Colombo, Elections, Peace and Conflict, Politics and Governance, Post-War, War Crimes

The Presidential Election: A Diabolical Deception!

This up-coming presidential election would be comical, if not for the fact that it is deceptively diabolical. The contention between incumbent president Mahinda Rajapakse and retired General Sarath Fonseka and the arguments being drawn up by both sides are simply degenerate. They expose the depths to which  this political order has been despoiled and degraded.

Threat Projections:
The ‘Mahinda’ camp brings out the threat of an imminent military coup, to be led by Sarath Fonseka and urged by the JVP. These guys are not beyond this type of treachery. The Mahinda camp claims that such a coup was being attempted recently, only to be averted by alerting India. They portray Sarath Fonseka as a tool of US and Western imperialist powers. They blame him for the militarization of the country, and for setting up a military regime in the North and East. They accuse him of being a rabid chauvinist and a hard-line militarist, guilty of horrible war crimes against the Tamil people. The Mahinda apologists claim that the principal contradiction, the central focus of the up-coming presidential election is between Mahinda Rajapakse who represents the only hope for restoring peace, stability, freedom and democracy, while Sarath Fonseka projects a military dictatorship with a Sinhala supremacist fascist agenda.

The Game of Deception:
The Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist) rejects both these candidates, since they represent two sides of the same coin- or as Comrade Wickremabahu of the Left Front, the common candidate of the independent progressive, democratic, revolutionary alliance has aptly said, they represent two heads of a viper, both with deadly fangs. So, we shall not favor any one these candidates. However, let us examine these arguments to establish some irrefutable facts, to rip apart the blood-stained fabric of diabolical deception that is being played out in this election.

Sinhala Supremacy:
Sinhala supremacy is best represented by populist Mahinda Rajapakse. It was he who announced in his inaugural Presidential address that he does not recognize the concept of a Tamil nation, nor of a traditional Tamil homeland and therefore rejects the demand for the right of self-determination of the Tamil people cohabiting in the North- East. This stand set the stage for a military solution. But the good general is no better. He asserted, in no uncertain terms, that this country belongs exclusively to the ‘Sinhala-Buddhist’ nation and that all others are aliens who have impinged on this country at various times. On this basis, he proclaimed that these aliens should not demand equal rights. Poor Hon. Mano Ganeshan, tailing behind the UNP and US imperialism, says he is willing to dismiss these statements as a slip of the tongue ( ‘misquote’ says Sarath) and advance to the future in good bourgeois faith. You can forget and forgive, Sir. But those who still  suffer the thousand crimes of a brutal, all-out war will not forget nor forgive!

The point is that H.E. president Mahinda Rajapakse, as the Executive Head of State and Commander in Chief did not disavow himself of these rabid, blood-thirsty, racist positions announced by his erstwhile colleagues, but indeed, promoted this policy. He went to the extent of proclaiming that there are no minorities in this country, thus liquidating the national democratic rights of the Tamil nation, the Hill Country Malayaga Tamil nationality, the Moslem nationality and all other ethnic-religious communities. Under this regime the whole social order degenerated as never before. It was under his regime that churches were attacked. It was under his regime that monks fuelled the flames of war, while there was still room for negotiations. It was under his regime that Buddhist monks imported super luxury Mercedes Benz cars and made profit from them, thus defiling the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha. By the way, it was reported that the good  General Fonseka also imported such a super luxury Mercedes Benz to enhance his ego to the tune of some 40 million Rupees, while the rank and file soldiers were fighting the LTTE in swamps- and fighting off mosquitoes.

War Crimes:
As to the accusation of war crimes, first of all it is the State and the Mahinda Chintanaya Regime, and H.E. President Mahinda Rajapakse as Commnader-in-Chief himself and his Defense Secretary and brother Gotabhaya  Rajapakse that are collectively accountable for leading the war. It was this regime that drove the war in such a pitiless, merciless manner, until the Tamil national struggle and its leadership as it existed was decimated. It was the office of the Secretary of Defense that designed and coordinated the grand strategy. It was the President himself who directed the war politically, and even when the ‘international community’ appealed for a negotiated settlement in the face of the colossal suffering of civilians and gross violations of human rights, pressed for an unconditional military solution. This does not belie the fact that the good General waged war with pure, undiluted, blood-thirsty racist gusto, or is absolved of responsibility. He is just as much a militarist-chauvinist war-monger as the regime he served. All these honored representatives of this defunct and corrupt  neo-colonial Capitalist state shall be held accountable to the people for the monstrous crimes against the people and all humanity!

Tool of Imperialism:
The claim that retired General Sarath Fonseka is a tool of US-Western Imperialism is correct. No doubt about that! But what about incumbent president Mahinda Rajapakse? It was his ‘patriotic’ government that entered into the “ Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement” with the United States, which is a military agreement that allows the US free access to all military facilities –land, sea and air- in the island, to the  number 01. terrorist-imperialist state in the world. Remember that this agreement was first being about to be signed by that stale UNF, led by good old yankey-dickey, the then Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, when the Left progressive, patriotic  forces, spearheaded also by the Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist), agitated and succeeded in tearing up the agreement.

Human Rights, Corruption and Abuse of Power:
Now, the bankrupt ideological agents of the reactionary chauvinist Mahinda camp appeal to us to forget and forgive the unprecedented corruption and abuse under this Mahinda Chintanaya regime. Who is responsible for Lanka Logistics, Mihin Air, Maga Naguma? At no time did reeking corruption reach such pitiful heights. Then again, who is responsible for the continued incarceration of some 200,000 internally displaced Tamil persons in concentration camps in the North, including elderly, children, wounded, sick and pregnant women, under pitiful sub-human conditions? Who is to be held accountable for the horrible massacre of seventeen humanitarian aid workers, the murder of five Tamil students, the assassination of Hon. Joseph Pararajasingham, Hon Raviraj, Mr. Lasantha Wickrematunga and others? Along with these abominable crimes, is the crime of keeping some 12,000 political prisoners in various detention camps and prisons, against whom no legal charges have been filed. Releasing Tissainayagam or addressing the issue of some 12, 000 political prisoners NOW will not serve to bite the bullet. These are just sick manipulations for election gain. However,  we have, and will continue to agitate for these demands.

The Real Choice:
No body needs to bring in a military-fascist dictatorship. It is already being established. We remember how Tamil civilians were simply packed off from Colombo. We remember the fascist repression against the media, how public meetings were brazenly attacked. We remember how the military victory was celebrated, building up a mass war hysteria, with posters, banners and cutouts glorifying the President and the armed forces, irrevocably militarizing the whole political-social order.  We remember the sheer arrogance of power. The choice for the people is not between either of these militarist-chauvinist-fascist agendas represented by both these Comprador Capitalist candidates. The real and only choice is to raise the voice and gather the forces for the defense of freedom and democracy. This independent stand shall be the foundation for building a mass people’s revolutionary struggle that will hold the system accountable for all the diabolical deceptions and monstrous crimes committed against the people.