‘All nationalist forces must unite to ensure elections are held on time’

Sri Lanka’s future will remain dismal as long as the UNP remains in government and continues to subordinate itself to the whims and fancies of the USA, LSSP General-Secretary, Prof. Tissa Vitarana asserted.

Addressing a Joint Opposition media conference at the Opposition Leader’s office on Wednesday, he said the country is in such a mess that everyone is asking what is happening and what is going to happen? The immediate concern is about any future terrorist attacks.

This danger exists as long as the real leader of the Jihadist faction of the National Thawheed Jama’at (NTJ) remains free. The act of killing himself rules out Zahran. No leader of any movement will kill himself, Prof. Vitarana claimed.

The ruling elite of the USA have got a tight grip on the UNP regime and have been able to bring in its two main intelligence agencies, CIA and FBI, along with their ally Mossad of Israel. It is open knowledge that the USA is the creator of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is implicated as the foreign agency associated with the NTJ Jihadists, he said.

Prof. Vitarana noted that Garikai Chengu, a research scholar at Harvard University, USA, in an article published in the journal Global Research, states that "the 2003 American invasion and occupation of Iraq created the precondition for radical Sunni groups like ISIS to take root. America destroyed Saddam Hussein’s secular state and replaced it with a predominantly Shiite administration.

"The USA occupation caused vast unemployment in Sunni areas (hundreds of thousands). American policy in Iraq created a fertile breeding ground for Sunni discontent from which Al-Qaeda and later ISIS took root in Iraq. After 2010, ISIS refocused its efforts in Syria. America’s Middle East policy revolves on oil and Israel. The invasion of Iraq has partially satisfied Washington’s thirst for oil, but ongoing air strikes on Syria and economic sanctions on Iran have everything to do with Israel. ISIS is not merely an instrument of terror use by America to topple the Syrian Government; it is also used to put pressure on Iran.

"Since its independence in 1776, the USA has been engaged in over 53 military invasions and expeditions. Iran is clearly not the threat to regional security, Washington is", the research scholar further observed.

Garikai Chengu goes on to say that "America is using ISIS in three ways: to attack its enemies in the Middle East, to serve as a pretext for USA military intervention abroad, and at home, to foment a manufactured domestic threat, used to justify the unprecedented expansion of invasive domestic surveillance. Terrorism is an excuse to justify mass surveillance, in case there is preparation for mass revolt (in the USA). Since George W. Bush declared the "War on Terror" in October 2001, It has cost the American tax payer about 6.6 Trillion dollars, and thousands of fallen sons and daughters; but the wars have also raked in billions of dollars for Washington’s military elites. The only way America can win the "War on Terror" is if it stops giving terrorists the motivation and the resources to attack America. Terrorism is the symptom; American imperialism in the Middle East is the cancer. Put simply, the "War on Terror" is terrorism."

Prof. Vitarana further said that what the USA has done in the Middle East is now happening in Sri Lanka. The aim is to keep the UNP regime in power to enable it to effect the Neoliberal transformation that would enable direct exploitation of Sri Lanka’s resources, but without having to conquer it.

He added: "The UNP has helped the USA to undermine Sri Lanka’s independence and sovereignty as well. The SOFA draft agreement will enable the USA to use our military bases at will, with their personnel, including civilians, being exempt from having visas to enter the country.

"In case of any breach of local law, they can only be charged under USA law. The UNP is trying to make Sri Lanka a member state of the USA, with Trincomalee replacing Diego Garcia base that the USA lost after the ICC verdict ended UK occupation of Chagos island".

Continuing, Prof. Vitarana told the news conference that after the Easter Sunday attacks, fortunately Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith prevailed on Sinhala and Tamil Catholics not to attack Muslims. Though thugs tried to attack Muslims and their property in places like Negombo, Minuwangoda and Kuliyapitiya, it was swiftly brought under control by the Police and Armed Forces.

The failure to investigate the charges against those in power, like Minister Baduideen, has led to bitterness. More than 95% of Muslims who are against Jihadism should not be driven into that camp. Boycotting of Muslim shops etc. must be avoided. National unity must be strengthend, he stressed.

Parliamentary democracy must be defended if the country is to have any hope of a future revival. All nationalist forces must unite to ensure that elections are held on time, on the basis of an effective progressive program that gets rid of the neoliberal changes and takes the country on the path of modern development, Prof. Vitarana added.

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