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Democracy forever
Published Date: 07/10/2017 (Saturday)

By Dr Vickramasinghe Karunaratne

Foremost among the key objectives of the present Constitution making process is the abolition of the Executive Presidency, it was the demand of everybody. Many explained the corruption and fascistic terror as a result of Executive Presidency. Finding a durable political solution as an answer to the long-standing Tamil question was rejected by the Sinhala racists, but almost all agreed that Executive Presidency is very dangerous as it may result in a dictatorship.

While the resolution of other issues do not seem to pose a problem at this juncture, the serious issue namely a political settlement to the Tamil national problem, could prove to be a challenge coming outside of Yahapalanaya. However SLFP has created a fresh problem by demanding not to abolish Executive Presidency. Mahinda has not demanded that but obviously he must be satisfied that such problem has emerged. In fact there is a possibility that in a bid to achieve Yahapalana majority consensus the legitimate aspirations of Tamils could once again damaged in Constitution making.

Constitution making process

The initial draft of the resolution to set up a Constitutional Assembly was introduced by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in January this year. Subsequently the resolution draft underwent much change through amendments proposed by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Joint Opposition consisting of United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

Among the key objectives of the Constitution making process, the abolition of the Executive Presidency, bringing about electoral reforms and finding a durable political solution as an answer to the long-standing Tamil question stand out. Consequently the resolution was passed unanimously. Constitutional Affairs expert and parliamentarian Dr. Jayampathy Wickramarathne supported by another Samsamajist Lal Wijenaike has told the media that such changes to the original draft would not affect the essence of the resolution.

The agreement signed by SWRD Bandaranaike and SJV Chelvanayakam in 1957 was a remarkable event in the political history of post-independent Lanka. The Prime Minister of the day and the leader of the biggest Tamil political party had come to an understanding which if implemented would have solved the nationality problem of the country. The agreement known generally as the “Banda-Chelva Pact” was never allowed to work because of political opposition in the South. The opposition came from hardliners among the Sinhala Buddhist clergy and laity as well as hawkish elements among both the Government and opposition.

The United National Party (UNP) was vehemently opposed to the B- C pact calling it a sell-out of the Sinhalese. It was Junius Richard Jayewardene who wanted to revive the UNP’s flagging fortunes by playing the communal card. Unfortunately the Left dominated by Samasamajist did not come out to defend the B-C pact.

According to Jayampathi, they too supported communalist politics to discredit the new regime. That was a remarkable mistake and happily one can say Samasamajist today have come out to play an historic role by defending, the liberal attempt to establish a substantial solution to the Tamil national problem and the struggle for democracy. Today Polpotian radicals claim that Samasamajist are errand boys of Ranil Wickremesinghe, the leader of liberal bourgeoisie!

If somebody wants to speak on the Left, it is not sufficient politically speaking, to go through merely Marxist philosophy, its ideology and its method of economy. It is an attitude and a belief in all that is best in humanity; as given in Russian literature it makes a women or man give best to the society but expect the minimum from the society. We are told, all that will enhance and ennoble the dignity and worth of each and every human being. We can go on; the Left always stands for the equality of all, justice for all and universal (sisterhood/brotherhood) fraternity.

Question of minority rights

For the true leftist ‘Common Good’ is the primary concern, always taking priority over his personal privileges, perks or profits. However in the recent past in Lanka leftists got divided on the question of minority rights. Many giants of the left could not stomach the right of self determination of Tamils and became slaves of fascistic rulers.

A true leftist is never satisfied with the ‘status quo’ as long as single poverty ridden, oppressed person is found in the society in his surroundings. Oppression could be social or national; leftist should be able to recognize national oppression before he is conscious of social repression.

A sincere leftist is a woman/man full of ‘Maithree’ and kindness, not only for her/his fellow human beings, but for all living beings, flora and fauna and even the inanimate planet earth, our common home.

Unfortunately anti SAITEM is full of leftist who cannot show any kindness to students struggling to study in private sector simply because they have no space in the state owned medical colleges. Rathana Sadu says a true and a sincere leftist, even though s/he may call herself/himself an atheist, is a hidden but an authentic Buddhist, a genuine Christian, a true Hindu or a true Muslim.

Father Peiris says a genuine leftist may not be perfect but s/he is a full human being. He is ready to sacrifice anything, even his life, for the good of the people, the common good. He is a humble man who is ready to set aside his personal views or ideas for the sake of serving the people better. He has no disgusting love for position, power or perks. All that may be true but many leftists failed to recognize the tragedy faced by Tamils when Sinhala Only started dominating the society. Father says “If you accept as true the description given above of a good and a committed leftist, I’m sure what follows logically from that also will be acceptable to those who are genuinely concerned about our country and its future. I am addressing all people of goodwill, but especially the members of political parties and organisations that call themselves leftists. I certainly do not include the SLFP among them, though they pretend to be leftist, as the present day party leadership and its members are mere crooks, who have no interest at all in the welfare of the people or the country, and are in cahoots with the UNPers and their robber barons.”

What’s wrong with the left movement?

The left movement of our country has, as a whole, lost more than 80% of its credibility just by the fact that it is divided into so many political parties and organisations. It is pathetic to consider how small, weak and ineffective these many leftist entities are.

These divisions and enmities send a message of their small mindedness, their unconcern for the welfare of the people and the country. Yes these great leftist today became small women and men because they joined with racists under the pretext of patriotism or anti-imperialism. Truth is they have become followers of Sinhala Buddhist chauvinists.

In the course of that campaign they have become selfish sectarians or extremists. Only those who accepted the rights of the Tamil speaking people are capable of making a positive contribution in the present situation. 

Source: Daily News

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