NDP (Sri Lanka) – May Day Declaration

The following is the text of the May Day declaration issued by the Central Committee of the New-Democratic Party.

The on-going cruel war in the North has plunged the Tamil people into an unprecedented human tragedy. With attacks continuing incessantly, tears and blood flow like rivers. The people who emerged from the besiegement of war have been herded into camps without even the basic facilities, in Vavuniya and the Jaffna peninsula. The scenes in the Vanni are much like those obtaining in countries such as Somalia and Sudan. At the same time, the financial and economic crisis that has developed in the South has severely affected the workers, peasants and other toiling masses and severely burdened their lives. India on the one hand and the US and the West on the other are seeking to use the war conditions and the economic crisis to strengthen their respective hegemonic holds on the country. Neither the ruling Mahinda Chinthanaya government nor the UNP, which is striving to come to power, have the ability to rescue the country and the people from this dangerous situation and solve the problems faced by them. Military victory and electoral success based on it will only help to strengthen state power but not serve to provide solutions for the political and economic problems heading towards an abyss. The reality is that there will be no change for the better until the entire workers, peasants and other toiling masses are ready for alternative political thinking and action.

The forthcoming May Day, the day of revolutionary struggle of the workers of the world, is to be celebrated in a new environment in which the workers and oppressed people of the world are launching fresh uprisings. Hence the New-Democratic Party calls upon the people to resolve to mobilise along the path of mass political struggle to urge a just political solution to the national question, which is identified as the main problem facing the country, and to win the rights of all workers including the plantation workers.

The Mahinda Chinthanaya government, since came to power, has not proposed a solution to the national question which has been transformed into war. At the same time, with Indian backing, it is intent on its pursuit of war. Even to this day the government has shown no interest in putting forward a political solution. Likewise, it is preserving indifferent silence on the question of wage increase for plantation workers and other matters affecting the livelihood of the people. Besides, a cabinet sub-committee has proposed a scheme just as disastrous as the Upper Kotmale Scheme, namely that of redistributing large plantations to private smallholders. Through this scheme, the Hill Country Tamils will face severe problems as a class and a nationality, and be forced into a dangerous situation in which they could lose their entire livelihood. Therefore, it is essential to introduce an alternative program and make the plantation workers part of the program.

Also, the climate persists in which democratic, trade union and human rights are being violated and the freedom of the media is being threatened under the State of Emergency. Besides the rejection of demands for wage increases by workers and other employees, security of employment too is being denied.

Although much is spoken about a national economy, liberalisation and privatisation are being carried out in the name of development under the agenda of Globalisation. The country will not see real development or prosperity through them. The war will not be brought to an end. Until a just political solution is put forward for the national question, it will be deception to talk of peace and development for the country.

Hence, on this May Day the New-Democratic Party emphasises that the oppressed working people of the country and the repressed nationalities should mobilise along the path of mass political struggle for the people.

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