The alternative is a party of working people.

Less than two years have passed since the Podu Jana Peramuna (SLPP) government came to power with more than 2/3 majority, taking over dictatorial powers, but it has set a record as a unpopular govt. within a shortest period than ever before. All these happened after the 6.9 m people who voted for Gotabhaya with high hopes were orphaned and the statement made by him stating that he could not do anything in the country. Especially after declaring that he could not control the prices of essential commodities in the country or the businessmen of the country. After the covid 19 pandemic, it became clear that capitalist rulers in almost every country in the world could not save the people of those countries from death and famine. In this situation neo-liberalism has been rejected by the world and the people are demanding an alternative solution. This is a common situation in Sri Lanka as well.

The SLPP government that came to power by strengthening religiosity and racism has been severely attacked not by the barren opposition but by the government’s own partners. Buddhist monks who made a significant contribution in bringing the racketeering Rajapaksa elite to power have today come forward to challenge Gotabaya. One monk who spoke out against the Colombo Port City Commission recently stated that he was with the government at the moment because he had no choice. This shows that not only working people but also sections of the regressive community are looking for an alternative to the present rulers.

Working people have been the most affected part of the country for more than a year. Not only wage earners, but all sections of the population such as farmers, fishermen and day labourers could not cope with the pressures posed by the covid-19 virus and the country’s weak economy. The sharp rise in the prices of essential food items, the loss of jobs, the decline in the income of the wage earners and the sharp rise in the cost of services were all evident during this period. The government could not control any of them.

In this situation, there is a dilemma in the minds of the people as to under which force should be united against this government. Although the media recently reported the formation of a party for the middle class, it was nothing more than a party to support bourgeois racist interest.

In this situation, the need has arisen for a political party with a program to solve their problems, maintained by the working people themselves, freed from the racketeering bourgeoisie. Every political party that came to power after so-called independence in 1948 came to power boasting that it would meet the demands of these working people. But every government that came to power in such a manner, brutally curtailed the rights enjoyed by the people.

We think that the selection of leaders from the bourgeoisie to govern themselves should end now. Instead, the working people themselves must build a political party, which is ready to implement a program put forward by the working people including workers, to solve their problems. It is an unavoidable task. Although there was a discussion about this just before the 2019 Presidential Election, the people who had high hopes for Gotabaya did not like the discussion. Today, Gotabaya has proved to the world that he can do nothing but murdering people which he has been trained to do. So working people have no choice but to build their own organization.

The majority of Sri Lankans are said to be Buddhists. But in the last presidential election, two monks who were believed by Buddhists to have kept at least five precepts ran for Presidency, but the majority of Buddhists chose a man accused of murder and various crimes. 52% of the country’s voters are women. But in a previous election, these 52% of women did not pick a single woman from the 52 movement to elect women parliamentarians.

Throughout history, workers’ leaders have contested elections, but the majority of workers had not elect them and they elected bourgeois representatives as their rulers. Initially, working class leaders would be the first to oppose a proposal to form a party of working people, rather than the bourgeoisie. That is because the privileges they receive as trade union leaders in the bourgeoisie are being taken away. They will say that workers have no ability to govern a country and that politics is not the business of working people. Or if working people try to build such organizations, they will jump in and sabotage the formation of such organizations. That is what the experience of the history of class struggles in the world. But it is imperative today that such efforts be thwarted and that a working people’s party be formed to separate the working people from the bourgeois political parties. The port workers proved that there was a plan for the united workers to run the port. Those port workers can control port affairs without capitalist rulers. Garment factory workers can also produce and export garments without managers. If bank employees join together, they can control the banks. What need is only the determination.


Wijepala Weerakoon