Sri Lankan crisis and chaos not by chance, but by design - Prof. Tissa Vitarana


Today Sri Lanka is facing its biggest crisis since independence. It is not only an economic crisis, but also both political and social. The state of chaos that is growing has led to expressions of the need for a "Hitler" and even for the LTTE, to take over in the north, and bring things under control, LSSP leader, Prof. Tissa Vitarana said in a statement last week.

In addition to the breakdown of society as a community, especially in the village, the rise of the individual, by hook or by crook has become the norm. Everyone is asking the questions what is happening, what is going to happen?, he said.

‘Several parents I met at the International Children’s Day celebration at Yatiyantota, spoke in deep despair about the selfish attitudes of their children and the disregard for others. The ease with which they fall prey to drug traffickers and their readiness to become part of the chain that is destroying not only the young, but through their actions the family, is alarming", he noted.

The fact that the LSSP organizer for Matugama, who exposed the traffickers that were a danger to his own and other children at school, leading to their arrest by the Narcotics Division of the Police, has led to his own arrest and imprisonment in the Kalutara jail on a false charge. This in an indication of the power of the drug barons within the Police. The breakdown of law and order thus extends from the top of the political ladder down to the village, Prof. Vitarana said in the statement.

Racial and religious prejudice and distrust are being promoted in an organized manner. This is designed to help distract the public mind from their own misery within this society by fighting each other. The 99% who work, to earn, to live each day begin to blame the other communities within society for their misery, he said.

Prof. Vitarana’s statement further said: "Not the real culprits who head the 1% who exploit the physical and mental labour of the 99% to get the profit that enables them to amass the country’s and the world’s, capital and wealth. It is this part of the 1% through its economic, political and social power that is responsible. It is they who choose the politicians that support the chaos, fund them and direct them or the officials (bureaucracy), like the official who did what was done to our Matugama organizer, acting on the instructions of the drug baron or by a politician of like mind.

"The economic system that we inherited from our British rulers took the place of the feudal system that existed for centuries headed by good kings and bad, and their feudal lords, backed by officials and the military. Rural agriculture flourished backed by an extraordinary irrigation network. We can be proud of these and the religious structures that marked that civilization, which used the advance of technology to emerge from the earlier tribal (veddha) society.

"But the British gained control using a superior modern science based technology to establish Capitalism, and introduced in 1931 the Universal Adult Franchise, which transformed our socio economic and political system. The vote empowered both men and women and led to greater democracy. But the elected representatives, by and large, supported their own interest and that of their patrons, who owned the local stock of capital (the national capitalist class). But it was the British capitalist class that owned and controlled the banks, insurance, transport, the ports and the plantations, and they sent the profits abroad to their banks in the UK.

"When the malaria epidemic killed tens of thousands in the villages, the British rulers were not bothered as their economy was not affected. It was the LSSP leaders who went to the assistance of the people through the Suriyamal Movement, which developed both in the north and the south, which had to provide both the medicine and the food (Dr. N. M. Perera came to be known as ‘Parippu Mahattaya’) that the villagers lacked.

"English was the only official language and those who spoke it (5%) assisted the British, as the rural elite headed by the feudal lords. The LSSP demanded complete independence while the elite, which later formed the UNP, were content with dominion status. The LSSP leaders fight led to their imprisonment (here and in India, where they joined the "quit India movement" led by Gandhi and Nehru) as they refused to support the British war to retain their colonies. The LSSP was banned and had to go underground.

"Under the "Independence" of 1948, which was handed over to the UNP led by D. S. Senanayake, dominion status prevailed, with the British monarch as our head of state, British military bases throughout the country, and the judicial system headed by the Privy Council in the UK. While the Indian National Congress headed by Gandhi and Nehru wanted complete independence and India became a Republic in 1950, just three years after "Independence", through the constitution drafted by Dr. Ambedkar.

"In Sri Lanka, it took 24 years to become a republic under the SLFP/LSSP/CP Coalition Government headed by Sirimavo Bandaranaike through the Constitution drafted by Dr. Colvin R. de Silva of the LSSP in 1971. The UNP and the Senanayakes were not interested in complete independence or even in giving sovereignty to the people.

"The Center Left Alliance led by the SLFP formed successive Governments that took control of the economy from the British and developed the country in the interest of our own people with the capital generated in Sri Lanka being retained here for the purpose. The target was maximum self-sufficiency with modern economic development. The need for industries based on hi-tech value addition to raw materials was promoted by me, as a Leftist, in the UPFA Government headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa.

"Besides these economic policies, the Government followed a "Non-Aligned Foreign Policy" so that Sri Lanka had good relations with all countries without being subordinate to any. But globally, for the survival of the ruling class (the 1%, headed by a group of very powerful multi-billionaires, the Oligarchy) who had lost their colonies, were faced with a further crisis due to the progressive displacement of development oriented industrial capital (FDI) by finance capital which sought quick returns by speculation in the stock market etc.

"This led to the global economic collapse of 2008, which still prevails. It has become necessary for capitalism once again to resume direct exploitation of the world headed by the Oligarchies of the former colonial countries. This process of Neoliberalism was initiated by Prof. Milton Freedman and the Washington consensus was signed in the 1970’s by the USA/IMF/World Bank to implement Neo liberalism worldwide. The basis of this was providing an environment for any individual to develop and become rich without any barriers placed by the rest of society or by elected Governments.

"This human right, this freedom was unlimited and must be allowed to be implemented over the interest of the community or the Government of the country elected by the people. Under American law, the giant multinational corporations (MNCs), most of which are richer than any middle income country, are considered to be "individuals" and should be given the same freedoms. This should get precedence over elected Governments and across national boundaries so that once again ownerships of banks and other leading utilities by the MNC’s with their freedom to take money abroad should be the Supreme Law.

"Thus, in Sri Lanka today, the selling of land and other properties without limit to foreigners has been permitted by this Government. The Neo liberal philosophy is happy to place the burden entirely on the 99% (Indirect taxes +++ cutting of the welfare social system etc.) The criminal activities and money making by any means is becoming the socially acceptable norm. The behaviour of the individual is fitting in with this design.

"The representatives of the 1% in Sri Lanka and their political and bureaucratic agents seek to expand their wealth at the expense of the 99% whatever the consequences to the people or the country.

"Thus, today in Sri Lanka Neoliberalism holds sway and the retrogressive changes that are undermining the whole value system of our society and paving the way to our economy becoming a dependent subservient loan–ridden economy that can be exploited to the full is the outcome. The fact that the burdens placed on the people are intolerable and unacceptable leads to the UNP-led Government inevitably losing at the forthcoming elections.

"The creation of chaos as the way to make otherwise unacceptable changes acceptable to the people is one of the basic concepts of the Friedman doctrine. Thus, the ground is being created, with the assistance of the media that the elite controls, to change the mindset of the people to accept the neoliberal transformation. If in the process, communal conflict and even war becomes necessary, so be it.

Source: the Island

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