(Text of a declaration unanimously adopted at the Commemoration of Rajani Thiranagama’s 33rd Death Anniversary held in Jaffna on 2 October, 2022.)
Democracy is enshrined in People’s Sovereignty. Democratic governance upholds people’s sovereignty. But the current economic and political crisis has raised questions about the exercise of people’s sovereignty in the representative forms of governance in the country.
People need to claim ownership of their sovereign rights, of a just, equal and democratic life for themselves. The 100 days of Aragalaya-Poraattam has demonstrated the power that people have and need to exercise.
People become a power that acts both as a counter point to the hierarchical nature of governance and at the same time, supplement and deepen the already existing representative forms of governance.
The current government is abusing its powers and shutting down all dialogue. State repression needs to be challenged at this critical moment.
Nationally and regionally we need to act collectively as a people to ensure democracy in our midst, recognizing the deep seated divisions and differences amongst us, politically and socially.
We need to fight against all hierarchies and inequalities, including those based on class, ethnicity, language, religion, sexuality, region and many others.
To this end, People’s Councils can become a vehicle for mobilizing people around the country, at the national and regional levels, for democratic action.
A fundamental principle of a people’s council is about empowering the voiceless and the most marginalized. Such a programme will help to ensure people’s sovereignty.
Rajani Thiranagama Memorial Committee Jaffna People’s Forum for Peaceful Co-existence