because RW’s uncle went and banned JVP for some stupid reason. JVP never formed a government. If NPP (Coalition) comes to power in the future, we will see if they would walk the talk.

      • 2
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        See my reply to Ramona Therese Fernando below. Thanks.

    • 3
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      Svenson
      A coalition of a strong party and partners who are either its proxies or virtual nonentities will in effect be the main party itself by another name.

  • 10
    2

    “The NPP Factor: Rise Of Left-Wing Populism In Sri Lanka”

    Shouldn’t this be just ………. The rise of the NPP?

    Left-Wing populism was always popular in Lanka. SLFP side of politics (if I’m not mistaken, which has ruled the longest; post-independence) was always left of centre ……. and their teaming up with other leftist parties made them even more Left-er.

    The difference between the Left and the pseudo-Left, only God knows! ……. Perhaps, he is scratching head too.

    • 9
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      nimal fernando: “The difference between the Left and the pseudo-Left, only God knows”. God need not scratch his head. We KNOW it and if HE wants to know can tell HIM.

      In the 1960s the then “Left” (CP, LSSP, MEP) joined in a “Common Front” The First meeting was held at Independence Square, at which Late Pandith Amaradeva sang the inaugural song with the lighting of the “Coconut Oil Lamp” lit by the three leaders viz. Phillip, NM, and Dr. SA. That “Left” could not agree on “ONE” Leader, but they “Instaled” a “Presediam” with all “Three” in “ONE”. That was the “ONLY” meeting and “NOTHING” after that.

      You know where all those “Left” Leaders ventured and found their “Safe Heavens”- some married with SLFP and while others even “Eloped” with UNP. Today, you know where they (the successors like Vasu, Vitharana) are.

      Please tell “GOD” to contact me for further details, because I have lived and still living through these “Episodes” of this wretched “LEFT”.

      • 6
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        Simon
        “That was the “ONLY” meeting and “NOTHING” after that.”
        That is incorrect. There were subsequent meetings of the leaders.
        There was the 21 Demands by a broad alliance of trade unions.
        Mrs B baited the MEP first and then the LSSP to join her in government. She would not have the CP in government.
        Philip G. insisted that it is all left partners or nothing, and talks fell through. then she tried NM, who thought that the LSSP would join first and then smuggle in the others.
        Philip was furious and, understandably, he thought that this was treachery. So that was the end of the United Left Front. What was worse was that the 21 Demands trade union action also was abandoned.
        It split the LSSP and the CP as well, although there were disputes already simmering on the ideological front in the two parties.
        Despite all its flaws, the Left was a collection of essentially clean politicians, personally. The rot set in after 1977.

    • 2
      2

      Perhaps, he is scratching head too.
      nimal, Did you mean, ‘Perhaps, He is scratching his head too’.

  • 3
    3

    IMF. These three letters have become synonymous with political rhetoric, whether you are for or against their funding.
    When you are starving, you buy a loaf of bread, irrespective of the price bread is sold at.
    You stop purchasing when you have the strength and the means to prepare your own food.
    Right now, we need the bread. We need the funding.
    .
    Sri Lanka is not a country of just Sinhalese. Letting others go starving would end up in a continuing need of funding.

  • 6
    1

    nimal fernando: One more name I forgot to add to that list of “Successors” of the “Left” and that is none other than Phillip’s (Boralugoda Sinhaya) “Camileon” son Dinesh Gunawardane – the PM under Ranil W. He is still the Leader of his father’s political party by the “Mahajana Eksath Peramuna” – MEP. that joined SLPP under MR and BR to bring in GOTA to the Presidential seat.

    Do you still think that “GOD” has forgotten or escaped his attention? Not really.

  • 3
    5

    This is not the correct time elect NPP-JVP To rule the country.As it happened during SRIMAAVOS Appe anduwa time the NPP Supporters will take the upper hand in all government and semi government departments and create lots of problem to run the day to day government.The following incident that took place during 1970 APPE ANDUWA Is an eye opener.
    I WAS ATTACHED TO A WELL KNOWN BLUE CHIP COMPANY IN COLOMBO AND THE MD AT THAT TIME WAS FROM ENGLAND.ONCE APPE ANDUWA CAME TO POWER THE SLFP TRADE UNION WAS FORMED AGAINST BALA THAMBUS UNION AND THIS NEW SLFP UNION WANTED TO RUN THE BIG CANTEEN WITHOUT NORMAL TENDER AND ALSO FORMED A BUDIST SOCIETY AND TRIED TO START PRITH FUNCTION IN SIDE OFFICE PARKING LOT.THE MD WHO WAS NOT IN AGREEMENT WAS HOOTED AND THEY STARTED A STRIKE.AT THE END MD RESIGNED AND LEFT THE COUNTRY IN 1972.THE COMPANY LOST ITS PROFIT MARGIN AND LATER EVERY THING CAME TO NORMAL AFTER UNP CAME TO POWER.SAME THING WILL HAPPEN IF NPP COMES TO POWER BY ANY CHANCE.

  • 5
    1

    Time for NPP to move on and open the door for other good candidates to enter their alliance. They wait longer, and they waste more time.

    This country is full of diversity. If not, it would have been good for the people for a long time. Consensus building for a simple type of amendment to existing systems is not an easy task. All these are public secret. That is why we see existing of dozens of political parties forthe last decades. We knew that GOTA’s coalition consisted of SLPP, SLFP, MP, CP, MEP and several others.
    .
    All these should be clearly studied by NPP. Otherwise, NPP’s hopes will forever remainas “castles built on sand”.

    They should start wrapping them in “national dress”. If NPP expects people to perform miracles, it is a waste of time. It is time for the NPP to finally understand the demographics of a cross section of our society.

    tbc

    • 3
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      Dear LM: Today in news, there was a PROTEST by the people of a village name “SIRIPURA” in the Dimbulagala PS against the “Nomination” of one Samantha Kumara by the JVP/NPP to contest at the Local Government elections. According to the protestors, this “Nominee” is running a “Beer Bar” in the village in close proximity to the Temple, School, and the Montessori. The protestors say, they are “90%” voters of “JVP/NPP”, but demand that this candidate be “Withdrawn”.

      I like this and appreciate the way the village voters are reacting to this type of nomination. This is the WAY it must be. Do you now know that these village voters are no more “THANAKOLA” eaters and “POONNAKKU” drinkers?

      See this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMSY4KY5M0g

      It may not be available by the time you connect. But the report is correct.

      • 2
        0

        Thank you, my dear Simon. Your link is unfortunately enative.
        These are really good developments. Real change can only be made if villagers come together, because they themselves can better read the DNA of poor people.
        No matter what anyone says or does for false self-esteem, we know that rural poverty in Sri Lanka is really high. During the Rajapakse regime, the B***Puthas spread the blatant lies that “we don’t have a single POLATHU HUT (coconut leave hut) house in Sri Lanka today”.
        Those villagers can more accurately read the hearts and minds of the real sufferers than most urban dwellers in Sri Lanka’s metropolises. Majority of the people in this country are really suffering, not just today, but they have been neglected forever.. so why aren’t the villagers active yet?
        .
        tbc.

        • 2
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          cont.
          Simon,
          The collective succeeded in eradicating LTTE terror in the country in May 2009. . Stupidly, entirely other heroic tales were fed in the shit heads of the Pingonas for their political survival.
          Our people eat even garbage if it would be passed to them easily.

          THeir IQ levels are that low so that they would never cross question on anything.

          Looking back, people are gradually realizing today that they even STOLE the glory of the war victory.

          Through the way they licked the AIRPORT grounds, bo-trees and the backsides of PINGUTHTHARAYAS; they manipulated the gullible mindset of the masses. Many started to believe that they are extreme patriots. All this was bewitched by our Pingona dominated Sri Lanka. The result was that Mahinda became a figure similar to the Zimbabwean Mugabe. Mahinda became similar to that TRIPOLI s man. Those who know it know it well, all others yet today, are caught by the blatant lies.

          Therefore, .
          If the people of our village come together and brand and EXPOSE the corrupt relatives in their vicinities, corruption can be reduced.

          I don’t think it’s impossible. People over to you – if not today when ?

  • 6
    0

    LM
    Sri Lankans are yet again in an emotional drive to find a solution to our problems by jumping towards another option. This has always been our problem.
    This is the time to take a step back and take stock of where we have gone wrong in the past and find a practical solution to the same.
    To do that we have to put our issues into perspective. We have to realise where we stand in the world as a country. I don’t think many Sri Lankans comprehend our situation with respect to world economics or politics not to talk of the progress other countries have achieved during the time we have been squabbling amongst ourselves.
    The world has moved ahead by leaps and bounds while we continue to reason like frogs in a well.

    • 3
      1

      Dear HT,
      “I don’t think many Sri Lankans comprehend our situation with respect to world economics or politics not to talk of the progress other countries have achieved during the time we have been squabbling amongst ourselves.”
      .
      Even if we label the majority as “followers of Buddhism” we do not want to experience the progress of other like-minded nations. People feed on hatred and jealousy.

      If most of us look down on other progressives, we look down on them instead of trying to learn from their achievements for the betterment of our people. It has become the culture of our “frog in the well” dominating Sri Lankan society.
      Sri Lanka is shrouded in dark clouds of various mafias and the media is the king of all mafias. People do not care about the danger in front of them.
      .
      Sri Lankan media is rarely interested in doing various awareness programs. Evenings on LANKEN TV channels are devoted entirely to programs based on “Sinhalese supremacy, Sinhalese chauvinism, Sinhalese extremism, Sinhalese Buddhism, and similar nonsense”: Jackson Anthony was caught by that brutal accident while he is coming from a shoot event on that day. Reporters revealed, it was to heading to shooting based on a film called “Singhabahu”; in order to ballon our SINHALAKAMA.

  • 7
    0

    My personal opinion is that we have to understand the extent of damage done to our country due to the corruption proliferated by the Rajapaksa bastards and understand the rotten state in which it is presently.
    Then we have to chart a practical path to recovery.
    I honestly do not think that under the present state of affairs in the country, a democratic process can reverse the extent of corruption that exists.
    Let me use the example of a government company that has gotten out of hand, do you guys seriously think shuffling the same government officers back and forth between positions can bring that company out of distress? The answer is NO.
    Government companies are sold to private owners when the chips are down.
    The private owners then appoint a capable team to practically salvage the situation using different methodology. Most times they succeed and pull the company out of distress. Please take Air India as an example, Air India is looking completely different with Tata in charge.
    It is the same with countries. A country that has fallen down due to corrupt politicians should be allowed to be placed under administration before it can be salvaged and once it is salvaged, it can return to normal democratic process.
    In the case of Sri Lanka, this process has already taken place.

    • 5
      1

      H.T,
      “A country that has fallen down due to corrupt politicians should be allowed to be placed under administration before it can be salvaged.
      In the case of Sri Lanka, this process has already taken place.”
      If that means what I think it means, I am with you. But it seems everybody and his brother is out to get the administrator. Irrational as always, looking for the pie in the sky rather than taking the roti in hand.

      • 1
        5

        OC
        I think that the roti is toxic.
        But that is not what the squabble is about: given the chance the bidders will settle for half a roti.

      • 4
        0

        Thanks OC
        I am glad that a few of us are able to reason logically and not follow the “ralla” as most people do.
        “Ralla” or herd mentality is a sign of primitive mindedness, it is predominantly found in sheep and cattle.
        It is the ralla mentality that has kept SL underdeveloped and poor over the past 75 years.
        When are Sri Lankans going to wake up from this ignorant way of existing?

    • 3
      0

      Dear HT,
      You and I know very clearly the extent of the damage done to this nation by Padada Rajapaksa. That is not comparable to any kind of damages made by any other politicians.
      .
      It exceeded all estimates. There is not a single area untouched by medamulana criminals. Therefore its effect remains entwined. Come to think of it, even today many people don’t attack them so badly.
      .
      Last week too, Mahinda was welcomed as a deity in Moneragala by a group led by Pingona.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAQJWycazmM

      For some reason, Rajapakseites once mesmerized by the rhetoric of the Rajapakse thugs (Rohitha Abeygunawardena and Johnston) seem to find it difficult to leave them like prostitutes in a whorehouse. I really don’t know what is going through these stupid people’s heads.
      Although the elephant is in the room, no one talks about it yet: PEOPLE ARE THROWN to stand-still mode yet today. . Likewise, the extent of Rajakshe’s crimes is visible even to the isolated little ones, but Sri Lankan media is still unwilling to point fingers at them. That is why they hang on to things like “225 MPs are equally guilty”, “this country has been robbed for 75 years after independence”. Because all this is growing in the society, the bitches sons of Rajapaksa are further protected.

  • 3
    8

    What a relief it will be when JVP-NPP finally takes over the country!

    When most of the country’s large systems and institutions are nationalized, and country money assets are spread accross the board, there will be plenty for the small business start-up. People will rest easy and build from scratch. Quite different from the current squeezing of blood and money from the longsuffering-hardworking-Lankan-masses*of*workers , working to build up unnecessary big corporations run by the 0.1% Lankan Elite. This time, the money will be FOR the people.

    Quite different from the Sirimavo time as there has been better global connectivity and experience gained since those times. Capitalist countries will be relieved, for they know that they have been wasting their money on a long lost cause trying to capitalize on Sri Lanka. They might even give us the IMF loan without Ranil. No, it will be a US$$2-billion grant, not a loan, just to get rid of our diplomats continuously hounding them.

    • 3
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      Correction: Quite different from the current squeezing of blood and money from the longsuffering-hardworking-Lankan-masses*of*workers , working to build up unnecessary big corporations owned,* run, and profits collected* by the 0.1% Lankan Elite.

    • 6
      2

      ‘What a relief it will be when the JVP-NPP finally takes over the country’
      .
      I hope you don’t regret those words.
      .
      Once they ‘take over’ it will not be easy to remove them. These people don’t believe in democracy but use it to achieve power. Our people become disgruntled once the initial euphoria of a new goverment wears out. They start protesting and demonstrating and the JVP will not tolerate that. This is what I meant by a return to the violence of 1988/89.

      • 3
        3

        Svensin,

        Socialist run governments have failed at elections if they don’t do well e.g. France under Mitterrand and Venezuela under Hugo Chavez. But many persist and do well, like China, Vietnam, Sweden, and Bangledesh.
        But talk about our current government and the impossibility of their removal. Their use of torture and death to control dissidents; their rigging of elections. Any violence inflicted by Marxists in those times were a retaliation of the horrors done to them.

        • 0
          0

          Svenson*

        • 4
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          Ramona, you are quoting Socialist democracies as well as dictatorships. China and Vietnam are one-party Communist states. When did they have democratic elections or tolerate dissent?
          .
          If you want to remove the current Government it can be done at the next General Election.

          • 2
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            Svenson,
            _
            Yes, they can start being removed at the local government elections of April 25th, 2023.

            China and Vietnam have elections within their Socialist settings. They rotate between Social-Democracy to Lenin-Marxist policies. Sri Lanka can rotate between JVP-NPP and others like the FSP and IUSF, or they can all merge to do what is best for the country. But I also mentioned Sweden and Bangladesh. Like Sweden, Sri Lanka is actually quite rich in her own right, but for money stuck at the top. All we need is to spread the wealth so correct industry can take root.

            • 3
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              ‘China and Vietnam have elections within their Socialist settings. They rotate between Social-Democracy to Lenin-Marxist policies.’
              .
              The Earth rotates, China does not. The one-party state rubber stamps itself for perpetuity. Have you never heard of the protests in Hong Kong, the children taken away for indoctrination in Xinjiang? Do you want the same for Sri Lanka?

              • 0
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                Yep. Sounds just like Ranil-Rajapaksa gov. But there’s always Vietnam and Sweden we can emulate. Anyway China does gloriously well.

      • 3
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        Svenson,
        “I hope you don’t regret those words.”
        She can’t. She lives quite safely in Pittsburgh, USA.

        • 3
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          Old Codger,

          Was dreaming of spending old-age in the Motherland. Can’t if 1% who own the country assets are singing Biala at the Royal-Thomian, whilst the masses upon masses are enduring clipping poverty.

          • 2
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            In 2007 the richest 1% of the American population owned 35% of the country’s total wealth. We’re getting there.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_inequality_in_the_United_States#

            • 3
              3

              Svenson,

              And 65% of the American people hold the rest of the wealth. Compare that to Sri Lanka’s 95:5 percent.

              America invents and builds things (and does wars). Sri Lanka spends on things like the Royal-Thomian match with politicos singing Biala to keep up their spirits up, and to ensure a continuation of their 95% , while hoping that somehow it will magically burst into bloom on international markets.

    • 5
      3

      Idiot RTF
      If JVP are so good, why haven’t you voted them for once?
      Just as a drowning person would want to cling to a blade of grass, the likes of you and the rest of the unintelligent bandwagon are ready to throw all your hopes onto the same JVP you all despised ovar the years

      • 3
        3

        Never despised them.

  • 2
    3

    Watched many of AKD and other JVP/NPP speakers skilfully and painstakingly
    draw public attention to the issues the country is facing right now due to the
    wrong handling of almost every situation in the country now for about 75 years.
    True , their popularity is on the rise , not really because of high hopes of having
    a great successful future under them , but mainly because of the indifference of
    the recent rulers to burning issues faced by the general public of all walks of
    life . One and the same bunch of rulers pushing the people into the abyss and
    then pretending to rescue them with more evil witchcraft , have pushed the
    people to the wall . Ranil is now entrusted with the task of handling the situation
    because he didn’t have anything better to do . He is not a public choice . Only a
    man like him can behave the way he behaves , smashing on the ground the
    principles once he pretended he adhered to ! Openly , he threw the challenge to
    the JVP/ NPP , Take it or Back Off ! AKD calls it a Trap ! But for Ranil , Take it
    or Back off or I will take you ! So , for me , it is as simple as this : JVP/NPP
    avoids the trap letting the people go with the minimums and losses until the
    right time comes to them ! When is that right time ?

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