The need for counter-terrorism measures

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has vowed to take stringent security measures to prevent Islamic State (IS) terrorism from raising its head again adding that the Security Forces and Police have apprehended those involved in the Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people. “Already the Security Forces and Police have been able to apprehend everyone involved in these bomb blasts. Those who have been apprehended will face legal proceedings initiated by the Attorney General.” Of course, this doesn’t mean that this is the end of this type of terrorism.

The government is taking certain counter-terrorism measures to ensure that the country will not face terrorism again. He explained that although some unfortunate incidents occurred in few areas recently, normalcy has been restored in the country.

Government has taken all necessary measures to restore law and order. People have been able to observe Ramadan, conduct Friday prayers, and hold Sunday Mass and celebrate Vesak. Children have started schooling, thus life is getting back to normal. The government is to present many measures in collaboration with the Muslim community, such as changes in the Madrasas Education Bill which will bar Sharia universities, ensuring that name boards are only in the three official languages of this country. The government was able to solicit the support of the Muslim community. Thus with the support of President Maithripala Sirisena, the Wickremesinghe government has won the people’s trust back.

Right to equality

However, one fascistic critique of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says:

‘PM is talking ‘division’. No, it’s not THAT division which his party has been advocating on the sly or in the very least aiding and abetting.

No, it’s not the incremental progress towards Eelam that has been a well-rehearsed script diligently played by Tamil nationalists. Let’s elaborate before we talk about the ‘division’ that PM Wickremesinghe is talking about right now.

Here’s the process: 1) Formulation of objective (Eelam), 2) Construction of history (‘Myth modelling’ a la Traditional Homelands), 3) Inflation of grievances, 4) Wild Extrapolation, 5) Demand the Unreasonable, 6) Armed insurrection (because ‘democratic avenues will not yield objective), 7) Obtain incremental gains. That’s Chelvanayakam’s ‘A little now, more later- thesis’ is in action and the oxymoronic M. A. Sumanthiran is up to’. This racist writer cannot be ignorant that a principle that leads to the formulation of nationality was explained by Lenin, almost a century ago. On the basis of that Lenin said each nationality has the right to equality, autonomy and right of self-determination. This explanation is now accepted by the United Nations and if PM Ranil stands for that consistently, all that misgivings of fascist elements will be negated and Sumanthiran and Tamils certainly will not resort to any insurrection, armed or otherwise.

On the other hand, when devolution is made in the 13th amendment, for socio-economic development grass root divisions are necessary; that is why Premier Wickremesinghe has explained further. "Our divisional level should work. President Premadasa wanted the division more independent but today it is overloaded. When you think of 2020 or 2030 is division enough? Or do we have to think of a new unit? We are wondering whether the Division can spend all the money that is being put by all levels of the government.

There are many competing programmes. We are now trying to identify a common unit to implement all these. Long ago the basic unit of administration was the province and a GA. In the 60s it was the district. However, the subsequently early 80s it was a division. Divisional secretariats are in a tug-o-war with the central government and the provincial council. However, those are today’s problems. I am looking at tomorrow’s problems. Is this model outdated? Have we got to rethink of divisional structure," he has said.

Devolution units

Yes, PM Wickremesinghe is talking about getting things done and of course, there are problems of autonomy and contribution of self-rule. Things get delayed, but the better proposal will get done. As a democratic leader, he’s talking about operational units. Hence, he is talking about provinces and divisions. He’s focusing on the administration aspects but does talk of devolution units. Of course, this is exactly what fascistic half brains cannot understand: the positive contribution of self-government! But the fascist is angry and says ‘First Ranil says that the divisional secretariats are overworked. Then he claims that they are further hampered by tensions between the central government and provincial councils’- Madness of democracy and devolution? Yes. Then fascist offers the typical fascistic solution.

“The issue can be resolved in any number of ways. Endless postponement of provincial council elections and absolute silence on the part of the devolution lobby, provincial politicians and the people in the relevant provinces clearly indicate that provincial councils need to be done away with. They were, for those who may not remember, thrust down our throats by India and embraced by political parties and politicians to further political projects. Well, they are not functioning and no one is bothered”.

This is incorrect; devolution was discussed since Bandaranaike- Chelvanayakam Pact. Samasamajists stood for devolution since 1974 consistently.

“That alone will not resolve the issue. Wickremesinghe says that divisions cannot handle all the matters that come to them. He has mentioned that it is hard for citizens to interact with officials. He cautions that the bureaucracy is a problem. Most importantly,” he asks, “is there enough space for citizen’s participation at the grass root level?” That’s about participatory democracy. Of course, Ranil Wickremesinghe as a Democrat knows better than fascistic critique how democracy does and does not work. He can talk about participation and of course non-participation or the subversion of participation. Of course, he can.



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