Extending the democratic revolution

by Vikramabahu Karunaratne

( December 26, 2015, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Nava Sama Samaja party anniversary will be held at New Town Hall, Colombo on December 30 starting from 2 pm. Party believes that participation within the democratic mass struggle to evict fascistic Mahinda regime is a great experience. This anniversary conference will be an opportunity to explain the united action front experience and how it could be compared to other fronts Sama Samajists have entered in the course of several decades of Sama Samaja history. Our experience is a part of the Trotskyites praxis that goes back to the days of German fascism. Duality in this problem could be seen today.

On one hand there is the need to unite working class movement as an independent movement to face the ideology and the state power of the bourgeoisie. On the other hand there is the unquestionable need to defeat racist fascistic reactionary politics that has dragged the country to misery and barbarism. Leon Trotsky was a brilliant man with deep understanding of Marxist fundamentals. Above all he was a humanist who wanted humans to continue with full freedom, splendid environment and cultural glory. He said in this struggle lies and cruelty are unnecessary, while truth and kindness will enlighten our path. He started the Fourth International and NSSP is to day the Lanka section the forth international

In spite of the fall of NM, Colvin, and Lesley, due to the coalition with the SLFP, they were political giants who played a massive role in building a tradition of revolutionary politics. To face these giants who stood for the working class, the bourgeois in Lanka were compelled to promote leaders of same capacity to represent their side. DS, Dudley, Sir John, SWRD etc were brought in for this purpose. Thus Lankan Parliament became a place for acute debate and fine statements. Sama Samajism entered the mass political movement with the heroic battle against the British imperialism.

At the outbreak of the Second World War the party was forced to go underground due to its opposition to the British war effort. The two State Council members of the party and others on its Central committee were arrested and jailed, but Leslie Gunawardena evaded arrest and went underground. On April 20,1941, a secret conference, attended by 42 delegates, was held. Lesley Gunawardena, who was in hiding, attended this conference at which the new programme and constitution were adopted.

The cover organization of the party enabled him, to work for a period of one year and three months till he left for India. Following the Japanese raid on Colombo on April 5,1942, the imprisoned leaders escaped and fled to India. This revolutionary period concluded with the Hartal. A Hartal is a form of general strike, which attempts to bring all workers and small holders activity to a standstill for a limited period. Prior to 1953 it was a relatively unknown concept in Lanka.

Nava Sama Samaja party emerged to counter the massive desecration of the revolutionary vision by the coalition for socialism with the SLFP. The so called socialism with the SLFP turned out to be an attempt to create a state capitalist bureaucratic dictatorial regime with the connivance of global capitalism. Not only the workers but all other layers: fishers, peasants, small holders, and petty traders lost their freedom and became hostile to the regime. Firstly with Sirimavo then with Chandrika and finally with Mahinda under various names they seek an anti imperialist pro socialist government. Every time what people got were mismanaged capitalist regime and it became worse every time; under Mahinda it became almost a fascist regime with gross violation of human rights.

We understood the tasks of revolution as national unification, democratic constitution with protection for human rights, agrarian reorganization to modernize the village society and protection from the ill effects of MNCs system. Struggle for the implementation of these tasks will lead us to establish a proletarian regime, as bourgeoisie will fail and get exposed among the radical masses. However, the inability to understand the Tamil national problem has created, under Mahinda regime, a hideous state oppressing all sections of the Lankan society, except selected section of the Sinhala Buddhist. There was no option for any body who wanted democracy except fighting together to overthrow this hideous monstrosity. We explained this truth to the people and the united action front formed with our help was able to overthrow the fascistic regime and win freedom which people enjoy now.

There is ample opportunity for the Sama Samajists to go forward. We have to extend the democratic revolution to bring working people to consolidate their power. We have started such campaigns among all oppressed sections. We go to all mass campaigns and intervene to show the path of Marxism and socialism.