Friday, 20 May 2011

ML UPDATE 21/2011

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14, No. 21, 17 – 23 MAY 2011

The May 13 Mandate: Lessons for the Left

Eection outcomes in India continue to surprise poll analysts. Even though most exit polls and post-poll surveys had quite accurately predicted the landslide against the CPI(M) in West Bengal, nobody had predicted that Tamil Nadu would witness an even bigger landslide against the DMK-Congress alliance or that the UDF would come to power in Kerala with the slenderest of margins, or for that matter the Congress would have such a smooth sailing in a most fragmented and diverse polity like the one in Assam.

The Congress would like us to believe that the May 13 mandate is a big yes for the Congress and the UPA government at the Centre, and the opposition should now allow the UPA to complete the remaining three years of its present term without any hindrance. This is a most fanciful and distorted reading of the May 13 mandate. Tamil Nadu was the biggest theatre of the 2G scam and the Congress model of coalition politics, and there the DMK-Congress alliance has suffered a total rout. In neighbouring Kerala, the UDF has won power with the barest of margins and that too thanks to the good showing of Congress allies like the Muslim League and the Kerala Congress.
In Puducherry, the Congress-DMK alliance has been voted out by the NRC-AIADMK combine. And as if this was not enough, the Congress tasted humiliating defeats in the Andhra by-elections where the widow and son of YSR have posed a challenge to the Congress that could well assume the proportions of the NTR era when the TDP emerged victorious by pitting Telugu pride against the dictatorial domination of the Congress High Command. It is only in Assam where the Congress has really won a big victory and that too because instead of pursuing the typical Congress strategy of Operation Greenhunt or the AFSPA regime as witnessed in Manipur and Kashmir, the Congress in Assam is playing the Gogoi card of 'politics of peace'.
Contrary to what the Congress claims, the May 13 mandate has served a serious warning to the Congress and exposed its utter vulnerability on the two most explosive issues of the day – price-rise and corruption in high places.
The BJP had little direct stake in these elections except perhaps in Assam. The outcome shows the BJP has lost out badly in Assam and its attempt to forge a stronger presence has also failed in the remaining states. Yet the BJP is quite jubilant primarily because the CPI(M) has been routed in West Bengal. According to BJP ideologues, the ouster of the CPI(M)-led government in West Bengal after 34 long years is a sure proof of the irrelevance of Left ideology! Moreover, the BJP believes that with the weakening of the CPI(M) the 'third front' phenomenon will fade away leaving the electoral arena increasingly bipolar where the BJP-led coalition will emerge as the exclusive or principal beneficiary of any decline in the electoral fortunes of the Congress and its allies!
Regardless of how the Congress and the BJP interpret the May 13 mandate, Left activists and well-wishers all over the country will surely have to make sense of the poll outcome in West Bengal. The writing on Bengal walls was clear to the entire country except perhaps the CPI(M) leadership in Alimuddin Street and AKG Bhawan. Since the 2009 Lok Sabha debacle, the CPI(M) has been talking of a vague 'rectification' leading to a sure 'turnaround', but the truth of both 'rectification' and 'turnaround' has been exposed mercilessly in West Bengal. In Kerala, if the CPI(M) managed to put up a creditable performance, it was clearly because of the credibility and goodwill enjoyed by VS Achuthanandan thanks to his image of a crusader both within and outside the CPI(M). In West Bengal, it is Mamata Banerjee who has developed this image while the CPI(M) leaders, in stark contrast, appear to be completely cut off from the reality of the state and the mood of the people, their anger and aspirations. The arrogance displayed by most CPI(M) leaders in the course of the election campaign and even after this huge defeat can only be attributed to their growing disconnect from everything that stands for the glorious legacy of the communist movement in this country.
After the Singur episode, there were two strands of critical opinion within the CPI(M) in West Bengal. One strand saw Singur as an administrative failure and pitted the success of the Rajarhat model against the failure of the Singur misadventure. Rajarhat is a new township developed on the outskirt of Kolkata where land acquisition took place gradually and surreptitiously, suppressing every opposition with brute force and taking most opposition parties on board, thereby manufacturing consent through complicity. The architect of this model was Gautam Dev, the arrogant propaganda bomb unleashed by the CPI(M) in the 2011 elections, whose aggressive propaganda blitzkrieg may have galvanized a few camp-followers but surely put off many more, driving more and more people towards the TMC camp. Dev has been a huge failure and the loudest liability of the CPI(M) in the 2011 elections.
The other critical voice which remained suppressed all through was that of the land reforms minister Abdur Razzak Molla who had been consistently critical of the Left Front government's attempts to subvert the land ceiling legislation and push for mega industrialization through forcible land acquisition. It is interesting to note that while most CPI(M) ministers have been trounced in these elections, Abdur Razzak Molla has been a rare exception who has retained his seat. Indeed, for all the CPI(M)'s brave rhetoric of land reforms, land reforms ministers had remained the most marginalised and suppressed in the Left Front cabinets and provided some of the most authentic critical voices from within the CPI(M). The late Benoy Chowdhury, the former land reforms minister, was the first to publicly slam the growth of the contractor syndrome under Left rule, and now Abdur Razzak Molla has come out openly against the CPI(M)'s subservience to big capital at the cost of its rural support base.
Some people have begun to liken the ouster of the Left Front government in West Bengal with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mamata Banerjee and her colleagues are already talking about a second independence of West Bengal! By all indications, the parties of the ruling classes and the dominant media are gunning for a fierce all-out campaign against the Left. This campaign must be resisted and defeated. And the best way to do this is by reviving the Left movement both within West Bengal and beyond. In 1977 the CPI(M) had come to power on the plank of democracy and it had consolidated its rule with the help of a package of rural reforms. More than three decades later, the CPI(M) finds itself defeated and discredited precisely because of its renegacy on the question of democracy, progressive rural reforms and people's struggles.
If the CPI(M) has suffered such a humiliating defeat in West Bengal, it is certainly not because of the CPI(M)'s adherence to any 'outdated Left dogma'. The CPI(M) in West Bengal had embraced the neo-liberal policies without any qualms, the Chief Minister telling the whole world that his brief was to build corporate capitalism in West Bengal. The CPI(M) has had to pay the electoral price for championing the neoliberal 'development' model and abandoning the agenda of land reforms halfway. However much anti-communist propagandists and communist detractors may try and paint the West Bengal verdict as a mass rejection of Left ideology, the fact remains that the people in West Bengal have just voted out an arrogant regime that had begun to trample upon the people's basic democratic rights in the name of 'rapid development' and 'mega industrialisation'. No matter how the CPI(M) reviews this defeat and what lessons it draws from this debacle, Left activists will surely draw on this experience and learn the right lessons to carry forward the Left movement with renewed strength and resolve.
CPI(ML) In Solidarity With Agitating Farmers in UP
The UP Government has gone all out to forcibly acquire land for the Yamuna Expressway Project, firing on protesting farmers, cordoning off the affected villages and clamping down on all protests across the state. Farmers of the Bhatta and Parsaul villages in Greater Noida have alleged that the land sold to a corporate house for the project had not even been formally acquired from the farmers. The farmers are demanding proper compensation at 80% of land cost at prevailing market rates as well as return of 50% of the acquired land after development. They have also demanded fit compensation and share in development for the landless whose livelihood will be affected.
Police firing has claimed several lives in Bhatta Parsaul (the exact number is difficult to verify because access to the village has been restricted). There are allegations of rape and murder too. Yet peasants' groups, people's movement representatives and so on have not been allowed to meet the people and ascertain the facts.
A team comprising of AIKM Vice President Prem Singh Gehlawat, peasant leaders from UP Ishwari Prasad Kushwaha as well as Rohtas Bharti, along with CPI(ML) State Secretary Sanjay Sharma, and other CPI(ML) activists Srikant, Kapil Sharma, and Shyam Kishore went to Bhatta Parsaul on 12 May to meet the affected villagers. This team was prevented by the police from entering into the Bhatta village.
In the wake of Bhatta incident, the district administration imposed 144 in whole of the Gautam Budhh Nagar district, and even a pre-scheduled protest 40 km away from Bhatta by the CPI(ML) in NOIDA, for BPL cards and housing etc. was not allowed to be held. The city magistrate handed over a notice citing a six year old SC order as a pretext to ban the protest, claiming it was necessary to maintain peace and order. The same situation prevails all over UP.
The CPI(ML) has held protests in Lucknow as well as other parts of UP against the brutal repression on farmers as well as the clampdown on democratic protests. Highlighting the life sentence for two BSP MLAs in crimes relating to violence on women, kidnapping and murder, as well as the undeclared Emergency imposed in the state, the party has demanded resignation of the Mayawati Government.
The CPI(ML) has also called upon people to expose the Congress' politics and hypocrisy on the issue of land acquisition and repression. Rahul Gandhi is posing as a supporter of the farmers' struggle in Bhatta Parsaul. Not long ago Rahul had similarly claimed to be a 'soldier' of the tribals at Niyamgiri. But what happened to Rahul's promises and poses when the UPA Government has recently given clearance to the POSCO project, in spite of the evidence of rampant violations of the Forest Rights law, people's fierce protests and severe repression?
Moreover the UPA Government's much-touted Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill continues to allow ample leeway for corporate land grab. This Bill allows even mining to come under the definition of 'public purpose' for which land can be forcibly acquired. It also allows state governments to acquire land for private interests.
The CPI(ML) stands in solidarity with the farmers' protests against land grab and repression, and demands an immediate end to the clampdown on democracy in UP, withdrawal of the cases against the Bhatta Parsaul villagers, punishment for the police officials responsible for firing at Bhatta Parsaul, a stop to all forcible land acquisition, and proper compensation and share in development as demanded by the agitating farmers.
CPI(ML) Calls Upon to Resist Steep Hike in Petrol Prices
New Delhi, 15 May 2010. Further increasing the burden of price hike on the people, the UPA Government has instituted a steep Rs 5 hike in petrol prices. This is the eighth hike in fuel prices since the deregulation of fuel prices in June last year. Further increased in diesel and cooking gas are said to be on the cards.
International oil prices are subject to enormous speculative manipulations - by deregulating petrol price the government has exposed the Indian people to the speculative manipulations of the international market.
The fact that the oil companies waited till Assembly poll results were out before announcing this latest and steepest hike shows that the hike, and its timing, were surely political decisions for which the UPA Government is responsible. Such cynical opportunism in the timing of the hike will only add fuel to the fire of public anger against the relentless rise in prices.
The CPI(ML) calls upon people all over the country to protest the steep increase in petrol prices and demand a rollback of deregulation of fuel prices.
Protests against Hike in Petrol Prices
Tamilnadu: A Protest demonstration against steep price rise of petrol was held in Virudhachalam of Cuddalore dist. S.Rajasankar state committee member of AISA conducted the proceedings of the demonstration. Thenmozhi, State President of AIPWA, Dhanaval, dist. organizer of RYA of Cuddlaore, S.Ammaiappan, Dist. Secretary and SCM of CPIML and others spoke. CPI(ML) State Secretary, Comrade Balasundaram, addressing the demonstration severely condemned the steep rise in the price of petrol and warned against the decision to hike the prices of diesel and cooking gas. He criticized the New Chief Minister for not condemning the price rise and warned against hobnobbing with the Congress against the people's mandate. This was the first public protest activity after the May 13 election results.
Uttar Pradesh: Dharnas and demonstrations were organised on 16 May in different districts including Gorakhpur, Sikandarpur in Ballia, Dist. HQ, Saidpur and Bhadaura in Ghazipur. Effigy of UPA Govt. Was burnt at some places. Memorandums were also sent from some districts to Central Govt for rolling back the hike.
Demonstrations and protests in various forms have also been held in Bihar, Jharkhand and other states of Party's work.
CPIML's Participation in Assembly Polls
In West Bengal, the party's election campaign had targeted the coalitions ruling in both Kolkata and Delhi, and called for a resurrection of the fighting Left. Our campaign had highlighted the demands for repeal of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894; SEZ Act; UAPA (Amendment) Act; immediate withdrawal of 'Operation Green Hunt' and atrocities on people's struggles; return of land to the peasants at Singur; as well as other demands related to BPL/MNREGA etc. The party fielded 37 candidates in West Bengal who polled 71249 votes in all – this is our maximum vote in West Bengal till date.
In Assam, our election campaign had highlighted corruption, price rise, extremely tardy implementation of welfare schemes, unresolved border problems with neighbouring states, acute unemployment and abysmally low wages, loot in tribal welfare schemes and rejection of the demand of tribal autonomy, and construction of a highly dangerous mega dam. We had fielded 8 candidates, polling nearly 25,000 votes including 12784 votes in Bihali in Sonitpur district where we finished third.
In TN, our election campaign focused on exposing the hollowness of the freebies competitively announced by the rival DMK/AIADMK, and had instead highlighted the demands for land reform, right to employment and the rights of workers including trade union collective bargaining rights. We had 11 candidates in all, and polled a total of 8477 votes.
In Kerala, we contested a single seat - Nenmara in Palakkad District – where we polled 735 votes, and our campaign highlighted the demand for reversal of liberalisation policies and takeover of lands from corporate houses. LCC comrades polled more than 10,000 votes in one constituency.
The party had also contested three seats in Puducherry, highlighting the demands of the working poor and homeless people, polling 528 votes in all.
"Challenges to anti-corruption Movement today"

Seminar in Patna

A seminar on the above mentioned topic was organised by AISA and RYA in Patna's AN Sinha Institute of Social Sciences on 8th May. The seminar hall was packed with progressive intellectuals and social activists of Patna as well as activists and cadres from rural areas along with the students and youth.
The speakers included Razi Ahmad, Director of the Gandhi Museum, Prof. Bharti S Kumar of the Dept. Of History of Patna University, Prem Kumar Mani, Legislative Councillor from JD(U), Jansatta's senior journalist Ganga Prasad who mentioned of the form of corruption prevalent at the higher levels in print media where the greed of newspaper owners for fatter profits has made the print media a saleable commodity and Govts and capitalists have come to dominate that sector, well known social activist Arshad Ajmal, Professors Daizy Narayan and Vinay Kanth, Prof. Naval Kishore Chaudhary of Economics Dept. At Patna University and CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya as the last speaker.
Comrade DIpankar underlined the characteristic features of corruption today as compared with those of 70's and 80's. He said that today legislative, executive, judiciary, armed forces, media and big names are involved in corruption, each instance of which is hundred times bigger or even more than those against which anti-corruption movement of '74 and '89 took shape. Gates to economic policy in this country has been fully opened for corporates and their intervention has been made virtually legitimate. Still, the huge companies are not satisfied with favourable policies alone, they want persons of their choice at the helm of power to establish their monopoly and for this they are authoring bigger and bigger scams. Spectrum scam is one example of this. Referring the mining sector as second biggest area of loot he used the example of how the foreign TNCs are selling the same iron ore at Rs.4000/tonne in international markets that they buy here in our country at Rs.400/tonne. To run unhindered this machine of national resource loot, corruption is used as lubricant. He said that when the people lose faith in all big ruling parties, in such situation of a kind of a "political vacuum" the role of 'civil society' becomes prominent. Lokpal Bill may be a good beginning where CBI and CVC have been made toothless, but limiting the anti-corruption movement to Lokball Bill is neither necessary nor a compulsion. The reach of anti-corruption movement must spread to poor-peasants-workers and this must be led by students and youth. The political leadership of this should be in the hands of democratic forces and communist forces being the most consistent democratic force will naturally remain in the forefront of this struggle.
AISA's State Secretary Abhyuday introduced the topic and RYA's General Secretary Kamlesh Sharma gave the vote of thanks.
In Memory of Comrade J Shankaran
In memory of Com. J Shankaran, former party state secretary of Karnataka, a meeting was held at Bangalore on 15th May to commemorate his death. The modest gathering that covered various cross sections including Tamil cultural and social groups, workers, party members, friends and few ML organizations fondly recollected the social and political life of Com. Shankaran spanning four decades, which was brimming with commitment to the Marxist ideology, dedication to the people's cause, strong ties with working masses and ample instances of personal sacrifices.
Dr. Lakshminarayana, Karnataka state convenor of Indian Institute of Marxist Studies (IIMS), recalled Com. Shankaran's role in publishing 'Flames of War in Bhojpur' in Kannada and in party building and developing new contacts in a situation of heightened state repression. Dr Rati Rao, VP of AIPWA, recalled his humane qualities and his contributions in evolving party work. Poet Irayadian said that Shankaran was a people's poet in his youth, whose literary potential was not fully exploited. Com. V Shankar, CCM, said that the process of transformation from being a fighter for the emancipation of Tamil masses to the position of a communist fighting for the emancipation of the Indian people as a whole is something to be learnt from the life and struggles of Com. Shankaran. He underlined the role of Com. Shankaran in establishing contacts with the central party after its reorganization in late '70s for Karnataka comrades. Further, he emphasized Shankaran's life as a model that explains how a revolutionary is indeed a great humanist. Com Gopal, another former state secretary, who presided over the meeting stated that Com Shankaran lived as a communist till his death and will live forever in our memories as a cherished communist leader.
Other speakers in the memorial meeting included V Sekar, former state secretary of the party, who carried the baton from Com. Shankaran, Appanna, District president of AICCTU, C Rajan, Karnataka Tamil Makkal Iyakkam, poet Maruthu, Prof. Manivannan, editor Vedhakumar, Manohar, Anbumani, CP Mani and Alphonse.
Edited, published and printed by S. Bhattacharya for CPI(ML) Liberation from U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92; printed at Bol Publication, R-18/2, Ramesh Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-92; Phone:22521067; fax: 22442790, e-mail:, website:

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

ML UPDATE 20 / 2011

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14, No. 20, 10 – 16 MAY 2011

Osama Is Dead –

But US Imperialism's World Wide War Lives On

The US has proclaimed its success in its decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden, culminating in the killing of Laden by US military operatives in a house in Abbotabad in Pakistan. As the televised triumphalism and images of hyper-nationalist celebrations in the US fade, however, the US' heroic narrative is being subjected to uncomfortable questions.
Ironically, Osama's death has come, not in the wake of 9/11 when he was at the peak of his strength, but at a time when Osama and his al-Qaeda were effectively sidelined in an Arab world that is witnessing a democratic awakening and upsurge. This fact too robs the US narrative of some of its sheen.
The US itself has put forward conflicting versions of the night-time raid by its military team. The initial US claim of an intense fire-fight has now been discarded, with the US admitting that in fact, only one man opened fire on the US operatives. The claim that Osama himself opened fire too has been withdrawn, and the US has admitted that he was in fact unarmed. Osama's killing is said to have been witnessed by his 12-year-old daughter. Apart from Osama and his son (whose bodies were speedily disposed off in the sea), at least three other men and one woman were killed, while many have been injured.
Why was it necessary to kill an unarmed Osama rather than arrest him and bring him to justice? Why has his body been hurriedly disposed off in a way designed to prevent the possibility of any closer scrutiny of the manner and circumstances of his death? The US has yet to answer these questions convincingly. Moreover, an armed attack on a sleeping household including several children, the killing of an unarmed terrorist in the presence of his child, and the killing of other unarmed men and a woman – these are not the stuff of a heroic encounter with a dreaded terrorist.
US President Obama has claimed the killing of Laden to be the crowning achievement in the war on terror. Some have even tried to glorify it with comparisons to the end of Hitler and the defeat of fascism. Such inflated claims are quite baseless. The end of Hitler did mark the end of WWII and a world historic defeat and decline of fascism. The killing of Osama, in contrast, spells neither the end of terrorism as a phenomenon nor the end of the US imperialist 'war on terror.'
Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda are known to be the most dangerous by-products of the anti-Soviet strategy pursued by the US in the 1980s using the popular resentment in Afghanistan and the Islamic world against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. Modern-day terrorism is largely a US strategy that has backfired, and this cannot be contained or ended by the end of Osama. Rather, continuing US occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan and wars on Libya are likely to keep spawning more terrorism.
The most immediate political effect achieved by the Osama killing is the sharp rise in popularity ratings of Obama, who is soon to face elections. The Osama coup has effectively taken the wind out of the sails of the aggressive Republican/Tea Party campaign that had been gathering momentum in the backdrop of growing unemployment and continuing economic crisis in the US and the huge politico-economic costs of the US misadventure in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, Obama's claim to have avenged 9/11 may well outweigh the propaganda of his rivals.
There are indications that the despotic Saudi rulers, threatened by the Arab uprising and seeking a convergence of Arab ruling interests and those of US imperialism and Obama in particular, helped deliver Osama to the US.
Pakistan's military establishment is facing tough questions within its own country about how much it knew and concealed of Osama's hideout, which was a stone's throw away from a military academy. The Raymond Davis episode, Wikileaks revelations of Pakistan's rulers' doublespeak on US drone attacks, and now the Osama episode have created some ferment in Pakistani society about the nexus between the Pakistani ruling class, military establishment, terrorism and US imperialism.
The Pakistani rulers and military as well as the US are wary of possible reverberations of the 'Arab spring' in Pakistan. Whether Pakistan will indeed witness some version of an 'Arab spring' remains to be seen, but it must be stressed that only a democratic and anti-imperialist awakening of the people can be an effective answer to both imperialism and terrorism (which, after all, is nothing but an imperialist ploy gone berserk).
In India, we are witnessing some hawkish clamour to use the US' Osama operation as a precedent for unilateral action to hunt down the masterminds of 26/11 inside Pakistan. The Indian Army and Air Force Chiefs have indulged in irresponsible statements about India's preparedness for a similar operation against terrorists in Pakistan. Instead of indulging in such misplaced jingoism, India should re-examine its own relationship with the US in the light of the US treatment of Pakistan.
The Osama operation, like the Raymond Davis episode, has underscored the sheer contempt the US has for the sovereignty and independence of its so-called allies and partners. All US 'partners' including new members of the club like India should be warned. Terrorism and imperialism pose similar threats to both Pakistan and India. With the increased US presence in South Asia, with its accompanying spiral of terrorism, people of both countries need to recognise the need to come closer to tackle these twin challenges of terrorism and imperialism effectively.



Comrade J Shankaran, former Party Secretary of Karnataka, passes away

Comrade  J Shankaran, former Party secretary of Karnataka, breathed his last on 5th May. He was suffering from lung cancer. Comrade J Shankaran leaves behind four decades of dedicated association with the Party. He was the secretary of the Party for two decades, spanning the tumultuous days of Emergency and underground days of the Party. He hailed from the modest background of a migrant Tamil worker in Indian Telephone Industries (ITI). His unwavering commitment to the left movement and working class served as the foundation for the Party which in later years spread its roots in the local culture and politics. Even though Party had only a small group of activists then in Bangalore, he held the party banner high during anti-Emergency actions. During the Public Sector working class struggles in the 1980s, Com. Shankaran played an active role.
He felt very happy and inspired when contacts were established in the late 1970s with the Party centre under the leadership of Comrade Vinod Mishra and distributed more than 100 copies of booklets on Bhojpur struggle and a collection of articles of Charu Mazumdar among the workers and progressive activists in Bangalore in 1977. In 1978, under extraordinary organizational circumstances, Shankaran and a few workers stood with the Party firmly, upholding Comrade CM's exhortation to build the Party among workers and landless peasants and to keep it alive amidst enemy repression and organizational disturbances. In spite of his ailing physical conditions, he displayed an exemplary communist spirit till the end. He was very happy to see the Party's recent growth in Karnataka, especially the first major political march organized under Party banner on March 14 this year demanding resignation of the corrupt BJP government in the state.
Comrade Shankaran played an important role as a popular worker organizer during the public sector workers' struggle in Bangalore during the early 1980s, especially against the goondaism sponsored by the then Congress CM Gundu Rao. After the July 1983 massacre of Tamils in Sri Lanka, Shankaran emerged as a key organiser for the Tamil cause in Bangalore. He used to organize Tamil literary meetings almost every month. Invoking the rich cultural and literary heritage of Tamils, he gave migrant Tamil workers in the burgeoning metropolis of Bangalore an identity based on progressive left ideals and values. He also spent a good part of his earnings to help the education of many poor slum children, especially from Kannadiga background, striving constantly for the class unity of all sections of the poor and working class.
Before joining Indian Telephone Industries, even while working as a day-labourer and earning meagre wages to support his family as the main breadwinner, he used to spend whatever little money he could save to buy books on classic Sangham literature and Marxist classics. His collection of books eventually grew into the People's Library which in turn became a major centre for Marxist-Leninist activists and sympathizers in Bangalore.
His warm ties with the people extended beyond Party circles. He was always known for his affection, kindness and cordial nature. He gave everything to the Party and the needy people and has set an example for working class comrades to follow. Com. Shankaran will always be remembered as a leading architect and torch-bearer of the Party and working class movement in Karnataka.
Red salute, Comrade J Shankar!

Condolence Meeting at Bangalore

Spontaneous participation of workers, party and Tamil activists in the funeral of Comrade J Shankaran who departed from us in the early hours of 5 May 2011 in Bangalore was really moving for bystanders. The condolence meeting at the place of funeral of Com. J Shankaran, in itself was an indication of the goodwill and respect that he enjoyed among the people and the activists. All activists who addressed the condolence meeting recalled fond memories of their association with the departed Comrade and the famous 'People's library' that played a key role in spreading Left ideas in the period of repression on ML movement and on Tamil movements. One Comrade recalled how the People's Library was the centre in shaping up his own revolutionary and progressive ideas in his youth. Another Comrade recalled the publication of progressive books in that period. Com. Ismail, Bellary District Secretary of AITUC said the ideals of comrade J Shankaran should be taken forward. Comrade Rajan of Karnataka Tamil People's Movement said that demise of Com. Shankaran is a great loss. Com. Marudhu, the poet fondly recalled the ever-smiling and humane nature of a revolutionary comrade. Iraiyadiyaan, another poet and a close associate circulated copies of poems of Com. Shankaran from his earlier period.
Comrade V. Shankar, CPI(ML)'s Central Committee member said that this is not the time to be upset and frustrated but to learn from the model of a working class comrade whose love towards Tamil language and people transformed him into a Marxist–Leninist and a revolutionary. He also said that Comrade Shankaran was one among very few who are capable of writing the history of Marxist–Leninist movement in general and CPI(ML) (Liberation) in particular. He also recalled that the library was not only a place to read books but also a centre for revolutionary Left and progressive forces in Karnataka.
Comrade Selvaraj from ITI Employees' Union, Rajan from Karnataka Tamil Makkal Iyakkam, Celene of Vimochana, Prabhakar, a civil rights activist, close friends Manivannan, Karthiyayini and Alphonse also addressed the gathering along with AICCTU Bangalore district leaders Somu, Manju, Gaddappa, Ashok and comrades Arumugam and Baskar. The condolence meeting was conducted by Com. VK Sekar, former State Secretary of the Party.


Shahid Darash Ram Sahu's 21st Martyrdom Day in Chhattisgarh

On 6 May, Shahid Darash Ram Sahu's 21st martyrdom day was observed by CPI(ML)'s Bilaspur unit. The Sankalp Sabha was organised at Lalkhadan Darash Ram Sahu Bhawan. Comrade Raja Ram, CCM, hoisted the red flag followed by garlanding on Martyr's photo.
Comrade Darash Ram Sahu was a popular leader of workers, CPI(ML) leader in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh and was also a sarpunch. He was killed by land mafias. Other leaders present at the martyrdom day celebrations were Comrades Sushila Bai, Lalan Ram, Bhagat Pal, Uma Pal and Majnu Nishad.


CPI(ML) Observes Black Day in UP against Police Firing on Farmers in Gr. Noida

CPI(ML) observed balck day throughout the state of Uttar Pradesh on 9th May to protest the police crackdown on farmers' agitation. The Party stated that the incident took place because of dictatorial behaviour of Mayawati Govt on the sensitive issue of land acquisition. This Govt has no right to stay in power after this incident of firing in which 3 farmers and 2 policemen were killed, for which Mayawati Govt. is wholly responsible.
The Party has said that Mayawati Govt. has always been insensitive on the issue of land acquisition. This Govt. has been forcefully acquiring fertile land of farmers at throw away prices and without making proper alternate arrangements for their rehabilitation, while handing over the land to capitalists. The farmers of Bhatta Parsaul had been on dharna for last four months asking for better compensation, but the Govt remained deaf to their plight.
CPI(ML) has strongly condemned the attack on farmers' dharna, use of force and burning of their fields and properties by the policemen. Many peasants are still missing and Govt. should immediately declare about their whereabouts and conditions.
Observing the black day, CPI(ML) members throughout the state wore black bands, held protest meetings at district HQs and handed over memorandum meant for the Governor to district administration. Party has also demanded high level judicial enquiry of the incident of 7 May attack on Bhatta Parsol. Black day programmes were held at Ballia, Lakhimpur Khiri's Palia block, Ghazipur, Jamania, Saidpur, Mirzapur, Jamalpur, Sonbhadra, Jalaun, Lucknow and Muradabad among many other blocks and districts.


Some More Reports of May Day Celebration

(In the last issue of ML Update, we published May Day reports of various states. Below is the remainder report of May Day celebrations)

March in Aurangabad on the Occasion of May Day and Maharashtra Din: Men and women workers went on a march through Aurangabad, on 1 May, labour day and the anniversary of the Sanyukta Maharashtra movement. The march, which started at 6 pm from Paithan Gate, went through Gulmandi, City Chowk, Sarraffa, Gomatesh Market, to return to Paithan Chowk. Around 200 industrial workers, both men and women, participated in the march. Slogans about workers' unity and about workers' demands, as well as political slogans were raised during this march. An open meeting was held at the end of the march. During the meeting, on behalf of the Joint Committee of the Kamgar Karmachari Sanghatan, Com. Praveen Wagh, addressed the participants, along with Comrades KN Thigale, Bhawalkar, Buddhinath Baral and Bhimrao Bansode.
Uttarakhand: May Day programmes were organised at Nainital, Pithoragarh, Ramnagar, Rudrapur in Kumaon region and Srinagar in Garhwal. The programmes at all the places save Rudrapur were jointly organised with other TUs. The rally at Nainital was one of the biggest in its history and employees rally were held at Ramnagar and Srinagar. Comrade Raja Bahuguna attended the Nainital as well as Rudrapur programmes on the same day.
Karnataka: Hundreds of workers marched on the streets of Gangavati on 8 May 2011 as a part of May Day celebrations of AICCTU in Karnataka. The rally that marched through main roads of Gangavati town culminated in a public meeting at Gandhi Chowk. The rally was held in the backdrop of successful struggles of rice mill workers in contrast to the opportunism and collaborationism of social democratic trade unions. Various sections of unorganized workers including auto mechanics, construction labourers and tractor drivers participated in the rally.
Comrade Ayyappa Hugar of CPI(ML) (Red Flag), Vittappa of Koppal Bachao Andolan, Basavaraj Soolebhavi of Ladai Publications addressed the gathering along with E.Ramappa, state secretary of the party, C.Javaraiah, state secretary of AICCTU and J Bharadwaj, district secretary of the party, who played an active role in organizing the successful rally.


AIKM Holds Kisan Diwas in Kurukshetra

Coinciding with the 154th anniversary of 1857's freedom struggle and great peasant uprising, the All India Kisan Mahasabha held a Kisan Diwas on 10th May at Kurukshetra in Haryana. The programme that went on for two hours was addressed by Comrade Prem Singh Gehlawat. The meeting raised and discussed various issues- especially corruption, price rise and state repression.


Dharna in front of Mumbai Municipal Council

A day long dharna was organised by Municipal Kamgar Karmachari Purogami Union on 5 May at Azad Maidan in front of Mumbai Mahanagar Palika to press for housing units for safai karmacharis (sanitation workers). Sanitaion orkers from various other unions were also present at the dharna in large numbers.


"Young India against Corruption - Young India for Democracy"

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Edited, published and printed by S. Bhattacharya for CPI(ML) Liberation from U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92; printed at Bol Publication, R-18/2, Ramesh Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-92; Phone:22521067; fax: 22442790, e-mail:, website:

Friday, 6 May 2011

ML UPDATE 19/2011

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14, No. 19, 03 – 09 MAY 2011

Draft Manufacturing Policy:

Fresh Assault on Workers' Rights

Workers all over the country observed May Day this year to salute the legacy of the Haymarket martyrs and other workers' heroes who wrested rights for workers with their struggles and sacrifices. These hard-won rights and labour laws to rein in exploitative employers are today facing attack after attack by neoliberal governments in India.

In early May, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is to chair a meeting of key Ministers to pave way for the Draft National Manufacturing Policy, which plans to introduce the latest and more expanded avatar of SEZs – NMIZs (National Manufacturing Investment Zones). This meeting is said to have the objective of smoothing over the reservations of the Ministries of Labour and Environment to the NMIZs proposal.
SEZs, touted as a panacea for development, have already become notorious for land grab and exploitative work conditions. Increasingly SEZs have been facing trouble in land acquisition due to spiralling protests by peasants against land grab. Now, NMIZs are being proposed as the new mantra for development.
As far as land grab and violation of environment and forest laws is concerned, as well as exploitation of labour laws, NMIZs are nothing but a proposed extension of SEZs, albeit in a new packaging. NMIZs are being pitched as a measure to increase the share of manufacturing in GDP and the manufacturing sector's share in employment. As of now, agriculture in India contributes increasingly less to the GDP even as its share in employment remains disproportionately high. The UPA Government is packaging NMIZs as the answer to agrarian crisis and massive unemployment. But in the name of creating a 'conducive policy environment' for manufacturing, the aim is to strip workers of their rights, not just in isolated SEZ enclaves, but in mainstream industrial clusters across India.
The Draft National Manufacturing Policy proposes that NMIZs will enjoy a similar package of sops and incentives as SEZs – including land, infrastructure, water, power etc provided by the government as well as various tax waivers. Like SEZs, each NMIZ will be administered exclusively by a governing body called a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) comprising CEOs and company representatives. The procedures for acquiring environmental and other clearances are to be 'simplified' and speeded up. And above all, labour laws are to be "made more flexible."
The Draft Manufacturing Policy proposes that manufacturing units within NMIZs be given the "flexibility to downsize" (a euphemism for hire-and-fire); exemption from the Contract Labour Abolition Act (i.e. freedom to indulge in labour practices which are deemed exploitative by the law of the land); freedom to extend temporary status of employees; to extend the number of hours per shift; and curtailment of the workers' right to unionize.
It should be noted that rampant violation of labour laws prevails as the norm in manufacturing units as it is. The automobile industry, to take just one instance, is known to be dependent upon a disproportionately high percentage of contract workers. Even in the public sector, illegal employment of contract labour is on the rise. The right to unionise is routinely denied and suppressed in most factories. Now, in the name of NMIZs, these violations of labour laws are sought to be cloaked in the sanctity of law.
The Draft Manufacturing Policy adds that "Wherever application of labour welfare legislation is suspended or diluted, an alternative safety net will be put in place to take care of the interest of labour by the SPV." When existing labour laws are 'suspended or diluted,' what kind of 'alternative safety net' can workers expect from the SPV that comprises of the employers themselves?
The Draft Manufacturing Policy also proposes that the 'exit policy' for 'sick industries' be facilitated by relaxing the obligations to pay dues and compensation to workers before closing down sick units. This, according to the Policy, would "ease the pressure on the manufacturing entity considerably." Instead it proposes a 'job loss insurance policy' in place of the workers' legally mandated rights.
With the NMIZs, the UPA Government seems to be aiming to kill two birds with one stone: to create a new cover for the SEZs (which have become a political liability) and corporate grab of land and resources; and to achieve dilution of labour laws, something the corporate representatives have insistently demanded for long. 'Development' cannot be counter-posed to democracy – be it peasants' democratic right to land and survival or workers' rights which are the bulwark of industrial democracy. This May, let the working class resolve to join hands with the peasants to resist this double-edged threat to the land and livelihood of peasants and to the hard-won rights of workers.
May Day 2011

Working Class Marches against Corporate Plunder, Corruption & Violation of Labour Laws

The workers on this May Day demanded anti-worker recommendations of the Expert Committee on Provident Fund pension to be rejected; opposed the proposed anti-worker amendments in various labour welfare laws; demanded punishment to the industrialists who violate the norm of eight hour work-day; scrapping of contract system in toto instead of the eye wash action of banning contract labour in select industries, etc.
Bengaluru (Karnataka): All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) organized an impressive rally of workers on May Day that marched through the streets surrounding Information Technology Park, one of the centres of global capital in Bangalore. Last May Day was organized in Electronic City that is another major centre of IT industries. Workers of readymix concrete plants from four corners of Bangalore joined the rally after hoisting flag in their respective plants. The workers raised slogans that reverberated all through the centre of global capital. The rally also demanded resignation of Yeddyurappa-led BJP government in the state of Karnataka that is pro-corporate and pro-transnational corporations. The rally accused the BJP government of fomenting communalism and for promoting illegal mining despite tall talks of ban on exports.
Assam: AICCTU and its affiliated organizations observed May Day at different places in Assam. Different central TUs including AICCTU jointly organized a massive protest meeting and a procession in Guwahati city. In the morning AICCTU affiliated trade union (among unorganized and contractual workers) United Workmen Union of Guwahati Refinery brought out a procession and held a seminar on 'Role of working class and mass organization in national building process'. In Tinsukia district, a tea workers' mobilization was organized in Panitola Tea Estate under the banner of Asom Sangrami Chah Sramik Sangha (ASCSS).
May Day programmes were also held at Tinsukia town (jointly by TUs led by AICCTU), Dibrugarh (Tingkhong and Lahowal TE), Jorhat (Hindubari TE of Teok), Bihali of Sonitpur district (Bargang centre by ASCSS and AIALA), Naugaun district (by AIALA, Construction Workers Union and AIPWA at Dolong Ghat block and Khagarijan block), Barpeta (Sonkuchi colony, under the banner of Gramin Sramik Sangha and CPI(ML)). In Diphu, Karbi Anglong, May Day was observed jointly by 11 trade union organisations including AICCTU at Diphu Indoor Stadium. More than 600 workers took out a procession in the main streets of Diphu town.
Tamilnadu: At Redhills near Chennai 1000 strong rally of workers of AICCTU & AIALA was held which culminated in a public meeting. Workers of Chennai, Tiruvellore and Kanjipuram participated in a well decorated rally in red uniforms. Com. S Kumarasamy, National President of AICCTU was the main speaker.
In Namakkal district, Flag hoisting programmes were held at 17 centres. In Salem, AICCTU flags were hoisted at 4 places. Cadre meetings held at 2 places attended by construction workers. In Tirunelveli, rally attended mostly by women beedi workers, at Dindigul, CPI(ML) and AICCTU jointly organized Mayday programmes with Flag hoisting at six places.
In Tiruchi, Defence Contract Labour Union of Ordinance Factory hoisted their Flag at Factory gate. CPI(ML)'s Flag hoisted at Ilanthapaati, a neighbouring village. In Pudukottai, team of AIALA members campaigned in three blocks and hoisted CPI(ML) flag at 6 places. In Tanjore, Construction Labour Union hoisted flags at 3 places. In Coimbatore, an impressive public meeting was organized in Perianayakkan Palayam near Pricol factory. In Kanyakumari, Flag hoisting took place at 10 centres. In Karur, there was a poster campaign and comrades discussed party programme in a branch meeting.
Punjab: Many rallies were organized by AICCTU Punjab to mark the International Labour Day. Massive rallies were organized at Mansa, Jhunir, Budhlada, Tapa, Rampura and Talwandi apart from various village grain markets. These rallies were largely attended by the brick kiln workers under the banner of Lal Jhanda Bhatha Mazdoor Union (AICCTU) and Majdoor Mukti Morcha. The Chandigarh unit of AICCTU organized a rally in Sec.17. The flag was hoisted jointly by presidents of all the affiliated unions of AICCTU. The rally was attended by contract workers of PGI, GMCH 32, GMSH 16, TBRL, PEC, ISBT-43 in large number. People's Theater staged a play and sang many revolutionary songs on this occasion conducted by Sameul Johns.
Chhattisgarh: May Day was observed by the AICCTU by taking out a rally from Ghadi Chowk, Supela and a public meeting thereafter. The meeting was addressed by AICCTU General Secretary Swapan Mukherjee among others. CWC member of CPI(ML) Rajaram and Politburo member DP Buxi were present at the rally.
May Day was observed by the workers of Kolvasari, Welcome Distillery, Rayalseema Concrete Sleepers and the workers from Raipur, Bhilai and Rajnandgaon associated with Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, who assembled at Navadih Chowk, Seepat. From here a rally was taken out under the leadership of CMM President and AICCTU Vice-President Comrade Bhimrao Bagde. After passing through Tahsil office, Police Thana Chowk and Bus Stand, a meeting was organized in front of the Sanskritik Bhavan on Seepat main road. Revolutionary songs were presented.
Chhattisgarh Workers' Cadre Conference: CPI(ML) Liberation organized a workers' cadre conference on 1 and 2 May at Kurmi Bhavan, Radhika Nagar, Bhilai. The conference began by paying tributes to Bastar District secretary Gopaldhar Yadav, who passed away recently. Preparations for the AICCTU National Conference and the state of the workers' movement in Chhattisgarh were discussed. The conference was addressed by Party Politburo member DP Buxi and AICCTU General Secretary Swapan Mukherjee among others. The Conference resolved to conduct an intensive drive among the workers of Chhattisgarh, especially Bhilai.
Rajasthan: May Day was celebrated in three districts of Rajasthan. In Jaipur District the newly-formed South Jaipur Industrial Area Mazdoor Union which recently got affiliated with AICCTU, took out a rally in the Sanganer area under the leadership of Com. Anand Dheva. This area has 200-300 industrial units mainly involved in paper-making, textile printing, garment manufacture and exports. This was the first time that workers and unit owners in this area had witnessed a workers' rally with red flags, slogans and speeches. The main speaker was Rajasthan AICCTU-in-charge, Com. Srilata who emphasised the importance of Mazdoor Divas, problems of unorganised workers and the need to form a strong workers' union. The rally culminated at the gates of Rainbow Paper Factory where a worker had completely lost his right arm when it was crushed by a machine and he had not received any compensation. This gate meeting demanded that he be compensated at once. On the evening of May Day a joint press conference was held in Jaipur at the AICCTU office addressed among others by Com. Srilata.
In Udaipur District two meetings were held, one in Tehsil headquarters of Salumbar and the other in Udaipur city. Two meetings were also held in Jhunjhunu District. The first was held in the district headquarters and party cadre met in the party office.
Uttar Pradesh: At Allahabad, hundreds of workers of Iffco Contract Workers' Union (afficilated to AICCTU) marched 4 km in the form of a rally from their factory gate to Babuganj Bazaar on the eve of May Day with red flags, slogan placards and banners in their hands. Peasants and other workers too joined in at different places on the way. The meeting at the end of the rally remembered the immortal and unforgettable martyrs of Chicago 1886.
On May Day, Iffco CWU, Allahabad Medical Workers' Union, sanitaion workers of Municipal Council and hundreds of other workers marched to Suhash Chauraha where a meeting was organised by May Day Celebration Committee. AICCTU was represented by Dr. Kamal. Programmes were also organised in Kanpur where flag was hoisted by AICCTU at Vijaynagar Gun Factory.
Bihar: May Day programmes were organised under AICCTU banner at Gaya, Bhagalpur, Patna, Nalanda, Bhojpur, Jahanabad, Darbhanga and Vaishali. At most places rally was taken out that transformed into public meeting at the end of march. At Darbhanga, seminar was held at Party office after Flag hoisting. Flag was hoited at all the centres. In Patna, joint rally was organised in the evening organised by Central TUs.
Uttarakhand: AICCTU organised seminar in Pithoragarh dist on May Day.
Jharkhand: May Day programmes were centred on the protest against eviction of poor in the name of removing encroachment apart from national issues. On 2nd May, the bandh called in Coal Belt and Jharkhand against the evictions was a complete success. Prabhat Pheri (dawn time parade) was held at Steel Plant Colony in Bokaro and Flag was hoisted at Balidih office. Dharna was held at Jainamod Bus Stand and workers' meeting was held in the evening at BSSL colony. Flag hoisting and pledge meetings were held at Dhanbad's various centres of our work participated by coal workers in large numbers and rally was held at Bermo's Kurpania village and Chandan Kiari. A big meeting of thousand workers by the name "People's movement and rights' day" was held at Bagodar organised by AICCTU affiliated unions.
Meeting was held at Koderma, Jamshedpur and Chakradharpur, torchlight procession at Ranchi and May Day programmes at Jarmundi in Dumka. Programmes were organised in Ramgarh dist that included Flag hoisting at CCL area, Argadda, Topa, Ara and Kedla, Ramgarh town and at Party office. May Day was observed at Soso and Orla rural areas.
Haryana: May day call was given at Sonipat Industrial area.
Gujarat: Big May Day rally comprising 500 workers marched 5 km at Ahmedabad in scorching sun, led by Ranjan Ganguly and Prabhat Chaudhary.
Delhi: A huge rickshaw rally was held at Noida that started from Sec10 located Party office. Rickshaw pullers, factory workers and students from Delhi holding red flags jointly marched and celebrated May Day here. At Wazirpur Industrial Area, a militant march was taken out by the workers and joined in by students in the morning, street-corner meeting was held in East Delhi's Mandawli locality where building workers participated.
Orissa: May Day was observed in Bhubaneswar, Rayagada , Kendarpara and Puri. At Nagbhusan Bhaban in Bhubaneswar members of various AICCTU affiliated unions participated and joined in the Flag hoisting ceremony. Later, a public meeting was held. Flag was hoisted at Rourkella participated by workers from various unions. At Puri, hundreds of construction workers participated in a public meeting. At Rayagada, motor workers union, construction workers and agricultural workers participated and initiated movement for Rs.400/day as minimum wage and in Kendrapara Aganwadi workers, Asha workers, transport workers union and Rickshaw workers union participated.
Sri Lanka's War Criminals Must Be Punished
The Sri Lankan Tamils, subjected to a genocide in the name of eliminating LTTE, and intimidated by the arrogant triumphalism of the Sri Lankan state following the military 'victory,' had till now looked in vain for UN intervention. For long, the UN as well as most other nations including the Indian Government remained reluctant to challenge the Sri Lankan Government's claims of having begun a process of achieving justice, peace, and equality. But a recent report by a UN panel of experts has finally exploded that myth, and found the Sri Lankan Government guilty of war crimes and human rights violations.
Last year, quite belatedly, the UN Secretary General appointed a panel of experts to look into the situation in Sri Lanka. This United Nations Secretary General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka has recently submitted its report, finding the Sri Lankan Government guilty of war crimes in the final stages of the war with the LTTE and serious rights violations and abuses in the post-war situation.
The Report has found allegations of war crimes to be "credible" and held the Sri Lankan Government and military to be responsible for rights violations amounting to "war crimes and crimes against humanity." The Report has said that it found a "very different version of the final stages of the war" to that peddled by the SL Government.
Whereas the Government claimed to have conducted a "humanitarian rescue operation" with "zero civilian casualties," the UN Report found that between Sept 2008-May 2009, 330,000 people trapped in the Vanni area of Sri Lanka were subjected to widespread shelling causing civilian deaths. Also media was intimidated and silenced and prevented from reporting accurately on the situation in the conflict zones. The UN Report notes that the Sri Lankan Government resorted to shelling in areas where it had encouraged civilians to concentrate and even conducted shelling on food lines and near Red Cross ships coming to pick up the wounded and survivors. There was "systematic" and repeated "shelling of hospitals" and people in the conflict zone were "systematically" deprived of humanitarian aid, food, and medicine. According to the Report, tens of thousands of civilians died during the final stages of the war, mainly due to military shelling.
According to the Report, after the survivors left the conflict zones, they were subjected to further deprivation and abuses. Supposed LTTE elements were identified through a process that lacked transparency, and many of them were summarily executed. There were many cases of torture, rape and 'disappearances' of tens of thousands. Overcrowding and terrible humanitarian conditions in the camps led to needless loss of lives.
The Report also found the LTTE responsible for war crimes such as using civilians as hostages or strategic buffer, subjecting civilians to forced recruitment and forced labour, and shooting of civilians seeking to escape. But the Report's main focus is on the culpability of the Government and the military.
Reviewing the process of establishing 'accountability' initiated by the SL Government, the UN Report has noted that this process is biased because it only covers the allegations against LTTE and against former Government's policies which failed to protect people from terrorism. There is absolutely no serious examination of the Government's own conduct during and after the war. The SL Government has formed a 'Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Council,' but the UN Report has pointed out that this Council is far from being independent and impartial, and fails to meet the international standards of an effective accountability mechanism, since it is unwilling to examine the root causes of the decades-long Sinhala-Tamil conflict or establish the truth about allegations of rights violations during the final stages of war.
The UN Report has observed that an environment conducive to true accountability would require a "candid appraisal" of the past, including the root causes of the ethnic conflict, and a "fundamental shift away from triumphalism and denial towards a genuine commitment to a political solution that recognizes SL's ethnic diversity and the full and inclusive citizenship of all its people."
The UN Report also admits that the UN system and institutions failed to save civilian lives even though they were aware of large-scale civilian casualties.
The Report has made recommendations that the SL Government initiate investigations into allegations of war crimes, in the light of UN Panel's report which has found credible evidence for such allegations. It has also recommended an independent international mechanism to monitor the SL Govt's accountability and investigation process.
The Report recommends that the SL Government take steps to immediately stop the ongoing violence and discrimination, and restore dignity and rights to the survivors; investigate and disclose fate of disappeared persons; repeal Emergency regulations and modify all those provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act that conflict with international obligations and take measures to end the "climate of fear." It also recommends that the SL Government should initiate a process with strong civil society participation to critically examine the root causes of conflict and pattern of violations during the war. Significantly, it also recommends that the Government should issue a public, formal acknowledgement of its role and responsibility for extensive civilian casualties in the final stages of the war, and make serious reparations in keeping with international standards to all victims of violations, especially women, children and vulnerable groups.
The Report also recommends that the UN Human Rights Council review its seriously flawed May 2009 Special Session resolution on Sri Lanka, in light of the findings of the UN Panel. That resolution had shamefully praised the SL Government and had failed even to express concern for the thousands of civilians who faced indefinite detention. It should be noted that India was among the countries which led the efforts to actively block the attempts to pass a stronger resolution holding the SL Government accountable to human rights. The Report further recommends that the Secretary General should initiate a comprehensive review of the role of the UN system during and after the conflict.
After the UN Panel's Report, there is no longer any excuse to delay the task of bringing the war criminals in the Sri Lankan Government and military to justice. President Rajapakse and his government must be prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Indian Government (led by Congress with DMK as coalition partner) is shamefully complicit in the crimes committed against the Tamils in Sri Lanka. The Indian Government must break its diplomatic silence on the findings of the UN Report, and must actively intervene to pursue international processes to prosecute the Sri Lankan Government for war crimes.
A lasting political solution and peace in Sri Lanka can only be built on a foundation of truth and justice. An impartial investigation must be conducted, perpetrators of war crimes must face stern punishment, and the rights and dignity of Tamils in today's Sri Lanka safeguarded.
CPI(ML) Protests against SL's War Crimes
CPIML held a protest demonstration against Rajapakse Govt on 3rd May at Tanjore. Large number of Party and mass organisation members participated in this state level demonstration. Apart from condemning and demanding trial of war criminals including Rajapakse the protest also strongly condemned the Conress-DMK led UPA Govt for its stoic silence over the UN report.
Solidarity Protest for Jaitapur
A solidarity protest march in Kolkata, supporting the people's movement at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, was organized by the All India students' Association (AISA), on 29th April. The protesters demanded that no new Nuke plant should come up in the country be it in Jaitapur in Maharastra or in Haripur in West Bengal. The protesters shouted slogan's demanding to know why Mamta Banerjee is silent on the forceful land grab in Jaitapur. Colourful banners adorned the rally.

Mayawati Govt's Order Protested

The Mayawati Govt in Uttar Pradesh passed an order on 27 April to curb protests and demonstrations thereby creating an emergency like situation in the State. The CPI(ML) burnt the copies of the order, demanded it be repealed immediately and protested against withholding permission for Anna Hazare's programme in UP. The CPI(ML) State Secretary also said that the Ambedkarite mask of BSP is also wearing out. Dr. Ambedkar's work in constitution writing ensured some fundamental rights to the people including the freedom of expression, assembly, dharna etc., which the Mayawati Govt is now bent on eroding. The CPI(ML) will continue its protest against this move to bulldoze democracy.


Edited, published and printed by S. Bhattacharya for CPI(ML) Liberation from U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92; printed at Bol Publication, R-18/2, Ramesh Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-92; Phone:22521067; fax: 22442790, e-mail:, website: