The way forward for the Tamils (Edmund Samarakkody)

The way forward for the Tamils

There is simply no solution to the oppression of the Tamils in Sri Lanka within the framework of capitalism – this is clear enough from all that has happened, and from the present policies of the two main Sinhala bourgeois parties, the UNP and SLFP. Only through the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of socialism is it possible to lay the foundations for equal rights for Tamils in relation to the majority Sinhala people.

But there is no question of waiting for this solution to fall from the skies. The struggle for the rights of the Tamils must continue, but with different methods. It is basic to the success of this struggle that all sections of the Tamil masses must be mobilised on the basis of their separate demands for struggle against the capitalist government of Jayewardene. Such mobilisation of the Tamil masses need not and cannot be separated from the mobilisation of the Sinhala masses who are also suffering under the oppressive Jayewardene government in numerous ways. Such joint mobilisation will not be a dream if the left parties break sharply from opportunism and Sinhala chauvinism and adopt an anti-capitalist perspective.

It is inescapable that such mobilisation and such struggle calls for revolutionary leadership that has to be built from revolutionaries among the Tamils, the Sinhalese and all sections of the workers and toilers irrespective of nationality, religion or caste. And in regard to the problems of the Tamil people such a leadership must take its stand by unequivocally supporting the rights of the Tamils to self-determination, that is the right to a separate state.