Iron Cages for War Victims
20th December 2016
Comrade SK Senthivel, General Secretary of the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party issued the following statement denouncing Cabinet approval to impose prefabricated steel houses for those rendered homeless by the war.
The Ministry of Resettlement is now planning to impose on the people of the Districts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitheevu, a part of the earlier scheme to provide 65,000 houses prefabricated steel houses, which was already rejected by the people of the District of Jaffna. The Cabinet has authorized the construction of 10,000 prefabricated steel houses in the above districts by the multinational company ArcelorMittal. The New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party strongly condemns the stubbornness of the Ministry of Resettlement to provide the homeless with prefabricated steel houses which are totally unsuited for the lifestyle and long term habitation of the people and will in effect be iron cages. The Party urges that a scheme to provide these people with brick houses should instead be implemented.
Initially ArcelorMittal, the iron and steel multinational, proposed to build these houses at a cost of 2.1 million rupees each. But it was opposed by the public, mass organizations, parliamentarians and Provincial Council members. The proposal seemed to have been abandoned as a result was. But the Ministry in its arrogance to impose the scheme on the people has obtained cabinet approval for it.
The cost per house has now been revised to 1.6 million rupees. Still a far better brick house can be built for much less with local labour and materials; and many of the homeless have already benefitted from schemes to build brick houses. Under the circumstances, what is the justification to impose on the people steel cages in the name of prefabricated housing built by a foreign company using unsalable steel? The obstinacy of the Ministry and approval by the ‘Good Governance’ regime raise questions about ulterior motives. It is highly questionable why a government which waxes eloquent about development has opted to make way for a foreign company rather than choose a local housing scheme.
Hence the Party calls upon the government to take into account the opposition of the people in need of houses and others concerned and abandon the proposed steel prefabricated houses in favour of a scheme for brick housing. That will be true assistance free of ulterior motives that the government could deliver to a desolate people who have lost family, property and housing because of the war.
General Secretary, NDMLP
An Anti-People Budget
16th November 2016
Comrade SK Senthivel, General Secretary of the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party issued on behalf of the Central Committee of the Party the following statement on the Budget for 2017.
The Budget for the Year 2017 put forward by the present government led by Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe referred to as the “Good Governance” regime exposes its true essence and the wrong direction in which it is heading. The Budget contains proposals for further expansion of the foreign import-based economy at the expense of an economy based on agriculture, small industry, fishery and local production. The Budget, thus, paves the way to closely bind the whole country and its economy with neo-colonial, neoliberal globalization.
The Budget has been drafted with liberalized trade, privatization, and welcoming of finance capital as the basic economic policy. As a result, the toiling masses including workers and peasants and the lower middle classes face economic suffocation and starvation. Meanwhile, the Budget offers tax concessions and benefits to the upper crust of society comprising ten percent of the population and the comprador capitalists, foreign investors and big businesses associated with them, and to political forces of the ruling classes that safeguard their interests. Thus there is no doubt that the budget that is being currently debated in parliament is an anti-people budget, and the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party strongly opposes it.
The Budget has been designed to conform to conditions laid down by the IMF as a requirement to provide a loan of 1.5 billion US Dollars as well as to attract foreign investors and finance capital. Indirect taxes that are to be levied, especially the 15% VAT, to reduce budget deficit will subject the entire toiling masses to severe difficulty in their day to day life.
While minimal financial allocations have been made towards agriculture, small industry and fishery, allocation has been curtailed for the educational and health sectors, whose privatization has been given inducements.
The Finance Minister has proposed drastic increases in taxes for mobile telephones, tariff for water supply and penalties for traffic offences among others. Thus this budget can be viewed as one which will directly and indirectly ruin the toiling masses and the lower middle classes. Thus the Budget demonstrates that this government does not constitute a regime of good governance but is an anti-people government, and the Party appeals to the people of the country to strongly oppose it.
General Secretary, NDMLP
A Fair Demand
14th November 2016
Comrade SK Senthivel, General Secretary of the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party issued the following statement on behalf of the Party Politburo on the demand of the Public Health Workers of the Jaffna Municipal Council.
127 cleaning services workers in the Public Health Services Section and 197 workers in the Works Department and other sections of the Jaffna Municipal Council, who have served on a casual/temporary basis over the past six to seven years, have been demanding that they should be made permanent employees. But the Municipal Council administration has kept rejecting the request. Under these conditions, public health and other workers have been on strike since 7.11.2016 to press their demands. Permanency of appointment is fundamental to the sustenance and livelihood of the workers, and their demand is fully justified.
The Party strongly condemns the arrogant dismissive attitude of the Jaffna Municipal Council administration and the top rung of the Northern Provincial Council administration towards the demands of the workers, and urges that the demands are fulfilled immediately.
The reason why workers demand permanency is not to lead a life of luxury but to be able to survive and secure their livelihood as well as to secure their lawful entitlements such as pension. It is in no way just to dodge the issue of permanency of the deprived workers in a way that will threaten their employment and livelihood. It is also unjust to threaten to dismiss the workers who are on strike and to intimidate them with proposals to seek alternative ways to get the work done. It is uncivilized for the administrators of the Jaffna Municipal Council and some ministers of the Northern Provincial Council to take a hierarchical attitude and treat the workers as dregs of society.
In the 1970’s, with Mayors Alfred Duraiappa and A Visvanathan and Special Commissioner CVK Sivagnanam at the helm of the Jaffna Municipal Council, the workers launched struggles based on various demands and on several occasions succeeded in securing rights that were denied to them. Thus the Party urges that they should persevere in struggle to win their demand, and expresses support.
General Secretary, NDMLP
Message to Sri Lanka Ambassador for Cuba in Sri Lanka
Revolutionary Salutations to
Comrade Fidel Castro Ruz
Dear Ambassador for Cuba
We note with great pain the departure on 25th November 2016 of Comrade Fidel Castro Ruz, Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution.
Kindly convey our message of deep appreciation of the services rendered by Comrade Castro to the oppressed people of the World.
His leading role in the liberation and the revolutionary transformation of Cuba has been an inspiration to the entire oppressed people and nations of the world for nearly 58 years and will remain so for a long time to come. His sustained brave defence of the Cuban revolution and socialism as well as his support for several other countries, especially in Latin America and Africa, in facing the most vicious imperialist conspiracy and aggression has been exemplary, especially during the most difficult years for Cuba as well as socialism, with his firmness in principle all along was a pillar of strength to people struggling for social justice.
The example set by Cuba in serving the people ― especially in addressing essential social needs ― under his guidance, which continued even after his formal stepping down as leader but without abandoning active interest deserves emulation by all nations.
No number of words will suffice to express our appreciation of Comrade Castro.
We conclude with our Fraternal Salutations to a Great Revolutionary and Leader of Humanity whose loss is enormous not only to Cuba but to the entire humanity.
New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party of Sri Lanka
Revolutionary Tributes to Comrade Castro
Meetings were held on 4th December 2016 at five venues across the country by the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party and the Mass Movement for Social Justice to pay revolutionary tribute to the great revolutionary leader Comrade Fidel Castro Ruz who passed away on 25th November 2016.
Jaffna: Comrade S Thevarajah chaired the meeting organized by the Jaffna Regional Branch of the Party and Comrades SK Senthivel, K Thanikasalam, T. Sri Prakash and S Thanujan addressed the meeting.
Vavuniya: Comrade N Pradeepan chaired the meeting organized by the Vavuniya Regional Branch. The meeting was addressed by Comrades V Mahendran, Chandrapadman, Mahendran, KK Arunthavaraja, N Praveena and R Rajesvaran.
Matale: Comrade David Suren chaired the meeting organized by the Matale Regional Branch. Comrades S Mohanraj, Jazeema Ismail and Manivel Rudra also addressed the meeting.
Ragala: Comrade P Mariyathas chaired the meeting organized by the Ragala Regional Branch of the Party, and Comrades S Mohanarajan, Ragala Panneer and Semmalar Mohan.
Colombo: The meeting organized by the Mass Movement for Social Justice was chaired by Dr S Sivasegaram, and the main address was by TG-Z MeeNilankco. The talk was followed by discussion and films on the life and politics of Comrade Castro.
International Day of Struggle to Save the Natural Environment
A meeting was organized by the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party on 12 November 2016 under the banner of the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) in Jaffna to mark the International Day of Struggle to Save the Natural Environment.
The speakers were Comrades SK Senthivel, K Thanikasalam, S Sivasegaram and S Thanujan. The talks emphasized the dangers posed by the growing environmental crisis, the dominant role of capitalism in creating and aggravating the crisis and the significance of the anti-imperialist struggle to the struggle to protect the environment.
Political Public Seminar
The New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party, Matale Region conducted a public seminar titled “Will the Governance Regime Relieve the Toiling Masses of their Sorrows?” in Matale on 26th November 2016. The well attended meeting was chaired by Comrade David Suren, Matale Regional Secretary of the Party. Comrade V Mahendran, National Organizer addressed the Meeting in Sinhala and Comrade SK Senthivel, General Secretary of the Party, delivered the main address in Tamil. The discussion that followed was in both languages.
The Hill Country Mass Organization for Social Justice organized signature campaigns in the Ragala–NuwaraEliya region and in Matale protesting against the Collective Agreement between the Employers Federation and leading Trade Unions in view of the deceptive nature of the agreements thus far and the contemptuous way in which the renegotiation of the agreement due in 2015 has been handled. There was strong favourable response from plantation workers and the public.