Platform - Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

 

Though the Arabian Prince, highlighted Lanka’s lack of progress, and called on the Yahapalana government to realize that its obligations are not child’s plays to fool the world council but as an essential undertaking to address the rights of Lankan people of all nationalities; the European Union praised the Yahapalanaya Government for the progress made in advancing human rights,

 

labour and environmental standards, but stressed that there were still many areas where reform had yet to be delivered. Of course we should be clear that setting up various reconciliation offices and talking of progress is not the same as implementing the 2015 resolution. Clearly long-suffering Lankans, especially the minority nationalities need to see the resolution fully carried out, and they need to be convinced that justice is being achieved. All those foreign critiques must understand the struggle that is going against fascistic enemy who resort to sabotage and violence. Because of that Lanka failed to implement the UN resolution in time. After the struggle is won with mass actions, Lanka’s President formally created an Office of Missing Persons, as set out in the resolution and enacted by parliament. It is a victory for the anti fascistic democratic movement that the gazette notification took place on September 12, just as the Human Rights Council session got underway and a few weeks before Sri Lanka is to present an oral update on steps it has taken to carry out the resolution.

War between the Lankan state and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was a tragedy where both sides committed many grave human rights abuses, including summary killings, abductions and enforced disappearances, torture, and sexual violence. There are well-documented allegations of laws-of-war violations, particularly during the final months of the war. The government’s lack of progress in investigating and prosecuting these many crimes spurred the Human Rights Council to adopt the consensus resolution. A team of senior officials from Brussels have been in the country for 10 days recently, on a fact-finding mission. The mission has focused on the status of the implementation of 27 international conventions of which Sri Lanka is a signatory.

Progressive implementation of the conventions is the condition for continued preferential access to the European Union market - the world's largest and Sri Lanka's biggest export market – under the GSP Plus. The team had a range of meetings with Government Ministers, civil society, trade unions and other organizations. They also traveled to Jaffna and Kilinochchi to meet the Chief Minister of the Northern Province and hear the views from civil society, including a number of human rights activists. They were able to see the development in the Tamil homeland and freely discuss with representatives of various sections of the Tamil society.

Following a constructive meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ambassador Tung-Lai Margue said: "The excellent cooperation by the Government is a reminder of how much the situation has changed in the country over the last two and a half years, including real advances in human rights. But there are still important concerns about the lack of concrete progress in key areas. Torture has to stop. It is of paramount importance that the Government delivers on its commitments, including replacing the Prevention of Terrorism Act with counter-terrorism legislation consistent with international standards and allowing people in custody to have access to a lawyer from the point of arrest. Clarifying the fate of those who disappeared at the end of the war and speeding up the return of land will help to restore confidence, particularly in the North and East, in the policy of national reconciliation." Concerns were also raised about continued discrimination against women and girls and against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Sri Lankans. This is very important; as fascistic elements are strongly against the liberty of such oriented people.

All these discussions and presser politics show that the liberal bourgeoisie cannot be pressurized by arguments alone. In the history it has not been so. On the other hand there may not be the threat to them of a possible take over by the proletariat, either. No need to keep hopes so high, it could still end in a flop, but there is a need to keep relentless pressure and criticism on the government in the language they could stomach. On the other hand criticisms of the opposition may be the best way to expose the mistakes of liberalism. It is by solidly exposing the fascistic menace that one could show the gentlemen of liberty and justice how to keep friendship with the proletarian masses. On that basis one must keep vigilance of the yahapalana government. Vigilance must be real and should come from the side of the organized proletariat. Conscious workers must show clearly that fight against racism and fascistic actions are already in the streets; in actions voiced by many ways. Proletarian leaders must be seen in the streets with banners and placards.

There were not only debates but number of actions including ‘Sixty two’ sathyagrha ; these were powerful enough to galvanize, at least certain extent the government into taking a purposeful approach to dealing with the gross malfeasance of the previous regime and curbing corruption in its own ranks. Leading workers have seen the impression made in liberal intellectuals by the sensible but unrepentant anti fascistic actions by proletarian and plebian masses against the thugery of pro Mahinda union and student actions. It is better to not have hopes that during the tenure of this government there will be successful prosecution of the corrupt big fish of the Rajapaksa era; because that is not what we hope from liberal capitalists. Capitalists always search and look towards accumulation of capital legally or otherwise; nor we should be hopeful that corruption in UNP-SLFP ranks will be curtailed. What we should be eagerly interested is exposing fascistic murders, cruel war crimes and the establishment of democratic constitution with power sharing. We must keep pressing for a solution based on equality, autonomy and the right of self determination. We must press for inclusion of bill of rights within the new constitution approved by a national referendum.

Ravi resigned to clear the path for investigators to work without any disturbances; but he is doing important political work behind the seen. On the contrary firing Wijeyadasa is a victory to the anti racists and a moral disaster for the fascistic Mahinda gang. As 2020 approaches most certainly pressure will mount against fascistic forces and more mass actions are likely. Also there will be desperado attacks from the side of Mahinda and Gotabaya. The attack with guns and bombs to the house of Nandimal Silva cannot be taken lightly. Men who committed crimes against humanity are frighten of their own shadows. Though this is true, some people expect much progress on corruption related matters and live in a dream of a country without corruption. As the battle grows they will lower their expectations. Because fight against murder and barbaric actions will gain the ground. However, all these will be connected to the battle for a new Constitution.

What we do in this country is important, but as or more important the struggle of the proletariat in the out side world. Because the theory of permanent revolution is applicable globally, as the revolution has become a subject in international arena today, more than any time before. The rise of Donald Trump is globally answered by the giants of the left such as Bernie Saunders and Jeremy Corbin. There are many in the horizon, the power of proletariat should be estimated locally as well as internationally. In that sense the pressure on Yahapalanaya has to be improved both locally and internationally. Already Turkey and South Africa have made contributions on national problem, very interesting!

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