Remarkable journey towards democracy - Dr. Vickramabahu

All media accepted the importance of the Sathyagrha launched by the Sixty two movement and gave the due publicity. Most emphasized the speech made by Rajitha, the radical minister for health, in defending the ability of the government to breakaway from forces that want to bargain with fascism and secretly plan to deal with the crimes committed by the previous regime.

He emphasized that a special Court will be set up to investigate corruption that occurred during the previous regime. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne speaking further said that people who oppose and want to protect Mahinda clan will be dealt with. He was welcomed by the “Movement for the Protection of Convention among the 6.2 million people" or shortly Sixty two movement. To the cheering crowd he said that the Cabinet had initiated discussions on setting up of a Special Court, immediately to conclude the corruption cases against politicians and officials of the previous regime. He further said, that the President had agreed to conduct a Referendum to pass the proposed Constitution. Speaking on former Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake resignation he said that, Mr. Karunanayake had resigned with pride and it was the beginning of a change in the country. He admitted “The period starting with this month would be a crucial time for the government and there will be certain important changes in the country.”

Yahapalana Government completed a period of two and half years. But as the Government passed its two-year mark a question of credibility has raised in the mind of the general public against the Government. Present Yahapalana leaders had overthrown the previous regime by making certain election promises to the people. As the election manifesto of the Government had promised, they were to enforce the law strictly and follow policies of good governance. Those found to be corrupt in the previous regime were to be punished. The present Government leaders earlier stated that they wouldn’t allow anyone to corrupt law and order by using political powers. Also they promised to solve the national problem by devolving power; executive presidency will be eliminated.
Though its third year, people pose the question whether the promises mentioned in their election manifesto, were only a rhetoric, or not?

During recent ‘sathyagrha’ titled ‘Heta Delakshaya Seeruwen’ staged in front of the Viharamahadevi Park, several Political leaders from the ‘Yahapalana Government’, activists and civil society organizations voiced their views influencing the authorities to fulfill the election manifesto which they had provided during the last presidential election. The ‘sathyagrha’ was organized by the “Movement for the Protection of Convention among 6.2 million people” in collaboration with many civil society organizations who had assisted the’ Yahapalana concept’ to form a Government. The sathyagrha was able to break the view that Yahapalanaya is following the path of Mahinda regime. Such desperate people pointed the finger at finger at Wijedasa and his followers and said, “The reason that they have come to that open action, relatively recently and did not proceed down that track shortly after assuming their seats of power was probably because they had to establish themselves in the various positions that gave them the opportunity to conduct matters of governance as they saw fit with the single constraint of ensuring that they maximized the pecuniary benefits from whatever they did.” That six important ministers were attracted by the people’s action shows that the social political content of the Yahapalanaya is different from the fascistic politics of Mahinda regime.

The Rajapaksa regime displayed an absolute disregard with regard to the rule of law, fairness, basic justice and the rest of the cornerstones of a democratic society. One could, literally, get away with murder if she had the right connections. Sometimes it was by the devious expedient of being packed off to Singapore with a bullet in the brain allegedly leaving the victim a human vegetable only to return, miraculously recovered and ready for battle, literally and figuratively. That era is gone, for ever.

‘Sixty two group’ organized the sathyagrha while people were suspiciously looking at clouds of corruption that appeared again. People assumed two years back, those dark clouds of corruption and brutal crimes have drifted with the defeat of the Rajapaksa fascistic government. Now they are suspicious. Are they descending again and are any successors of Mahinda regime fill the vacancy. They were wondering with not only a sense of disgust but one of bitter dejection. ‘Sixty two group’ with a successful sathyagrha could challenge the resignation and pessimisms. Obviously, resorting to the old fall-back of resignation is hardly a response deserving of acceptance given the plight of Lankan nation and what it can and will mean to all of us in all communities ; Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim. One could go further, Buddhist Christians, Hindus, Muslims and other religious groups too should be devoted to make use of the opportunity given by January 8 democratic uprising.

If one takes a step back and try to project a perspective on the current plight of Lanka, the sense of quiet euphoria that seemed to sweep across the nation with the defeat of the most corrupt and violent fascistic government is only a beginning; there was a massive table of barbarians that left behind that should have been cleared. It has been a very misfortune to see that huge but temporary uprising have lulled many of us into a false sense of complacency in the matter of the return of fascism; more correctly reorganized Mahinda group behind the power of Yahapalanaya. But now there is no excuse for any of us who participated in the Laksa sixty two uprising and perhaps experienced that optimism to pretend that it was a simple matter of false pretences. No, it was real and precisely because of that we can and must do all we could to turn back that garbage-bearing rising tide of Mahinda group.

This kind of situation is not without history. The current predicament is not without precedent in even in many of the western democracies, the difference being that there were proletarian political alternatives as in the Russian revolution. Liberal capitalist leaders deluded into believing that they could practice this liberal philosophy as they wish, without let or hindrance. But they were soon brought down to earth by the democratic proletarian power groups who organized mass campaigns. It is wrong to assume that a similar option does not exist for us now, because the current “alternative” consists of the very lot that we thought we were rid of a couple of years ago, the Mahinda group! What makes it an absolute necessity that we change the present status quo is the fact that certain set of racist thieves and political bandits hidden behind Ranil and Maithree are beginning to form the illusion that if they combine that sense of absolute right to whatever they wish for, with the impunity of them and their cohorts being above the law; nothing and nobody can touch them or stop them.

The sathyagrha was a success and showed every body that social and political awareness of the people who brought this government to power is high and they are prepared fight back to put the Yahapalanaya on to the correct track. It also proved that the power of democracy is not over or receding. On the other hand it sent the message to fascistic Mahinda group and the Polpot SAITM camp that with a short and simple notice near 3000, three thousand people tuned up to face any kind of challenge. These were wise women/men or militants from town and country, each representing at least one hundred 100, in the respective town or the village. Among them many were trade union leaders. Also the female participation was very prominent. It was a very conscious participation, make no mistake.


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