LSSP: 72 years of principled politics
The Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) can look back with pride on 72
years of principled politics in the interest of Sri Lanka and its
Prof. Tissa Vitarana
It started the fight for independence through the Suriyamal Movement
and its leaders were jailed by the British. Complete independence was
achieved through the Republican Constitution drafted by one of our
leaders Dr. Colvin R de Silva.
The LSSP also led the fight for welfare measures, such as free
education and for the trade union and political rights that our people
The fight to eliminate poverty and injustice continues. While
recognising that these objectives can be fully realised only in a
socialist society throughout the world, in the interim the LSSP
continues the fight to minimise poverty and injustice and to defend
human and democratic rights.
Sri Lanka is a capitalist society within the framework of global
capitalism dominated by Imperialism, led by the USA.
The economy of the world is controlled by the multinationals, most of
which have their roots in the USA and other developed capitalists
countries like Britain and Japan.
The growing crisis of capitalism has led to the US Empire seeking to
increase the exploitation of Third World countries like Sri Lanka on the
basis of "neoliberal ideology".
The World Bank, IMF and WTO are conniving in this, together with the
local agents of the US Empire, the UNP led by Ranil Wickremasinghe in
the case of Sri Lanka, along with local comprodore forces.
The latter include major sections of the capitalists class,
bureaucrats and other elitist elements. The privately controlled media
are also playing a major disrupting role.
The strategy of the neoliberal forces is to install a Government that
would further their interests by any means, through the democratic
process or outside it, to implement the "Re-awakening of Sri Lanka"
policy of the 2001 - 2004 UNP government.
Such a Government would weaken the role of the State and strengthen
that of the private sector, foreign more than local, and let the market
forces that the multinationals control to take charge of the economy.
Profit making rather than the benefit of the people will be the basis
for decisions. Our economy, even natural resources like water, will be
sold to foreign multinationals and we will be more dependent on imports.
The rising cost of living and unemployment, together with the loss of
land, will increase poverty and widen the gap between the rich and the
The conspiracy to defeat the present government, making use of the
rising oil and food prices, and restore the UNP to power to carry out
these policies must be defeated. The 2008 budget has clearly discarded
the neoliberal policies and continued the progressive nationalist
economic objectives of the Mahinda Chinthanaya.
Development to reduce poverty and regional disparities are combined
with increased welfare measures, and active intervention by the state to
reduce the cost of living. The LSSP must join with the other parties in
the Socialist Peoples Front (SPF) to ensure that these policies are
For example the revived cooperatives should be controlled by the
consumers, and not just by the managers. There must be a drive to reduce
corruption and waste at all levels.
Besides the introduction of new technology, such as computers, to
improve the efficiency of the public service, the proposals of the All
Party Representatives Committee (APRC) to frame a new Constitution that
gives power, funds and administrative support to the village and
institutions of local government must be supported and implemented.
The people's participation through Jana Sabahas in the village and
Advisory Committees in the work places has to be increased.
Science and Technology which are essential for economic development
have to be promoted, in particular Nanotechnology and the Vidatha
The LTTE which has been weakened by the counter attacks of the
military is turning increasingly to terrorism and this in turn can
disrupt civil life and the economy. The Tamil people should not be
alienated and driven into the hands of the LTTE. The APRC proposals
should address the grievances and meet the aspirations of the Tamil
speaking people, as well as the Sinhalese.
If this is supported by the UNP and the SLFP then the Tamil people
will have the confidence that it will be implemented, whichever
Government is in power.
If then the LTTE persists with its separatist agenda, without coming
seriously to peace talks causing more and more suffering, the Tamil
people will move away from the LTTE, and it will be isolated, and it is
then that it can be successfully defeated militarily.
The LSSP and the SPF have to play a leading role in ensuring that the
APRC proposals are accepted by the people and properly implemented. The
responsibility for solving the national question in this way and
ensuring a lasting peace once again falls on the LSSP, which suffered so
much in its efforts to prevent the conflict in the past.
The LSSP has to strengthen its Trade Unions, Youth, Students and
Women's organizations and draw in the masses on the basis of its correct
political programme to meet and overcome the tremendous challenges that
lie ahead in the coming year. I am convinced that with its proud history
the LSSP will grow and indeed succeed.
The writer is the leader of the LSSP and Minister of Science &