The attack on Hambanthota people has exposed the government which marks two years of its existence says the Information Secretary of the JVP Vijitha Herath.
He said this speaking at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta today (8th). The Member of the Southern Provincial Council Sisira Wahalathanthri, Suranga of Collective to Protect Rights of People in Hambantota and its General Secretary Sumith Kumara also participated.
Mr. Herath said, “Today, 8th January, completes two years of this government. When the government was formed people were given high promises regarding the economy, politics and democracy. However, after two years all hopes regarding ‘good governance’ have been shattered. The country has been dragged to a precipice economically and politically. The government has unleashed terror, violence and suppression instead of democracy. The resources of the people are sold dirt chap. People are burdened with heavy taxes. None of people’s wishes are being fulfilled. The statement that people’s earnings would be multiplied has remained only an empty promise. Ranil – Maithri administration takes over people’s lands arbitrarily to hand over to foreign companies. They do not want to develop people’s future. They do not want to dedicate themselves for people’s benefits. People have taken to the streets as their hopes have been shattered. Students took to the streets against the suppressive moves of the government. Farmers have taken to the streets. Now people have taken to the streets. The government deployed armed forces to tear gas, baton charge and shoot the masses who struggle for their just rights.
It is the same repression that was unleashed on people at Hambanthota yesterday. People in Hambanthota made sacrifices for years to save their traditional lands. During Rajapaksa regime 11,000 acres of lands belonging to people in Hambanthota were arbitrarily taken over. This was said by Namal Rajapaksa in an interview with a weekend newspaper. Lands of the people were arbitrarily taken over for Maththala Airport, Mirijjawela Industrial project and Hambanthota Harbour. What Rajapaksas did then is repeated by Ranil – Maithri government now. Hence, people in Hambanthota have a right to save their lands from being sold to foreign companies.
We accept that there should be industries in our country. However, people’s traditional lands should not be taken over arbitrarily for that purpose. Installing factories after arbitrarily taking over people’s lands would not be fruitful. What the government wants to do is to sell the lands to foreign companies on the pretext of establishing industries. This is how Ranil – Maithri government hopes to earn money. We demand from the government to immediately stop arbitrarily taking over lands of Hambanthot people and stop selling Hambanthota Harbour. If the government fails to do so the JVP will take action rallying thousands of people against it. Yesterday people in Hambanthota, without any party differences, launched a protest campaign against the government. People from all over Hambanthota joined the protest campaign. The government created a massive terror situation in the area. The Army and the police were deployed. Thugs from Mattakkuliya, Kurunegala, Galle, Matara and henchmen of ministers terrorized people from 6th night. The police blocked roads and set up barriers. This made people angry and they responded. The attack unleashed by thugs and the armed forces on the people in Hambanthota was a savage and inhuman attack. The government assaulted and attacked men and women who agitated to save their traditional lands from being sold dirt cheap to foreign companies. We condemn government’s attack with disgust. This struggle cannot be suppressed by attacks or terror. Hundreds and thousands of people will rise and rally against this government.
A clique that is politically bankrupt is attempting to betray the struggle. This clique is trying to use the people who are struggling for their genuine grievances for their political agenda. They, who arbitrarily grabbed lands of Hambanthota people, are now trying to say they did not do such a thing. They intervene to dilute the struggle. They try to repress the struggle. The government uses their moves to suppress the genuine struggle of the people. Hence, we would not allow bankrupt cliques to dilute the struggle. It is not ‘good governance’ that the government is displaying when it passes two years of its term but moves that prove ‘yahapalanaya’ is a myth. By attacking people the government has exposed its treacherousness.”