Sri Lankan president’s Independence Day speech exposes deep crisis of rule


Sri Lankan president’s Independence Day speech exposes deep crisis of rule

Vijith Samarasinghe

9 February 2019

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena delivered a speech to mark the country’s National Independence Day which summed up the hypocrisy, political decay and deep crisis of capitalist rule in the country. The independence ceremony was held at Galle Face Green in Central Colombo on February 4.

The celebration was dominated by military parades. Military officers provided commentary boasting of the role that each regiment played during the bloody 30-year communal war by successive Sri Lankan governments to suppress the Tamil minority and divide the working class along ethnic lines.

Invitees to the ceremony included political leaders, the military top brass, Colombo diplomats and religious leaders including Buddhist prelates. Their presence alone graphically demonstrated that the event had nothing to do with working people and the poor.

Significantly, the guest of honour was the newly-elected Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih who was installed in a regime-change operation by the US and India to scuttle China’s strategic influence in that country. The Maldivian opposition which rallied behind Solih operated mostly from Sri Lanka. By honouring him, every faction of the Sri Lankan ruling elite is seeking the blessing of the US imperialism.

Sirisena began his speech by lamenting: “It is sad to note that the leaders of our history, including us, are responsible for the inability to find a clear political solution that all can agree on, although a decade has passed after the end of the 30-year war.”

The war ended with the military defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May 2009. During the final offensives, tens of thousands Tamil…

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