Heavy waves of protests have shaken Sri Lanka for weeks now. The protesters were sparked by the sharp worsening of the economic situation in the country but protesters demand the resignation of President Rajapaksa. The Lankan rulers, very experienced with repression and terror against the people, have reacted with restrictions.
The protests have erupted against the economic shortages. The people have been enduring up to 13 hours of daily power cuts during the hottest time of the year, long lines for fuel and shortages of food staples like milk powder and rice. Hospitals are short of essential medicines and have started triage. Many people have died while waiting in line for food and fuel.
This is accompanied by raging inflation of 17,5%. The Sri Lankan rupee depreciated further, having fallen 33 percent against the dollar since the beginning of the year. Sri Lanka is heavily indebted ($25 billion), lastly to imperialist countries, that through the institution of the IMF have demanded their debt back. It is a policy of the imperialists to keep the oppressed nations under their control. Of course the Lankan people should pay it back with their living standard.
Rajapaksa has already used means like tear gas, water cannons and public shutdowns against the protests, during which, 664 people were arrested during the first 12 hours of the curfew. 50 people were injured. There is no official report of deaths in the protests so far. But the Lankan rulers have experience with repressing people’s movements, like during the civil war against the Tamil Tigers, who fought for the right of self-determination of the Tamil nationality. The war ended with a genocide of the Tamil people.
Of course, the “Western” imperialists are trying to instrumentalize the protests, with an army of “human rights”-analysists and NGOs condemning the government. This is no principal contradiction to Rajapaksa, a loyal henchmen, as long as the conflict goes against the people. But the growing influence of Chinese social imperialism is of great concern for the “West”. Let us not forget the interest mainly US imperialism has in a possible “regieme change” in the island-state.
The Lankan peoples must find their own way against this hardship. The dire situation now is proof to many who supported Rajapaksa because of the Great-Sinhalese-Buddhist chauvinism his fascist state spread, that Rajapaksa is no friend of any people of Sri Lanka, not the Tamils, not the Sinhalese, only the imperialists.