Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sri Lanka A Marxist View

I am posting this as a backgrounder on the crisis in Sri Lanka, between the competing nationalist movements of the Sinhalese and Tamils, from a Marxist perspective, one that is not often heard in the western media. The article is well worth reading for the history of this conflict and the role of the Left socialist parties in Sri Lanka. The author has his own website with excellent articles as well.

Whither JVP?
By Vasantha Raja

Thus, a wider campaign to democratically transform Sri Lanka’s post-colonial state structure – the Pandora’s Box that gave rise to all ethnic troubles since independence – would be the most prudent path.

No partial or regional solution that leaves the central government intact will solve Tamil/Muslim problems. On the contrary, a prospective northern Tamil state besieged by southern enmity may well end up as the albatross of all Tamils – rather than a guarantor of their democratic aspirations.

Perhaps, the answer is to unite all Tamil parties in a democratic vision, and build bridges to southern movements committed to radical democratic change of the entire state structure.

Above all, profound changes in the Tamil campaign along above lines may help close the JVP-LTTE gap indeed.

For, unlike the two corrupt elitist capitalist parties – the UNP and the SLFP – the ‘Marxist’ JVP understands equality as the focal point of democratization.

In fact, the JVP has suffered immensely under both SLFP and UNP governments, when over 60,000 Sinhala youth were killed. And the JVP knows what post-independence Sri Lankan regimes are all about. So, it would be a misfortune if the Tamils failed to harmonize their aspirations with the southern campaign for social, political and economic emancipation.

But, to win the trust sincere dialogue is necessary. Respecting Tamils’ ‘right to divorce’ should be the starting point to convince them that keeping the marriage is in everyone’s interest.

Perhaps, the time has arrived for all nationalist movements – Sinhala/Tamil/Muslim - to rise beyond narrow nationalist perspectives and merge with the unfolding social revolution to reach a common goal: the democratic transformation of the capitalist state and revolutionising the economy on socialist values.

Also see

Paper Tigers

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