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P. M. declares a social war

Dr Vickramabahu Karunarathne

Though it was made with an aura of seriousness and sincerity , P M - Ranil Wickramasinghe's appeal to the people , to sacrifice for the sake of the rich and well to do upper classes who are reluctant to invest , cannot be justified on any moral basis. Nor it could be concealed by the sugar coating attempted by the Finance Minister Choksy in the form of price reductions due to forthcoming tax changes. The financial crisis faced by the country is entirely due to the foolish war mongering , capitalist policies of the past UNP and PA governments. In particular the Open Economic policy implemented since 1977 , created national disparity , social polarization and instability. Rich and wealthy people were provided with anything and everything , while the poor , both in country and town , had to sacrifice every opportunity they had built for several generations. Latter lost welfare and social services while the rich was served with tax holidays and dam cheap loans. They plundered our wealth and send it out freely without hesitating for useful investments.

State sector corporations and banks were never run as business enterprises. Instead each government used these to enrich private contractors and commission takers. At the same time these establishments were used as resting places for political stooges. In effect these became means of siphoning public funds to private capitalists. Now , Premier Ranil says that he will sell state corporations and banks in order to make money for government expenditure. At the same time money allocated for social welfare will be drastically reduced. For this purpose so many bills are lined up to be passed rapidly in the parliament. Also, several authorities to be formed for the speedy implementation of this policy. He expects to improve productivity by strengthening the hands of the employers by revising labour laws in their favour. Such a step can never improve productivity though it will enhance the sufferings of the working masses.

Strangely enough Premier Ranil does not appear to realize that all these steps will be fruitless when masses start moving against his anti poor , immoral economic policies. He was not voted in for such an attack on the working masses. Out of 40 lakhs of vote he polled in the parliament elections , more than half voted straight for peace in the North East Tamil homeland. Most certainly they did not expect Premier Ranil to declare a war against the working masses. Only the rich exploiters will hail a social war in place of the war of national oppression.

Left organizations including leading Trade Unions hesitated so far to take any serious protest on economic issues as the government was struggling for a long term peace in the Tamil speaking areas. It was assumed that Ranil's government will not confront Trade Unions and the working masses , at least until the Tamil National Problem is settled. However , now it is very clear to every body that the government has decided , on behalf of Global Capitalism to confront the working mass on the issues of privatization and welfare cuts. In effect Premier , by his calculated , well prepared speech , declared war against Trade Unions and other originations of working masses while pushing Tamil National Problem into the back yard. No options are left for the Left but to fight back. We appeal to all workers organizations, student unions and mass organization of the oppressed , to unite in this war against injustice , super exploitation and sellout. Be prepared to raise barricades and dig bunkers to face the onslaught launched by the so called "Operation Economic Development" , of the government.


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