the rope that ‘supports’ those who are hanged
The criticism of the SLFP and its leadership by the JVP, whilst
being coalition partners in the UPFA government, reminds me of the
principle on which the Communists should form United Fronts, prescribed
in the book - Left Wing Communism - An Infantile Disorder - by Lenin.
Communists,” he wrote "should support labour leaders
as a rope supports one who is hanged." That was written when
the Communists believed in going it alone and opposed social democrats,
liberals as much as they kept a distance from non-communist parties.
Lenin's theory changed that thinking and paved the way for the Communist
parties not so popular among the workers, peasants and the masses
to get leverage in the political arena and lay the foundation to
capture political power in due course. Initially, this theory was
directed towards the political climate in England.
Communist Party of England was formed in 1920 and due to the lack
of support among the people, it issued a declaration a year or so
later, calling for a United Front aimed at roping in especially
the left elements including Labour Party members and trade unionists,
to the Communist Party, in line with Lenin's new thinking. A decade
later, the socialist-oriented Independent Labour Party obliged by
forming a United Front with the Communist Party. The unity was used
to get Communist Party members to infiltrate the ILP.
progressively, ILP leaders were criticised, denounced and made unpopular.
The party split and that saw the end of the ILP. That was the tactic
followed by the Communist parties throughout the world. The Communist
Party international programme of activities in 1932 emphasised that
communist parties should organise trade unions, win the confidence
and support of the workers and the masses, capture power and replace
the leaders with Communist Party members. That they followed to
is history that the Communist parties have gone from one United
Front to another. It was so in France, England, Italy and in East
European countries in particular.They have used the genuine grievances
of the people for joint activity with other political parties and
used the process to destroy the very parties they joined hands with.
have used socialists, social democrats, liberals, trade unionists
and even the clergy for their purpose of capturing political power
and on coming to power those who were not Communists were driven
into the wilderness, sent to labour camps, incarcerated in gaols
or even executed. The failure on the part of governments to solve
social and economic problems, the failure to understand the signs
of the times by the political elite, misery, exploitation and injustice
could all lead to upheavals, uprisings and unrest among the people.
Hence circumstances that lead to such situations should not be created,
which in turn could be made use of to create problems in the country.
Fronts in Sri Lanka, however, have had a bad track record. They
have been dismal failures and have left Marxist parties in ruins.
Just as what the JVP is doing today, the LSSP, CP, VLSSP, MEP too
did criticise the SLFP and the UNP, whilst being coalition partners
in one form or other. However, the red shirts who formed United
Fronts with the rightist parties saw the rank and file deserting
them and joining the 'right' party with a view not only to staying
in politics but also to tasting political power. The United Fronts
in Sri Lanka, in fact, could be likened to 'the rope that supports
those who are hanged', as far as the Marxists are concerned.
Upali S. Jayasekera
to battle dengue menace
This may be a well-known fact but have we in Sri Lanka tried
to destroy the dengue mosquito larvae by using dragonfly larvae?
experiment tried out in Myanmar many years ago has proved very successful
as recorded in the Bulletin of Entomological Research Vol. 80, pg
223 and The New Scientist of April 27, 1991 which article written
by Stephen Young states "A number of circumstances combined
to create this favourable outcome, notably the specialized breeding
habits of (the mosquito) Aedesaegyptii, the participation of the
local people and the ready availability of a suitable predator.
Applying the technique on a wider scale- where suitable conditions
exist- should not present insuperable problems."
might be a good idea here in Sri Lanka to systematically breed dragonflies
instead of breeding dengue mosquitoes as has been happening these
No! No! I am not looking for a horse! As you know by now
this is the name of the Indian rice that has been imported by the
government and distributed to all co-operatives to be sold at Rs.
35-36 a kilo, with one person being permitted to buy a maximum five
a matter of one week all the rice has disappeared from the co-operatives,
especially those in Colombo! But, now you can buy any amount of
this rice from any of the Sathosa supermarkets (now privately owned)
at Rs. 44 a kilo. If you buy more than three kilos, you can get
it for Rs. 43 a kilo.
can also get this rice from any private grocery. Even if I forgave
the Kalukada mudalalis of the private groceries how do you explain
the availability of this rice at the Sathosa supermarkets? Obviously
they have to get it directly from wherever the main rice stores
are. If they claim that they imported the rice directly from India
themselves, why wasn't it available before the government started
again the poor man is hit while somebody else is making full use
of the government's "sincere efforts" to bring down the
price of rice. I sincerely hope the government will look into this
and do something about it before the public lose faith in the government.
of no trade
Robin Jackman giving commentaries in the last round robin match
of the recently concluded tri-nation one-day series, took a lot
of trouble to explain to the viewers the advantage Sri Lanka had,
batting second in the 1996 World Cup finals.
went on and on, to explain how difficult it was for Shane Warne
to handle the wet ball owing to the dew falling on the ground. Basically
he concluded that the side winning the toss in Lahore is the winner
of the match, as that team will opt to bowl first.
was pretty obvious he was undermining the Sri Lankan World Cup victory
in 1996. Our boys made Jack eat humble pie by winning the final,
bowling second. Conditions were very similar to 1996.
Unfortunately the Sri Lankan commentator didn't grab the opportunity
to drive the point across, that our victory in 1996 had nothing
to do with the dew factor.
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