New situation has created problems for the middle classes

WICKRAMABAHUNew situation has created problems for the middle classes. Unlike workers, middle people in the bourgeoisie society are looking for fundamentals. Proletarians are more pragmatic, they can identify the tricks played by the masters and they wait for the final results. Also, they cannot afford to cry after lost dreams and they have to take positions according to the balance of forces in the class struggle. Many in the middle sections of the urban society trusted the lawyers who drafted the 19th amendment. Suddenly trust placed on Jayampathi and Weliamuna means nothing. They only draft but the power to finalize rests with others.

Neither the Manifesto nor the personal assurances constitute the final definitive statement. When one see the real balance of forces they are gravely disappointed by this betrayal of trust by the leadership of the anti fascistic mass movement. However the real oppressed, workers and minority communities, have to check the balance sheet.

Both Ranil and Maithree are rugged politicians, shrewd and patient. They are also victims of fascistic cruelty practiced by the fallen regime. Whether one is associated with liberal politics through Asiatic wisdom or from western masters they are bound to deliver some form of liberty and equality. Ok, from a Marxist point of view, those are illusions to cheat the people. But there is the compulsion of a delivery.

 

“What? Do you not openly condemn this breach of promise of 100 days in the strongest possible terms? After being cheated four times in the past do these cheats think we are going to put up with this sort of treachery again? NO is NO. Down with Sirisena the liar! Did not your manifesto says, Executive Presidency with its unlimited powers will be abolished.” Shout, screaming in the same tone, the middlemen in pain. We can understand their feelings. But the truth is that the fascistic gang also screaming; they could feel the isolation.

 

Those who are involved in the drafting of the 19th Amendment assure that it provides for the abolition of Executive Presidency, nothing less. The document given to the NEC certainly indicated that radical move. The original draft of the 19th Amendment-not what was gazetted- basically does away with the Executive Presidency. What was gazetted will only prune the powers of the EP. The EP system will remain. The change was brought about due to pressure from JHU, Nimal Siripala and a section of SLFP. They threatened to block the passage of the bill by 2/3 rd majority. Due to these protests the Government was forced to resort to the well known way of getting the required numbers by offering ministries. Now balance of power is such leaders can revert back to the original draft. It can be passed even if the JHU and few others like Wimal vote against. According to constitutional pundits two major Amendments will be necessary to vest executive power with the cabinet answerable and accountable to Parliament. Those will be (1) PM to be the Head of Government and (2) President to act on the advice of the PM. Therefore Ranil and Maithree are still in a position to push through this, though not in the way people expected. The mandate of the people is to be respected in a dubious manner. Can we say that Ranil- Maithree duo was able use a tactic to isolate the fascistic gang and take the democratic revolution forward? This is the reality that middle man cannot see but the oppressed, proletariat and minorities cannot miss.

 

Apparently two leaders want to avoid any change that needs a referendum. Specially Maithree says he won’t touch any article in the constitution that cannot be changed without recourse to a referendum. That means articles known as entrenched provisions of the constitution should not change. This includes not just Article 2 (Unitary State) and Article 9 (that gives foremost place to Buddhism) but also Article 3 and 4 which have to do with the exercise of sovereign powers. Any reduction of powers to the Executive Presidency will have an impact on Articles 3 & 4 and would normally require ratification at a referendum. However this has been negated already by Mahinda rule.  The infamous judgment of   Shirani Bandaranaike for 18th amendment allowed the fascistic ruler to pass the 18th amendment without a referendum! This could help Maithree and Ranil to sail through amendments to the Executive Presidency without going for a referendum.

 

But the point is these things will not happen unless masses intervene and create a favorable situation. The pressure for NOT to abolish the Executive Presidency and accept only ‘reform’, is still strong. They claim that the manifesto uses the word ‘change’ not abolish. If these arguments are not countered, I have a feeling that the ‘reform’ can only go as much as removal of few extremely reactionary features of the executive presidency. In fact it may stop at removing of 18Amendmet or slightly more than removing 18 Amendment.  So, we cannot blame any body except the leaders of the mass uprising that removed the fascistic regime if this will be more or less reverting back to the pre-18A constitution.  Failure to confront re emerging fascistic forces immediately will be the beginning of the down-slide. If leaders don’t confront and stop nonsense of dragging decision making and implementation now, they are finished.

 

In politics there is only one moral code that is valid. That is, the end justifies the means. We all like say that should not be the ethical principle in an arena of human welfare. But unfortunately in the course of struggle, leaders are compelled to take decisions on the above mentioned moral principle. In the final analysis there is nothing significant or strategic to change the course of history. Changes occur when conditions are mature. We are going through such a period. This is a moment where all progressives should grasp to bring about the radical change that the country is crying for. Tactical gains are important, but the determination for a significant change should be the power that drives us to commit ourselves to go forward.

 

 

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contributions:
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