NDMLP Statement to the Media
1st March 2016
Release Tamil Political Detainees
Comrade SK Senthivel, General Secretary of the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party issued the following statement on the delay in releasing Tamil political detainees.
The so-called “Good Governance” government continues to refuse the release of Tamil political prisoners who have been detained without trial for a long time. This makes one ask whether the intention of the government is to kill them in prison. Tamil detainees have frequently launched hunger strikes to press their demand for release. They are presently on one such protest. As a result their health has deteriorated. Their struggle demanding release is fully justified. The New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party urges that the Maithri-Ranil regime which talks much about reconciliation, humanitarianism and democracy should at least now release Tamil political prisoners without delay.
The NDMLP, through the National Organization for the Release of Political Prisoners comprising the Party and other left, progressive and democratic parties and organizations, has conducted a number of mass activities to secure the release of Tamil political prisoners. Recently a Party delegation visited Tamil political prisoners at the Magazine Prison and inquired from them of their conditions. The same day, the delegation visited the Human Rights Commission and had discussions about the plight of the prisoners and about the prospects of taking legal action. During the discussions we pleaded for the urgent release of the detainees.
There are long sagas of sorrow of prison life behind every political prisoner. The physical and mental health of political prisoners has deteriorated owing to prolonged detention. Their parents, siblings and spouses are suffering. Anti-terrorism legislation is blocking the release of political prisoners. Hence the Party re-emphasizes rescinding the legislation. The UN Commissioner for Human Rights who visited the country recently said that General Amnesty for political prisoners is not possible and that the law has to be followed. This too turned out in favour of the government. The Tamil leadership remains silent on the matter. Why is the Tamil leadership hesitant to point out that political prisoners have been granted General Amnesty thrice before in Sri Lanka.
The Party strongly condemns the indifference of the government when there is room for the release of political prisoners under General Amnesty or through legal procedure by the Attorney General’s Department.
New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party
NDMLP Statement to the Media
26th December 2015
Experts’ Report on Chunnakam Water
Comrade SK Senthivel, General Secretary of the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party issued the following statement on the Report of the Northern Provincial Council’s Committee of Experts on Chunnakam Water.
The Committee of Experts appointed by the Northern Provincial Council has failed to give a clear answer to the question whether the water in the wells surrounding the Chunnakam electrical power station is potable. As a result, there is suspicion whether the Committee of Experts is attempting to conceal the truth from the people. Hence the Northern Provincial Council and the Government should break their silence and provide the due answers. The President should directly intervene in the matter and affirm the right of the people to clean water.
During the past year up to 500 wells in the four Regional Secretariats surrounding the Chunnakam electrical power station have been polluted with waste oil. Mass campaigns were conducted to demand clean water and to determine who was responsible for the contamination. The Water Supply and Drainage Board and activity groups for clean water published reports which said that the water was not potable owing to waste oil contamination. The matter of waste oil contamination of groundwater went to the law courts. Suspicions were that Northern Power, an electric power generation company was responsible for the contamination. It was at this stage that the Northern Provincial Council appointed its Committee of Experts. The Preliminary Report of the Committee was woolly.
The present Final Report also seems to conceal the truth. This report by the Committee of Experts rather than comment on the contaminated groundwater in Chunnakam draws attention to faecal matter and nitrates in the groundwater of the Jaffna peninsula. This is barking up the wrong tree. Thereby the Committee of Experts appointed by the Northern Provincial Council appears to be concealing the truth. At the same time the silence of the Provincial Council and the Ministry concerned are causing stronger suspicion among the public.
On 13th April 2015, the Party explained to the President by urgent letter the problem of water contamination. The Presidential Secretariat informed it that the Water Supply and Drainage Board will take the necessary steps. The Party hence urges the Central Government and the Provincial Council to take necessary steps to provide the people with clean water.
New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party
NDMLP Media Briefing at Matale
28th November 2015
The New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party held a media briefing at Matale on Saturday 28th November 2015 at the auditorium of the Serico Restaurant, Matale. NDMLP General Secretary Comrade SK Senthivel who participated in the briefing made the following statement:
The Rajapaksa government conducted its one-man dictatorship in a fascistic manner for nine years and the NDMLP, like other democratic, progressive and left forces, struggled alongside the ordinary working masses to bring down the regime. The coalition referred to as the regime of “Good Governance” has been in power for eleven months. But the reality is that the little faith that the people had in it gradually declining. The absence thus far of a pro-people solution for the economic crisis and the national question ― the two major issues confronting the people ― deserves criticism and condemnation. Good governance exists only in name, but what goes on in practice is a continuation of the old order. Ranil Wickremesinghe through his economic schemes is affirming that he is a legitimate successor to JR Jayewardene.
Ours is essentially an agricultural country with a 75% rural structure. Planning should be according to objective conditions in the country and consider geographical, political, social and cultural features. The country cannot be developed by imitating other countries. Today, 43% of the population is living on two US dollars (Rs 260) or less per day. This is due to the success of the open economic policy and neo-colonial practices pursued since 1977.
The present budget is based on the advice of experts from the World Bank, the IMF, the US and countries of the West. It appears that attempts are afoot by the regime of the UNP, the SLFP and their allies to curtail state welfare, cut grants, impose further taxes on the people, and lay hands on the Employees Welfare Fund and the Employees Trust Fund. Further, devious moves are noticeable in the name of modernizing pensions. The revolutionary budget of the ‘Good Governance’ regime while increasing charges for testing motor vehicles to test combustion and smoke has removed obstacles for foreigners to buy land.
Distant lights are shown that there will be a solution for the national question in the proposed new Constitution. How can we expect a government which is reluctant to devolve power to provincial and local government to put forward a just solution? It is said that the government by enabling R Sampanthan to become Leader of the Opposition than let the opposition elect the Leader of the Opposition seeks to achieve reconciliation. Then, why is no effort made to build reconciliation through the unconditional release of political prisoners?
The good governance regime is only implementing a programme to please big capitalists and the US, Western and Indian masters. The good governance regime, through attacking students, has declared its position that it will suppress mass struggles.
Women’s Day Event
On 12th March 2016 a Women’s Day celebration event was held at the Kavignar Murukaiyan Auditorium of the Deshiya Kalai Ilakkiyap Peravai, Jaffna. The meeting was chaired by Ms Srilekha Perinpakumar. Following the address from the chair Ms Vaideki Balamurali delivered the keynote address followed by special addresses by Mr M Mauran and Ms Vahni Kathirkamanahan. A debate followed on the theme of modern day woman, addressed by Ms Vidurshika Sivaramachandran, Ms Kejika Sritharan, Ms Dilakshana Thangaraja and Ms Dilajni Ratnasingam.
Street Blockade by Plantation Workers to Protest Non-payment of wages
Workers from five divisions of the Sembuwatte Estate, Elkaduwa, Matale District have been on a demonstration from 10th December obstructing the main road since their wage dues remained unpaid by 10th December. Local and foreign tourists visiting the Sembuwatte Lake, a noted tourist attraction, had to be turned back as a result.
The workers held placards demanding payment of outstanding wage after deducting the Deepavali festival advance, an increase of daily wage to Rs. 1000, the provision of infrastructural facilities, submission to the public accounts for the more than two million rupees earned from tourists visiting the Sembuwatte Lake, tidying of the plantations and payment of wages on schedule, among others.
The people of the plantations said that if the outstanding wage was not paid by 11th December, they would launch massive campaigns in Matale by bringing together the 20 divisions of the nine estates belonging to the Elkaduwa Plantation Company. They also declared that they will teach a proper lesson to politicians and trade union leaders when they come to canvass for votes in elections to come.
The Hill Country Mass Organization for Social Rights supported the campaign by the workers.
Release of Political Prisoners
Demonstration in Matale
28th November 2015
An awareness demonstration was held at the Clock Tower Junction, Matale on Sunday 15th November 2015 by the Hill Country Mass Organization for Social Rights demanding the release of political detainees on continuous hunger strike in various prisons n the country. Members of families of detainees and members of the New Democratic Youth League, New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party, Frontline Socialist Party and the National Movement for the Release of Political Prisoners participated in the demonstration.
Human Rights Day Demonstration
A demonstration was held on Human Rights Day, 10th November 2015, demanding due answers regarding those who have been disappeared, freedom for political prisoners, nullification of ant-terrorism legislation and respect all human rights was held in Vavuniya. Participants in this demonstration organized by the Committee for Investigation of Disappearance included the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party as well as the Vavuniya Citizens’ Committee, The Nava Samasamaja Party the Tamil National Alliance and the Tamil National Peoples’ Front.
A procession from the Vavuniya Bus Station to Vairavapuliyangkulam followed the demonstration with massive participation by the people, and the day’s events concluded with a conference.
Comrade KA Subramaniam Commemorated
The 26th commemoration of Comrade KA Subramaniam, revolutionary forerunner of the communist movement and founder General Secretary of the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party, was held in Colombo at the Kailasapathy Auditorium of the Deshiya Kalai Ilakkiyap Peravai, Colombo 6 from 4.00 p.m. on 29th November 2015.
Comrade Tharmalingam Sriprakash delivered the keynote address titled “Politics of Accommodation and Politics of Antagonism in the Resolution of the National Question” at the meeting chaired by Comrade TG-Z Meenilankco.
The meeting was also addressed by Comrades M Mayuran and David Suren who commented on the keynote address. A discussion followed.
The 26th commemoration of Comrade KA Subramaniam was held in Jaffna at the Kavignar Murukaiyan Auditorium of the Deshiya Kalai Ilakkiyap Peravai, Jaffna from 4.00 p.m. on 12th December 2015.
Paramsothy Thanges, Researcher in Social Anthropology at the East London University delivered the keynote address titled “Contradictions, Exile and Caste Transformation” at the meeting chaired by Comrade K Thanikasalam. The talk was followed by a discussion.
Comrade Klaus Wallenstein in Sri Lanka
Comrade Klaus Wallenstein, a longstanding member of the Central Committee of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (Marxistisch-Leninistische Partei Deutschlands, MLPD), visited Sri Lanka in February 2016 and had cordial discussions with leading comrades of the Marxist-Leninist New-Democratic Party in Colombo, Jaffna and the Hill County.
Particular attention was paid to the strengthening the bond between the NDMLP and the MLPD and exchange of views on all matters of common interest. Among issues discussed were the overall international situation, the global economic and political crisis, solidarity with liberation struggles, the environment and gender issues. Discussions also covered specific issues relating to the political climate in Europe, and Germany in particular, and the prevailing situation in South Asia and Sri Lanka.
Comrade Wallenstein also addressed invited members of the public in Colombo, Jaffna and Matale and discussed a range of issues with them.
The NDMLP is thankful to Comrade Wallenstein for spending time with the Party and for his encouragement and support and promise of extended cooperation between the two parties.
Thanking Comrade Stefan and Welcoming Comrade Monika
International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR), of which the NDMLP is a member organization, announced late in 2015, that Comrade Stefan Engel, owing to health problems, would like to step down as Main Coordinator of ICOR, but will continue to play an active role in ICOR in keeping with his state of health. ICOR also proposed the name of Comrade Monika Engel as the new Main Coordinator. Both proposals were overwhelmingly adopted by member organizations.
The NDMLP at the intimation of the new development in ICOR expressed its salutations to Comrade Stefan for his outstanding contribution to the revolutionary cause as Chairman of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD) and Main Coordinator of ICOR, and endorsed his decision to step down based on personal circumstances, and welcomed Comrade Monika as the new Main Coordinator of ICOR and pledged to continue its fullest cooperation with ICOR.