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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 104

JVP: An open letter

By Oscar E V Fernando

Your two unsuccessful revolts were for Vimukthi, or emancipation, defined as release from legal, social, political, intellectual or moral restraint; now you are in democratic politics; none could deny you are a youthful force to reckon with.

You felt an imbalance in society that disabled your ranks to come up to those inherited rich and powerful; you rebelled and opted for communistic economic/political policies-but now;

Most countries that felt the same way and revolted, have taken a full cycle and are presently showing preference to democracy over communist dictatorship and private enterprise over state owned enterprises-though the changes are gradual and beset with obstacles; examples are China and Russia the two giants that earlier followed communistic policies-now favoring regulated private enterprise, and even busting into unbridled capitalism.

There is no reason to beat the age old drum of communism, now failed and even unbridled capitalism, now failing; communistic military coercion failed because human beings are blessed with varying talents; the bold and the daring, exemplified by those of your cadres that have inherited such daring, will always try to shake of inner shackles to breathe economic and social freedom; unbridled capitalism seems to edge out due to greed of a few and neglect of the poor from which part of society terrorism is breeding.

World is at a turning point. You can be the torch bearers of a new beginning in Sri Lanka-if only and only if;

You realize the folly of following vanished and vanishing trails and also realize state enterprises as practiced in Sri Lanka cannot be considered as fish, fowl or beef with regard to government regulations both financial and administrative; these also do not have the checks and balances of the private sector enterprises that are regulated by articles and memoranda of associations: hence;

Is your present preoccupation with COPE reports that spell out corruption, inefficiency, lethargy and the consequent losses that drain off funds from the treasury; these institutions lack both military coercion of communism and profit motivation of the private sector: would you go along with such institutions; or are you;

Having an agenda of your own to run these on communistic and dictatorial policies, that have now failed; a Sri Lanka ‘proletariat’ would not succumb to that ambition, if any, of yours!

It was very disappointing to see your members protesting at various circuses against divestiture of these white elephants that drain resources of the country. Your founder members would know;

These institutions called corporations and statutory boards cropped up in the fifties, apparently based on various communal grounds that effected some Singhalese, including some in your cadres, together with Tamils, Muslims and Burghers, who in an earlier era had much to do with business ventures; this is embroiled in history-and;

Debating history only between two contending parties sans an arbitrator, is like ‘occult consulting’ the thief’s’ mother to find out the thief and is not worth dwelling upon more than what it contributes academically towards a solution-not worth shedding precious blood; also history though the bread and butter of historians does not provide bread to the table!

This historical disparity or purported wrong certainly had to be put to right-but not with another wrong!

It suffices to read all past COPE reports, including the much fussed about current report to conclude the folly of the fifties that brought about;

• Corruption, lethargy and inefficiency of some of the corporations and statutory boards, and;

• The drain of the said disgruntled minorities, who felt their fundamental rights were violated.

Curiously though, the struggles both, of yours and the LTTE happen to be similar on several counts, these are;

• The education system that was and still is lopsided where graduates are churned out with no avenues of being deployed.

• The language barrier, English-kaduwa for you, and Singhalese-kaduwa for the other, and

• The funnily adopted, almost cult, of some majorities stamping themselves superior to other clannish minorities with no factual basis other than comfortable majority hegemony.

This similarity of struggles is of course barring the aspirations of the Tamil minority for separate autonomy from as early as the State council days that got magnified after the grievances suffered by them over the years. This too is a deep seated historical issue that needs debate in a proper manner. Here is an area that both you and the LTTE could discuss for a national solution.

So far you have not shown in any significant manner that you are communal in your thinking-other than the misguided notion of completely wiping out the LTTE.

Weakening the LTTE, with a view towards a political solution, is acceptable and at the moment the government has achieved it to some extent; an attempt to completely eradicate bears with it several other risks to be borne in mind in view of regional and international ramifications; moreover a stifled minority can always rise up again-as you of all peoples know well enough!

With your pursuit of communism that should have no divisive barriers you have shown that you are not narrowly communal-and so be it-unlike some others who want to make this a one sided state-a repetition of the folly of the fifties that has resulted in the present turmoil!

It was due to frustrations that you killed mercilessly and the governments consisting of such majorities in turn killed your cadres. Yes, you have blood on your hands but also there should be guilt in the conscience of those majority rulers of yesteryear!

Much water has flown down the bridge both locally and internationally since your last two revolts. There is now no necessity to train your youth on paths of revolt; train them and set their sights on regulated private ventures that you should strive to introduce together with those so desiring it from among both major democratic parties, now on the verge of merging.

Perhaps this course of action can be successful under the present president who should prefer it to facing elections with our pendulum swinging electorate: no ground revolts can or will destabilize the constitutional power of the office of president!

Once the country is set on such a forward march, with corruption, lethargy and communal disharmony wiped off-hopefully, you can then go to the fray of elections separately or otherwise.

Do not make short sighted statements such as unplugging the World Bank; even the collapsed communist countries and our giant neighbor India were and are aided by this Bank; have friendly relations with all international aid donors as you are youthful enough to withstand any onslaughts to our independence and sovereignty by any funding agents; pursue the concept of Grameen Banks that are also now associated with the World Bank in assisting the poor to invest in business.

Make a public declaration of your pursuit of regulated private enterprise sans communistic dictatorship policies and sans communalism, both religious and racial; presently, join with other major parties that go along with such policies: in these circumstances;

One could and would begin to wonder-wonder why some still continue to be prejudiced against you-unless we put it down to what is still left of that majority hegemony and those angry countenances on some of your faces!!

Most contentions in this letter are repetitions of the contents in my first letter to you published in the Daily Mirror newspaper of 19th March 2004.

- Asian Tribune -

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