The New Year joyously celebrated by the Sinhalese and Tamil masses dawns on 14th April this year. We wish the majority of Sri Lankans who celebrate this cultural festival a Happy New Year.
The New Year is linked to novelty in everything. According to astrology, the sun moves from the constellation of Pisces to that of Aries. However, the cultural festival that is linked to this belief is a social phenomenon that affects the lives of our people positively. This is an opportunity to remove unwanted old things and fill life with novelty and also to think anew of the path we have taken hitherto.
All administrations that ruled the country during this period could never find solutions for issues confronted by the majority of the people in the country. This is why the Sri Lankan society that had moved along the same old vicious cycle throughout last 70 years has to continue to toddle along the same path. While the masses are preparing for a new beginning with the New Year the government is bent on dragging the masses along the same vicious cycle.
The ruling class does not have a new economic strategy to confront the economic crisis other than the bankrupt neo-liberal economic system. Their only temporary solution is to sell national wealth; burden the people with the weight of the economy, slash people’s welfare and look for ways and means of stealing people’s money by introducing new taxes. They have driven the country and the people towards the depth of crises. Every person in the country is in debt to the tune of Rs.500,000 and the country has been trapped in a debt trap of nearly Rs.10,000 billion.
The political crisis that develops based on the economic crisis is unfolding before the masses as scenes from a teledrama. The masses have been forced to forget the issues that torment them and witness the ridiculous episodes. On the other hand, fractions connected to the previous regime that are responsible for frauds, corruption, waste, murder and large-scale thefts, in a bid to conceal their crimes, are looking for ways of coming to power soon. They, spreading communalism, are engaged in a deceitful attempt of immersing the Sri Lankan society in another bloodbath.
Amidst all this and the deep economic and political crises, new hopes of the people for their families and children for an auspicious New Year are getting fainter and fainter. This is why, despite wishing each other for a happy New Year; the New Year would not be auspicious for everyone. People should deeply scrutinize the reasons why the wishes they exchange during the New Year would not be fulfilled. The masses should come forward to solve the issues that torment them and save the country from the vicious cycle it is being drawn towards. The country should be taken along a new path that could make every New Year genuinely auspicious. The New Year creates a very precious omen for the masses to aspire for new aspirations and new determinations. For the New Year to be genuinely auspicious the majority of the people in our country should break loose from their old attitudes and should instil new ideas in their minds to go on a new journey.
The first step towards this, we believe, is to change the old political decisions and take new political decisions. We wish that the masses will make this New Year an event to gain new vigour to embark on a new political journey that would build a new society to bring genuine victories for the people and the country.
We call upon all Sri Lankans to make the Sinhalese – Tamil New Year an opportunity to resolve to build a massive people’s power, to have the courage to go on a new socio-economic journey and make it an omen of national unity that makes us one Nation.
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna