Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 16. September 8th 1971
Apart form the young rebels, large sections of the masses who had supported the government have already broken with it. The mass slaughter of youth as well as others and the atrocities perpetrated by the armed forces with the direct responsibility of the government and its leaders, is even now, leading to a growing hatred of the government among all section of the people. It is the unprecedented repression, the withdrawal of democratic rights and the state of virtual martial law now prevailing, that has prevented the people from becoming articulate in this regard.
Whatever may be the fortunes of the youth still in armed struggle, one real possibility in this situation is that wide sections of the masses could well develop an anti-capitalist left orientation not only in relation to actions of the government and the capitalist State during the youth uprising, but also in relation to the pressing problems of the people which have now become more acute than ever before, through the actions and failures of the government.
How soon the working class and the rest of the masses can take the road of struggle against the government and the capitalist class is problematical, especially under conditions of a ruthless military-police dictatorship which is today's reality.
In any event the armed struggle of the youth has posed sharply the questions of correct strategy and tactics for the socialist revolution in Ceylon, not only in the light of the experiences of this struggle, but also in the context of the lessons of struggles in Asia, Latin America and Europe in recent times, as well as their more distant history.
Concretely, the successful outcome of revolutionary struggles in Ceylon is inescapably linked to the great debate that will centre round the questions of:— what are the real socialist alternatives to the present capitalist-imperialist plantation and domestic economy; what are the forces of the Ceylon revolution; what is the place of the working class including plantation workers in this revolution; what is the place and role of the revolutionary youth in the socialist revolution; what is the class that will control the new state-power; and if armed struggle is the continuation of politics tv other means is not the ideological programmatic and organisational arming primary, and the technical question of armaments secondary?
To what extend, and how speedily, a re-groupment of the revolutionary forces could take place on the basis of a correct anti-capitalist orientation on all these burning questions, in the perspective of united action to mobilise the working class and other oppressed sections against the capitalist class, its state-power and government will be crucial in determining the course of the coming revolutionary struggles.