[Marxism] [RCIT] Sri Lanka: To whom does the country belong?

RCIT 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), 
www.thecommunists.net <http://www.thecommunists.net>)

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 
years.

*Two people*

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 
and manners.”/

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 
plantations.

*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 
national self-determination.

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!




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