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Mahinda Chinthanaya exposed

by Dr Vickramabahu Karunaratne

(July 18, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian)
Mahinda’s intervention to stop the protest of Wimal exposed the real Mahinda Chinthanaya. Clearly, Mahinda knows that political tactics and gimmicks are of limited use in the present economic context. Still, the former is important to fool the masses and to stay in power. After becoming the president his political strategy was to get a popular base among the Sinhala villagers. For the sake of this political aim he was prepared to make a merciless attack on Tamil people; under the slogan of anti terrorism he consolidated Sinhala chauvinism. This was also necessary to strengthen the regime as a repressive apparatus. Having done that he took the entire programme of open economy or neo liberalism as the gospel and faithfully agreed to all conditions of IMF/ WB/WTO trinity. He knows that as long as he is faithful to the Trinity of global capitalism political tactics could change to suite the mass appeal.

This is what Ranil, the “liberal” leader of the UNP failed to understand. He didn’t realise that neo liberal economics do not necessarily demand a liberal political regime. In fact to implement the IMF commands in the economic sphere, often a repressive regime that can put down protests is very necessary. This was proved by recent events in many parts of the world. In particular strong action against trade unions and radical youth organisations was necessary to overcome the violent protest that erupted due to the implementation of IMF conditions. Otherwise it may open the door for revolution. Thus it should be reiterated that suggestions and advice of the IMF etc. are more important to a capitalist government, than any political alliances made here or outside. As I said before, only those who are ignorant of the world reality will assume that IMF today is too weak to dictate to the borrowers. Countries with regimes of different political shades, in different sectors of the world, are guided by the advice of multilateral institutions led by the IMF. These institutions not only decide the economic movement, but also the social and philosophical view of global capitalism. Ethics of a system based on greed is one important subject of discussion today, among the pundits of global capitalism.

Economic bondage

Mahinda, virtually, sold the independence and freedom of Lanka to the global powers through economic bondage. To the extent this bondage is firm he is able to display political gimmicks to the ignorant masses. The protest organized by Wimal against UN and the western power falls into this category. Wimal came out with a Castro cap and challenged the UN and western powers, obviously with the connivance of the president. I won’t be surprised if one of the adjutants of the president explained before hand, to the UN authorities the real nature of this political project. It is to neutralize the dissent in the political base and to distract the masses from the pathetic economic misery! With political power behind him, Wimal arrogantly challenged the police officers. Dignity of a police officer on duty was brought to zero by removing his cap in open public and before his subordinate policemen. Forcible removal of a silver lined cap of a senior police officer could have been a revolutionary act if done by a proletarian fighting against a brutal baton charge. But when it is done in the presence of a cabinet minister of a bourgeoisie government, closest to the executive president, it is to be condemned as a cruel assault on a state sector worker.

Global capitalist masters

We cannot expect global capitalist masters to protect liberal democracy. That is correct. Hence we cannot have any illusions about the UN sponsored committee. But can the Mahinda regime stand for liberal democracy? It is absurd even just to think of such.Liberal democracy is a farce and a ploy of the ruling elite. I do not see any serious liberal democrat in action. All those who agreed to the violent destruction of the Tamil people have already lost their claim of being liberals. Trotsky said in his famous thesis on permanent revolution that it is difficult to find Jacobin elements in newly formed towns of the under developed world. It is a very rare item. In my journey through politics I can say I found at least one such item. On January 16, 2008 late Desmond Fernando said in an e-mail, ‘Dear Bahu, Your courage and dedication to principle is greatly admired. However, as a Human Rights activist, I do not belong to any political party. The stand of the Nava Sama Samaja Party in defending the Tamil Peoples’ Rights is highly appreciated. I was concerned to read that there was a recent Circular, proposing serious action against Strikers. I would like to have a copy of this. The only thing I am unhappy about is the heading, “NSSP - fighting to the bitter end”. It should be “fighting till Victory is attained”. With kind regards, Desmond.’ I do not want to say good bye to the “Last Liberal”. No I won’t. Though Desmond was a legal giant and a consistent liberal, he is not the last. There are others but not many on whom even a Marxist like me could depend, in a moment of difficulty.

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