Mahinda Rajapaksa was turfed out of office at the Sri Lankan presidential election last month. He ruled the country for a decade during which he butchered tens of thousands of Tamil people and destroyed democratic rights.
By Tim Tran, Socialist Party
While ordinary people will be relieved that Rajapaksa was defeated, there can be no trust in the new government led by Maithripala Sirisena. Far from being any real alternative, Sirisena served as a minister in Rajapaksa’s party.
Our sister organisation in Sri Lanka, the United Socialist Party (USP), stood Siritunga Jayasuriya in the contest and campaigned for the building of a genuine political alternative for working class people. During the campaign we managed to hold meetings with sometimes up to a thousand participating.
The USP were the only party to stand unambiguously for the right of self determination for the Tamil people. We called for the withdrawal of troops from the north and the east and for socialist solutions to problems working class and poor people face. Siritunga received nearly 9000 votes.
The next period will bring a unique opportunity to build on the USP’s support as the major parties expose themselves as being merely different faces of big business interests.