[Marxism] [RCIT] Sri Lanka: To whom does the country belong?
rcit at thecommunists.net
Tue May 29 01:08:37 MDT 2012
*Sri Lanka: To whom does the country belong?*
*The truth about the oppression of Tamils in Sri Lanka and the lies in
President Rajapaksa’s speech on Independence Day*
By M.A. (Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT),
Some months ago Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa declared at the
Independence Day celebrations in Anuradhapura: “/Ethnic communities have
no separate regions. The entire country belongs to all ethnic communities./”
This is a joke which has no connection to the reality. The truth is:
Sri Lanka/Elangai is inhabited not only by different communities. It is
first and foremost inhabited by two different NATIONS: the Sinhala
people and the Tamil people. Both live on the island since thousands of
When the British colonialists conquered Sri Lanka/Elangai they realized
there were two separate native people. In June 1796, the British
Colonial Secretary, Sir Hugh Cleghorn wrote to his government:
/“Two different nations, from a very ancient period, have divided
between them the possession of the Island: the Sinhalese inhabiting the
interior in its southern and western parts from the river Wallouwe to
Chilaw, and the Malabars (Tamils) who possess the northern and eastern
districts. These two nations differ entirely in their religion, language
To this we shall add the Hill-Country Tamils. They were brought in the
19^th century by the British colonialists as semi-slaves from India to
the island. All in all they brought between 800,000 and 1.5 million
Tamils from India to work at the plantations. They were treated badly –
like the Black people who were brought from Africa to America. Nearly
one-fourth of these Tamils died on route. They played a major role in
building Sri Lankas/Elangais main industry: the tea, rubber and coconut
*Tamils are an oppressed nation*
Before independence both the Sinhala and the Tamil people were oppressed
by the British imperialists. Since 1948 till today the Tamil people –
both the Eelam Tamils in the North and East and the Hill Country Tamils
in the central regions – are a nation oppressed by the Sinhala ruling class.
Today they are oppressed more than ever. Hundreds of thousands of Tamils
have been killed or driven out of their homes. Today the Rajapaksa
regime needs an army of 400.000 soldiers to oppress the Tamil people and
keep its power.The Tamil territories in the North are occupied with one
soldier per 10 inhabitants!
Who benefits from the oppression of the Tamil people? Certainly not the
Sinhala workers and poor peasants!
It is only the Sinhala ruling class and the foreign imperialists who
gain from the oppression of the Tamil people! These rich capitalists
make profit from the cheap labour force of the Tamil plantation workers.
These rich capitalists profit from land in the North which they take
away from the native Tamil people.
*National **self-determination and socialism***
So let us speak out the truth: This country does not belong to all
ethnic communities. The Tamil people want their own state but the army
is occupying their territory to deny the Tamil people their right for
The country belongs to the Sinhala capitalists. They exploit the Sinhala
workers and they super-exploit the Tamil workers. To divide the workers
of both nations they spread Sinhala chauvinism.
To fight against their oppression the Sinhala workers and poor peasants
must reject this chauvinism. They must fight for full equality and
national self-determination for the Tamil people. This perspective of
national liberation must be part of a program for socialist revolution.
Armed with such a program the Sinhala and Tamil workers can unite
against the Sinhala capitalists and win. Together they can build a
socialist society without exploitation and national oppression! This is
what the /United Lanka/Elangai Workers Party/ is fighting for!
More information about the Marxism