THE INTERVENTION OF RAJA COLLURE,
CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF SRI LANKA
The Communist Party of Sri Lanka(CPSL) conveys its warm fraternal greetings to all the Communist and Workers parties represented in this august assembly. We also warmly congratulate the Communist Party of Greece (CPG) on the occasion of the centenary of its foundation and wish it greater success in the ensuing period. Our delegation commends the CPG for hosting the 20th IMCWP and for providing excellent facilities for a successful meeting. It also thanks the CPG forits warm and extensive hospitality.
We are meeting in the background of the stiff resistance of the international community including the working class movement to the attempt by the Trump Administration to undo the achievements of the people the world overin the recent past. These cover vital areas of concern to the people of the world and include safeguarding world peace and détente, arresting climate change in order to secure life on earth as per Paris Agreement of 2015 and the creationof a fair trade regime beneficial to all countries. The trade war launched by the US against China and some other countries by increasing import tariffs and adopting protectionist measures have negatively affected world trade. These represent actions taken in desperation by a regime which is getting increasingly isolatedand unable torecover itsslipping dominance in several spheres including the worldeconomy and trade. Suffice it to point out that in 2017 the EU and China accounted for 36.8% of the world GDP (80 Trillion US$) compared with 24.1% for the US.
The need to fight in defence of the achievements in nuclear arms control has arisen with the US withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-ballistic Missiles Agreement in 2012 and the nuclear arms reduction treaty known as the 1987 INF Treaty this year and the possibility of non-renewal of another such treaty - the 1991 START 1 Treaty which lapses in 2021 .
The US is escalating regional wars in the Middle East with military interference in Syria which is fighting to uphold its sovereignty over its territory and fueling the civil war in Yemen. Our solidarity is with the peoples of these countries. The withdrawal of the US under the Trump administration from the Iran Nuclear Deal signed by 5 nations and the UN disturbs the peace and normality in relation to Iran. The US has complicated the solution of the the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the movement for the creation of a Palestinian State by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in violation of UN resolutions and failing to oppose the grab of Palestinian land by Israel. We express our deep solidarity with the people of Iran and staunchly support the struggle of the Palestinian people.
In Sri Lanka the progressive forces have since 2015 have been battling against the government led by the pro-imperialist United National Party (UNP) which was implementing policies detrimental to national interests and anti people policies prejudicial to social interests guided by neo-liberalism prescribed by the IMF.
Several valuable national assets were sold to foreign entities, and more were marked for such sales and privatization. Funds contributed to by employees’of the private sector for their terminal benefits including the Rs. 1.4 trillion worth EPF is being planned to be turned over to the private sector for their investments. State banks are set apart for privatization to benefit the private sector. Social welfare expenditure are to be slashed. Subsidies for fertilizer given to peasant farmers was cut. Poor Relief is being politicalized to serve the governing party. The free education system and free health care arebeing gradually pruned to accommodate private sector expansion. Democratic rights and processeshas come under attack. Of particular importance is the postponement of elections to Provincial Councils and Local Authorities when they became dueinfear of defeat.
In these circumstances the CPSL concluded that a change of government was an urgent necessity to prevent irreparable damage being caused to the national interests and social rights of the people. In October the party called for an alliance of all anti-UNP forces to move towards a change of government. The party has welcomed the dismissal of the UNP led government and the installation of a government led by the former President MahindaRajapakse who represents the anti-UNP forces. It was followed by the dissolution of parliament by the President in the exercise of the powers vested him under the Constitution. The opposition and its allies have challenged the constitutionality of the dissolution of parliament in the Supreme Court and a decision on the issue is pending before the Court.
As far as the CPSL is concerned the struggle to defend the vital interests of the nation and the social interest of the people continues no matter what the impediments are.