14 August 2015

The following is a verbatim transcription of the remarks of United Socialist Party leader Sirithunga Jayasuriya to the media outside the Jaffna district secretariat on July 13.

The United Socialist Party is contesting Jaffna district completely to defend the right to self-determination. The United Socialist Party is the only party who defend the right of self-determination of Tamil people. The main two capitalist parties, the UPFA or the UNP, they are talking about Tamil people, but not come out with a solution. We have come here to contest the election, whatever the mandate we go to get from the Tamil people would help to us and we will take that message to south. We want to build the relationship between the north and south.

Progressive people, workers, youth and peasant together with the Tamil and Muslim people in the east to build up a strong force to force the capitalist system to find the long lasting solution to the national question. None of the capitalist parties talking about that. Last presidential election they did not say anything. Now general election has come. They did nothing. Why? They are looking for vote in the south. This match again going to be the match of the south. We say no. This is the match of the entire country. That’s why the United Socialist Party has come here to contest, as general secretary of the party, Siritunga Jayasuriya, I myself is a candidate in Jaffna.

Journalist: Is your party contesting other districts?

Sirithunga Jayasuriya [SJ]: Ya, Ya, Kandy, Kaluthara, Ke’galle. Colombo …

World Socialist Web Site [WSWS]: But you have been participating in UNP meetings in past years? What do you say about that? You know the status of UNP as a capitalist party. You were on the stages of the UNP.

SJ: Not only with Ranil Wickremesinghe, in 1993 I marched from Colombo to Katharagama together with Mahinda Rajapakse. But we did not joined to form the government. If any government is there, they are doing wrong thing, and we are together with anybody to fight. We will shake hand with devils to fight against the oppression. That’s what we did with Ranil and UNP, of course we were in this, but we are not going to have any election with capitalist parties.

WSWS: But you are dressing them up with a democratic façade?

SJ: No! No! Not at all never. Never. Never in our politics.

WSWS: You are participating in capitalist political movements?

SJ: When Mahinda Rajapakse killing journalist we were together, we have to fight together. I mean that is a general thing. What is this. In the history it is always there. We join hand against the oppressor. Right. Even tomorrow if Ranil Wickremesinghe comes we may join hand with Mahinda Rajapakse against Ranil Wickremesinghe. That does not mean we are going to form a government with them.

Journalist: Have you supported Maithree [Sirisena]?

SJ: I did not support at all. I contested myself. I said to remove Mahinda. Replacing Maithree is not going to get anything. Now people are crying. What is Maithreepala? Maithree is like Pathola. Like a wiper who goes from this side to that side. But people thought Maithree is going to get the blessings. Nothing. That’s is the problem of this country. People are looking for a shortcut.

Journalist: What do you think about the minority? Your party is coming saying that you all are accepting our self-determination.

SJ: Including secession. If the Tamils decide to have a separate country we are the only party in the south to say yes. None of the southern parties going to say that. NSSP said many things. N.M. Perera said many things. But what they are doing now?