“Let us join hands for an ANTI RACIST NATIONAL UNITY MAY DAY RALLY in the National capital Colombo! Let us save our Motherland from Racism and Religious Fundamentalism! JOIN as Political parties, minority organisations, trade unions, civil groups and Individuals!”
This was the spontaneous demand that started the discussion for a May Day which will bring out a powerful solidarity against racism and religious sectarianism. It has cut across the economic demands of the trade unions and the other democratic demands. According to the text books of radical politics such a mobilisation should be done by the working class organisations. But unfortunately still many trade unions are tied to the Mahinda regime which is mainly responsible for the rise of racism and religious sectarianism in this country. Though the government has agreed to implement the LLRC recommendations it is unable to go forward because of the dark forces unleashed by some of the leaders of the regime. Even though these recommendations are to bring back or to establish the democratic rights of Sinhala people as well, chauvinist leaders depict them as stepping stones to the establishment of an Eelam state. There is no room for sensible discussion; they just repeat the same blind statement - “This is for Eelam.” While creating fear in the minds of the Sinhala people, that the whole world is united to create an Eelam in Lanka, the ruling elite concentrate power in their hands to create a draconian dictatorial regime. This is to protect the rich bourgeoisie thriving on corruption, theft and speculation. This new bourgeoisie is expanding at the expense of everybody else.
Some believe that the main cause of this dictatorial regime is the present constitution. It is true that the ‘78 constitution could be classified as a plan to establish a constitutional dictatorship. In fact in 1978 Feb. 04 when this was launched I was in remand jail in Kandy for hoisting black flags against the establishment of a constitutional dictatorship. However later JR was forced to introduce sharing of power and devolve power to provincial councils. At that stage we believed correctly, if substantial devolution of powers takes place then to that extent the constitutional dictatorship will be diluted. Hence we demanded more powers to the provinces. Later the 17th Amendment was brought in to arrest further the executive power of the President. Also it was clear that all Presidents did not behave in the same way in using executive power and there were many differences. In fact Chandrika was accused by the leading members of the SLFP, including Mahinda, for not using executive powers to crush the peace agreement. Later she was forced into an agreement with the JVP which prohibited any discussion on devolution. For anyone who seriously studied the use of executive power by the past Presidents, it will be obvious that the present concentration of power in the Mahinda regime came through the use of his chauvinist political power, accumulated during the time of the war.
In fact it is precisely this glory of the war hero and the dirty respect for the chauvinist champion of the Sinhala that gave pseudo Napoleonic power to Mahinda to go through the 18th Amendment. Not even the CJ, Shirani Bandaranayke, could raise a finger against this horrific violation of democracy, which legitimised the concentration of executive power in the hands of Mahinda. Fortunately the LLRC has identified the evil nature of the 18th amendment. Not only do they insist that the 18th Amendment should be removed but also they want to implement the 17th Amendment to establish all Commissions, so that the administration will function without undue political influence. Now the dictatorial monster is fed by open racism and religious sectarianism. It is true that the constitutional dictatorial character in the constitution was utilised for the creation of the present oppressive regime. But it is a secondary problem. The main factor threatening democracy today in this country is the racist and religious extremist mobilisation which justifies the existence of a cruel dictatorship. Hence it is correct to forward anti-racist and anti- sectarian slogans with economic and social revolutionary slogans in the coming May Day.