Scandals and corruption allegations rock nation as people struggle to survive in pandemic economy facing multiple challenges

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Said it focuses on a small section of the capitalist class

Little support for small traders and SMEs

No comprehensive development program for the agricultural sector

The exploitation of farmers continues without any government. Support

Opposition to Yugadanavi deal welcomed

The Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), formed on December 18, 1935, celebrates its 86th birthday on December 17 at the party’s headquarters. The theme is “development towards poverty eradication and for social justice,” party leader Tissa Vitarana said in a press release critical of the 2022 budget.

“There has to be a well thought out plan to face and overcome the economic crisis, as well as the health issues, Covid-19 and hunger. While supporting the proposal to have a development oriented budget, it would seem that it focuses on a small part of the capitalist class but does not cover the global economy.

“For example, there was little support for small traders and SMEs. It is disappointing that there is no comprehensive development program for the agricultural sector. This includes ensuring the production and supply of adequate fertilizers.

“The farmer’s operation continues without any government support through purchasing and marketing arrangements like the marketing department. High food prices are mainly due to exploitation by mill owners and traders. Strengthening producer and consumer cooperatives would eliminate the profits of middlemen.

But he qualified: “In addition to food self-sufficiency, the government’s decision to promote local value-added industry is welcome. The foundations laid by the Ministry of Science and Technology through the Vidatha movement at the level of SMEs and SLINTEC and SLIBTEC at the high technology level must be further strengthened. Sri Lanka must become an industrialized country. “

He insisted that the threat of US-led imperialism continues and must be fought. It aims to take control of our economy through the MCC agreement and establish a military base on the basis of the SOFA agreement.

“The resounding defeat of the UNP and its allies by the people in the last legislative elections with the victory of the SLPP, prevented the signing of these two dangerous agreements. But these efforts by the United States continue and the people led by progressive forces inside and outside government must counter all of these efforts, ”he said.

“The resistance to the divestiture of the 40% stake in the Yugadanavi project, with the danger that the United States will control our electricity production, is welcome. Sri Lanka should adhere to the principle that national assets should not be sold to foreigners, and the quest for self-sufficiency should be intensified.

“The LSSP urges all progressive and nationalist forces to step up the fight against these measures by the United States and its allies, both foreign and local. However, this should not prevent us from getting help from friendly countries like India, China and Cuba which are not imperialist and focus on increasing trade for mutual benefit. But we welcome real help from all countries, even the United States. “

The statement continued:

“The problem of poverty persists, with 60% of Sri Lankan families living below the poverty line. The problems of unemployment and underemployment continue to seriously affect their income and their purchasing power, even most of them. Along with rising high prices and with no effort on the part of the government to reduce this by strengthening the cooperative movement, both wholesale and retail, people are living in hunger and some have only one meal per day.

“The rate of malnutrition has risen to 18%, which means that one in five children is sick and the rest are affected to some extent as well. This has a negative effect on their growth not only of the body but also of the mind. If this continues, the next generation will tend to be stunted, thin, and with inferior mental capacity.

“In my opinion, the government should prioritize the provision of adequate food and other basic necessities to all citizens. The development effort (motorways etc.) may be delayed. The government should carry out a proper assessment of those who suffer from hunger and the weekly provision of free dry rations should be instituted.

“It is good that the desire to control the Covid-19 pandemic, where the government has actively intervened through its vaccination program, is welcome, although we have some reservations about the safety of Pfizer and other mRNA vaccines. . It is now incumbent on people to respect preventive health rules (wearing masks, social distancing, frequent hand washing with soap and water and avoiding crowds). When this is not observed, the government must apply it, setting up specialized committees to monitor covid if necessary.

“Thus, the LSSP continues its anti-imperialist and anti-big capitalism policy to solve the problems of the people. We must move in a socialist direction by strengthening the participation of the state in the agricultural, industrial and commercial sectors of the economy. In addition, the move towards a “solidarity economy” should be stepped up. All deficit institutions, both public and private, must be managed according to the principles of solidarity.

“This means that they should be corporate functions (eg, a 30-year lease when government land is used), which belong only to employees of those institutions. This will not only give them a sense of ownership leading to a greater commitment to improving the performance of institutions, but will also ensure that they get an equal share of the benefits.

“The Workers’ Board of Directors will select professional and technical staff only on merit. This proposal is not an ideal dream. It is practiced in several countries abroad, even in Europe. For example, in the state of Kerala, India, where the TATA claimed they were managing the tea plantations (63,000 hectares) at a loss, the left-wing government took over the land and operated it on the principle of solidarity. “

Not only did they become large for-profit companies, but they also generated greater enthusiasm among the workers who got a share of the profits in addition to their regular wages. All theft and misconduct has ended because they have a sense of ownership. The LSSP demands that this policy be implemented not only in the plantation sector but in all public and private institutions, especially where they operate at a loss. This would increase productivity and also help in the transition to socialism. “

Vitarana continued, “It was the LSSP that led the struggle for independence against imperialism and poverty in Sri Lanka from 1935. It built a strong trade union movement to win workers’ rights. She led the fight against poverty by establishing a social welfare state. Leadership has been given by Dr. NMPerera, Dr. Covin R.de Silva, Leslie Goonewardene, Bernard Soysa and others. “

This struggle must continue along the lines mentioned above for the development of the country for the benefit of all its people, regardless of community differences, as a united Sri Lankan nation. The struggle inside and outside the prison for independence and the rights of the people that our founding leaders started must continue in the direction of socialism.

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