Flooded Fields, Callous Government

[In the wake of severe floods in Punjab, a CPI(ML) team visited the affected areas. One team comprising the party's Punjab Secretary Rajwinder Rana, State Secretary of Mazdoor Mukti Morcha Punjab, Bhagwant Singh Samao, President of Punjab Kisan Union Sukhcharan Singh Danevalia and Vice Presidents Ruldu Singh and Meet Singh visited affected villages of Mansa while another team lead by RYA Punjab General Secretary Hasmeet Singh, Cashier Ajaypal Natt, Chandigarh unit head Sawinder Singh, Rajinder Hodla and Amrit Pal Singh visited affected villages of Sangrur district. Hasmeet Singh reports. Ed/-]

The fields of Punjab are flooded, and its farmers and labourers in great distress. But it seems that Scotch whisky rather than flood waters figure higher on the priorities of the Government and the ruling class parties. Even as Punjab fights the flood, 8 of its MLAs from the ruling Akali Dal and the BJP including the Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon and one MLA from the opposition Congress made a visit to Scotland to study whisky manufacturing processes there! 
The flood situation in Punjab is disturbing. Punjab has nearly 12700 villages, of which more than 1200 are under flood water. In other words 10% of Punjab is flooded. Many leaders of SAD, BJP and Congress are making aerial and road visits to some affected villages, it is merely as a media photo-op. The Government has shown criminal laxity in safeguarding embankments and rushing relief to the flood-affected.
People said there is no arrangement for any vehicle to transport animals and valuables of poor farmers and labourers to safe places. Neither has the relief work of providing food, clean drinking water, animal fodder, medicine etc. being carried out in the affected villages. The MLAs and MPs are just visiting the main road and bridges where media waits for them, and then after having photographs clicked they return back. Such visits are in turn increasing the pain of affected people as the Government officials working in villages have to leave their work to welcome the VIPs.
Giving an example of such an incident leaders said that in the village Bhagwanpur Lohian, prominent Congress leaders Raninder Singh and Bibi Rajinder Kaur Bhatthal have visited, but no one bothered to reach the kuchha houses of the villages located just 200 m away from venue. Due to moving of soil, cracks have developed in houses. Labourers cannot go far distances for work and no help is reaching them in the villages.
People also alleged that the administration and police department is busy in saving villages of ruling party leaders and the remaining villages are left to manage on their own. People also reported major corruption and bias in providing relief to the poor as there is no record being kept of all the relief being provided.

The CPI(ML) team demanded that the Punjab Government should immediately pay Rs. 20,000/- per acre to farmers as compensation for destroyed crops and Rs. 10,000/- to every labourer's family. Number of boats provided are very inadequate, so more boats should be provided and help in form of tents, foodstuff, water, medicines etc. should immediately be sent to the people gathered at higher safe places. Medical camps should be opened in all the affected villages and free health-care should be provided to all so as to reduce the extent of spreading diseases to minimum. Also the government should conduct a survey of loss of pumps, cattle and other assets, and relief of Rs. 50,000/- should be provided to labourer families whose houses have been damaged in floods.

Fifth All Sri Lanka Congress of the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party

The Fifth All Sri Lanka Congress of the New Democratic Party took place in Colombo on the 25th and 26th of June 2010. The Congress resolved after thorough discussion that the New-Democratic Party be renamed as the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party in consideration of the need for the name to reflect its Marxist Leninist ideological stand and the fact that capitalist parties exist in other countries with the name New Democratic Party. The Fifth All Sri Lanka Congress of the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party (hitherto New-Democratic Party) declared self determination for the nationalities within a united Sri Lanka, new democratic revolution led by the working class and a socialist future as its political aims.
The Congress elected a fifteen-member Central Committee, with S.K. Senthivel as General Secretary, V. Mahendran as National Organiser, E. Thambiah as International Organiser, and S. Thevarajah as Treasurer.
Below is the text of the message of greetings sent by the General Secretary of CPI(ML) Liberation to the newly elected Central Committee:  
Dear Comrades,
We hope the Fifth All Sri Lanka Congress of your party concluded successfully and take this opportunity to extend our warm internationalist greetings to the newly elected Central Committee.
You have rightly noted that following the military decimation of the LTTE, the chauvinist sections of Sinhala ruling classes have tightened their grip as has been indicated by the outcome of the Presidential and Parliamentary polls earlier this year. Such a fascist-chauvinistic stranglehold of the ruling classes must also imply a heightened assault on the living and working conditions and rights of the Sri Lankan people.
We hope your Congress has adequately dealt with this new juncture in Sri Lankan situation and formulated policies and tasks to advance the Marxist-Leninist movement by addressing the pressing concerns of all sections of the working people. The war crimes of the Rajapaksa regime can only be set right by the Sri Lankan people and we are sure the NDP will make every possible effort in this direction.
The CPI(ML) looks forward to closer ties with the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party and the working people’s movement in Sri Lanka and reiterates its commitment to fight against imperialist interference and regional hegemonic designs and work for transforming South Asia into a bastion of people-to-people solidarity and united struggles against imperialist globalization.
With warm greetings of proletarian internationalist solidarity,
Dipankar Bhattacharya,

General Secretary, CPI(ML)(Liberation)