One might think that the hasty response by the Regime to declare that there is no decision to abrogate the 13th Amendment– at the present time, is an indication that it has backed down in the face of rising opposition, got afraid of the possible repercussions in Geneva, or that some chauvinist militarist cabal acting on its own impulse has been brought to heel by the Chief Executive, or worse, that it has abandoned its renewed offensive against the Tamil nation and its people- which the call for the abrogation of the 13th Amendment is intended to achieve . To believe so would be to entertain fatal illusions.
The continued and unrelenting offensive to wipe out the political status of the Tamil nation and impose and enforce the undisputed hegemonic domain of the unitary Sinhala-Buddhist/ Comprador Capitalist State had been initiated and intensified by every successive government. Both major Capitalist parties –the UNP and the SLFP-have competed to represent the cause of Sinhala-Buddhist supremacy and hegemony, while playing a game of chess with the fate of the Tamil nation. There is no need to recall the history of deception and betrayal of the Tamil nation by the State and it’s successive regimes. Every time the government introduced even the most truncated forms of sharing political power through devolution, the Opposition has sabotaged it. Both these parties are responsible for systematic discrimination and violent suppression of the Tamil people, including unleashing state-sponsored communal pogroms. Championing the cause of Sinhala supremacy and Sinhala-Buddhist hegemony was never intended to serve the oppressed Sinhala masses, but to deceive and manipulate them so that they turn their wrath – their frustration, pain and anger at being duped, chewed and spat out by the system – against the Tamil nation and its people. It is designed to manipulate the masses to support the rulers in their policy of ‘divide and rule’, which only serve to ensnare and enslave the oppressed masses-whether Sinhala, Tamil or Moslem- in their conditions of oppression. The two main Capitalist parties are served in this diabolical game by a host of other junior partners – such as the JVP, JHU, NFF, LSSP, CP and other such deformities- who form coalitions and alliances, and governments with them, to get their own piece of the cake, to grab their fill of the blood feast. This has been the trajectory of the so-called Westminster system of bourgeois parliamentary democracy imposed by the British.
Mahinda Rajapakse has simply crowned this historical trajectory of the evolution of the modern neo-colonial Comprador Capitalist State rigged up by the British, and modified by successive governments to centralize, concentrate and abuse State power in order to entrench and perpetuate the Capitalist class dictatorship and their own political domain. The military victory over the LTTE, and the subsequent military occupation and political subjugation of the Tamil nation and its people crowned this historical trajectory of Sinhala supremacy and Sinhala-Buddhist hegemony exercised by the ruling class. The military victory served to institutionalize this ideology as the undisputed ruling ideology of the State, where to dispute it is to be targeted as an enemy of the State, and most likely to be abducted, disappeared, tortured and killed. The ruling ideology and political dictatorship are being enforced through the baton, tear gas and guns on the streets, and through naked terror, selective assassination and torture. The renewed offensive against the 13th Amendment is a continuation and an intensification of the offensive against the Tamil nation and marks a further qualitative degeneration of a defunct and moribund Comprador-Capitalist State, rotting in its foundations.
The offensive is far from over, or being withdrawn.
The offensive has just been renewed and reinvigorated and it is very much at the forefront of the agenda. Listen to Hon. Minister Champika Ranawake . He refers to the opposition by the TNA to the Divi Neguma Bill by asserting the constitutional rights of the Provincial Councils as provided by the 13th Amendment as a strategy to create a constitutional crisis to pave the way for a separate state with the blessings of the pro-LTTE Western imperialists, India (!) and the Tamil Diaspora. According to the Minister, “ It is obvious that by using the Divi Neguma Bill the Tamil separatist forces are working overtime to promote a constitutional coup. It may also be an attempt to give a new interpretation to the unitary form of the state, which would eventually lead to a constitutional separatism”. Not for him the logic that it is the Regime that has provoked a constitutional crisis by introducing the Divi Neguma heist, and its subsequent attempt to manipulate the 13th Amendment to get around a Supreme Court injunction, and by its terrorist offensive against the independence of the Judiciary. Blind and bigoted, Champika asserts; “ Here in Sri Lanka, it is now evident that a new front is being launched in the sphere of judiciary, aiming at the same objectives. As per the recent rhetoric of Sampanthan in Baticoloa to the effect that direct action may follow, their current moves can be considered to be subtle ways of transforming the unsuccessful separatist terrorism into a constitutional separatism. The history proves that the whole strength of separatist terrorism in this country has been with foreign backing and as long as India and the Western countries are leaned towards Tamil terrorism, the so-called international community must realize that it is counter-productive to any process of reconciliation”. So, back off, take our side, or there will not be any reconciliation, seems to be the implied message. What then? Bloodhound of the Regime, he lives up to his role: “ In view of the emerging development and also as a result of the fact that the ‘forgive and forget’( talk of arrogant, chauvinist, supercilious condescension ) plea of the National forces has not yielded the desired results. It is high time that we adopted an appropriate strategy to counter the activities of the Tamil separatists. Whether they like it or not the only option now available before the National forces to defeat constitutional separatism is to mobilize a mass movement in every front. It should be known that although Velupillai Prabhakaran is dead, his Eelam dream is yet to be killed”. (my emphasis: Sunday Leader: 28-10-2012). Menacing in tone and revengeful in intent, isn’t it? (Black July and Bindinuwewa comes chillingly to mind, not to mention war crimes and other atrocities against humanity) ! Don’t tell me that this is not the official line of the Mahinda Rajapakse Regime. It is the official line of the Regime that is being championed openly by Gotabhaya Rajapakse, in league with Wimal Weerawansa, Champikla Ranawake and other such war-mongering, bigoted racists. It is a line in waiting to be unleashed, unless the US and Western powers and India release their fatal grip of demanding accountability and a political solution based on the 13th Amendment, which would surely sound the death knell of the Regime and of the whole supremacist agenda to bring the whole of the country and its inhabitants and resources, and all political, economic and financial power under the chauvinist-militarist-fascist dictatorship led by the Rajapakse troika- which the 18th Amendment, and now the Divi Neguma Bill are intended to consolidate constitutionally.
This ‘courage’ to defy the US and Western powers and India must be seen as a form of cunning duplicity. These powers are engaged in a diplomatic, political, economic and strategic tug-of-war with the Rajapakse Regime to pry it away from the ever growing Chinese connection, which threatens to destabilize the geo-political strategic balance of power in the Indian Ocean and throughout the Asian continent. The Rajapakse regime knows it can rely on the China- Russia- Iran-Pakistan axis to bail them out of any difficulty, given that they could care less about genocidal crimes and atrocities, or any form of violation of human and democratic rights, as much the same as the US, Western Powers and India, so long as their own interests are being advanced. A game of diplomatic and political skulldruggery?
The renewed offensive against the 13th Amendment directed at obliterating the political status of the Tamil nation and its right to self-determination is part of the grand strategy of survival of the Regime. It is a strategy to confront the US, Western powers and India to get them to back off on issues of accountability by waving the China card. It is designed to whip up and unleash the chauvinist base of the Regime to counter its growing unpopularity. It is designed to distract the masses from the escalating cost of living and issues of livelihood and human rights. It is a policy aimed at expanding and consolidating the military occupation, Sinhala colonization and wholesale land grabbing in the North East. It is designed to create a climate of civil war in order to bring the country under a draconian fascistic dictatorship headed by the Rajapakse junta. It is to open the flood gates to unrestricted neo-liberal penetration and imperialist plunder, and to rake in fortunes through astronomical commissions and bribes. The Comprador Capitalist State needs to wage war against its own people in order to exercise the naked terrorist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie without any form of opposition or mass resistance- and without being hindered by such gimmickries as the Constitution, LLRC Report or any international human rights laws or conventions.
There is a most decisive battle developing between the forces of democracy and freedom, the forces representing genuine national unity and solidarity, the forces heralding a bright new future AND the forces of reaction, the camp of militarist-chauvinist-fascist forces who would, once again, drown this Land in rivers of blood in order to achieve their megalomaniacal ambitions of power and glory. At this momentous hour, we must take our stand. We must decide our duty and do it well. It calls for standing for the defense and full implementation of the 13th Amendment-as a preliminary basis to negotiate a democratic political solution to the Tamil National Question.
*The writer is Secretary: Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist)