spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Campaigns subcategories:

Anti-capitalism

Anti-fascist

Anti-racism

Anti-war

Asylum

Black and Asian

Children

CNWP

Corporate crime

Disability

Education

* Election campaigns

Environment

EU

Finance

Food

Gender Recognition Act

Health and safety

Health and welfare

Housing

Human Rights

LGBT Pride

Local government

Local services

Low pay

Migration

Nationalisation

New workers party

NHS

Pensions

Post Office

Poverty

Privatisation

Public Services

Socialism

Socialist

Sport

Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Students

The state

Transport

TUSC

Welfare rights

Women

Workplace and TU campaigns

Youth


Election campaigns keywords:

Candidates (96)

Council elections (58)

Councillors (427)

Election (1380)

Elections (589)

Elections 2015 (3)

General election (257)

No2EU (83)

TUSC (1140)

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (564)

Election campaigns


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1066, 27 November 2019: Vote for jobs homes, services. Tories out, Corbyn in. Fight for socialist policies.

Search site for keywords: Sri Lanka - Election - Tamil - Mahinda Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka: Presidential election sees return of dictatorial Rajapaksa clan

New president Gotabaya Rajapaksa is notorious for his bloody ending of the civil war in 2009, photo Jorge Cardoso/CC

New president Gotabaya Rajapaksa is notorious for his bloody ending of the civil war in 2009, photo Jorge Cardoso/CC   (Click to enlarge)

TU Senan, Committee for a Workers' International (CWI)

The extremely polarised presidential election in Sri Lanka on 16 November has resulted in victory for Gotabaya Rajapaksa of the Sri Lanka People's Front (SLPP).

As defence minister under the dictatorial president, his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya ordered the bloody genocide at the end of the country's civil war in 2009.

Rajapaksa won over 52% of the votes (6,924,255) in comparison to his opponent, Sajith Premadasa of the United National Party (UNP), who won just under 42% (5,564,239). Votes for all the other main candidates fell sharply. The candidate of the so-called left, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), came third but their previous vote was nearly halved to just over 3% (418,553).

The turnout of 83.72% is historically high for Sri Lanka, and the highest anywhere in South Asia.

The voting pattern shows how Sri Lanka stands sharply divided along ethnic lines. The vote for Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the Sinhala-dominated southern districts was very high. The majority in most of the Tamil-speaking districts was for the opposition.

The Tamil-speaking Hill Country voters defied the call for support for Gotabaya made by the CWC Ceylon Workers' Congress which claims to represent them. Instead they voted against Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The anti-Rajapaksa vote in these areas was even higher than in the 2015 presidential election that saw the temporary end of the Rajapaksas' rule.

In 2015, all the minorities' rejection of dictatorial rule, along with the division that existed inside the SLFP (Sri Lanka Freedom Party), resulted in unexpected defeat for the then president, Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, this time, the increase in the vote in the south made sure that this was not repeated.

In a statement released soon after the election result, Mahinda Rajapaksa actually thanked voters for "decisively defeating the 2015-style attempt made to once again purloin the mandate of the people through backroom deals with various chauvinistic, ethnic and religious groupings organised around narrow political agendas".

This is a direct attack on the Tamil and Muslim leaders who turned against the Rajapaksas and tried to make a deal with the UNP to defeat them.

The terrorist bombings that took place at Easter, earlier this year, was also used by the Rajapaksa clan to fan the flames of Sinhala nationalism. The ruling capitalist UNP-led privatisations and the International Monetary Fund-led economic policies have also seen a deterioration in living conditions for many people.

'Strong leader'

In this chaos, Gotabaya presented himself as a 'strong' leader who will sort out the 'terrorist' and other problems, once again. The return of the Rajapaksa family is, however, seen as a return to a dictatorial period - a continuation of where they left off in 2015.

Already announcements are being made about changing the country's constitution to "strengthen" law and order, and making the country more "disciplined".

We have already seen some of the leading military personnel who stand accused of war crimes being promoted. All key ministers have resigned and their places will be filled by the Rajapaksa loyalists. They are expected to call parliamentary elections soon, with the aim of getting more control.

In what was a highly polarised election, the vote for the left, in general, declined. The United Socialist Party's (sister party of the Socialist Party in England and Wales) candidate, Siritunga Jayasuriya, received 3,944 votes -

despite the very favourable reception that the USP got during the election campaign.

The working-class policies that Siritunga popularised during the election campaign are more needed than ever. Creating a mass organisation or even a platform to bring together all those who are in struggle and demanding democratic and economic rights, is essential to strengthen the fightback.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa will not be able to deliver on the empty promises of improving conditions for all workers and poor. He is likely to continue with the privatisation and IMF-led policies, just like the previous president.

Declining economic growth and emerging geo-political tensions will see the conditions that the masses face deteriorate even further. There is an urgent need to build the fight-back. Trade unions, socialists and all activists should come forward to make sure that happens.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 







Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999