TamilWeek Mar 26, 2006
JVP can’t help solve crisis

by A. P. S. Galapata
Meegoda

The recruitment of "child soldiers" "LTTE terrorism" are not of
relevance to the lives of the farmers or workers at the periphery,
regard less of ethnicity, villagers live in peace.

I read the article of Mr. Anandasangari and offer a few comments.
Having been a keen observer of the political scene from village level I
have a fair knowledge of the thinking of the rural population.

When the Portuguese arrived in Ceylon in 1505 there were three
independent Kingdoms, Kotte, Kandy and Jaffna. The Kandyan chiefs
"gifted" the Kandyan Kingdom to the British in 1815 and soon after,
the Chiefs realised their folly and paid heavily in 1818. In 1833 the
now SACROSANCT UNITARY STATE came into being. When the
Donoughmore Commission was sitting, forceful claims were made by
the Kandyan and Northern minority for more governing powers. The
Commission, unable to reject outright, the reasonable pleas,
persuasively retained the Unitary Status...

".... In Ceylon it is desirable that there should be a full knowledge on
the part of those responsible for its government of both the physical
and mental conditions under which the various main sections of the
people, Tamil Kandyans and Low country pass their lives... we would
propose that there should be occasional meetings of the State Council
at Kandy and Jaffna". The proposal did see fruition. Interpreted in its
liberal spirit, these words admit the legitimacy of Federalism or
devolution of power. When substantive claims for Federalism came
around 1953, "majority thinking" provided blueprints for separatist
ideology I agree with Mr. A on the plea for Federalism, but I venture
with suggestions for full and unfettered rule for those of the soil going
down to village level. Those who know old social organisations would
not deny that the flowering of civilisation took place under conditions
where no "elite" would disembark from a Prado and tell the farmer how
to grow because the farmers in Jaffna/Welimade/Batticaloa or H’tota
know their onions. Perfect democratic practices may not be there in
the North but conditions down south among the majority are far from
the democratic ideals we lament about in the North. The poor,
islandwide, are in the same boat. Government benefits do not go
beyond the Divisional Secretary Level.

The recruitment of "child soldiers" "LTTE terrorism" are not of
relevance to the lives of the farmers or workers at the periphery,
regard less of ethnicity, villagers live in peace.

I beg to differ from Mr. A on the overestimation of the ability of the JVP
to solve our ethnic problem. The fact that the JVP emerged with 39
seats in parliament in 2004 does not invest them with extraordinary
ability to solve the crisis. They are the cause rather than the solution.
The UNP and the SLFP command about 75% of the southern vote.
"Contrived coalitions" are the norm of Sri Lankan politics. With 55 odd
parties there is queuing up for coalitions, more for perks and
privileges than principle or national policy. The election of 2004 threw
up groups, surprisingly.

Lay Buddhists made the worst decision when they placed monks in the
wrong place. Marx must be turning in his grave in London if he feels
the new Nationalism preached by his followers in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan
voters are conservative and allow new-commers to prove their
performance. Politicians are tested in the long-run. The oldest Left
party entered politics in 1936, were well received, but they shifted to
town for money, surviving only with some "Pota".

The political parties of the minorities have been faithful to their voters,
living with them. The Southern splinter parties rush from green pasture
to "concrete jungles". The JVP sprang from the village and their
attempt to grab power failed twice, voters pardoned them for the loss
of life at their hands. In 2004 they had impressed the voters, within
one and half years, went the way of the old left parties. Massive
propaganda parades are inhospitable conditions for the Sri Lanka,
electorate — Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim. The JVP was given 4 key
ministries involved with poverty alleviation but they abandoned them
with little done, excepting displaying Red Banners. The 1000 tanks
programme, Tsunami relief with JVP name Tag, scuttling of PTOMPS
leading to the loss of 4500 million dollars in AID and the failure to
devise any relief to Market agricultural produce, now in crisis, go
against them on their performance.

The Sri Lankan Public service are good preachers, produce printouts
promote overproduction, export valuable human resources, cause
panic, the government having to do firefighting in purchasing paddy in
March and August, introduce new strategies every fortnight, as if
Paddy is a new Product needing Sophistigated Expertise. Till 1994 the
paddy farmer had no problem. Paddy is the least perishable product,
lasting even 5 years in our Atuwas. These experts may not know it.
Today the Ampara farmer sells his paddy at Rs. 10/- though the media
blurt out that he could sell it at Rs. 16/50 per kilo. Anyway the official
and the Mudalali will be quite happy after the season while many a
farmer commits suicide.

Mere Federalism, like the unproductive exercise of the 13th
amendment; won’t be enough. We must share state benefits with our
Northern brethren without conditions or demeaning them as
separatists.

Some radical charges I envisage for an honourable peace:

1. Buddhist monks must withdraw form politics

2. Marxist parties to unite workers and peasants in Sri Lanka before
they introduce welfare for workers of the world.

3. Rescue the Education system including Universities from the grip of
money laundering academics, and swindlers.

4. Cleanse the public Service of non-performers and swindlers.

5. Get Public Servants to Organise Markets before getting innocent
farmer to produce to sell at depressing prices.
[Courtesy: Island]