[In honor of Fidel Castro -1st death anniversary Nov 25th]
“Nationalism is not our essential idea, although we do love our homeland dearly. We consider ourselves internationalists…”
(Fidel Castro, Economy 98, July 3rd 1998 speech)
“…We’re not very nationalistic. We’re patriots but we’re not very nationalistic…”
(Fidel Castro, Talks with US and French journalists, 1983, pp. 34-5)
“We internationalist revolutionaries always say…humanity comes before our country!”
(Fidel Castro Speaks, ed. James Petras p159)
We need a Left alternative because there are certain challenges, some tasks, some projects, crucially important ones, that no one else can be expected to undertake, be they UNP, SLFP, JO, SLPP or TNA. These are the tasks of social justice and national unification. Sri Lanka must become a country in which there is social justice and fair-play. It must also become a country in which a genuinely Sri Lankan identity is fostered and national reconciliation and integration takes place by purely voluntary means, from below. Only a Left alternative can do this because only the Left has those values.
No UNP government will stand for social justice, and even if Sajith Premadasa leads it, it may only ensure a measure of social welfare and equity. As for the SLFP, it will either imitate the UNP or the JO. Taken together or separately, the SLFP and the JO-SLPP see only the ‘national’ and not the ‘social’.
For the SLFP-JO-SLPP the ‘national’ is the social and is the sole dimension of the social. It’s all Jathika, or in its longer version, Rata-Jathiya-Aagama (country-nation-religion), and hardly Janatha/Mahajana (people/masses). The ‘national’ is defined in ethnic, ethnocentric or ethno-religious communitarian terms. Thus Southern populism is ethno-populism or ethno-religious populism.
With President Ranasinghe Premadasa long dead—something else we owe the Tigers and all those who supported and still fail to denounce them–only a Left formation will perceive things in terms of social justice, irrespective of, and cutting across, ethnicity and religion.
As for nation-building, it cannot be successfully undertaken by the UNP, because its multiculturalism, which is always a good thing, is undermined by its cosmopolitanism, minoritarianism, wartime history of appeasement of separatism and terrorism, and pro-Western imperialist stance. This whole package and profile generate a Southern backlash which makes it impossible to proceed with building a unified nation and a Sri Lankan identity.
Continue reading ‘Why Sri Lanka Needs A Leftist Alternative To Accomplish Important Tasks That Cannot be Undertaken By the UNP,SLFP, JO, SLPP or TNA.’ »