Sri Lanka - ys13.en

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Country report in brief - by Chaturanga Bandara

Sri Lankan government facing heavy economic hardships and debt trap due to its blindly implementation of IMF development blunders. End of the year 2011 the amount of Govt. debt 5133.4 billion Rupees and the end of 2012 it increase to 6,000.01 billion: Rs.(1 $ = around Rs.132) It is 17% increase. The Govt. annual debt servicing payment now become 103% of its full annual revenue. That means it has to got new loans to pay back even interests and installments. Then as IMF instructs to increase Govt. revenues. But the only its major development projects were and will be the infrastructure projects which is no returns and sex tourism including child sex. No plan to develop production sector specially new industries and value added industries based on agriculture. No capital reserves to research on that. Then only way to increase Govt. revenue is to increase indirect tax.(80% of govt. revenue come from tax and 80% of tax revenue taken by indirect taxes) And increase high degrees of tariffs for electricity, water supply, Telecommunication etc. Past years this measures were usual. Then continues high inflation and now cost of living index rising to double digit - 10%. It results workers, farmers, and other ordinary are facing very much economical hardships. Especially salary earners income in real means coming down monthly.

They ask salary increases. Loan facilities and Govt. give very little to Govt. servants but nothing suppose to private sector. The payments of Cost of Living Index also either cut down in big way or completely ceased by private sector employees. To increase emancipation of labour they start to Use contract systems, outsource labour systems, new working shift arrangements, taking factories to rural areas, cutting down loan schemes and other facilities etc. Of course, most of these measures are anti existing Labour laws and regulations; unfortunate is the labour department now works on behalf of employer but not for employee. The high decrease of Health Care and Govt. Free Education, (which are the only existing subsidy service) are another new big economical burden to working masses. The only subsidy got by paddy farmers is for fertilizer. But now it also cut down shapely. And because the resources of water pollution by using arsenic compounded pesticides and low quality cheap (subsidized) fertilizer now the farmers families face serious kidney troubles. And without real attention to it, it is now spreading like epidemic in this main paddy districts. And the blind implementation of IMF policies, in various other areas also facing water pollution as big problem. Middle of last week in Veliveriya area (sub urban area - Just about 25 km, far from Colombo) the masses who are inhabitants of 7 villages around the Veliveriya town; came to streets asking drinking water and removal of the big factory which if responsible for pollute the under ground water recourses in about the area of 10-15 squire km: with acid. Police try to control the thousands of masses but military intervene and open fire to the masses three young boys died and fore other still in critical condition hundreds lingered. Agitations and demonstrations conducted by youth and students org.s. for fare employment and more resources for Education; brutally attract by Police usually.

Now the unrest of working class and the farmers unrest is very high now. They try to fight back to gain their social and economical demands. By the ruthless, Barbaric civil war conduced by this coalition Govt. which is give rise to victorious anti Tamil chauvinist mood in the Sinhalese Buddhist majority(within the working class as well) are declining. Now slowly they coming to understanding what is real result of war. Nothing to them but lost the things they ever had. But everything to ruling elite, corrupted new layers of bourgeoisie and to global powers. The unfortunate is still the most of Left and TU leaders are in or supportive to coalition govt. By them, the Sinhalese Buddhist chauvinist (SBC) forces in the govt. take advantage and organize oppression and direct attacks to minorities (now specially to Muslims)- and minority religions ( Muslim, Christian, catholic.) And use that to resume and maintain the chauvinist mood within the masses and try to confuse the emerging class and social struggles. And the continues agitations to restore the democracy conducting by "Vipaksaye Virodaya" ( "VV" - Protest of the opposition).

This is the main political joint campaign forum which is mainly fight for, Immediate Implementation of LLRC recommendations (the proposals include devolution of power to minorities); Implementation of 17 th constitutional amendment (this amend: control the Presidential Powers specially on judiciary, Police, Govt. administration and Elections) and delete 18 th amend:(which is consolidate more dictatorial powers to President); Against to be a economical slave of IMF and etc. Actually this "VV" Campaigning tirelessly agitates against chauvinist forces (who are in and out of the government) to defend the 13th amendment and immediate call the North Provincial Council Elections (After 25 years). At last SBC chauvinists failed and now the North elections are going on. It is big victory for democratic forces. Now in the middle of this week (14th Aug.) "VV" and some other mass organizations get together and organize a massive agitation against State Terror in front of Colombo Fort Railway station.

The collapse of judicial system further weakens the demand on the rulers for accountability and transparency. Politicalisation of Police Dept. and state administration network pave the way to semi fascist attacks and crippled and weekend law and order institutions provides a space for furthered atrocities and crimes against the minorities. In this scenario barbarism come out as a common feature in the whole society. Politically backed lumpan and underground gangs start to control the society. Every day come out news on continuing torture incidents, rape (specially younger age children), and other forms of sexual violence against women and children, trafficking girls and incidents of using them forcefully as prostitutes, murders, robberies etc...etc.

How ever we fight back with our own frontal organizations (leading by party comrades), in our TU base and as one of a leading participant in VV campaign.