Long Live Com. N.Shanmugathasan
He was a founding leader (general secretary) of Ceylon communist Party (CCP), later it became as CCP (Maoist). He was fighting to defend Cultural Revolution and against revisionist capitalist roaders of china. Com. Shan was beloved leader among the workers, peasants, intellectuals, revolutionaries and Maoists comrades of Sri Lanka. He firmly rejects the parliamentary road and his party line targeted to armed revolution and the party was underground decades. So it spread widely on the country as well as northern and southern, after the death of Com. Shanmugathasan the party becomes to liquidation due to revisionist activities of later leaders. He was one of the live connections of GPCR in the RIM.
On the Death of Comrade Sanmugathasan
– Statement by the Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement
15 February 1993
It was with great grief that the Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement learned of the death of Comrade N. Sanmugathasan, General Secretary of the Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist) on 8 February at the age of 74 of natural causes.
Comrade Sanmugathasan devoted his life to the goal of achieving communism. He was a widely respected public figure in Sri Lanka and loved by broad sections of workers, peasants, revolutionary intellectuals and progressives. His life was intertwined with the history of the revolutionary movement in Sri Lanka and the international communist movement. As he put it, “I became a Communist in 1939 and never looked back.”
Comrade Sanmugathasan participated in the struggle to establish a genuine Communist Party in what was then colonial Ceylon. He fought against the Trotskyites that had dominated the Left movement in that country. He was an ardent defender of the accomplishments of the proletariat of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Joseph Stalin.
Comrade Sanmugathasan was one of the first Communist leaders to rally around Mao Tsetung and the Communist Party of China in the great struggle against Khrushchevite revisionism. Comrade Sanmugathasan defended the need for the revolutionary violence of the masses and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Comrade Sanmugathasan was an ardent defender of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. On the basis of discussions with Mao Tsetung and other revolutionary leaders of the CPC, Comrade Sanmugathasan prepared a pamphlet entitled, “Hold High the Bright Red Banner of Mao Tsetung Thought”. This publication, widely circulated throughout the world, helped popularize and spread some of the important teachings of Mao Tsetung.
In 1971 Comrade Sanmugathasan was imprisoned for one year by the reactionary regime in Sri Lanka.
In 1976 following the coup d’etat in China after Mao’s death, Comrade Sanmugathasan was among the first to oppose the new revisionist rulers. When Enver Hoxha attacked Mao Tsetung Thought, Comrade Sanmugathasan stood firm while many others wavered.
Comrade Sanmugathasan attended both the First and Second International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations which resulted in the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement. Comrade Sanmugathasan played an important role in this process, both through struggling hard for those positions he held firmly and in his striving for unity with others.
Comrade Sanmugathasan was one of the few living links between the revolutionaries who came forward under the influence of the Cultural Revolution in China and those who had come forward in earlier great battles. His maturity and staunchness was an important alloy in the forging of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement whose formation he hailed as a “milestone in the history of the international communist movement”.
Comrade Sanmugathasan was a vigourous opponent of the Sri Lankan government’s war against the Tamil people in the North and East of the island.
In 1991 Comrade Sanmugathasan personally convoked and led an important conference of the Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist). Thus, even as his health was failing, and putting the cause of the proletariat and the revolution above personal interest, Comrade Sanmugathasan took an active role in promoting a new generation of leadership and assuring the future of the Party.
Comrade Sanmugathasan was an enthusiastic supporter of the People’s War in Peru. His last public act was to speak at the first press conference in London of the International Emergency Committee to Defend the Life of Dr Abimael Guzmán, of which he was a founder.
Throughout his long lifetime of revolutionary service to the proletariat and the people, Comrade Sanmugathasan never lost confidence in the ultimate triumph of the cause of communism. Although crucial problems of the revolution in Sri Lanka were not resolved in Comrade Sanmugathasan’s lifetime, he laid down vital building blocks which the communists, proletariat and people of Sri Lanka will use in advancing toward their liberation.
The Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement extends its deepest sympathy to the Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist), and to the family and friends of Comrade N. Sanmugathasan. We are sure that the Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist) will honour the memory of Comrade Sanmugathasan by carrying forward in deeds the cause to which he dedicated his life.
Excerpts From AWTW Magazine
Reminiscences on Comrade Sanmugathasan
By M.N. Ravunni …What is not so known is his consistent internationalist role in assisting and encouraging the anti-revisionist struggle within the Communist Party of India…
When the CPI leadership degenerated into the worst type of national chauvinism during the 1962 Indo-Sino war, he continuously wrote articles in the Thozhilali, a Tamil journal published by the Ceylon Communist Party, exposing the real culprits causing the war and the aims of the imperialists as the Indian comprador state….
After the breakdown in Indo-Sino relations it was exceedingly difficult to get copies of CPC ideological documents exposing the Khrushchevites. This put our group in difficulties, especially since the revisionists were well supplied with CPSU material. Comrade Sanmugathasan stepped in to help us. He arranged regular supply of CPC literature, translated most of the important documents into Tamil and Malayalam and got them printed in Sri Lanka for our use. I remember reading translations of important texts of the Great Debate such as ‘On Togliatti’ and ‘More on Togliatti’ made available by him. This assistance played a major role in spreading the activities of the anti-revisionist group centred in Madras throughout Tamilnadu and Kerala.
In 1964 the CPI split and the CPM was formed. But its leadership soon revealed its revisionist colours. Without violating the norms of fraternal relations Comrade Sanmugathasan consistently criticized their errors. When the 7th Congress of the CPM adopted a resolution ‘On Revisionism’, he promptly responded with a long critique exposing the revisionism embodied in those views. I happened to be the courier for reaching this critique to the CPM leadership which arrogantly rejected it. But its significance remained as a good direction to the communists within the CPM to continue their struggle and rebel.
When the Naxalbari armed rebellion broke out in 1967 Comrade Sanmugathasan and his party saluted it. Though I had shifted to Kerala by this time, he soon found out a channel to keep up clandestine connections with us. An article written by him ‘Only Mao Tsetung Thought can lead the Indian revolution to victory’ was published in “Liberation” (organ of the All India Co-ordination Committee of Revolutionaries) and was adopted as one of the four basic texts. In Kerala alone thousands of copies of its Malayalam translation were published in several editions. Comrade Sanmugathasan also took care to raise criticisms of what he perceived as the sectarian errors of the co-ordination Committee….
…Comrade Sanmugathasan was of invaluable assistance to us fledgling communists struggling against revisionism. We have yet to redeem his trust and take up our own internationalist responsibilities.
Comrade M.N. Ravunni is a veteran communist who played an important role in the struggle against revisionism during the ’60s. He actively participated in the emerging revolutionary Marxist-Leninist movement sparked off by the Naxalbari armed rebellion and was jailed for 13 years. He is currently a member of Kerala Communist Party and is at present secretary of its Propaganda Committee.