Tuesday, 30 December 2008


Mass struggle is the only way out

Israel's government's rule has been a chain of scandals and failures. Now they are trying to save themselves from defeat in February's elections, by means of a wholesale slaughter of Palestinians in this long planned attack.

Bush, and Obama, have refused to force Israel to immediately halt the carnage. Bush used similar brutality in their occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. While Miliband makes feeble calls for a cease-fire, the White House has even blamed Hamas for the attacks and condemned the Hamas rocket fire into Israeli cities.

Abu Abas, Mubarak and the Arab league leaders condemn the massacre. But they were complicit in Israel's starving of the Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants by Israel's 16-month siege. These regimes willingly carry out the dictates of imperialism. Mubarak's authoritarian regime in Egypt collaborated in the imprisonment of the Palestinians by preventing free movement of goods and people on Egypt's border with Gaza. Mubarak even met Israel's foreign minister Livni on the day before Israel's attack.

Hamas' rocket fire cannot defeat the Israeli state's oppression of Palestinians. The Israeli ruling class do not care about the working class inhabitants of the towns bordering Gaza, but uses their plight to justify the war. The Israeli government does not defend the real interests of ordinary Israelis, rather it exploits their fears.

Every gain made in the history of Palestinian struggle has been the result of active mobilisation of the masses. Tragically for Palestinians neither Hamas, nor Fatah, nor the Arab regimes, have a strategy to defend the masses and stop the Israeli state's slaughter.

  • For an immediate end to Israeli attacks. For immediate end to the siege.
  • For escalation of demonstrations and protests against the war, in the Middle East and internationally.
  • No trust in the world powers or the United Nations. Organize the masses in self-defense. Mass action by Palestinians and Egyptians to break the siege that imprisons Gaza and appeal for support from the working masses internationally, especially in the Middle East, including Israel.
  • For united struggles by the workers and poor to overthrow all the capitalist regimes in the Arab states and in Israel. For worker's governments across the Middle East which can end the cycle of violence by resolving the contentious issues in the interests of working people and start to create a society run for the needs of ordinary people.
  • For a Socialist Palestine and a Socialist Israel as part of a Socialist Federation of the Middle East.


Join Us

CWI is an international organization which struggles against the horrors of capitalism and for a socialist alternative. We organize activists in the Middle East and internationally. The struggle against the slaughter in the Middle East and capitalist oppression is ultimately one struggle.


Wednesday, 24 December 2008


New opportunities open up for socialist struggle and the building of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI)

The Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) extends warm New Year greetings to the members of its sections and groups worldwide and to supporters and readers.

2008 was an extraordinary year, as memorable in a different way as 1968 - the 'Year of Revolution' whose fortieth anniversary we have been commemorating in the past twelve months, along with the ninetieth anniversary of the German Revolution. The year will be remembered as marking the end of a period for socialists in most countries of political doldrums. With the collapse of the bureaucratically stultified, state-owned planned economies of the USSR and Eastern Europe, two decades ago, and the apparent triumph of capitalism, workers of the world were told there was no alternative to it. Most trade union and workers' party leaders alike peddled the lie that cooperation with the bosses rather than struggle was the only course to take.

In spite of the warnings of Marxists, whose ideas were seen as 'antiquated', capitalism seemed to promise unending growth. It was based on unprecedented levels of public and personal debt and accompanied by wars and civil wars, mass poverty, at one end of society, and obscene wealth and corruption, at the other. The gap between rich and poor on a national and international scale must have superseded even the appalling levels described by Marx and Engels, 150 years ago. The degradation and destruction of the planet's ecological system, carried through by the twin juggernauts of capitalism and Stalinism, had neared a point of no return.

Now, with the dramatic and helter-skelter collapse of major financial institutions and the housing market, followed inexorably by a crippling down-turn in the real economy, there is a grudging acceptance amongst capitalist analysts that Marx was right and a growing interest old in what he had to say. Socialist writings are gaining popularity as bankers and capitalist politicians have earned the ire of workers and young people.

Genuine socialists

If nationalisation and Keynesianism are back in vogue, as the only way to 'save' capitalism, then the job of genuine socialists, like those in the CWI, is to elaborate demands for genuine socialist measures. Groups and sections of the CWI have energetically campaigned for nationalization to be fully in the interests of workers – no business secrets, no redundancies, no pay cuts, share the work and establish a system of elected committees of workers' representatives at local and national level to control and manage the economy and society.

As hundreds of thousands of car-workers are laid off and millions face the twin evils of joblessness and homelessness, a fight against the system itself has to be on the order of the day. CWI members everywhere are involved in campaigning to build genuine mass workers' parties of struggle. The CWI itself has proved an invaluable tool for drawing on the experiences of new parties that have developed in Europe and in Latin America, as was illustrated by the animated discussions, reported on socialistworld.net, at the November 2008 CWI International Executive Committee meeting.

Right up to the end of this year, CWI members have been involved in the tumultuous events in Greece and in France, where the youth in schools and universities represent the heat-lightning of mass struggle to come. In Italy too, the anger of workers at the prospects for 2009 is gathering steam. Explosions of class struggle are inevitable. Their timing, extent and outcome are not predictable, but those of us who aim to give maximum time and effort to develop those struggles must be prepared and ready!

A short period of rest is welcome during the New Year holiday, where it is possible. But as is clear from the recent articles carried on socialistworld.net, in some countries - like Pakistan, Kazakhstan, India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria – there is no let-up in the daily political and economic battles.

As the class struggle intensifies, more energy and dedication will be required and more forces will be recruited to the cause of the socialist revolution. The papers and websites of the CWI, gaining in popularity as the recession bites, demand human and financial resources which must be found. (Special New Year donations for the CWI can be paid through this socialistworld.net web-site by clicking on the 'donate' icon!)

Hopes and aspirations

The dramatic events around the US elections, have also marked a turning point. Obama's victory has raised the hopes and expectations of millions in the US and many of the down-trodden and exploited around the globe. Working people hope the new administration will make a difference – in relation to Iraq, Cuba, and even the Middle East. But Obama's new cabinet clearly does not represent a break from the rule of big business. The war in Afghanistan will continue and, under capitalism, unfortunately, all the reforms and 'protection' Obama can muster will not guarantee a secure future for the American working class, potentially the strongest in the world, let alone the masses around the world. The massive toiling population of China is also finding out the hard way that capitalism is not the answer, as the apparently unstoppable economy slows.

Huge explosions impend world-wide; revolutionary waves can develop fast in a number of countries. The task of CWI members is to understand, to explain, to organize and to act in consonance with the desires and needs of the working class and poor people. Nothing is automatic. But, after 20 hard years and more, the time has come for the ideas of socialism to take on flesh and new mass movements and mass parties of struggle to be built.

The mood in the sections and groups of the CWI, is one of heightened confidence and excitement. Our ideas and approach are correct. Our numbers will multiply in the heat of events. We thank all those who have given assistance – large and small – to the CWI over the past year and look forward to the challenges of 2009. We call on all readers of socialistworld.net to join us in the fight for a socialist world.



Monday, 22 December 2008


FRESH WATER IS now talked of in some business circles as 'blue gold', just as oil is called 'black gold'. But while wealthy investors enrich themselves from this natural resource, lack of clean drinking water and sanitation is killing many of the 11 million children under five who die every year from disease and malnutrition. In this article, ROGER SHRIVES draws attention to some of the issues arising from the scandalous private exploitation of water, and calls for water supplies and sewerage to be taken out of the hands of profit-making multinationals.

T BOONE Pickens, a US billionaire who made his fortune by aggressively taking over oil and gas companies, is now into water in a big way. He has bought land in Texas that includes an enormous and ancient underwater aquifer that he hopes will soon be gushing water for sale. Pickens justified his move by saying: "There are people who will buy the water when they need it. And the people who have the water want to sell it. That's the blood, guts and feathers of the thing".

But local people are afraid that this reckless profit-seeking approach may be over-tapping the aquifer that takes many years to replenish. And there is the problem of cost. Already, before Pickens has sold any of his water, the price of water has doubled in some areas. That may not at present worry those who can afford it, but those who cannot will lose out. All these problems are in the USA, the richest country on earth.

In the world's poorer regions things can get far worse. In Bangladesh's capital Dhaka, for example, water supplies for the shanty towns are contaminated by raw sewage, exacerbated by the recent cyclone and frequent flooding. Contaminated water supplies kill 200 people every hour in the ex-colonial world. Cholera, a virulent water-borne disease, is now seen again in countries like Zimbabwe and DR Congo. Private water companies have no interest in meeting the water needs of such areas.

Fresh water is essential to life - our bodies and our survival depend on it. In theory, water is available freely in nature though 97% of all water is salt water and less than 1% of all water is accessible for consumption.

There is enough water for all the world's people but its supply needs to be planned if enough free, clean and safe, water is to be made available.

The United Nations (UN) calculates that each person needs five litres of water each day to survive and another 50 litres for cooking, bathing and sanitation. However, 1.1 billion people worldwide cannot get access to adequate, safe water supplies, 2.6 billion people have inadequate sanitation and 80% of illnesses suffered are water-related. The poor suffer the most; two-thirds of the people who lack water live on $2 or less a day.

Meanwhile water consumption in homes, industry and agriculture is rising rapidly, practically doubling in ten years. Population growth and economic development raised human water demand by six times in the last 50 years.

Where does the water go? Only 10% of water is used for drinking. Industry uses 20%. The remaining 70% is used for irrigating crops, so most money is invested there, even though some agriculture has an enormously negative impact. Farms and industry pollute the water of 100 million people.

One similarity with oil is that access to water is one of the major causes of conflict. Water reserves are shrinking in the Middle East, north China, Mexico, California and many countries in Africa, increasing the potential for conflict. The UN predicts that by 2025, two-thirds of the world's population will experience water shortages, with severe lack of water potentially hitting the lives and livelihoods of 1.8 billion people. Climate change will worsen things by making patterns of rainfall and drought far less predictable.

Threat to the environment


WATER PRIVATISATION is a prime example of how capitalism threatens ruin to the economy and the environment. Maintaining water supplies needs planning. Water should not depend on financial gain. Over many centuries in the older countries of capitalism, the workers' movement and social reformers have fought and laid the basis for largely public-owned systems.

In Britain, capitalist industrialisation created horrific poverty, exploitation and squalid conditions for the working class, particularly in the city slums. In the hot summer of 1858, parliament and the residences of the rich in London were hit by the 'big stink', nauseous fumes caused by bacteria living in faeces-infected water that was causing outbreaks of cholera in the slums. To replace London's overflowing cesspits, immense public works were started such as the capital's incredible sewerage system, built at public expense and at considerable cost of workers' lives.

Even in the heyday of laissez-faire capitalism, when the markets were supposed to solve everything, politicians, municipal authorities etc, knew they would wait for ever for the market's 'hidden hand' to invest in water services when profits could not be made. Water and sewerage became a responsibility of government.

In systems under a degree of public control, the priorities were keeping water clean, free from contaminants from industry and agriculture and free from disease. The aim was to prevent the possibly poisonous effects of drought and flooding, to stop wastage and leaks, to encourage industry and individuals to use water more efficiently; and where needed, to expand the sources of water available.

New problems have arisen or grown since then such as contamination by salt, or by fertiliser and pesticide residues, percolating down into aquifers. But other toxic waste, from human pathogens to arsenic, has been found in US water supplies.

About 20 million Americans have perchlorates, an ingredient of rocket fuel, as a contaminant in their water supply. This chemical can disrupt the working of the thyroid gland and cause cancers.

This year around 250,000 people in Northamptonshire and 45,000 in Gwynedd and Anglesey were told to boil tap water for drinking, after tests found the bacterium Cryptosporidium.

The priorities for maintaining pure water have never been more vital. A planned, international approach is urgently needed. However, other priorities have been reintroduced into the equation by water privatisation - those of private profit, which charges higher and higher prices for this basic necessity of life.

Capitalism is based on production for profit. Competition, which drives all companies to try to pay lower wages, also tends to lead to environmental degradation out of fear that other companies will disregard the environment and reap higher profits. This is particularly true when booms turn into slumps. What is more, as clean drinking water gets scarcer, its value as a commodity rises.

At the turn of the millennium Fortune magazine said that water is the best 'investment sector' of the century. Water has again become a capitalist commodity to be bought and sold for profit. As water problems increase, and desperate authorities have to drill a kilometre into the ground to get to water, a socialist planned approach to water, involving the ordinary people of the world, is needed more and more.


Friday, 19 December 2008


For united mass workers' resistance for Palestinians' national liberation

On Friday 19 December, Lebanon and other parts of the Arab world could see high numbers of people taking to the streets in protest against the Israeli sanctions on Gaza. The people of Gaza are facing a process of backward development leading to a destruction of the economy where the majority now find themselves without food, medicine or energy reserves. Although this call was initially made by Hezbollah's leader, Nasrallah in an appeal to the masses in the Arab world, the left and working class fighters should mobilize their contingents where a united working class stand can be made, in solidarity with the poor and the oppressed, and for a workers' resistance.

While Gaza is facing starvation and death as a result of the sanctions, Palestinian state services and natural resources are being privatized and sold off to big business. Meanwhile, Israel continues to develop new settlements in the west bank and East Jerusalem, building a railway system on occupied territory and the apartheid wall. Any imperialist promises of a so called "independent state" under capitalism fly straight out the window in the face of these developments.

Dismantling of the Palestinian economy

Palestinians' livelihoods are at threat by military occupation, economic sanctions and colonisation of land and water resources by Israel in the West Bank as well as the ongoing collective punishment of Gaza. The so-called "Palestinian Reform and Development Plan" simply means normalisation of occupation and a gradual abandonment of Gaza.

80% of the population are living on less than two dollars a day and unemployment hovers at 60%. Only 195 out of 3,900 factories remain open. 40,000 agricultural workers have lost their incomes due to a ban on all exports.

The Palestine Plan follows a typical free-market directive where the aim is to shred to the bone public services already destroyed by Israeli tanks and aircrafts since the Al Aqsa Intifada, and to privatise services and resources. Israel has already annexed a further 20% of the West Bank's most fertile land. Cuts in public spending, wage freezes, price hikes and de-regulation of new industry are already seen as a result of this big business plan.

Organise the masses against capitalism!

Humanitarian Movements have already failed to protect workers or improve living conditions and have also damaged attitudes, not just towards movements but also of the need for self-organisation through fighting democratic trade unions and the need for an alternative party of workers and the poor. The right to self-determination can only be fought for by challenging the system of capitalism and the ruling class which benefits from the impoverishment and exploitation of the masses.

The corporate sector would be the key ruling body in the future of any Palestinian state under capitalism and with dominance of the US neo-liberal model, the results of which are seen in Iraq and the rest of the region, not to mention the world which is heading into a deep crisis.

Free market capitalism, breeding insecurity, exploitation and inequality, can only be fought via a workers' movement, organized through democratically elected committees of the masses with the right to be armed to defend land and services from both military and economic attack.

The only way to bring real, lasting justice, peace and prosperity to Palestinians and to all the peoples of the region is through common mass struggle against oppression and the pro-capitalist, corrupt regimes. The overthrow of capitalism and landlordism and the creation of a genuine socialist society – putting people before profit and ending poverty – would see real collaboration between all working people of the region, pooling together all the rich resources for the benefit of the many and bringing about real self-determination for the oppressed.

  • For a united mass workers' resistance for Palestinians' national liberation
  • For a movement of the poor masses against capitalism
  • For socialist Middle East




Tuesday, 16 December 2008


On Monday, 15 December, the Democrat Party leader, Abhisit Vejjajiva, has won enough votes to become the next prime minister of Thailand. He has, for now, the support of the yellow-shirted PAD (People's Alliance for Democracy) which carried out the months long mass protests that paralysed the country. Based mainly on the urban population, PAD had vociferously opposed the government of Somchai Wongsawat which was sympathetic to the deposed prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra , still in exile.

However, the red-shirted rural supporters of Thaksin, annoyed at being robbed of their electoral choice once again (in 2006 it was by an army coup) vowed, in a mass rally of 50,000 supporters in Bangkok, to fight on against this injustice.

There are serious doubts that Abhisit, with his pro-capitalist leanings and the conflicting demands of the 'yellows' and 'reds', can reconcile the conflicting parties. Many fear that, if this fissure between the urban population and rural population becomes a mighty abyss of mutual hatred, the situation could soon descend into mass bloodshed or civil war.

Economic sabotage

The change of government from pro-Thaksin to Democrat followed the occupation by PAD of the Suvarnabhumi International airport and Don Mueang airport from November 25 to December 3. During that period, hundreds of thousands of airline passengers were stranded and Thailand lost revenues of up to $4 billion. Because of the drastic interruption to the vital export and tourism sectors, combined with the global economic crisis, the government has now had to lower estimates of GDP growth for 2008 from 4.5% to 4%. Next year's growth is expected to be below 3%. This dramatic act of economic sabotage has also alarmed the investors and business class.

Many experiences in the class struggle have shown that, when workers go on strike or occupy a factory to demand their labour rights, without hesitation, the ruling class will call it economic sabotage and immediately act to stop it in order to safeguard the profits and interests of the capitalists.

However, many people are perplexed as to why a state as advanced in security and military practice and as economically dependent on exports and tourism as Thailand, was willing to take the risk of permitting such a vital transport destination - one of the world's biggest and busiest - to be stormed and occupied by PAD protesters who never numbered more than a few thousand. The answer lies in the power of PAD's backers - the monarch and the military tops, as well some capitalists giving financial back up - as well as in the severe conflicts within the ruling class in Thailand.

PAD backers

Undoubtedly, the king, with his privilege of lese-majeste (the law against offending the crown) still plays a powerful role in Thai politics. General Prem Tinsulanonda, the king's most senior adviser, in a pointed speech in 2006, compared the army to a racehorse and the government to a jockey. "Jockeys come and go", was his message, "But the owner of the racehorse is the king".

In relation to the occupations of the airports, the BBC World Service described PAD as "a remarkably well trained and well funded movement…Behind the movements are squads of hoodlums, armed with batons, metal spikes and hand-guns who man the barricades and hunt down intruders…It runs its own television station which is widely broadcast…Bigger Thai businesses are widely believed to be financing the movement, including at least two national banks…There are also plenty of former military commanders offering their help to the PAD…The top PAD leader, Chamlong Srimuang, a former general, has close ties to Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, the King's most senior advisor".

Conflicts in ruling class

These powers have been pulling the strings behind the scenes, orchestrated by PAD. They are prepared to tolerate this economic sabotage, even though it has infuriated many capitalist leaders and multinationals, mainly to safeguard their own privileges and power that have been sustained over many years in Thai society. However, when business-tycoon-turned-politician Thaksin, formed a government in 2001, their power and privileges were threatened by his increasing rule through authoritarianism and cronyism. They had to stage this 'economic sabotage' to further undermine Thaksin and his influences.

At first, multinational corporations and local industrialists had regarded Thaksin as the best defender of the free market in Thailand, given that he was elected as prime minister in 2001 with a larger popular mandate than any Thai prime minister had ever had in the freely elected National Assembly. But apprehension among some national capitalists and elite figures grew when his government slid into authoritarianism and cronyism, and their business interests were ignored. The royalists' unhappiness also hinged on Thaksin's alleged disrespect of the king when he did not extend much respect to the Privy Council, which advises the king.

The conflicts between them and Thaksin have been in place for some time and became greater when Thaksin and his family were implicated in the telecommunications scandal in 2006. This infuriated especially the urban population that had resented his government's policies. Subsequently, some of the elite and rich that had links to the monarchy and the army, and were affected by Thaksin's cronyism, initiated the PAD and got support amongst the urban population to protest against Thaksin.

Undemocratic demands of PAD

PAD, displaying reverence and allegiance to the king, adopting his colour, yellow, increasingly gained the support of the monarchy. This became obvious, when, in early October, Queen Sirikit went to the funeral of a PAD woman killed by the police when breaking up a demonstration.

In reality there is nothing democratic in the People's Alliance for Democracy. It advocates a parliament that is 70% appointed by the king and effectively annuls the say of the rural majority – 60% of the population.

All along, the PAD has been exploiting the anger of the urban population against Thaksin's neo-liberal policies, that affected them during his rule, to fulfill its political agenda and get them to favour a government that could safeguard their interests and privileges. Their true colours, of opportunism and hypocrisy, were revealed when, at this juncture, they are disgracefully backing the Democrat's government. In fact, the Democrat government in the 1990s carried out very similar neo-liberal attacks which severely undermined the livelihoods of the working class and poor farmers.

Pro-Thaksin government powerless

The elected pro-Thaksin PPP (People Progressive Party) government intervened to try and stop the PAD protesters' airport occupation by declaring an emergency; but the powerful army as well as the 'revered' king were not on the side of the government! Even the police force ignored the order of Prime Minister Somchai to stop the airport blockades and it seems that 'the senior police officers were fully aware that rich and powerful patrons funded and sustained the airport seizure'.

The government proved toothless and could only observe the unfolding airport occupations. Subsequently, these circumstances were used successfully by PAD to get rid of the 'puppet government' of Thaksin. They confidently carried out the dramatic airport occupations without fearing any legal sanction. In fact, PAD initially expected that, with its 'last resort' attempt to destabilise the economy and subsequently undermine the pro-Thaksin government, it could put pressure on for another military coup with the support of the king. However, the failure of military rule to manage the economy competently after ousting Thaksin in 2006, meant that another military coup was not the most desired alternative - especially among the business class - to end the political conflict.

'Judicial Coup'

Ultimately, with no other alternative, a 'judicial coup' was the best option to oust the pro-Thaksin government. The Constitutional Court was pushed to intervene in the ongoing political drama to end the airports blockade. Subsequently, the Constitutional Court banned Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat - who had spent less that 3 months in power - from standing for office for five years, and dissolved three of the parties of his ruling coalition by accusing them of vote buying in the December 2007 election. (The same court had been used to disqualify Somchai's predecessor, Samak Sundravej, for accepting payment for appearances on TV as a chef, when the PAD protests became uncontrollable.)

Many Thais are aware of the recent trend of using the Constitutional Court to deal with political conflicts. The courts have lost credibility and are no longer accepted as neutral, at least by millions of Thaksin supporters.

Deepening polarisation

The Democrat Party candidate for prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, garnered support when former allies of the pro-Thaksin party defected to his side. This enabled the "democrats" to defeat the coalition of the Puea Thai Party - the new pro-Thaksin party. It is also rumoured that the country's military head intervened to make sure that the Democrats had enough defections from the pro-Thaksin coalition to form a government.

Abhisit is the fifth prime minister in little more than two years. His elevation to prime minister is clearly supported by the yellow-shirted PAD and has also been given the green light by the monarchy and the leadership of the military. Some representatives of the business class, crippled by the global economic crisis and frustrated with the ongoing political deadlock, have also declared the Democrat Party to be their choice.

On the other hand, the 50,000 red-clad supporters of Thaksin who gathered in the stadium in central Bangkok on December 13 under the banner of the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship are mainly from the rural population. They were there to hear a pre-recorded video speech in which Thaksin attacked the "inappropriate interference in the political process" of the army and denounced the law-makers who had been loyal to him but switched their allegiances. The following day, 'The Nation' reported: "They say Thaksin Shinawatra's political star is waning; you wouldn't know it from looking at the red-shirt rally yesterday. Thaksin may be on the run and banned from politics for five years, but his supporters seem unprepared yet to throw in the towel".

Many in the rural population are supporting Thaksin because of the benefits they have gained with his populist programmes, particularly in the country's north and northeast. These groups were neglected by the traditional political elites. Thaksin's policies, like cracking down on the drug trade, subsidising healthcare and initiating poverty-reduction programmes, have dramatically lifted incomes in some of Thailand's poorest regions. It was clear that the Thaksin government was able to make those concessions because of favourable economic developments, especially in the manufacturing and service industries, during his rule. This tactic gave him the upper hand to maintain crucial electoral support from them. It has been the norm of the free market system to claw back any concessions made in one period by slashing public spending in a later period.

How long can the Democrats survive?

Although Abhisit, the Oxford-educated leader, vowed to strive towards 'national harmony' and to be ready to work immediately to correct the 'economic issues' in order 'to restore confidence within the next two or three months' to the business class, the current global economic crisis that has started to weaken Thailand's economy could work against his wishes.

Abishit has drawn support mainly from southern Thailand and from Bangkok's middle class, however he has had less success in attracting the support of the working class and rural population. He has advocated free healthcare, a higher minimum wage and free education, textbooks and milk for nursery-school children. Without doubt his programme will be supported by the working class and poor farmers. But the question is whether he can apply all these popular measures in the present economic conditions and without confronting the capitalist class Abhisit and his Democrat Party have consistently supported and promoted the free market system. The rural as well as the urban population will again become aware that he is no different from many of the previous pro-capitalist leaders.

Resentments are building up among the pro-Thaksin 'red shirt' movement who see the new government as a part of the plan to demolish Thaksin's loyalists' network. Therefore they are demanding amendments to the harsh provisions in the Constitution that make political parties vulnerable and have been responsible for the court decision to dissolve the ruling party. They also demand action against the PAD for its seizures of Government House and Bangkok's airports. If these resentments and the protests grow further with the agitation of Thaksin and his party leaders, the Abhisit government may not last long.

On he other hand, the Democrats will also have to appease the PAD which demands that the new government 'install new politics that will not see a recurrence of past political crises'. The 'new politics' means for the PAD giving the king the power to appoint the majority in the lower house. This 'new politics' may assist in fulfilling the desires and motivations of the elite and business class but not the needs of the majority in Thai society - the working class, middle class and poor farmers.

In that situation, as Jaran Ditta-apichai, a former human rights commissioner indicated, 'the Democrats won't last long; they will be attacked from two sides - red and yellow'.

Mass workers' party vital

Thailand's political crisis shows that the conflicts of interest within the ruling class are now being unburdened onto the shoulders of the oppressed class. On the one hand is the monarch and the military with their privileges and power, and the section of the capitalist class who are using the urban population to achieve their political agenda. On the other hand, the billionaire tycoon, Thaksin, and his capitalist supporters have used the rural population - the poor farmers - to achieve his goals.

Reactionary and opportunistic capitalist policies have worsened the polarisation between the rural population (mostly poor farmers) and the urban population (working class and middle class) in Thai society. There is an urgent need to build a mass party of the working class and poor farmers with socialist policies, to unite the oppressed class for common struggle against the incapacity of capitalism in Thailand to assure them the basics of a decent life.

Ravichandren, CWI Malaysia

16 December 2008

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


ON SUNDAY 23 November, more than 14 million people in Venezuela came out early in the morning to elect governors, mayors and regional representatives.

Johan Rivas, Colectivo Socialismo Revolucionario, the CWI group in Venezuela.

These were the second regional elections to take place during the course of the 'Bolivarian Revolution' (the first ones took place in 2004). Twenty-two provinces, 330 communities and 225 federal representatives were elected from 8,000 candidates standing on behalf of political organisations (national and regional parties and independent organisations).

"The Bolivarian government won 17 of the 22 provinces that were contested... president Chávez confirmed that this triumph is the ratification of the people for the socialist project of the 21st century," said the deputy president of PSUV [United Socialist Party of Venezuela], retired general Muller Rojas, in a press conference. He dismissed the opposition's electoral gains.

Nonetheless these results are an advance for the right-wing opposition forces that apparently have abandoned for now the conspiratorial route and instead are concentrating on kicking Hugo Chávez out of power by democratic means.

It is possible the opposition has a long-term plan and their next objective will be the next municipal elections and the national parliamentary elections in 2009. On the side of the 'Bolivarian movement', with all its contradictions, Chavez's supporters still maintain the majority of the governors and also popular support.

It would appear that one force is recuperating and the other is losing ground. Out of six of the governorships obtained by the opposition, four are new and amongst them is the high governor of Caracas (the regional governor for the capital).

The other three are a state which borders Columbia, Taxhira; the central state of Carabobo (one of the principal industrial developments which includes the principal seaport of the country, Puerto Cabello where the majority of imports enter), and Miranda, where the PSUV candidate was considered the successor to Chávez and inheritor of Chavismo as the leader of the reformist wing of the party.

The opposition maintained its control over the state of Zulia, which borders Columbia and has the majority of the petroleum wealth of the country.

There, the opposition has its principal leader, Manuel Rosales, who initiated the autonomy movement ("For a liberal and capitalist independent Zulia" is his slogan), similar to the Media Luna autonomy movement in Bolivia. This state was the most visited by president Chávez and the state where he put the most emphasis during the campaign. Chávez even threatened to put the opposition presidential candidate Rosales in jail on charges of alleged corruption.

In concrete terms, the opposition controls six regions of vital importance, three of which have the largest electorates: Zulia, Miranda, Carabobo, and in total it now controls 37% of the national electorate. This foreshadows a new stage in the Bolivarian Revolution.


Venezuela's Chávez government has been trying without success to construct a 'socialist' model but without breaking with the structures of capitalism and the capitalist state it inherited.

The government has introduced a programme of social investment and reforms that have favoured the most marginalised sectors of the population - while 50% were in poverty in 1998, today official statistics reduce that figure to approximately 20%.

However, the same demands of the population, which Chávez articulated in his 1998 presidential campaign when he was elected for the first time, still apply: overcoming insecurity, the demand for new jobs, housing, higher-quality public services and measures to counteract the high cost of living.

So far this year there is an accumulated inflation rate on food products and basic necessities in the capital city, Caracas, of more than 45% and at the end of the year the inflation index will be between 28% and 30%. At the same time, the minimum wage of the working class rose by 30% this year.

Homicides in Caracas have increased, making murder the third-highest cause of death according to some statistics and studies carried out by human rights organisations. Additionally, it was not until 2006 that the government really began to construct housing, and even that year, the percentage of new housing built was less than half of the original goal to construct 200,000. Each year, the shortage of houses amongst the Venezuelan population increases by 100,000.

The problem is that the state is the same one that was left by the capitalist governments of the past. It has stimulated corruption, bureaucracy and inefficiency amongst individual ministers. Given these contradictions, the opposition has very skilfully developed a campaign to exploit the government's weaknesses.

For example, four years ago it was unthinkable to imagine a leader of the opposition visiting public institutions to carry out a political campaign and introducing themselves in the poor neighbourhoods without being rejected by the vast majority.

During this campaign, in an important public health centre of Caracas, the opposition candidate for the post of high governor (the state governor) presented himself. And even though he was rejected by some workers, he was able to be in the building for a number of minutes and received support from other workers there.

In an informal interview, one of the workers who supported the opposition candidate affirmed that she was with Chávez, but that she supported the opposition for governor because she was tired of the current governor's corruption; that the institution was deteriorating; that they didn't pay salaries on time; nor did he listen to the rest of her demands and that, as a punishment, she was going to vote for the opposition candidate.

Maybe this example can give us an idea of what is happening in Venezuela today after ten years of revolution and counter-revolution.

Patriotic Alliance

As in all of the electoral processes before, the Chavismo formed a coalition of political organisations - Polo Patriotico - in the attempt to unify its forces and run unified candidates.

The bureau of the PSUV had convened in the middle of the year some internal meetings so that the militants could elect their candidates. But what initially appeared to be an act of revolutionary democracy by the party soon became the beginning of political differences between the various tendencies within the party and the parties of the alliance.

This was because a large number of those who aspired to be PSUV favourites did not get what they wanted and instead the decision of the president of the party - Chávez - was imposed. This resulted in some of these candidates withdrawing from the PSUV and running with other political organisations.

The situation with the other parties of the alliance was even more complicated. The PSUV bureau presented its candidates as the only ones in the electoral campaign and the rest of the parties were told that they should support them. This produced conflicts within these parties and the bureau, including with president Chávez himself, who on various occasions denounced these parties, accusing them of being counter-revolutionary and of not recognising his leadership.

In the end, with all of the infighting, what should have been a great alliance of revolutionary forces that supported the Bolivarian Revolution was little more than a series of convenient agreements in regions where their candidates coincided, and in other areas where they were divided, there was no alliance.

Historically, for this kind of election, abstention ranges from 40% to 50%. But 65% participated this time, the highest turnout in the last ten years.

It was an untypical campaign, focused on the aggressive confrontation between Chávez and the candidates of the opposition. Faced with the unpopularity of the majority of his candidates, Chávez took up the campaign as his own and converted it into a kind of referendum.

According to unofficial figures, more than 5 million voted in favour of the candidates of the government, and 4 million for those of the opposition. That translated to 17 governors for Chavismo and six for the opposition.

In 2008, the global financial crisis has intensified, and although at the beginning Chávez had declared that it would not affect Venezuela, in recent weeks he has corrected himself and has called on the population to support his politics of austerity for the next year.

The fall of the price of oil during the last few months has him worried, as more than 60% of the national budget depends on oil. In Venezuela, out of every $100 of income into the country, $90 is for oil, which in large parts served to finance public expenditures in different social programmes.

At the same time, 60% of this income has been spent on importing food to meet internal demand because of the incapacity of the national agricultural industry to satisfy internal consumption.


In this acute situation, class struggles will intensify and the protests of the social sectors for legitimate demands will be greater, affecting the government as much as the opposition. Both sides will try to blame the other.

Faced with this scenario, revolutionaries should campaign for a socialist programme. Socialists cannot permit the government or the opposition to manipulate the population. We should demand the complete nationalisation of the financial system and the elimination of the financial and economic monopolies that are controlled by the five most powerful families of the country and the transnationals.

They must immediately be put under the control of the organised people in their communities, peasants without land and workers organised into committees, made up of democratically elected delegates, to begin the planning of the economy based on the true needs of the people.

This would be the first concrete step to transform the current structures and go towards socialism. In the same way there must be a constant mobilisation of the revolutionary social sectors to lead the people in their struggle for their just demands. We cannot let the opposition take the initiative in leading these movements.

It is also imperative that the workers' movement overcome its crisis of political direction and take its place in the vanguard.

Lastly, this whole scenario must open political debates about the weakness of the Bolivarian socialist model. It has shown itself incapable of changing or transforming the system.

Venezuela still has the opportunity to carry out a successful socialist revolution, but it depends on a change in the character of the Bolivarian direction or the appearance of an organised and conscious revolutionary workers' movement with clear socialist perspectives.


K Kabilan and S Pathmawathy | Dec 2, Malaysiakini

A Singhala politician has claimed that it is time to put an amicable and peaceful end to the bloody civil war taking place in Sri Lanka between the government and the Tamils fighting for a separate nation.

And Siritunga Jayasuriya, the general secretary of the United Socialist Party (CWI Sri Lanka), is willing to play the role of mediator in achieving peace in the island which has been ravaged by civil unrest since 1983.

He told Malaysiakini in a recent interview that his party would definitely play a significant role "if we are invited".

"We say the Sri Lankan's left movement should take part in the peace process. We have been saying that," he said.

However he was quite sceptical of such a peace talk ever happening, especially with the robust stand undertaken by the Sri Lankan government, headed by president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

"I don't think there is a possibility as the Sri Lankan government is mad about winning this war," he said.

Presently, the Sri Lankan army is on a major onslaught in the northern part of the country in their attempt to finish off Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which is spearheading the call for a separate Tamil state.

Jayasuriya also said that the Tamil diaspora and the LTTE were wrong in relying on western governments to help solve the problem in Sri Lanka.

"I don't think the Tamil diaspora or the LTTE really understand the real problem.

"The mistake of the LTTE or the Tamil diaspora is that they are trying to convince the United Nations, the British government, the French government, the German government, the Swedish government, the Norwegian government or the Indian government - but why should these governments support their cause, they never support any struggle," he said.

"They should appeal to the ordinary people of this planet, this is not just the question of Tamils, this is a question of humanity, all human beings should get together."

Ruling class blamed

And true to his Marxist leaning, Siritunga blamed the "capitalist ruling class" for the ongoing situation in Sri Lanka.

"The Singhala and Tamil people were living together for many years and this problem was originated by the capitalist ruling class, their failure created this problem.

"And it has been the tradition and policy that Sri Lankan governments and the Singhalese top brass have been making promises, which have never been fulfilled.

"I mean, the capitalist ruling class of Sri Lanka has been betraying the Tamils. At the beginning, the old left (the old communist parties) didn't go far enough to accept the right to self determination, but they defended the rights of the Tamil speaking people.

"However, once they entered the capitalist government in 1971, the socialist party and the communist party shared power and allowed the government to reform the new constitution, which put the Buddhist religion as the first religion. What a kind of a betrayal was it?" he asked.

Jayasuriya, who contested in the last presidential election and was returned third, said that his party promoted a working-class socialist platform.

"For the first time in Sri Lankan history, I stood for such platform as an opposition candidate. So, as socialists, our stand is very clear.

"We advocated the acceptance of the Tamil speaking peoples' right to self-determination.

"That is a very clear policy and that is in writing. It is in my election leaflet ... I said, 'if I come to power, we don't need Norwegians or any outsiders, not even the Indians'. Why do we need a third party?

"Neither the Tamils, nor the LTTE nor the Singhalese government trust each other. But we strongly believe that if we come to power, we can jointly talk to the Tamils and say we are prepared to hear their grievances," he said.

He said that his party's stand was that it supported the Sri Lankan Tamils' stand in wanting a separate state.

"But, at the same time, we would argue with them that creating a small state is not the answer. We would urge them to go towards unity," he said.

230,000 driven out of their homes

He also urged the Sri Lankan president Rajapaksa to stop the current onslaught against the LTTE, which has caused so much of misery for the Tamils.

"Stop the war and start the negotiations," he said.

The government's offensive against the LTTE intensified in recent months. Over the weekend, Sri Lankan troops moved further into LTTE areas destroying bunkers to capture Kilinochchi, the de facto political capital of the Tamil Tigers.

The LTTE has been fighting for an independent state in northern Sri Lanka since 1972. However, open warfare only started in 1983.

Tamil aid officials have estimated that more than 230,000 people have been driven from their homes in the last few months of fighting.

In January, the Sri Lankan government unilaterally pulled out of a ceasefire in effect since 2002. The government has rejected LTTE calls for a new ceasefire.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, approximately 73,000 Sri Lankans, most of them Tamils, are now refugees in Tamil Nadu.

Approximately 74 percent of the population is Sinhalese, and 18 percent Tamil.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

இலங்கை : தமிழர்களின் தனி உரிமை

ஸ்ரீதுங்கா ஜெயசூரியா,இலங்கை ஐக்கிய சோசலிசக் கட்சி (CWI SRI LANKA)

ஈழத் தமிழர்களுக்கு எதிராக இலங்கை சிங்கள அரசு நடத்திக்கொண்டிருக்கும் போரில் அது வெற்றி பெற வேண்டும் என்பதில் வெறி கொண்டிருக்கிறது.

“இலங்கை அதிபர் மகிந்தா ராஜபக்சே போரை உடனடியாக நிறுத்தி தமிழர்களுடன் பேச்சுவார்த்தை நடத்த வேண்டும்”, என்று அறைகூவல் விடுத்தார் ஸ்ரீதுங்கா ஜெயசூரியா.

இலங்கை ஐக்கிய சோசலிசக் கட்சியின் பொதுச்செயலாளரான ஸ்ரீதுங்கா கடந்த அதிபர் தேர்தலில் போட்டியிட்டு தோல்வி கண்டாலும் அத்தேர்தலில் மகிந்தா ராஜபக்சே மற்றும் ரணில் விக்ரமசிங்கே ஆகியோரை அடுத்து மூன்றாவது இடத்தைப் பிடித்தார்.

தமிழர்கள் தனி நாடு கோருவதற்கு உரிமை உண்டு என்பது ஐக்கிய சோசலிசக் கட்சியின் நிலை என்று கூறி அவர் தனது கருத்துகளை முன்வைத்தார்.

தமிழர்களின் தனி உரிமை

இலங்கை அரசியலில் (தமிழ்) இனப் பிரச்னையைப் பேசாமல் அரசியல் பேச முடியாது. கடந்த அதிபர் தேர்தல் கொள்கை அறிக்கையில் சோசலிசக் கட்சி தமிழர்களின் கோரிக்கை பற்றி அதன் நிலையைத் தெளிவாக கூறியிருந்தது.

தமிழ் பேசும் மக்களின் சுயநிருணய உரிமை ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளப்பட வேண்டும் என்று சோசலிசக் கட்சி பரிந்துரைத்தது (We advocated the acceptance of the Tamil speaking peoples’ right to self-determination). சோசலிசக் கட்சியின் தெளிவான இந்நிலை அதன் தேர்தல் துண்டறிக்கைகளில் கூறப்பட்டிருந்தது.

தமிழர்களின் உரிமையை எவ்வாறு நிலைநிறுத்துவது என்பது பற்றி கட்சிக்கு சில கருத்துகள் உண்டு. அவற்றை மேசையைச் சுற்றி அமர்ந்து பேச வேண்டும். அதைவிடுத்து வேறு எந்தப் போக்கும் தமிழ் இனத்திற்கு எதிரான நோக்கமுடையதாகும். ஏனென்றால் தமிழர்கள் இந்நாட்டில் வாழ்கின்றவர்கள். அவர்கள் இலங்கையின் ஓர் அங்கமாவர். அவர்கள் வெளிநாட்டினர் அல்லர்.

சோசலிசத் தத்துவப்படி ஒரு நாட்டிலுள்ள அனைத்து இனங்களும் அவர்களுடையப் பிரச்னைகளை விவாதங்களின் வழி தீர்த்து ஒன்றாக வாழ வேண்டும். அது சாத்தியமில்லை என்று கருதும் இனம் பிரிந்து செல்லலாம். அதன் அந்த உரிமை தற்காக்கப்படும்.

பெரும்பான்மையான சிங்கள இன மக்களுடன் சேந்து வாழ்வதா இல்லையா என்பதை தமிழ் இன மக்கள் முடிவு செய்ய வேண்டும். சேர்ந்து வாழ்வது சாத்தியமில்லை என்றால், தனிப்பட்ட நாட்டில் வாழும் உரிமை தமிழர்களுக்கு உண்டு.

தமிழர்கள் தனி நாடு வேண்டும் என்று தீர்மானித்தால் அது ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளப்படும் என்ற செயல் திட்டத்தை ஐக்கிய சோசலிசக் கட்சி கொண்டுள்ளது (Our programme said that if the Tamils decide to have a separate state, we would support that.).

நம்பிகைத் துரோகம்

ஐக்கிய சோசலிசக் கட்சி கூறுவதை தமிழர்கள் அவ்வளவு சுலபமாக நம்பப் போவதில்லை.

ஏனென்றால், சிங்கள அரசாங்கங்கள் மற்றும் சிங்கள உயர்மட்ட தலைவர்கள் வாக்குறுதிகள் அளிப்பதும் அவற்றை நிறைவேற்றாமல் இருப்பதும் ஒரு பாரம்பரியமாகவும் கொள்கையாகவும் இருந்து வந்துள்ளன.

இலங்கையை ஆண்டுவரும் முதலாளித்துவத்தினர் தமிழர்களுக்கு துரோகமிழைத்து வந்துள்ளனர். ஆரம்பத்தில், பழைய இடச்சாரியினர் (பழைய கம்யூனிஸ்ட் கட்சியினர்) தமிழர்களின் சுய நிருணயம் விசயத்தில் அதிக ஈடுபாடு கொண்டிருக்கவில்லை, ஆனால் தமிழ் பேசும் மக்களின் உரிமைகளை ஆதரித்தனர்.

ஆனால், 1971 ஆம் ஆண்டில் சோசலிசக் கட்சியும் கம்யூனிஸ்ட் கட்சியும் இலங்கையின் முதலாளித்துவ அரசுடன் கூட்டு சேர்ந்தன. புதிய அரசமைப்புச் சட்டம் வரைவதற்கு ஒப்புக்கொண்டன. பிரதமர் பண்டாராநாயகி புத்த மதத்தை நாட்டின் அதிகாரத்துவ மதமாக்கினார். இது எவ்வகையான துரோகம்!

இதற்குமுன், பெரும்பான்மையாக இல்லாவிட்டலும் பெருமளவிலான தமிழ் மக்கள் இடதுசாரி கட்சிகள் மாற்றாக இருப்பதை விரும்பினர்; இடதுசாரி கட்சிகளை ஆதரித்தனர்; சோசலிச தத்துவங்களை ஆதரித்தனர்.

ஆனால் இடதுசாரி கட்சிகள் பிரதமர் பண்டாரநாயகியுடன் இணைந்து தங்களின் சுய அடையாளத்தைக் காட்டியபின் நிலைமையில் பெருத்த மாற்றம் ஏற்பட்டது.

இலங்கையின் இடதுசாரி கட்சிகள் அன்று இழைத்த துரோகம்தான் இன்றைய பேரழிவுக்குக் காரணம். ஏனென்றால் இதற்குமுன் ஆயுதப் போராட்ட இயக்கம் இருந்ததில்லை.

ஜி ஜி. பொன்னம்பலம், அருணாசலம் செல்வநாயகம் அல்லது அமிர்தலிங்கம் ஆகியோர் கொழும்பிற்கு வந்து அவர்களின் மொழிக்கு சம உரிமை கோரி அமைதிப் பேரணிகளும் மறியல்களும் நடத்தியுள்ளனர், ஆனால் தனி நாடு கேட்கவில்லை.

அவர்கள் மொழிக்கு சம உரிமை கோரினர். அவர்களுக்கு அது கிடைக்கவில்லை. அதை கொடுப்பதற்கு பதிலாக அவர்கள் பலிவாங்கப்பட்டனர், தாக்கப்பட்டனர்.

இடதுசாரியினர் இழத்த துரோகம் மற்றும் அமிர்தலிங்கம், செல்வநாயகம், ஜி ஜி. பொன்னம்பலம் போன்றோரின் தோல்விகள் தமிழர்களை வேறுவழியின்றி ஆயுதம் ஏந்தச் செய்தது.

இக்காலக்கட்டத்தில் வடக்கில் தமிழ் இளைஞர்கள் மட்டும் ஆயுதம் ஏந்தவில்லை. தெற்கிலும் இளைஞர்கள் ஆயுதப் போராட்டத்தில் இறங்கினர். இடதுசாரிகள் இழைத்த துரோகத்தினால் நம்பிக்கை இழந்துவிட்ட ஜெவிபி (JVP) ஆதரவு இளைஞர்கள் ஆயுதப் போராட்டத்தில் இறங்கினர்.

இலங்கையில் தொழிலாளர் இயக்கத்திற்கு நீண்டகால இடதுசாரி பாரம்பரியம் உண்டு. இது 1940 களின் நிலமை. அப்போது இலங்கையின் வாழக்கைத் தரம் மலேசியாவைவிட உயர்வானதாக இருந்தது.

துரதிஷ்டவசமாக இடதுசாரிகள் இனவாத அரசியலில் - முதலாளித்துவ இனவாத அரசியலில் - இணைந்ததால், (இது இந்தோனேசியாவில் நடந்திருக்கிறது. இப்போது இந்தியாவில் கம்யூனிஸ்ட் கட்சிகள் காங்கிரஸ் கட்சியுடன் கூட்டு சேர்ந்துள்ளன.) தொழிலாளர் இயக்கம் பலவீனமடைந்தது. இது இரு ஆயுதமேந்திய அமைப்புகள் - எல்டிடிஇ மற்றும் ஜெவிபி - தோன்றுவதற்கு வழிவகுத்தது.

ஒரு கட்டத்தில் ஜெவிபி எல்டிடிஇயைவிட பலமிக்கதாக இருந்தது. ஆனால் எல்டிடிஇ பின்னர் முன்னிலையடைந்தது.

சிங்கள அரசு எல்டிடிஇயை தமிழர்களின் ஒரே பிரதிநிதியாக ஏற்றுக்கொண்டிருந்தது. அதற்குப் பல பின்னணிகள் உண்டு. ஒரு சோசலிச அல்லது மார்க்சிசவாதி என்ற முறையில் எல்டிடிஇயை அரசியல் அடிப்படையில் ஆதரித்தது கிடையாது. மக்கள் உரிமையை ஆதரிக்கிறோம். மக்கள் போராட்டத்தில் எங்களுக்கு நம்பிக்கை உண்டு.

மனித உரிமைப் போராட்டங்கள் உலகின் பல பாகங்களில் நடந்து கொண்டிருக்கின்றன. மத்தியக்கிழக்கு, லத்தீன் அமெரிக்கா, ஆப்பிரிக்க நாடுகள் போன்றவற்றில் போராட்டங்கள் நடந்து கொண்டிருக்கின்றன. இலங்கையில் நடந்து கொண்டிருப்பதும் மனித உரிமைப் போராட்டம்தான். ஆனால், உலக அரங்கில் இலங்கைத் தமிழர்களின் போராட்டம் பெரும் ஈர்ப்பை ஏற்படுத்தவில்லை.

இதற்குக் காரணம் எல்டிடிஇ இழைத்த பல தவறுகள். அவற்றில் அப்பாவி மக்களையும் தெற்கில் சிங்களவர்களையும் கொன்றது. கடந்த 20 ஆண்டுகளில் சிங்கள அரசு தமிழர்களை கொன்றுள்ளது, தமிழ் இனத்தை அழிப்பதில் இறங்கியுள்ளது. அதற்காக நாமும் கொல்ல வேண்டும் என்பதில்லை.

எல்டிடிஇ அதன் நம்பகத்தன்மையை தமிழ் நாட்டில் மட்டுமல்ல இந்தியா முழுவதிலும் இழந்துள்ளது. அதன் பலனை இன்றும் அனுபவித்து வருகிறது.

இன்னொரு காரணம்: அனைத்துலக நெருக்குதல் காரணமாக இலங்கை அரசு கடந்த பல ஆண்டுகளில் பல்வேறு முன்மொழிதல்களை அறிவித்தது. ஆனால், எதுவுமே பலன்தரவில்லை.

இரு தரப்பிலிருந்தும் உருப்படியான, பிரச்னைகளுக்கு தீர்வு காணும் வகையிலான திட்டங்கள் முன்வராததால் உலகச் சமூகம் அலுத்துப்போய்விட்டது.

முன்பு அமெரிக்கா, யூரோப்பியன் யூனியன், ஜப்பான் போன்ற நாடுகள் அளித்த ஆதரவை பின்னர் திரும்பப் பெற்றுக்கொண்டுள்ளன. இந்த பேராதிக்க நாடுகள் தங்களுக்கென்ற திட்டங்களைக் கொண்டுள்ளன. அந்நாடுகள் இலங்கை விவகாரத்தில் கவனம் செலுத்தியதற்குக் காரணம் அங்குள்ள தமிழ் மக்களுக்கு உதவ வேண்டும் என்பதல்ல. இலங்கையில் உலகலாயமயக் கொள்கையை செயல்படுத்துவதில் சிரமங்கள் ஏற்பட்டுள்ளது. அச்சிரமங்களை அகற்றி தங்களின் திட்டங்களை நிறைவேற்றுவதற்கு அங்கு அமைதி தேவைப்படுகிறது. அதுதான் அவர்களின் திட்டம்.

இலங்கை சிறிய பொருளாதாரத்தைக்கொண்ட ஒரு சிறிய நாடு. ஆனால், கேந்திர முக்கியத்துவம் வாய்ந்தது. இந்தியாவிற்கு இலங்கைப் பிரச்னை ஒரு பெரும் பிரச்னை.

இலங்கைத் தமிழர்கள் தனிப்பட்ட ஈழ நாட்டை உருவாக்கினால் அது தமிழ் நாட்டில் பெரும் தாக்கத்தை உண்டுபண்ணும். தமிழ் நாட்டில் மட்டுமல்ல தென்நாடு முழுவதிலும் - கேரளா, கன்னடா, ஆந்திரப் பிரதேசம் - அதன் தாக்கத்தை உணர முடியும்.

தென் இந்தியத் தமிழர்கள் இலங்கைப் பிரச்னையில் இந்தியா தலையிட வேண்டும் என்று விரும்புகின்றனர். இலங்கையிலுள்ள தங்களின் உடன்பிறப்புகளின் உயிரைக் காப்பாற்றக் கோரி தமிழக அரசுக்கும் மத்திய அரசுக்கும் அவர்கள் நெருக்குதல் அளிக்கின்றனர்.

ஏதாகிலும் செய்ய வேண்டும் என்ற சாதாரணத் தமிழ் மக்களின் வற்புறுத்தல் காரணமாக கருணாநிதி நன்கொடை வசூலிக்கிறார், மன்மோகன் சிங் இலங்கைத் தூதரை அழைத்து எச்சரிக்கை விடுகிறார். இவற்றை தொலைக்காட்சியில் காண்கின்றோம்.

இவை அனைத்தும் நாடகம், அரசியல் நாடகம். ஓரு பக்கம் இந்த நாடகம். இன்னொரு பக்கம் இந்திய அரசாங்கம் மிக நவீன இராணுவத் தளவாடங்களை அனுப்பிக் கொண்டிருக்கிறது. இது இரட்டை வேடம்.

சோசலிசவாதி என்ற முறையில் இதனைப் புரிந்துகொள்ள முடிகிறது. இது அமெரிக்க அதிபர் புஷ்சின் தீவிரவாதத்திற்கு எதிரான போர் என்ற கொள்கையைப் பின்பற்றுவதாகும். இது ஒரு பெரிய மூடிமறைப்பு வேலையாகும்.

இக்கொள்கையின்கீழ் சுதந்திரத்திற்காகப் போரிடும் எவரும் தீவிரவாதி என்று முத்திரை குத்தப்படுவர்.

பாக்கிஸ்த்தான், இந்தியா மற்றும் சீனா ஆகிய நாடுகள் மறைமுகமாக இலங்கை அரசின் இராணுவ நடவடிக்கைகளை ஆதரிக்கின்றன. அமெரிக்கா நேரடியாகவே இராணுவத் தளவாடங்கள், சிறப்பு படகுகள் மற்றும் நீர்மூழ்கிகளை வழங்குகிறது.

தமிழர்களைத் தீர்த்துக்கட்டுவதற்கான சிங்கள அரசின் திட்டம் நிறைவேற்றப்படுவதற்காக இந்த உதவிகள் வழங்கப்படுகின்றன.

வெளிநாட்டவர்களின் உதவி

வெளிநாடுகளில் வாழும் தமிழர்களும் எல்டிடிஇனரும் உண்மையானப் பிரச்னையைப் புரிந்து கொண்டிருப்பதாகத் தெரியவில்லை.

வெளிநாடுகளில் வாழும் தமிழர்களின் மற்றும் எல்டிடிஇனரின் தவறு இதுதான்: ஐக்கிய நாட்டு மன்றம், பிரிட்டிஷ், பிரன்ச், ஜெர்மன், சுவீடன், நோர்வீஜியன் அல்லது இந்திய அரசாங்கங்களின் ஆதரவை அவர்கள் நாடுகிறார்கள். அவர்கள் ஏன் இவர்களின் இலட்சியத்திற்கு உதவ வேண்டும்? அவர்கள் எந்தப் போராட்டத்தையும் ஆதரிப்பதில்லை.

இலங்கைத் தமிழர்களின் போராட்டத்திற்கு அவர்கள் இப்புவியிலுள்ள சாதாரண மக்களின் ஆதரவைக் கோர வேண்டும். இது வெறும் தமிழர்கள் பிரச்னை அல்ல. இது மனித இனத்தின் பிரச்னை, அனைத்து மக்களும் ஒன்று சேர வேண்டும்.

இது ஜெயலலிதா அல்லது கருணாநிதியின் தனிப்பட்ட விவகாரமல்ல.

முதலில், அனைத்து இந்திய மக்களின் ஆதரவுக்கு கோரிக்கை விடப்பட வேண்டும். தென் ஆசிய மக்களின் ஆதரவைக் கோர வேண்டும். வெளிநாட்டில் வாழும் தமிழர்கள் மேல்நாட்டு தொழிலாளர்களின் ஆதரவைக் கோர வேண்டும். இவ்வாறான கோரிக்கைகள் வெளிநாட்டு தூதரகங்களிடம் வழங்கும் மனுக்களைவிட மிகச் சக்தி வாய்ந்தவைகளாக இருக்கும்.

தோசை வடைக்கு தமிழர்கள் தயாராக இல்லை

கடந்த 40 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு மேலாக நடந்து வரும் தமிழர்களின் உரிமைப் போராட்டத்தில் ஏராளமான தமிழர்கள் கொல்லப்பட்டுள்ளனர். ஒரு தலைமுறை இளைஞர்கள், ஆண்களும் பெண்களும், உயிர்த் தியாகம் செய்துள்ளனர்.

எத்தனைப் பெண்கள் அவர்களுடைய தகப்பனார்களின்முன் கற்பழிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளனர். எத்தனைத் தாய்மார்கள் அவர்களின் மகன்கள் மற்றும் மகள்கள்முன் கற்பழிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளனர்.

யாழ்ப்பாணத்தில் ஓராண்டிற்குமுன் 600,000 தமிழர்கள் இருந்தனர். இப்போது எண்ணிக்கை 200,000 க்கு குறைந்துள்ளது.

சிங்கள இராணுவத்தின் கட்டுப்பாட்டிலுள்ள அந்த இடத்தில் போதுமான உணவும் இதர வசதிகளும் இருப்பதாகக் கூறுகிறார்கள். ஆனால் மக்கள் வெளியேறிக் கொண்டிருக்கிறார்கள். தொடர்ந்து நடந்து வரும் போரால் தமிழ் மக்கள் பெரும் துன்பத்திற்கு ஆளாகிவருகின்றனர்.

சிங்கள அரசாங்கம் போரில் தொடர்ந்து வெற்றி பெற்று வருவதாக கூறிக்கொள்கிறது. அது அவ்வளவு சுலபமானதல்ல. மூன்று மாதங்களுக்குமுன் கிளிநொச்சியிலிருந்து 1.5 கிலோ மீட்டர் தூரத்திற்கு வந்துவிட்டதாக இலங்கை அரசாங்கம் கூறியது.

இந்நேரம் கிளிநொச்சியைப் பிடித்திருக்க வேண்டும். அது இன்னும் நடக்கவில்லை. இது எதைக் காட்டுகிறது? அது அவ்வளவு சுலபமானதல்ல என்பதைக் காட்டுகிறது.

எல்டிடிஇயை அழிப்பதற்கு இலங்கை அரசாங்கம் அவர்களை எல்லாம் கொல்ல வேண்டும் - 20,000 லிருந்து 40,000 பேர்கள் வரையில். இதற்கு என்ன விலை கொடுக்க வேண்டியிருக்கும்? உலக மக்கள் அதனை ஏற்றுக்கொள்வார்களா? வேறுவழியில்லாத நிலைக்குத் தள்ளப்பட்டால் கிழக்கிலும் வடக்கிலுமுள்ள தமிழர்கள் தமிழ் நாட்டின் உதவியை நாடுவர். இராணுவத் தீர்வு தீர்வாக இருக்க முடியாது. இது நாட்டின் பிரிவினைக்கு இட்டுச் செல்லும்.

நாட்டை ஒருமைப்படுத்தப் போகிறோம் என்று இலங்கை இராணுவம் கூறுகிறது. இல்லை: அது நாட்டை பிரிக்கும். தமிழர்களின் அன்பையும் ஆதரவையும் பெற முடியாது.

எல்டிடிஇயைத் தோற்கடித்தபின் தமிழர்களுக்கு தோசை, வடை, சாம்பார் கொடுப்போம் என்று அரசாங்கம் கூறுகிறது. தமிழர்கள் கேட்பது தோசை, வடை, சாம்பார் அல்ல. தமிழர்கள் கேட்பது சுதந்தரம், கௌரவம்.

நாங்கள் தமிழர்கள் பக்கம்

இலங்கை அரசாங்கம் அதன் போர் நடவடிக்கையில் வெகு தூரம் சென்று விட்டது. பின்வாங்கல் எதிர்மறையான விளைவுகளை உண்டுபண்ணக் கூடும். இராணுவப் புரட்சி ஏற்படக்கூடும். கம்யூனிஸ்ட் கிளர்ச்சி ஏற்படலாம். நெடுஞ்சாலையில் 150 கிலோ மீட்டர் வேகத்தில் சென்று கொண்டிருக்கும் போது யூ-டெர்ன் எடுப்பது எப்படி?

இந்தப் போரால்தான் நாட்டின் பொருளாதாரம் பாதிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. இதற்கெல்லாம காரணமான பிரபாகரனை உயிரோடு பிடித்தால் இந்தியாவிடம் ஒப்படைப்போம்; பிணமாகப் பிடித்தால் இங்கே கொண்டு வருவோம், என்பது போன்ற உணர்ச்சிகரமான பேச்சுகளால் சிங்கள மக்கள் கட்டுண்டுகிடக்கின்றனர்.

அதே நேரத்தில் சிங்கள மக்கள் இந்தப் போருக்கு பெரிய விலை கொடுக்க நேரிடும். இராணுவச் செலவினம் அதிகரித்துக் கொண்டே போகப் போகிறது. அது சிங்கள மக்களின் கண்களைத் திறக்கும்.

ஆனால், ஒரு தலைமுறைக்கு மேலாக நடந்து வரும் ஆயுதப் போராட்டம் பிரச்னையைத் தீர்க்கப்போவதில்லை.

தமிழர்களோ எல்டிடிஇனரோ சிங்கள அரசோ ஒருவரை ஒருவர் நம்புவதில்லை. ஆனால், நாம் கூட்டாக அமர்ந்து பேசி தமிழர்களின் கோரிக்கைகளுக்குத் தீர்வு காண முடியும் என்று சோசலிசவாதிகளாக நாங்கள் நம்புகிறோம்.

“ஆம், நாம் தமிழர்களின் உரிமைகளைத் தற்காத்து அவர்களின் பக்கம் இருக்கிறோம்.”

இப்போது நடந்து கொண்டிருக்கும் போர் தமிழர்களின் உரிமைகள் பற்றியது. இப்போரை முடிவிற்கு கொண்டுவரும் சமாதான நடவடிக்கைகளில் இலங்கையின் இடதுசாரி இயக்கம் பங்குபெற வேண்டும் என்பது சோசலிசவாதிகளின் கோரிக்கையாக இருந்து வருகிறது.

நாங்கள் அழைக்கப்பட்டால் நிச்சயம் பங்கேற்போம்.

“போரை நிறுத்த வேண்டும்; பேச்சுவார்த்தை தொடங்கப்பட வேண்டும்”, என்று இலங்கை அதிபருக்கு கோரிக்கை விடுத்தார் ஸ்ரீதுங்கா ஜெயசூரியா.