Contribution of CP of Sri Lanka [En]
At the outset I convey the warm fraternal greetings of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL) to all the participants of this august meeting and most importantly our hosts, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). Our delegation highly appreciates the elaborate arrangements made and the excellent facilities provided for the successof thedeliberations. We also thank the CPV for its warmhospitality and for thecozy accommodation, delicious meals and comfortable transport afforded to us.
Our parties are meeting at a time when the capitalist crisis is still smoldering. It is reported that during the last year global economic activity remained subdued. Growth in the “emerging markets”and developing economies had declined for the fifth consecutive year. The evaluation made during the middle of this year has also not shown a significant improvement. According to the International Monetary Fund productivity in the most advanced economies has remained sluggish.
The Communique issued at the end of the G20 summit admits that ‘growth is still weaker than desirable’. It adds that downside risks remain due to potential volatility in financial markets, fluctuationsof commodity prices, sluggish trade and investment, and slow productivity and employment growth in some countries.
The G 20 countries were also concerned about the expression of protectionism in certain quarters of the capitalist world at atime when they desire to liberalize trade. The IMF“fear that a wave of populist politics across the US and Europe could send globalization into reverse with protectionist policies hitting international trade, investment and migration, sending the world plunging into a prolonged period of stagnation”.
Another worrying matter that concerns capitalist countries is the record growth of global debt. This monthit hit $152 trillion whichis equal to 225% of the World Gross Product.The IMF says that it is weighing down economic growth and adding to risks that it could turn into stagnation or even recession.
It is the working people who will have to ultimately bear the burden of the capitalist crisis with the growth of unemployment and the decimation of their incomes. Already people in some countries, including Spain, Portugal and Greeceare on the streets in their thousands carrying out lengthy protests.
Despite the crises confronting imperialism it is conspiring and carry out outrageous schemes and manoeuvres to effect regime changes in countries which are run by governments which they despise. Already the leftwing governments of Argentina and Brazil have been over thrown. Constant conspiratorial pressure is exerted on Venezuela both internally and externally to oust Nicolas Maduro, the leftwing President. We express our solidarity with Venezuela and call on the international working class movement to intensify their solidarity actions to save the Bolivarian revolution.
The mass expression of the aspirations of the people of certain Arab countries for democracy and social progress which came to be known asthe Arab Spring was subvertedby imperialism to achieve their regional designs. They have ruined Libya and created a chaotic situation in that country,The imperialist attempt to establish a government of their choice in Syriahas beenfoiled by the Syrian patriotic forces at a tremendous cost, both material and human. The civil war that is proceeding is fueled by the United States, the Western powers and feudal Arab countries by assisting opposition forces set up by the Westand more significantly by covertly supporting the ISIS. This has caused massive devastation of the country and brought terrible misery to its people. Thanks to the support rendered by Russia,Iran and China and largely upon their own strength there is hope that the Syrian patriotic forces will ultimatelyemerge victorious defeating the machinations of the Western powers to dismember their country.
In South Asia regional cooperation has come under severe stress due to the aggravation of some bilateral and multilateral problems among the countries of the region. The roots of most of these problems go back to the period of British colonial rule and the intervention of US imperialism in the region during the Cold War years. Some of the problems like the Kashmir issue dates back to the partition of India.
The spread of terrorism in the region begins with the creation of terrorist out-fits by the United Statesto fight the involvement of the erstwhile Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Now theseproblems have aggravated and appear to be intractable threatening the very survival of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
At the beginning of October, 2016 the SAARC meeting scheduled to be held in Pakistan in November, 2016 was abandoned in the background of the military clashes between India and Pakistan and the allegations of terrorist incursions into Afghanistan from Pakistan. Both these relate to what has come to be called cross-border terrorism It would be tragic if SAARC, comprising countries with a common cultural and historical heritage collapses making way for the further aggravation and prolongation of the existing disputes among them.
In Sri Lanka at the Presidential Elections held in January 2015 the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL) supportedthe Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Candidate (Mahinda Rajapakse) against Maithripala Sirisena who defected from the SLFP to contest as the “common candidate” of theopposition led by the pro-imperialist United National Party (UNP) - the party of local big capital. Mr. Sirisena who won the elections appointed a government headed by the leader of the UNP soon after the declaration of the results against the wishes of a section of the SLFP.
Exercising the provisions of the SLFP constitution which provides for the automatic appointment as President of the SLFP a member of the partywho becomes the President of the country, Mr. Sirisena who had not been effectively expelled from the party thus far, gained control of the party by becoming its leaer.Soonafter, he took the SLFP into a coalition government with the UNP.
During the first 100 days of the new president’s tenure the Constitution was amended to provide for thecurtailment of some of his executive powersand to establish several independent commissions to de-politicize certain armsof the government. The CPSL acknowledges that these are positive steps. However, as expected, the coalition government veered more to the right in its economic policy and adopted a visibly pro-western posture in the conduct of its foreign policy.
At the Parliamentary elections held in August last year the CPSL contested in alliance with the SLFP under the umbrella of the SLFP-led United Peoples Alliance (UPFA). The elections did not produce a single party with a majority of its own. The UNP obtained 105 seats (8 seats less than the number required for an outright majority) in comparison to 95 seats of the SLFP-led UPFA. ThePresident as the leader of the SLFP decided again to form a coalition government with the UNP against the wishes of the majority of the UPFA Members of Parliament. This led to a virtual split in the SLFP with one faction faithful to the President being in government and the other in the Opposition.
TheCPSL is opposed to the present coalition government which is dominated as aforesaid by the pro-imperialist UNP that represents the local big bourgeoisie and the corporate sector. It stands for the replacement of the present government with a government that defends the national interests, is committed to resolving the national problem and advances the cause of the people.
The UPFA Members of Parliament (including the CPSL member) who are opposed to the governmenthave constituted themselves into what has come to be known as the Joint Opposition (JO). The Joint Opposition (JO) consists of a section of the SLFP and several smaller parties which have functioned together in alliance with the SLFP under the umbrella of the UPFA even before the change of government. There exist differences among its constituents on some issues and in regard to tactics. The CPSL acts together with the JO on issues on which there is agreement and adheres to its own distinct positions on other issues in keeping with its independence.
From its launch the JO has been carrying out massive campaigns in the country against the anti- national and ant- people policies of the government. Forces who seek a change of government in the countryare now increasingly rallying behind the JO.
The strategy of the CPSL in the present phase of development is togather the requisite forces and create conditions for the formation of a government of left and democratic forces in the futureto accomplish democratic transformations in the society and the polity,to establish durable national unity and to broaden social justice and welfare. Initially it bases itself on the Socialist Alliance (SA) comprising the CPSL and four other left parties in moving towards the attainment of this objective.
The CPSL recognizes the need to build the SA into a formidable force both byexpanding its activities in defence of the vital interests of the working people,by helping to strengthen the constituent parties and by drawing other left leaning forces into its fold. As for drawing the democratic forces it conceives that whilst the left should tirelessly work to win over other democratic elementsin the different alliances it interacts with. The SA should also move to attract to its side the middle strata comprising intellectuals, professionals, self-employed persons and those engaged in small and micro businessesworking together on common issues.
In the short -term program the activities of the CPSL will be primarily based on the following issues:
I. In the context of constitutional reforms to fightamong other things for the abolition of the authoritarian executive presidential system, for democratization of the electoral system, for an effective deinstead of levying increased taxes on the capitalist class volution of power to the periphery and for sharing of power at the centre to solve the national problem and for broadening fundamental rightsof the citizens;
II. Organised resistance to the application of neo-liberal policies detrimental to national interests and the welfare of the people;
III. The fight against the imposition of burdens on the working people to solve the financial crisis instead of levying increased taxes on the capitalist class;
IV. Organisation of mass opposition to the privatization of state assets;
V. The defence of the existing social welfare schemes that include free education and free healthcare services.
VI. Agitating for the early holding of local government elections which are being continually postponed by the government for reasons of political expediency.
The CPSL will campaign for the realization of these objectives together with the Socialist Alliance and other political forces which are in agreement with them.
The ensuing period will be a period of intense class struggles and political battles. The party is preparing to meet the emerging situationby stepping up its ideological work, streamliningthe party organizations, heightening its agitational activities and working for the extension of its mass base.