Sunday, July 04, 2010

Fifth All Sri Lanka Congress of the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party

Press Release 27-06-2010

The Fifth All Sri Lanka Congress of the New Democratic Party took place in Colombo on the 25th and 26th of June 2010, under the presidium comprising S.K. Senthivel, E. Thambiah, K. Thanikasalam, S. Thevarajah and V. Mahendran.

The Congress resolved after thorough discussion that the New-Democratic Party be renamed as the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party in consideration of the need for the name to reflect its Marxist Leninist ideological stand and the fact that capitalist parties exist in other countries with the name New Democratic Party matters to which fraternal foreign Marxist Leninist parties have drawn attention, and in consideration of the fact that the Elections Commissioner has already recognised a party with a similar sounding name

The Fifth All Sri Lanka Congress of the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party (hitherto New-Democratic Party) declared self determination for the nationalities within a united Sri Lanka, new democratic revolution led by the working class and a socialist future as its political aims.

The Congress elected a fifteen-member Central Committee, with S.K. Senthivel as General Secretary, V. Mahendran as National Organiser, E. Thambiah as International Organiser, and S. Thevarajah as Treasurer.

National and International Reports, Organisational and Financial Reports and amendments to the Constitution of the Party were submitted to the Congress and adopted unanimously after thorough discussion and debate. The following comprises summaries of the important resolutions adopted by the Congress:

1. The Sinhala Buddhist feudal conservative and big/comprador bourgeois forces comprise the ruling classes that protect and defend the present neo-colonial structure and dominate over workers, peasants, small traders, the middle classes, women, youth, the minority nationalities and the overwhelming majority of the toiling masses and deny the national democracy due unto them. Thus the need to win national democracy is an urgent task that requires the building of a broad united front comprising left, progressive and democratic parties, parties of the minority nationalities, anti-imperialist organisations, trade unions, peasant organisations, cultural organisations, and intellectuals. A broad programme of political work transcending parliamentary politics should be firmly implemented aiming at giving the initiative to the people in deciding on political and economic issues so that power is transferred to the people. Democracy and human rights, and the equality, autonomy and the right to self determination of nationalities should be assured in order to ensure the independence, sovereignty and unity of Sri Lanka. The national economy and a multi-ethnic national culture should be developed to achieve national democracy.

2. As the next stage, since Sri Lanka is not a developed capitalist country, a New Democratic Revolution is a pre-requisite for socialist revolution. All exploited classes, patriotic anti-imperialist forces, national and petit bourgeois forces should be mobilised to defeat imperialism and big/comprador bourgeoisie and establish self determination according to the wishes of the respective nationalities, eliminate the residues of feudalism, and implement socialist structures.

3. Having accepted the UN, an imperialist agency, and its neo-colonial agenda and having signed a variety of agreements, Sri Lanka obtained the military support of India, China, Pakistan and the US to conduct its war. During and after the war, Sri Lanka acted in ways that allowed foreign countries to meddle in its affairs and paid scant regard for matters of national integrity, independence and sovereignty. But its expression of concern and anger about the UN Secretary General’s nomination of a committee to investigate alleged war crimes and human rights violations sounds hollow and seeks to deceive the people. There can be no doubt that the imperialist agenda of bodies such as the UN, will carry out activities to suit their ulterior motives. The advisory committee of the UN Secretary General will not help the Tamil people in any way to secure justice or find a political solution; and the Tamil people have little to hope for from the UN. At the same time, Sri Lanka’s rejection of the investigation of alleged war crimes and human rights violations is unacceptable. It is by finding a just political solution to the national question, and inquiring into war crimes and human rights violations and punishing offenders and compensating victims that Sri Lanka could prevent foreign intervention.

4. From moderate Tamil nationalists to militants, none took a progressive nationalist stand. They aligned with imperialism and India to uphold reactionary conservative nationalism. They thrust a secessionist agenda on the Tamils. Now the elite among the Tamil diaspora have set up a “Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam” and are thrusting it upon the Tamil people, claiming that the US and the West are supporting it. It was India that first banned the LTTE in 1998. That ban still continues. North America and the US followed suit. The elite can do little but grumble occasionally. It is known that the US which apparently assured that it will send rescue aircraft to save the LTTE leaders betrayed the trust. The Tamils will not win any rights by a few, who once demanded a separate state, embracing a chauvinist government that will not even grant the powers that Provincial Governments are entitled to. It is only when national democracy is established in Sri Lanka that a just political solution to the national question will be found. It is under circumstances when New Democratic Revolution is victorious that the Tamil people will have self determination based on their own wishes. Thus the best option for the Tamil diaspora is to participate in the struggle for national democracy. A stand supportive of national liberation cannot be in the interest of imperialism, big/comprador capitalism, and feudalism. Thus without endorsing the right of Tamils to self determination the struggles of the toiling Sinhalese masses against imperialism, globalisation, and big/comprador capitalist and dominant feudal classes cannot secure the support of the Tamil people. Likewise, the struggle of the Tamils for the right to self determination ― the struggle to resolve the main contradiction ― cannot get the Sinhalese to join it or support it without Tamils supporting or joining the above struggles of the Sinhalese masses.

5. The Hill Country Tamils too are a distinct nationality and are subject to national oppression. They comprise one aspect of the Sri Lankan national question. At the same time, they are workers who are subjected to class exploitation. Thus the Hill Country Tamils who are oppressed on a national and class basis should be mobilize on the basis of class struggle for their liberation from oppression.

6. While the Muslims are also a nationality, they should not be confined to religion, and they should be subject to mobilization based on class.

7. Ethno-nationalism is a major obstacle to the unity of people. Lessons should be drawn from the experiences of the trade union and left movements of Sri Lanka to build a revolutionary movement that will unite workers of all nationalities based on class. Steps should be taken to unite workers divided socially, occupationally and by ethno-nationalism by undertaking activities of class cooperation. Activities should be carried out based on programmes to politically awaken workers through struggles to win their immediate demands, mobilize them organisationally, and develop them as the leading force of working class revolution. All the toiling masses should be brought under the common identity of workers and cooperation ensured in all their struggles to mobilize them along the path of mass struggle.

8. The peasantry is an important force of revolutionary social change. Hence broad unity between the workers and peasants should be built. They should be freed of neo-colonial clutches in the names of “sustainable development”, “development”, “alternative development” and “depoliticisation”, delivered by NGOs acting as the agents of imperialism in the agricultural sector. The problems of the fisher folk should be separately studied and the fisher folk should be freed from the control of big capitalists and multi-national companies.

9. Although untouchability is now on the wane, castism cannot be dismissed merely as a problem of identity, and struggles against caste domination and narrow caste consciousness need to be carried forward since castism is a feudal ideology that wrecks the unity of the people. It should be noted that the struggle that was carried forward by revolutionary Marxist Leninist communists in 1968 unlike struggles in India aimed at special allocations and other concessions for oppressed castes, which have served to sustain caste identity was with the aim of eliminating castism and untouchability through struggle. While rejecting the stand of narrow caste consciousness upheld by ‘dalitism’ that struggles against castism will eliminate caste, the close link and collaboration between class struggle and opposition to caste should be upheld.

10. The struggle against private property is struggle for women’s liberation. It was Marxism that explained the historical truth of how initially women came to be treated as private property. Thus the struggle for women’s liberation should be treated not merely as question of identity and be seen as part of class struggle and both struggles should be carried out in parallel.

11. If the people do not unite against US imperialism and Indian hegemonic forces that seek to exercise hegemony over Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka faces the risk of forfeiting its independence, integrity, sovereignty and unity. While the US and Western imperialists and Japanese imperialism carry forward globalisation in Sri Lanka, India is a partner with imperialism. China, which remains within the programme of globalisation for its own economic benefit. Thus the Congress calls for the building of a strong and united broad people’s movement against imperialism, globalisation and hegemony.

Finally the Congress wishes to express its heartiest thanks to all supporters and friends of the Party for their encouragement and support for the Congress which concluded successfully and in particular to fraternal parties and organisations who sent congratulatory messages and statements of support.

S.K. Senthivel

General Secretary

No comments: