Imperialism functions in two ways – as the government that draws foreign forces into the country as well as the savior of the crises created by the government. All masses and their broad fronts should be rallied to defeat their conspiracies and stop destruction of the count says the co-convener of Anti-imperialist People’s Movement Ven. Dhambara Amila Thera.
Speaking at a media conference held at the Public Library in Colombo today (3rd) Ven. Amila Thera said two protest marches will be held on the 6th and a massive rally will be held at Hyde Park after the marches. He invited all those who love the country to participate.
Co-convener of APM the President of National Trade Union Center (NTUC) K.D. Lal Kanthe, Senior Lecturer of Sri Jayawardenepura University Devaka Punchihewa, the Member of the Executive Committee of APM and Organizing Secretary of NTUC V.I. Abdeen, Member of the Executive Committee of APM Ayurvedic Specialist Dr. Nanda Wijeratne were present.
Speaking further Ven. Amila Thera said, “The time has come for a genuine leadership for the country. It is a moment in which peoples forces should be rallied. It is necessary as there are signs of a gigantic peril the country will be confronted with. Rallying these forces has become a dire necessity of the moment. It is only by uniting and rallying genuine people’s forces that the disaster the country is made to face could be avoided. We, as the Anti-imperialist People’s Movement, have rallied organizations, individuals, working masses and other progressive forces. The events on the 6th could be considered as the inauguration of a mass movement.
Today we could identify a ‘hybrid enemy’. It is the government that paves the way for imperialist forces. The government by violating human rights and burying democracy is making room for imperialists to interfere in the country. Journalists are threatened and made to disappear, media institutions are set on fire in a bid to stop the real nature of the government filtering to the masses. All media has been benumbed. What is happening in the country is not reported not due to the inadequacy of the media but due to rowdy behavior of the government.
The government is preparing to privatize education at the behest of imperialists and it attempts to suppress the students’ movement that is an obstruction for this sordid act. The passing ratio at the A/L examination has been raised to 61% and about 144000 has got qualified to enter universities. However, only about 25,000 could be accommodated in state universities. As such, manipulating a bigger ratio could be a conspiracy to push students towards private universities. We have our suspicion regarding this. Lands are being demarked with the mediation of the government for private universities in Gampaha District. There is an attempt, at the behest of imperialists, to bring in privatization acts that were withdrawn due to mass protests.
The people in the country need not be told regarding how the government conducts elections. The government makes use of state resources, state property, state media and state officials for their campaign. The undemocratic impeachment process to remove the Chief Justice is bringing in adverse results to the country.
The government is handing over valuable lands of the country to imperialists and their multi-national companies. Highlands, fields, wetlands, marshes are handed over to imperialists on 99 year lease. Most of these lands are sensitive areas economically and militarily. All of them have been handed over to foreigners. Fields and lands that could be cultivated are being handed over to foreigners. Thousands of acres handed over to ‘Dole’; a US company is only one example. Due to the pro-imperialist economic policy of the government the buying ability of the masses has been acutely decreased. State employees are denied loan facilities. The cost of living has risen to the sky. The prices of vegetables have gone up unprecedentedly. It is due to cultivable lands being handed over to multi-national companies.
Currently, there are signs of an ant-Muslim sentiment raising its head in the country. Despite the wounds of a 30 year war has not been healed yet, an anti Muslim sentiment is surfacing with the blessings of the government. We believe that the moves of these groups merely fulfill the requirements of imperialists. We know that imperialists could not partition or weaken the country through the military front. However, they were able to breakdown the friendship and solidarity among Sinhalese and Tamil communities through that war. Three years have passed since the end of the war. However, the government, instead of healing the deep wound created by the war, is rubbing salt in it.
Powerful imperialist countries oppress periphery countries to maintain their luxurious lives. This is the intention of their interference in countries like ours. UN, Commonwealth are cats paws they use for their manipulations. East Timor and Southern Sudan were separated using referendums. Now, imperialists are attempting to bring in a referendum to merge the North and the East. It is under such an environment that the attempt to create Sinhalese – Muslim conflict should be looked at. The composition of communities in the Eastern Province is roughly equal. It is about 33% for all three communities. As such, the Muslim community in the province is decisive. Imperialists are attempting to prevent Muslims from working with the Sinhalese. For, in a referendum such a unity would not be to the liking of imperialists’ agenda. An artificial division is created to prevent this unity. This quarrel is a conspiracy. This is what is being carried out through ‘Bodu Bala Sena’. Imperialists are dreaming of an ‘Ealam’ through merging the North and the East. It is a part of their road map. On the basis of anti Muslim feeling sowed Muslim communalist leaders get an opportunity to rally Muslim masses. While this allows Muslim communalist leaders like Hakeem to rally Muslims around them, Mahinda Rajapaksa gets an opportunity to collect Sinhalese Buddhist votes. The government has allowed imperialists to manage communalism.
All Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim and other masses should be rallied against this sordid act. The harm for the country due to this unforesightful move carried out in a quest for power is very grave. This country need not be a backyard of imperialists. We also need intelligent and friendly relations with other countries. We need the endowment of the wonder of diversity of Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islam peoples and cultures. We invite all to join us. Those in the SLFP and UNP, who love the country, too can join us. We invite all to join the two marches and the massive rally.”