The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) denounces the vote scheduled in the Sri Lankan parliament on July 20 to elect a new president as a fraud and a conspiracy in opposition to the working class, youth and rural lousy. The parliament does not in any way depict the political sentiments and pursuits of the doing the job masses, that is, the absolute vast majority of modern society.
The “vacancy” for president is the end result of mass functioning-class strikes and the big July 9 rebellion in Colombo city that compelled the Gotabhaya Rajapakse to flee the nation and later on tender his resignation. Now, underneath the country’s anti-democratic constitution, the parliament will convene to decide on the subsequent president—a post that has sweeping autocratic powers.
Just one of the most notable slogans in the previous 3 months of mass protests is “down with the 225”—that is, all 225 associates of parliament. Though protest leaders shut to the opposition events have attempted to engage in down the slogan, its reputation objectively expresses a rejection of the overall parliamentary program of the previous 75 several years.
The slogan has struck a deep chord due to the fact successive parliaments, absolutely divorced from the masses, are liable for the deterioration of the living circumstances to intolerable degrees. When it will come to the existing parliament it has no political legitimacy to have on, enable by itself to elect a president. All parliamentarians and all functions, whichever their political complexions, have manifestly betrayed their election promises throughout the general election in 2020
When the mass protests erupted about the state in April, the central demand from customers was for the resignation of previous President Gotabhaya Rajapakse and his brother, previous Primary Minister Mahinda Rajapakse. When Mahinda Rajapakse was forced to step down on May perhaps 9 following mass strikes and protests, President Rajapakse replaced him with Ranil Wickremesinghe, a corrupt political hack and leader of the rump, proper-wing United Countrywide Social gathering (UNP).
Wickremesinghe, who has a extensive report as a lackey of US imperialism and implementing the austerity demands of the Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF), is greatly despised. The UNP dropped all of its seats in the 2020 basic election, and Wickremesinghe, only scraped into parliament by way of the party’s national listing.
But this detested determine was put in anti-democratically, 1st as prime minister, then very last Friday sworn in as performing president. Now, with the backing of sections of the political and corporate elites, he is campaigning for parliament to make him the up coming president. It is little speculate that demonstrations demanding his resignation have been strengthening and spreading.
On Saturday night time, protest websites in Kandy and Matara had been renamed from “Gota Gogama”—meaning Gotabhaya go home, that is resign—to “Ranila Gogama” or Ranil go dwelling. The protest website outside the house the primary minister’s formal home in Colombo has in the same way been renamed.
3 other figures have declared their candidacy as the backroom horse-trading for the presidency intensifies: Sajith Premadasa, chief of the opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Dallas Alahapperuma from Rajapakse’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and Anura Kumara Dissanayake, chief of the opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).
All three have participated or supported governments liable for building inroads into the dwelling conditions of functioning people. All 3 insist that there is no way out of the current disaster but to impose the IMF’s savage austerity agenda of privatisation, deep cuts to general public paying out and the ending of the remaining value subsidies.
IMF Controlling Director Kristalina Georgieva informed the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Indonesia on Saturday that Sri Lanka was a “warning sign” for countries with superior debt. It expresses the panic in ruling circles internationally that the world-wide disaster of capitalism is creating the situations for popular uprisings like that in Sri Lanka, not only in so-known as undeveloped nations but in the imperialist centres as perfectly.
The anti-authorities protests in Sri Lanka have been driven by the country’s worsening economic and social disaster. Nineteen individuals have died just after waiting around for hrs in the kilometres-lengthy queues for fuel. On Saturday, Electrical power Minister Kanchana Wijesekara announced additional constraints by a “National Gasoline Pass,” a gas rationing plan. Overall health employees in provincial cities, including Mawanella, Gampaha and Polonnaruwa, have been protesting that, in spite of federal government assurances, they do not have gasoline to report to work.
Necessities these kinds of as medications, cooking gas, milk items and primary foodstuff products are scarce and for lots of men and women unaffordable. In accordance to modern University of Peradeniya analyze, 900,000 reduced-money family members can only pay for one particular food, or possibly two meals, a working day. As a outcome of the financial crisis, a few million jobs have been wiped out owing to the closure of 16,300 or 20 p.c of compact and medium businesses.
The trade unions have intervened not to combat to protect the pursuits of workers, but to block the impartial mobilization of the doing work course. Any strike action has been strictly limited, built to enable off steam, and to consider to shackle functioning folks to the bankrupt opposition events.
The Trade Unions and Mass Organisation Collective declared on July 14 they would start a common strike and hartal (small business closures) if Gotabhaya Rajapakse and Ranil Wickremesinghe did not stop their posts. On the exact working day, Ravi Kumudesh, co-convenor of the Trade Unions Coordination Centre’s (TUCC), a further union entrance, warned that if accountable people, such as the parliamentary speaker, did not present a constitutional remedy to the country’s political crisis, the trade unions would start a wrestle.
These trade union threats, produced in response to the deep-seated hostility to the political institution in the operating course, are totally cynical and hollow. The call for a “constitutional solution” is really revealing as it demonstrates that the trade unions are preoccupied, not with the oppressive living problems going through personnel, but with propping up the capitalist state and bourgeois rule.
The exact union apparatuses declared that they would wage an “all-out” battle if Rajapakse did not stop on July 13, but no these kinds of wrestle was launched. Also, Wickremesinghe not only has not resigned, but is now bidding to become president. In an open letter to Wickremesinghe on Saturday, Kumudesh pleaded with him to give his “honest support” and fulfill the anticipations of the anti-govt protests, at the very least till the up coming elections.
Wickremesinghe has previously made certainly crystal clear what he will do as president. Straight away after becoming set up as key minister in Could, he warned that the most challenging period of time lay in advance and inevitably men and women would have to bear new burdens. He has spearheaded discussions with the IMF which is demanding scorched earth steps that will inevitably mean serious hardship for doing work persons.
Wickremesinghe is searching for the backing in ruling circles by demonstrating his willingness to be totally ruthless in suppressing opposition. Right away soon after remaining set up as performing president very last week, he imposed a state of unexpected emergency and curfew in the course of the country. In a televised assertion he branded anti-federal government protesters as “fascists” and gave a totally free hand to the army to do whichever was vital to “restore community get.”
In opposition to all the functions of the bourgeois political institution, their pseudo-left hangers-on and the trade union bureaucracy, the Socialist Equality Celebration phone calls on the doing work class, youth and the rural lousy to struggle for a groundbreaking socialist application, which is the only implies for resolving the monumental social crisis they confront.
We phone for the formation of motion committees of staff and bad farmers in every single workplace, manufacturing facility, plantation, neighbourhood and rural space in the course of the island, impartial of the establishment functions and unions, to fight for their democratic and social legal rights. A network of motion committees need to be set up, connected with the Global Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees initiated by the Global Committee of the Fourth Global, in a prevalent struggle against capitalism.
The SEP advocates democratic and socialist requires, instantly addressing the burning requirements of operating persons, all-around which the action committees can combat. These contain the nationalisation of huge organization and banking institutions, the seizure of the prosperity of billionaires, the repudiation of all overseas debts, the cancellation of the debts of inadequate peasants, the establishment of a monopoly of foreign trade, and the indexing workers’ wages to inflation.
In rejecting the fraud of Wednesday’s vote in parliament for a new president, we demand from customers the quick abolition of autocratic government presidency.
An impartial movement of the working course, fighting for its democratic and social legal rights, will rally youth and the rural poor to its facet and lay the foundation for a governing administration of employees and peasants fully commited to socialist insurance policies. This is a part of the broader battle for socialism in South Asia and internationally.
We attraction to staff, youth, pupils and rural lousy to appear forward and sign up for the SEP to battle for this innovative socialist system.