The China of today is vastly different to the China that I knew of in my younger days. Thinking about the China of those times evokes memories of many things like the cultural revolution, red guards, the great leap forward, the red book of Chairman Mao’s thoughts and above all Mao Zedong himself who was known then as Mao Tse -Tung. In the post-Deng Xiaoping China very little is stated publicly about Mao Zedong the founding father of the Peoples Republic of China. Modern China is rapidly progressing along the “Capitalist High Road” that was so forcefully denounced by the Chinese Communist leader of yore. As far as Sri Lanka is concerned Mao seems to be virtually forgotten nowadays.
There was however a time when a vigorously vibrant leftist political party espousing the policies and ideology of Mao Zedong known as Maoism flourished in Sri Lanka. It was known as the Ceylon Communist Party (PekingWing) to denote its pro- China leanings as opposed to the other pro- Soviet Union Communist party (Moscow wing). Beijing was spelled as Peking then. At its heyday the Ceylon Communist Party(Peking Wing) controlled many trade unions in the mercantile,industrial, agricultural and plantation sectors. It also spearheaded a massive socio-cultural movement that greatly helped to abolish the cruelty of caste oppression in Jaffna. The party was also the nursery in which Rohana Wijeweera the founder -leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna(JVP) was nurtured. After the demise of Mao and rise of Deng, the Sri Lankan party remained faithful to pristine Maoism and condemned the new revisionist line.Despite suffering several splits, defections and declining membership, the party along with other like-minded international Marxist-Leninist groups formed the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement(RIM) to re-affirm Maoism. Subsequently the party re-invented itself as the Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist).
Continue reading ‘Comrade Shan and the Tamil Militant Armed Struggle; A Birth Centenary Tribute To Nagalingam Sanmugathasan’ »