By Raja Prabath Lankaloka
Ranil Wickramasinghe has now been elected as the succeeding president by the votes of the members of parliament as the position got vacant due to the ouster of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa by the people on July 9.
Ranil Wickramasinghe is as hated by the people as the Rajapakshas. He did not even get a chance to contest the last presidential election. He was so rejected by the people that he could not win a seat from the district he contested, or from any other district in Sri Lanka. His party could get only 2.15% of the votes in Sri Lanka in the 2020 general election.
Electing such a person as the president of the country shows the nature of democracy they are talking about. Their democracy is not the will of the people at all. Their democracy is the will of the ruling class and the ruling elite they represent. That is clearly what happened today. From the beginning, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s supporters were the cronies of Rajapakshas. The general secretary of SLPP issued announcements on behalf of the Rajapaksshas and asked them to support Ranil in the election for the succeeding president. The Rajapakshas told the world that Ranil was more reliable than anyone else in their own party.
We know that this election, by members of parliament was not a clean election at all. During the last few days, there were reports in the media on attempts to buy MPs at exorbitant prices. It is clear that there is truth in those reports. when we consider the way in which the various parties declared their allegiance before the election and the way MPs have used their vote.
This election has destroyed another illusion that had been planted in the minds of the people of Sri Lanka for some time. The SLFP and its stream are more progressive than the UNP and its stream was the myth that got busted. This myth has been planted in the minds of the people by the old leftist parties for some time. The election of the succeeding president, clearly showed that there is no difference between the two streams, and both streams represent the same ideology, and they will get united when the capitalist system goes into a crisis.
All the three candidates who contested the election of the succeeding president have made that their policy is to carry on the existing capitalist system as it is. The Ranil / Rajapaksa alliance, Dallas / Sajith alliance as well as Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s program (the interim government’s short-term priorities for Rapid Response to Overcome Current Challenges on 2022-07-19) testify to this fact. After the election, Mr Anura Kumara said that this is an uncivilized parliament and that nothing more can be expected from it. But he also did a great job of building people’s trust in that uncivilized parliament and the election system during the last period. The work done by them also led to the praise of the ambassadors of the imperialist countries. Thus, he and his party are equally responsible for giving recognition to this incivility.
People know that Ranil Wickramasinghe is an extreme right-winger and extreme reactionary, we have seen in this country for last four and a half decades. The UNP, which he leads today, played a major role in bringing neo-liberal policies to Sri Lanka, which were the root causes of the disaster faced by this country today. It is clear that his next program is to subjugate the country again and again to IMF conditions, privatize state properties, and allow imperialist interests like MCC again. Due to this program, the disaster that the country is currently facing will only get deepen.
That is why he faced serious opposition from the people from the time he came to the post of Prime Minister undemocratically. What happened on July 20 was that the people’s interests were just ignored to open the door for the wishes of the ruling class and the Rajapaksha gang. The Rajapakshas can now breathe a sigh of relief. That is because Ranil will make sure that the Rajapaksasha’s interests are protected in the coming days.
But the capitalist class can never have a correct vision of the future. Undoubtedly, Ranil Wickramasinghe will also suffer the same fate as the Rajapakshas due to public opposition.
We have said from the beginning that the struggle should not be directed toward a person but towards changing the system. People are selected by the existing system. When a person is eliminated, another person is selected by the system. Often the newly chosen one is more loyal to the class than before. Because of this, the struggle should be focused entirely on changing the existing system.
Although people’s power can end a reactionary rule, it is only under the leadership and guidance of a revolutionary party that can lead the working class, can change the existing system and create a progressive regime that the people want. As a result of the absence of such a revolutionary party in Sri Lanka today, the capitalists have been able to act against the wishes of the people. But these henchmen are unable to do anything to prevent the disaster that the people are facing.
Because of this, the challenge we face is to contribute to the building of a revolutionary party within the country and internationally, capable of leading the working class to build a people’s government that can achieve the goals and demands of the masses.