Lessons from October Revolution are very important to rescue the country from the tragedy it has been dragged to says the General Secretary of the JVP Comrade Tilvin Silva.
He said this at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP at yesterday (25th) to apprise the media regarding the main commemoration held in Sri Lanka simultaneous with Centenary celebrations of the Great October Revolution. The Western Provincial Councilor of the JVP Comrade Lakshman Nipunarachchi too was present.
Comrade Tilvin Silva said, “This year is the centenary of the October Revolution. Celebrations are held in many countries to commemorate this great event. The JVP too has organized several programmes on behalf of the centenary of the October Revolution. These programmes will be carried out at Viharamahadevi Park throughout the 27th and 28th of this month.
The commemorative exhibition will be declared open at 10.00 a.m. on the 27th and ambassadors, foreign representatives including representatives from the Russian Communist party, invited guests and JVP Leaders are expected to participate in this event. In the evening at 3.00 p.m. a street drama display will be held. At 3.30 p.m. three books will be launched. They are a collection of articles written about the October Revolution, the Sinhalese translation of the second part of Soviet writer Irina Malenco’s ‘Sovietca’ and the Tamil translation of ‘Soviet Desheye Bindawatima saha Dhanawadaye wathman arbudhaya’. Soviet writer Irina Malenco and several writers including Gunasena Vithana are expected to participate. Later, ‘Vikalpa’ a cultural show will be held.
At 9.30 a.m. the exhibition will open for the second day and at 10.00 a.m. ‘October Illustration’, a painting programme with the participation of several renowned artists will take place. At 2.00 p.m. a street drama display will be held and the main commemorative event will be held at 3.30 p.m. with the participation of JVP Leaders, representatives from Bangladesh and Russia and invited guests. At 6.00 p.m. a musical show has been arranged participated by several popular artists. With these programmes we hope to give the people in our country awareness and experiences of the October Revolution and about Socialism. W invite the masses in the country, especially school children to participate and get an idea of the October Revolution.
Why are the experiences of the October Revolution important for Sri Lanka at a time it marks its centenary? The October revolution occurred in Russia in 1917. Then Russia was a much-undeveloped country. People were oppressed under the Tsar administration. Farmers did not have lands. People did not have enough food. Russia was an undeveloped feudal state with fewer facilities. However, after the 1917 Revolution, Russia achieved a large number of colossal victories. Soviet Russia was able to become one of the two most powerful countries in the world after only 40 years of the Revolution. It achieved a massive development economically. It was able to solve the unemployment problem in 1930 – just 13 years after the Revolution. Soviet Russia fulfilled a massive task during the 1940s to defeat Nazis in the second world war. Out of the 50 million who were killed in the war 20 million were Soviet citizens. The country had to undergo massive human losses and many parts of the country were devastated. However, 10 to 12 years after the war it could rise up as a strong state.
Russia was able to achieve massive victories in science and technology. It won a leading place in space travel. Russia was able to send into orbit satellite ‘Sputnik’ in 1957 – just 40 years after the Revolution. In 1957 ‘Laika’ the bitch was sent into orbit and Yuri Gagarin, the first man to be launched into orbit in 1961. In 1963 Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to have flown in space.
Russia also achieved great victories in the education sector. The literacy rate that was only 24% in 1916 was increased to 99%. Kirgizia, a state owned by Russia didn’t have an alphabet either. However, under Socialism, an alphabet was introduced and persons with doctorates and professorships were produced. Russia heads the world in reading and the number of libraries. By 1040 there were 70,000 libraries in Russia. A large number of great literary works were produced in Russia. Chingiz Aitmatov, Mikhail Sholokhov, Maxim Gorky were only a few writers produced by Russia. Even today most of the books displayed at book exhibitions are translations of Russian books. Russia took measures to give knowledge to the whole world through here writers.
Even in sports, Russia achieved massive victories. During the Soviet era, the most number of Olympic medals were won Russia. The high jumping world champion is still a Russian. All victories achieved in economic, education, science and technology, literature and sports were due to the October Revolution and the Socialist transformation. The undeveloped feudal Russia was able to achieve great victories as a result of the Socialist transformation. Today, in our country crime and murders have escalated. During Socialism, there was no crime in Russia. Russia showed to the world that a country without crime could be made with Socialist transformation.
Soviet Russia was not a country that was concerned only about itself. It supported and gave aid to many poor countries in the world. Oruwala steel factory was given to Sri Lanka as a present. Community halls, houses for employees were given free. The Kelani tyre factory and textile factories were presented to Sri Lanka by the Soviet Union. Similarly, many poor countries were given aid. Large numbers of literary works were donated. In 1980 12 volumes of Lenin’s Collected Works could be bought for a very small amount. It is the October Revolution that built such a country. This is why October Revolution is important for us.
While Russia achieved so many victories after the 1917 revolution, what have we achieved during the last 70 years after we got independence in 1948? The economy has broken down. Ours has become a country that could exist only by getting loans. The country that was not indebted in 1948 is trapped in a debt trap of Rs. 10500000 million today. The leaders of our country have dragged the country towards a precipice of destruction. No victories have been achieved in science and technology. While the Soviet Union solved the unemployment problem in 1930, the graduates in our country have taken to the streets demanding jobs. The difference is the October Revolution. What has happened to the factories Socialist Russia donated to Sri Lanka? Oruwala steel factory was sold to the private sector. Tyre Corporation was sold. Thulhiriya textile factory was sold. The plywood Corporation was closed down. The rulers in our country sold the factories donated to us.
Today crimes have increased in our country. Murders, suicides and vehicle accidents have escalated. The situation had deteriorated that a woman cannot walk on the road without being harassed. Russia was able to solve the basic issues of the people and create national unity under Socialism. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990 as a result of western imperialists’ conspiracies, it has fallen to the bottom of the capitalist precipice. Women in countries that belonged to the old Soviet Union have come down to the low level of selling their bodies. They have become refugees; crime has increased; the gap between the haves and have-nots has widened. This is why the experiences of the October Revolution are important for us. We take measures to share these experiences with the people in our country. We believe the lessons of the October Revolution are very much important to save the country from the tragedy it has been dragged to.