| by Dr Vickramabahu Karunaratne
Face the enemy in unity or back the chauvinists and perish
( February 12, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Pro government trade union leaders claim that a certain group of people backed by International Non Government Organizations is conspiring against the country, when it is on the right track for development after 30 years of protracted war. They say that these elements are acting with ulterior motives to reverse the achievements made by the country in the aftermath of the conflict. On the other hand, they say that those who talk about human rights today did not raise their voice, when hundreds were brutally killed by terrorists. When terrorists targeted civilians, thousands of people died in bomb blasts. Apparently these elements who talk about human rights violations are trying to tarnish the country’s image internationally by hatching various conspiracies. Hence, pro government TU leaders are of the view that stern action should be taken against those who conspire against the country. Pro government TU leaders are led by W.H.Piyadasa, the president of Public Service Trade Union Federation. Comrade Piyadasa has said “Some trade unions and media organizations are attempting to create political instability by causing turmoil. This move is driven by both anti-government political groups and extremist groups backed by some western countries” What a hilarious statement to be made by a politburo bureau member of the communist party. As a partner of the regime he should know better. This government is supported by the western powers, in particular by the IMF. Not only the western powers but all others in the G20, including Japan and BRIC countries, support this oppressive reactionary government.
Comrade Piyadasa says “The accusation that there is a tangible oppression against trade unions and media is totally baseless. Nobody can prove that the government is suppressing the media and trade unions. This is a conspiracy with a sinister agenda.” What a shame; he does not realize that the very campaign organised by him against media and trade unions, accusing them of conspiracy backed by western powers, is a gigantic oppressive act. Today comrade Piyadasa is a powerful member of the dictatorial government, with many privileges. He is now many light years away from the Piyadasa who participated in the general strike of 1980. He has also forgotten that MR, with the 18th amendment, has concentrated more powers than JR ever could. Piyadasa while harping on a Yankee conspiracy drives the repressive power of this monstrous dictatorial regime against all of us. However the railway strike has shaken the foundation of this monstrosity. Stationmasters, guards and signalmen took strike action that was called off following a discussion they had with transport minister Kumar Welgama. Pressing for several demands, including the elimination of their salary anomalies, the railway workers struck work, and train passengers were severely inconvenienced as a result. The strike which came without prior notice of the date and time hit the government like a thunder on a dry day.
Prison riot a conspiracy
Only last week, the government claimed that the prison riot to be a conspiracy. I am sure our comrade Piyadasa will claim that also to be a part of the conspiracy hatched by western powers! Few weeks back ministry of power exposed another conspiracy. A senior engineering assistant has alleged a Chinese conspiracy was behind the recurring technical issues at the Norochcholai coal power plant. The Chinese firm that has obtained the contract for maintenance and operating activities was plotting to keep the contract to themselves. U.R.A. Senaratne of the CEB technical engineering trade union has said. Who gave this contract? Does that mean that minister Champika is also involved in the western backed conspiracy? But the real western conspiracy will be launched in the coming period. We are told that the United States is set to table a resolution against Lanka at the next sitting of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has mentioned the option of a resolution in a letter to Lanka’s External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris. Western powers are concerned about the non implementation of the LLRC recommendation. That investigation, carried out by the government’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee (LLRC), was published in November.
Though it is really an eye wash to save the government the recommendations given are important. However, the government has so far, failed to implement the recommendation given. Therefore, many are positive about America’s move to support a resolution against Lanka at the HRC. So the options for the regime are very clear. It can start a bogus anti imperialist campaign based on chauvinist elements or else take the demands of the TNA seriously and close the door to foreign intervention. Mahinda has to decide whether he is going to unite the country and face the global powers or to be a prisoner of Sinhala chauvinism and push the country to civil war and slavery.