The deafening roar of true-blooded patriotic Sinhala lions on the streets on the 27th, orchestrated by the Regime, confirmed my worst fears. Although the grip that the Regime has had on the Sinhala masses has been seriously dented by the recent jacking up of fuel prices and the killings and armed repression of protests by the armed forces, I would not underestimate the reserves still in command of the State. The beast in most ferocious when cornered. The situation may be permitted to ‘get out of hand’ where a state of anarchy may prevail. This would give the Regime the needed justification to impose an undeclared state of ‘martial law’, which would then pave the way “where the extreme militarist-chauvinist , mafia-fascist forces may gain an iron hegemony over society”. Such a scenario may make Black July look like a dress rehearsal, when, once again, innocent Tamils ( and perhaps, ‘other aliens’) will be targeted in an unthinkable orgy of blood, hate and violence. It may lead to a form of ethnic cleansing that would be truly genocidal! I hope I am exaggerating and completely off the mark, and even out in the woods. But I make my assessment on an analysis of the psychological and political compulsions that would satiate an enraged, irrational psyche of a tortured and manipulated mind-set led to believe that it is under deadly and decisive siege by a conjoined conspiracy. Besides, the Regime is not beyond manufacturing scenarios and conjuring up demons and dragons that would heighten the perception of mortal threat. The psychological and propaganda war is yet to be let out full steam. Our modern history is replete with just this form of deranged, demented and introverted ‘catharsis’, once channeled and fuelled by the armed power of a monolithic State. We would do well to understand the destructive force of the irrational logic of history, as much as the rational, as Hegel warned. Two world wars, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Nazi holocaust, countless wars of genocidal aggression bear witness to the limits of human cruelty, as much as the barbarism inflicted repeatedly with impunity in our own internal conflicts.
Is the Regime so besieged by contradictions-both external and internal- that it has other option but to follow this path of raging anarchy, terror and destruction, which will take us back into an extreme form of tribal-feudal bloodletting that would further fracture our bleeding society irrevocably? Why does not the Regime agree to implement the recommendations of its own LLRC Report? The Report raises fundamental issues concerning the Rule of Law, democratic governance, independence of the Judiciary, resettlement, land and livelihood and so on. Why not even pretend to address these issues in a convincing way, based on a time schedule, as a start, let alone issues of accountability for alleged war crimes? Why does it insist on willfully and fatally undermining and violating its own Commission by appointing a Buddhist monk known to be a gun-wielding, Tamil-hating fanatic to the Police Commission? Why does it appoint a military court of inquiry, when it is the military that is to be investigated? Why this veritable circus? Why does it allow live bullets to be used against protestors, and unleash the riot police against any form of democratic opposition? Why does it allow for the infamous white van to continue to abduct people, including a Tamil who was to give evidence in court just two days hence against the Police for illegal arrest, detention and inhuman torture, and the brazen abduction of a prisoner brought to court to attend trial within the compound of the Supreme Court? What would account for this most willful, deliberate and brazen violation of the most basic principles of Constitutional democracy and just common civilized decency? Why does the Defense Secretary proclaim that he has no intention of de-militarizing, but that the military administration of the North will not only continue but be strengthened and military bases expanded over all of society, and that the State shall not be held accountable for abductions and enforced disappearances of ‘terrorists’, even when the war is said to be ended? Particularly when the Regime is under mounting international scrutiny?
Contradictions have a way of working themselves out with irresistible logic. This Regime consolidated a chauvinist-militarist dictatorship and perpetuated its dynastic hegemony over the ashes and ruins of a vanquished Tamil nation and enthroning Sinhala supremacy as never before. Sinhala supremacy has turned out to be the supremacy of the most corrupt dynastic regime in history that sells the ‘motherland’ to each and all foreign marauders for fat commissions. The dictatorship was enforced by deluding the masses with the opium of a phantasmagoric vision of a ‘Miracle of Asia’, even as it was steadily depleting its funds on megalomaniacal projects that serve only to glorify the image of a conquering warrior-king, a legendary liberator, which have cost the tax payer billions in losses. This is while squandering billions on victory parades, egoistical extravaganzas and foreign exploits, while jacking up the cost of living and the masses being bled dry. Its ruling power, its magnetic hold, is based on feeding into the most extreme chauvinism of the deluded Sinhala masses, including the armed forces, the thriving Mudalalis, contractors and fat Compradors, and the host of corrupt bureaucrats, parasitic ministers and mafia cronies. This is the political economy in which the Regime survives. It cannot afford to let any force or reason to crack the foundations of this parasitic political economy and its corresponding ideological base. That is why it cannot afford to even open up its own LLRC Report, which has raised fundamental issues and recommendations – whether intended or not- that undermine the militarist-chauvinist-hegemonic foundations upon which survival of the regime perilously rests. Any concession to allegations of war crimes will serve to incriminate itself at the very pinnacle of command. Any democratic concession to the Tamil people, any form of devolution, any recognition of parity of political status, will crack the foundations of the militarist-chauvinist-supremacist paradigm. Any sign of giving in to foreign powers will undermine its ‘patriotic’ mythology and undermine its reactionary Alliance. Any form of ‘opening up’ democratic space will lead to disaster. Live ammunition must be used to kill and terrorize the masses- students, fishermen, workers, any and all who would dare to resist. The Regime simply cannot afford to be held accountable, since its crimes have begun to be exposed and the masses have begun to see through and just have had enough! Accountability will not rest with alleged war crimes and barbaric atrocities, but with a litany of killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, inhuman torture, naked corruption and abuse through which the Regime has enforced its dictatorship. The Regime is indeed besieged by the contradictions of its own making. It is a prisoner of the monster that it has created. It can only lash out in demented rage, breathing fire and fury at the people, like a demon from the nether world, lest it be ousted from power and made to face the tribunal of history and the wrath of the masses.
As I have stated elsewhere, battle lines are being drawn and society will be irrevocably polarized between two contending rival camps: The camp of Democracy and Freedom and the camp of Militarist-Chauvinist- Fascist Reaction. We must rise to the momentous challenge that history has placed before us, if we are to survive as a civilized human community. Only a genuine, bottom-up, people’s resistance movement can overcome the challenge. For this, we must overcome fear, our worst enemy. They can kill us, but they can never silence us! Truth and Justice shall prevail! Humankind shall achieve Freedom by breaking their chains of ignorance and slavery and overthrowing all hated despots and tyrants. This is the Law of Nature and the Dialectic of History! Let us join in conscious mass resistance with clarity of purpose and nobility of intention as a single tidal wave so we may all regain our dignity and humanity, share and nurture this cherished Land, stand proud and tall second to none in the community of nations, and lay claim to the bounteous fruits of the 21st Century as the People of Lanka. What is needed is vision and daring! Nothing is impossible if you dare to scale the heights.
The writer is Secretary: Ceylon Communist Party ( Maoist)