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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Racism and provincial council elections

The provincial council showed that only the UPFA and the UNP could attract votes from all three communities Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim in Sri Lanka. It is said that the campaigning was racial in the eastern province and the TNA and the SLMC tried their best to woe the Tamil and Muslim voters respectively but were not very successful in their attempts. These two parties are nothing but communal parties though it is not mentioned by the so called political analysts. They are single issue parties and are confined to certain areas in the country.

The only two national parties are the UPFA and the UNP, though some insignificant political parties especially from the left claim that they are also national parties. However though they are given prominence by the media they are confined to less than 0.01 percent of the population and as far as elections are concerned they are only also ran parties. The JVP has to be satisfied with its three percent of votes and the secretary of the party with the other leaders could only say that the “real politics” whatever is meant by that is determined by the mass struggles and not by elections in the western democratic way.

As far as these parties of the “new left” are concerned they still live in the revolutionary dreams but as proved by the so called Arab Spring it is not necessary to have a local movement to instigate a “revolution” in a country and the parties such as the JVP could be used by their enemies in the capitalist world to safeguard their interests in the so called third world. The western countries have come a long way after the Russian Revolution, and now they know how to manipulate the so called working class parties to keep the capitalist system going.

The only role the JVP and their brake away groups could play is very limited and confined to being agents of the capitalists or the western powers as we see them, though it appears to be a contradiction. However, it appears to be a contradiction only from the point of view of class politics but these parties who depend on western knowledge have no alternative.

The strikes by various trade unions including that of FUTA had no say whatsoever in the elections and I wonder why the FUTA did not campaign in the provincial council elections for their six percent of the GDP for the education in the three provinces. I remember people such as Prof. Sarachchandra campaigning against the educational policies of Mr. Iriyagolla and the UNP, though both the UNP and leadership including some leaders of FUTA who wanted to contest elections from the UNP, not long ago, have forgotten the antagonisms FUTA had had with UNP administrations, and the effectiveness of those campaigns by the academics.

However, FUTA is now reduced to an organization that has to depend on the JVP and the UNP to organize their rallies thinking of an “Academic Spring” reminding us the role played by organizations that use western knowledge as formulated by the intellectuals of those countries. It is very clear the people have ignored completely the FUTA strike and their demand of the six percent of the GDP for education, in the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and the Eastern Provinces. These provinces cannot claim to have the best educational facilities in the country, and the academics whether they are intellectuals or not should be able to realize that the people have totally ignored the FUTA demand on the improvement of education. The people are smart enough to understand that in spite of the rhetoric FUTA is only after a salary increase for the lecturers and the people though they may not be intellectuals cannot be fooled by the FUTA leadership.

Leaving apart the intellectuals and other strikers it is clear that the UPFA or SLFP led alliances have become the ruling party of Sri Lanka making UNP the alternative. The SLFP led coalitions have ruled the country for more than half of the existence of the SLFP and the latter has been able to produce leaders who understand the country much better than those in the UNP. The SLFP can attract more than sixty five percent of the Sinhala Buddhists and had the SLFP leadership responsible for selection of candidates had acted differently in the Trincomalee district the UPFA could have defeated the TNA in that district.

Having consolidated their position among the Sinhala people in the country the SLFP led coalitions, though the constituents differ from one coalition to another, is now gaining the support of the Tamils also gradually. The Muslims have voted for the SLFP from the beginning but here again there appears to be a better acceptance by the Muslim community of the SLFP led coalitions. The SLFP is on the way of being a national party accepted by all the communities but they should not forget that the Sinhala people who have fought for independence from the Dutch and the English, expect the party to win total independence to the country.

Though some intellectuals and others talk of a Sinhala Buddhist Supremacy, there is nothing as such and the Sinhala Buddhists are still fighting to gain the recognition that should be given to their culture. This is totally misrepresented by the agents of the western countries whether they are Liberals or Marxists as a Sinhala Buddhist Supremacy. There is of course a western Christian supremacy in this country as could be seen in the spheres of education, economics and politics and the Muslims and the Tamils in the country also would be benefitted if we were able to defeat the western Christian supremacy. The western countries would try hard to maintain the western Christian supremacy and it is clear that at least a significant section of the Catholic and Christians among the Sinhalas have understood that the Sinhala Buddhists are not against their religion but are fighting the cultural colonialism imposed by the west. It is unfortunate that the so called intellectuals have failed to understand the difference between the culture and religion.

It is futile for the SLMC and the TNA to engage in communal politics and what they should do is to support the UPFA in the eastern province to develop the area without being agents of any foreign powers. The Tamils and the Muslims in Sri Lanka have to live with the Sinhalas and not with the Tamils in Tamil Nadu or Muslims in some other country. By recognizing the heritage of the Sinhala Buddhists in the eastern province, neither the Tamils nor the Muslims would lose their respect and they should not be misled by the struggle of the Sinhala people against the western Christian supremacy. Some Muslims and Tamils are being used by the western powers and all that the Sinhala people especially the Sinhala Buddhists expect from the former is to recognize that the Sinhala Buddhist culture though not the dominant culture is the significant culture as far as the history and the future of the country are concerned.

The Sinhala Buddhists are tolerant of other religions and other cultures and the Tamils and the Muslims in the country are better off by recognizing the significance of the Sinhala Buddhist culture than by being under the dominance of the western Christian culture imposed on us through the education and media controlled by the westerners. There are many Sinhala people who understand what is happening of the Arabic world in spite of the propaganda by the western media and what has to be recognized is that the western Christian culture is working against the humanity in general and the western Christian modernity is not the friend of the humanity in contradiction to what their intellectuals preach. The election results of the eastern province provincial council have forced the TNA and the SLMC to think differently giving up their communal politics.

Copyright Prof. Nalin De Silva