Journey from nobodies to somebodies | Daily News

Journey from nobodies to somebodies

Human rights movement refers to a nongovernmental social movement engaged in activism related to the issues of human rights. Today some believe that HR issues should be kept outside of politics; mainly left politics. However the foundations of the global human rights movement involve resistance to: colonialism, imperialism, slavery, racism, apartheid, patriarchy, and oppression of indigenous peoples. Clearly these subjects are closely related to the struggle of Samasamajism locally and internationally.

A key principle of the human rights movement is its appeal to universality: the idea that all human beings should struggle in solidarity for a common security and human values. This is exactly the basic Samasamajist principle. Due to the rise of Stalinism and association of communism in Russia and China with regimes without political freedom, there came a split between Samasamajism and human rights.

The activities of the International Federation for Human Rights (originally the International Labour Organization)—founded in France by the international labour movement in the 1920s—can be seen as a precursor to the modern movements. This organisation was quickly embraced by the United States and European powers. They wanted to show; at that stage, that Liberal democracy is the counter to the dictatorial ‘Communism’. Hence for them human rights is a way to counteract the Stalinist call for global solidarity among workers.


Today we are living in the era of Samasamajism of Bernie Saunders and Jeremy Corbin. Western bourgeoisie has turned to fascistic leaders in order to escape the pressure of modern human rights agitation. Women today are in the forefront of the fight against human rights violations. Since the 1970s the human rights movement has played an increasingly important role on the international scene. Although government support for human rights decreased, international organisations increased in strength and number.

The present regime in Lanka, in its present form was able start up the economy which was on a standstill and will end up stabilizing it by showing budget surpluses by 2020, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said recently.

“We did not take over a stable government but an economy which was on a standstill just like a power station with broken generators. Generator of the power station, which is called the economy, is development. This power station was on a standstill when we took over the government as the country was in a debt trap and as there were no investors. However we have managed to fuel this power plant with investments and by settling the debts. We will complete what we started and will end up showing a budget surplus by 2020,” the Prime Minister said.

Premier Wickremesinghe is perhaps trying to follow the example set by Mahathir Mohamed of Malaysia. In Malaysia too there were nationality conflicts, basically between Malays and Chinese. The constitution grants freedom of religion and makes Malaysia an officially secular state, while establishing Islam as the “religion of the Federation”.

New economic policy

According to the Population and Housing Census 2010 figures, nationality and religious beliefs correlate highly. Approximately 61.3% of the population practice Islam, 19.8% practice Buddhism, 9.2% Christianity, 6.3% Hinduism and 1.3% practice Confucianism, Taoism and other traditional Chinese religions. 0.7% declared no religion and the remaining 1.4% practiced other religions or did not provide any information. Sunni Islam of Shafi'i School of jurisprudence is the dominant branch of Islam in Malaysia, while 18% are nondenominational Muslims.

This strife culminated in the May 13 race riots in 1969. After the riots, the controversial New Economic Policy was launched by Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak, trying to increase the share of the economy held by the Bumiputera. However under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad this nationality problem was controlled by expanding the power of the federation and secular nature of the constitution.

After the conclusion of this process there was a period of rapid economic growth and urbanization beginning in the 1980s. The economy shifted from being agriculturally based to one based more on manufacturing and industry. Numerous mega-projects were completed, such as the PETRONAS Towers, the North–South Expressway, the Multimedia Super Corridor, and the new federal administrative capital of Putrajaya. However, in the late 1990s the Asian financial crisis almost caused the collapse of the currency and the stock and property markets. Federation brought heightened tensions including a conflict with Indonesia as well continuous conflicts against the Communists in Borneo and the Malayan Peninsula.

Malaysian model

Hence if PM Wickremesinghe wants to follow the Malaysian model he has to expedite the work of constituent council and create united nation in Lanka. Malaysians improved rapidly the basic knowledge of English and empowered the people. This should be done in Lanka too, with an island wide campaign.

The premier said the previous government borrowed funds and constructed a port without ships and an airport without planes. “This is like mixing water with kerosene. However when we took over we managed to show an excess in primary accounts by making difficult decisions such as increasing VAT,” he said.

In addition his corporation with trade unions has won the support of Western world workers movement. On the other hand countries such as China, India and Japan had come to assist Lanka after the government signed an agreement with IMF. All these countries will not help Lanka if the agreement with IMF is abolished. In addition, it is necessary to settle the HR issues which are fundamental to a democratic society. 


Add new comment