On the 24th of August, a Solidarity Meeting was organised at University of Delhi, New Delhi, India in support of the ongoing People’s Movement in Sri Lanka, and against the repression unleashed by Sri Lankan government on the movement. It should be noted that the Sri Lankan people have been waging a valiant movement, the ‘Janatha Aragalaya’ against their autocratic and corrupt government since past several months. The original protests which were launched against the growing misery faced by the people ultimately culminated with the ouster of the then incumbent President, Gotabaya Rajpaksha. This movement in a country which is our neighbour has been a beacon of hope for various people’s struggles that are being waged across the world. It also signifies the growing crisis of the exploitative world capitalist system, and the people’s collective power against the forces of capitalism and imperialism. More importantly, the Sri Lankan people’s struggle has shown people’s aspiration to move beyond the representative form of government embodied by the Parliament. Not just the Rajpaksha clique and the current hand-picked President, Ranil Wickremesinghe, but the entire Sri Lankan Parliament stands exposed and vilified as corrupt that only serves the ruling elites and the dominant economic classes.

At present, the ruling elites in active connivance with the imperialist forces and dominant economic classes are actively involved in the curbing of the Janatha Aragalaya and repression on common people. There are also plans afoot to bring back the former President, Gotabaya Rajpaksa to the country. This has exposed the so-called representatives of the people in Parliament who are hand-in-glove with the domestic and foreign capital to ensure that the exploitative and unjust economic and political system stays in place, and prompted people to call for the resignation of not just the current President, but of all the members of the Parliament. At this juncture, it is imperative to restrengthen the movement by taking up ‘Go to the People Campaign’, and unleashing people’s power to effectively challenge the brutal and repressive powers-that-be.

KYS demands that there should be an immediate repeal of emergency in Sri Lanka, and all the political prisoners should be released unconditionally. There should be a moratorium on Prevention of Terrorism Act, the military should be returned to barracks and there should be no repressive measures on peaceful protests. KYS resolutely stands with the struggle of Sri Lankan people, and calls upon them to continue their struggle not just against a corrupt and illegitimate government, but for the basic political and economic transformation of Sri Lanka. The need of the hour is to forge unity among all the toiling masses, together move beyond a mere representative form of political system where betrayal of the issues of the masses is a norm, and evolve systems of direct democracy where people have active role in decision-making.

Prof. Maya John spoke at the Solidarity Meeting organised at Arts Faculty, University of Delhi and extended solidarity with the people’s movement in Sri Lanka. She strongly condemned the repressive measures taken by anti-people, authoritarian government of Sri Lanka.

She spoke that with the, “deepening crisis of the world capitalist system, social upheavals can be seen erupting in one country after another. In this context, Sri Lanka, a relatively small island country in South Asia that is enveloped by a staged debt crisis, has amply revealed circumstances which are infused with revolutionary possibilities. Resembling dark clouds that announce the gathering of a storm, Sri Lanka has shown how rapidly a revolutionary situation can develop”.

She further said that, “the Aragalaya has increasingly proven to be a potent force in terms of driving forth new possibilities for democracy in the backdrop of a collapsing discredited regime, and it is imperative for all of us to support the Sri Lankan people at this critical historical juncture”.

Activists from KYS sang three versions of “Bella Ciao” at the solidarity protest meeting held at Arts Faculty, University of Delhi, India.

The meeting was called in solidarity with the struggling people of Sri Lanka and against the targeted attacks on activists of the Janatha Aragalaya.

KYS cultural team prepared “Bella Ciao” in Italian, Hindi and Sinhalese, but due to lack of preparation our team could not perform in Tamil, due apologies.

On the 15th of September, KYS submits a Memorandum to the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in India against the repression of the people’s movement by the Wickremesinghe Government! 

KYS condemns the intimidation and arrests of activists of the Janatha Aragalaya!

A delegation of Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) activists today submitted a memorandum to the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India against the repression on the People’s Movement in Sri Lanka by Ranil Wickremesinghe government. The international community is dismayed that as soon as Ranil Wickremesinghe was elected President, repression was unleashed on the people’s movement. While the ongoing people’s movement in Sri Lanka followed a period of immense shortages of edibles, medicines, fuel, etc. faced by the masses, the current regime has not only failed in meeting the people’s demands, it has only exacerbated the already precarious conditions of the masses, and unleashed heavy repression on them.

What is being witnessed is heightened militarization under the present government. Indiscriminate use of police and other armed constabularies against unarmed protesters, and skyrocketing figures of arrests of key activists are becoming the order of the day. In the past months, we have seen deadly attacks by the police unfolding on students, activists, and common people. While many activists have been arrested, many others are prohibited from going abroad and cases under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) have been lodged against them. Hailing the imprisoned activists as “terrorists”, and thereby seeking to justify the use of draconic laws like PTA, the current government, it is apparent, desperately seeks to instill fear in the struggling masses, and to prevent potential upsurges against a host of anti-people economic policies being adopted under the aegis of local capitalists and imperialist forces. We are concerned that a police state is what is being imposed on the Sri Lankan people in response to their persistent struggle for socio-economic justice and a genuinely democratic Sri Lanka.

KYS strongly condemns the repressive state measures to intimidate, arrest and silence the common people, activists, and organizations, who have been at the forefront of the people’s movement in Sri Lanka. It is utterly shameful that even as repression is unleashed on the movement, the erstwhile President has been allowed to peacefully return to the country. It is an alarming situation and the world is watching the current government standing against the people’s aspirations brutalize protestors exercising their democratic right to protest.

In the memorandum submitted to the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, it was demanded that all political prisoners must be released unconditionally and immediately, the emergency should be immediately repealed, there should be a moratorium on Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), the military personnel must be sent back to barracks, there should be no repressive measures on peaceful protests, and there should be no change without people’s active consent. The international community is concerned with the anti-people developments in Sri Lanka and KYS resolutely stands with the Sri Lankan people to safeguard their aspirations.

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