Comrade Bala on the May Day hijack



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Comrade Bala Tampoe was having a nap in heaven, when he received a call from one of his old comrades, Jinadasa. He said "Comrade Bala, what are you doing these days? Do you know what is happening in Sri Lanka? We are sad and disgusted. We got nowhere to go now" Bala asked his fellow comrade " Why are you so worried? You don’t let me rest in peace even in heaven" His colleague said "They named the 22nd lane in Colpetty after you though it was too late. They could have honoured you much earlier. That is the only good thing they did on the Workers Day. But I wish they named one of those Colombo 7 roads in your honour for them to remember what you did for us"


"I wouldn't care Comrade. I never asked anyone to name anything after me though politicians in Sri Lanka name ports, airports, conference halls, streets, bus stands, flower pots, grounds and even toilets after them. In a way I consider this as an insult. I always did my part on behalf of the workers of Sri Lanka".


"Bala, they had nearly 59 May day rallies this year. They fought for months, traded insults, got injections and finally got injunctions. Television and the newspapers were full of attacks. Some got jittery some even fainted. They continued to insult our workers. Those red JVP fellows even had couples parading shouting ‘Say No to Dowry’. Is that a workers’ right Comrade Bala" asked Comrade Jinadasa.


"I am sure those JVP couples must be sponsored by some western embassy. Saying no to dowry got nothing to do with May Day or the rights of the workers. I am sure they have got things mixed up though they wear red shirts. May be young Anura Kumara got this idea after his recent visit to Ireland. Yes Jina. I am saddened by the attacks and insults. Do they ever care I wouldn't know. They have ruined the workers movement. Where are all the Union leaders gone Comrade "asked Bala Tampoe?


" Most of them have become henchmen Bala. Even they travel in super luxury vehicles now. Remember how we traveled by cycle those days wearing our read shirts and even torn trousers. We didn't have much money. We still don’t. I cried when I saw how they spent so much money on 1st of May to ‘fight’ for workers’ rights; must be millions of dollars, Bala. The Island newspaper said in an Editorial that organisers could have used that money to help the poor school children. I wonder where they get large sums of money to spend like this, Bala. I am told the old CTB made millions of profits hiring buses to political parties on May Day, but the Highway to Galle lost millions of rupees", lamented the real Comrade Jinadasa.


Bala Tampoe said, "I don’t believe that Comrade. Are you sure the CTB made profits. You and I know very well that politicians got the CTB buses free of charge. Have you got proof they paid for the buses? Do you think Sri Lanka changed so quickly? May Day in Sri Lanka is not our day Comrade, however much you and I have fought for the rights of the workers. Is it true that many think AE Gunasinhe is the man who started Gunasinhapura, Comrade Jinadasa? Why do our people allow fat bellied politicians to lead Workers Parades? Why do they give in to them and let them take workers as hostage? I thought Good Governance means letting the workers have their own rallies, and not hijacking them. They will gain as long as we are divided. I heard super luxury vehicles with bodyguards followed the marching politicians and some vehicles even had doctors inside to treat them for fatigue and other illness due to richness".


"Yes, Comrade Bala. That is true. That was the case here. I cried when I saw many ambulances stuck in heavy traffic. I saw nurses and doctors inside with saline. I wonder if those poor people died, unable to get to a hospital in time. How come our people are so heartless Comrade? wept Comrade Jinadasa. "The Sri Lanka Freedom Party held two May Day rallies this time Bala. One in Galle and one in Kirulapone. They fought tooth and nail for it. It was disgusting to watch them fight to take control of the party. They contested. They compared. I have never seen such slander in my life Bala. I am happy that you are in heaven rather than getting angry here " said Comrade Jinadasa.


"Let them be Comrade Jina. In Sri Lanka the United National Party is not United. People’s Liberation Party (JVP) is not liberated. Old LSSP and CP are lost. Plantation workers are suffering and the leaders of Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) are having a jolly good time. Vasu and Bahu have become old street fighters. There is no Freedom in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. One day they all will go to hell. But, it will be too late for our workers. If only they spent the money to improve the lives of our workers, Sri Lanka today will be a better place. Have I fought in vain in the years I spent in Sri Lanka? Have I, Jinadasa? Have I? Tell me, asked Comrade Bala Tampoe?


And as the rains came down, Comrade Bala in heaven waved at Comrade Jinadasa in Grandpass.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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