“The imperialist-backed Sri Lankan regime has waged a decades-long bloody war against the large Tamil minority. In its final murderous offensive in 2009, government forces destroyed the remnants of the Tamil mini-state in the North and East of the island, slaughtering tens of thousands of Tamil civilians. Hundreds of thousands more were interned in horrific prison camps and interrogation centres. We uphold the right to self-determination for the oppressed Tamil people and stood for the military defence of the LTTE against the army assault. At the same time we give no political support to these bourgeois nationalists. Carrying out the logic of nationalism, the LTTE has staged attacks on Sinhalese villagers and driven Muslims from the historic Tamil city of Jaffna, while employing murderous violence against other Tamil nationalist groups.
“Four years after the crushing defeat of LTTE forces, many Tamils still remain confined in camps and the military is an ongoing, large and menacing presence in Tamil regions. The Rajapaksa government continues to use the Prevention of Terrorism Act to repress Tamil civil rights and the population in general. Disappearances, abductions, arrests, torture and rape by the police and military are widely reported along with deaths in custody and extrajudicial killings. A recent Amnesty International report detailed pervasive government-sanctioned repression against journalists, political opponents and human-rights activists. As Sinhala racism escalates, there have also been increasing attacks by Buddhist fundamentalist groups on the small Muslim community.
“There are numerous reports of Tamils being deported back to Sri Lanka only to be arrested, some before they even get out of the airport. This hasn’t deterred the Gillard government from deporting more than 1,000 Sri Lankans since August last year. Echoing Sri Lankan government lies, the Australian government deems them ‘economic migrants.’ Catherine Renshaw, a Sydney University PhD candidate, noted: ‘There is an easily discernible quid pro quo operating here. Australia refrains from seriously criticising the government of Sri Lanka for abuses of power, human rights violations and the failure to fully investigate war crimes committed during the years of conflict. For its part, Sri Lanka’s government does everything in its power to stop Sri Lankans setting sail for Australia.’ (theconversation.com, 3 May).”
“Our relations with the Revolutionary Workers Party (RWP) of Edmund Samarakkody in the 1970s constitute a significant chapter in that difficult, long and uneven struggle. By the time of his death in January 1992, Samarakkody’s revolutionary days were well behind him. But at one time, this founding member of the Ceylonese Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) represented a rare breed: a militant won to Trotskyism in the late 1930s who had not been utterly compromised and corrupted by homegrown popular-frontism or by the revisionist current of Michel Pablo, which had destroyed the Fourth International in 1951-53. In outlining the prospects for revolutionary regroupment, the 1974 declaration of the international Spartacist tendency, now the International Communist League, took particular note of Samarakkody’s RWP as having ‘emerged with integrity from the welter of betrayals perpetrated by the old LSSP’ and abetted by the Pabloite United Secretariat (USec) of Ernest Mandel and the craven ‘International Committee’ (IC) of Gerry Healy (ibid.).”
“Dear Comrades, I am addressing you on the matter of our party’s public silence concerning the recent and continuing betrayal of the Ceylonese working class and of the world Trotskyist movement by the Lanka Sama Samaja Party. I refer, of course, to that party’s entry into a ‘Popular Front’ electoral pact with the Stalinist party and with the left bourgeois nationalist party represented by the widow Bandaranaike.”
“Ervin’s treatment of this pseudo-Marxist adventurer, who figured prominently in the Bukharinite Right Opposition from its inception in 1928, is a piece of philistine idolatry fully in line with bourgeois academic studies of Indian Communism, in which Roy is far from neglected. What distinguishes Roy, and makes him attractive to such types, is that he embodied the revisionist endeavour of trying to blend Communism and nationalism. In pursuit of this effort, Roy became a vulgar democrat who pushed the bourgeois ideology of nationalism, albeit with some Communist colouration, making him an opponent of the fight for a Leninist vanguard party based on proletarian internationalism.”
"Hundreds of thousands of Tamils remain locked in camps almost entirely off limits to journalists, human rights investigators and political leaders.
"The Sri Lankan government has portrayed its final battle against the 26-year insurgency by the Tamil Tigers, which ended in late May with the killing of the group’s leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, as a rescue mission to liberate civilians held hostage by one of the world’s richest and most ruthless armed groups, branded terrorists by governments across the globe.
"[Sri Lankan president Mahinda] Rajapaksa said that the residents of the camps, which the government refers to as 'welfare villages,' must be confined, because anyone could be a hidden rebel."
"The death toll will add to concerns that the Sri Lankan Government has failed to halt a humanitarian catastrophe after announcing victory over the Tamil Tiger terrorist organisation in May. It may also lend credence to allegations that the Government, which has termed the internment sites 'welfare villages', has actually constructed concentration camps to house 300,000 people.
"Most of the deaths are the result of water-borne diseases, particularly diarrhoea, a senior relief worker said on condition of anonymity.
"Witness testimonies obtained by The Times in May described long queues for food and inadequate water supplies inside Manik Farm. Women, children and the elderly were shoved aside in the scramble for supplies. Aid agencies are being given only intermittent access to the camp."
"The Sri Lankan authorities have insisted that their forces stopped using heavy weapons on April 27 and observed the no-fire zone where 100,000 Tamil men, women and children were sheltering. They have blamed all civilian casualties on Tamil Tiger rebels concealed among the civilians.
"Aerial photographs, official documents, witness accounts and expert testimony tell a different story. With the world’s media and aid organisations kept well away from the fighting, the army launched a fierce barrage that began at the end of April and lasted about three weeks. The offensive ended Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war with the Tamil Tigers, but innocent civilians paid the price.
"Confidential United Nations documents acquired by The Times record nearly 7,000 civilian deaths in the no-fire zone up to the end of April. UN sources said that the toll then surged, with an average of 1,000 civilians killed each day until May 19, the day after Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Tamil Tigers, was killed. That figure concurs with the estimate made to The Times by Father Amalraj, a Roman Catholic priest who fled the no-fire zone on May 16 and is now interned with 200,000 other survivors in Manik Farm refugee camp. It would take the final toll above 20,000. 'Higher,' a UN source told The Times. 'Keep going.'"
"In what may be the final chapters of one of the world's longest-running civil wars, Sri Lankan troops say they are close to crushing the remnants of the once-potent Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Yet the military operation comes at a high price for civilians.
"Aid groups and officials say that dozens of civilians trapped in the war zone are being killed and wounded every day. Determined to press ahead with its operation against a guerrilla force that has in the past ruthlessly attacked both military and civilian targets, the Sri Lankan government refuses to effect a ceasefire that would allow the evacuation of wounded people. It has also shut off the area from the outside world."
"Yet as frightening as the disappearances, and perhaps more likely to cause further conflict over time, is the government's unabashed campaign of 'Sinhalization.' Historic sites commemorating ancient Tamil kingdoms have, in the months since the government took control of the area, suddenly become memorials to Sinhalese kingdoms. Some Tamils stopped at checkpoints can no longer give the names of their home villages, because those places have new Sinhala names, local and international human-rights monitors say."