UNP will never come to power
the internal crisis of the Janatha Vimukthi Peruma (JVP) seems to be
looming large indicating a party division, the Propaganda Secretary of
the JVP said that the JVP will continue to be a 'force' in the country
and that the future of the party was stable.
In an interview with the Sunday Observer, he said that the JVP's
stance on the 13th Amendment would not change and the party would use
the Eastern Provincial election campaign to defeat separatism.
Pix Thilak Perera
Following are excerpts of the interview:
Q: The JVP is opposing power sharing under the 13th Amendment.
Why do you want to contest the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) polls on
A: Yes. We have decided to contest this election because we
think this is a good opportunity to convey our views about the
provincial councils among the people of the East. We hope to use this as
a platform to raise awareness among the people that the provincial
council system will ultimately pave the way to separate the country.
The reason why we did not contest the Batticaloa election was due to
a different reason. It was not a political decision but we had realised
that the JVP did not have the opportunity to move with people and engage
in political work there for a long period.
As a result, the JVP could not even prepare a list of candidates.
That decision did not have anything to do with the 13th Amendment.
Our decision to contest the EPC does not mean that the JVP is now in
favour of the PC system or the 13th Amendment. JVP members are serving
in other PCs but we still oppose the PC system.
By taking part in the PC election campaigns, the JVP will make use of
that opportunity to express our objection to the PCs and also the 13th
Amendment. The JVP had filed a case against the Western Provincial
Council about its huge wastage of public funds. The JVP is strongly
opposed to the PC system under the 13th Amendment.
Q: It is said that the JVP will contest the EPC polls under
some demands. Is it true?
A: We have not made any demand from the Government to contest
the elections. This is our own decision and the Government does not have
any involvement in this decision, but we have urged the Government to
create an environment to have a free and fair election.
Especially there should be a threats-free environment for all the
contestants and political parties. When we talk about threats, the
Karuna faction is the main factor. The JVP very clearly says that if the
TMVP cadres are to be disarmed it should be done in a manner where these
carders would not be killed by the LTTE.
Their safety should be guaranteed. We know some interested parties
want to disarm the TMVP cadres and put their lives at risk. They should
be disarmed in a way that that they will be trapped by the LTTE.
Q: You said that there are some interested parties, which urge
the Government to take action to disarm the TMVP carders on behalf of
the LTTE. Can you name them?
A: Some with vested interests want the TMVP to be disarmed
with the aim of making them vulnerable to LTTE attacks. These requests
are from the LTTE, UNP as well as foreign missions here.
The JVP's request is to disarm the TMVP systematically in a safe way
so that the LTTE cannot destroy their cadres. We must help the Karuna
faction as they took a brave turn by going against the LTTE. They
defeated terrorism in the East.
What we urge is that they should not be allowed to break the peaceful
environment in the East by using their weapons against the democratic
political parties and people. We think that the Government has an
obligation to maintain peace in the East.
Q: Recently you accused the UNP for trying to disarm the TMVP
to fulfill a requirement of the LTTE. How do you say so?
A: Yes, the UNP is aiming for that. They want to help the LTTE
and to create an environment where the LTTE can kill the TMVP cadres. In
this situation the Government should protect the TMVPers but they should
not be allowed to use their weapons as a tool to win the forthcoming
Q: If the JVP oppose power sharing under the 13th Amendment,
how do you think that we can solve the national problem?
A: The JVP strongly believes that the national problem cannot
be solved by devolution of power. If somebody tells we can end it
through power sharing it is an utter lie and also misleading the people.
Sri Lanka is a small island nation and geographically or populationwise
the country cannot be divided. So the JVP does not believe that
devolving power would bring successful results in ruling this small
What we believe is that the national problem can be solved through
strengthening local government bodies and they should be strengthened to
carry out their development tasks. The institutions in these local
bodies should also be strengthened. Therefore, the PC system is of no
use in solving the national problem.
The country has already experienced the gravity of the PC system.
What kind of development we have achieved through the Western Provincial
council? It has created a complete jargon in the mis-administration of
the province. It is an utter waste of public money.
Therefore, what we say is that there is no necessity to implement
another system like the PCs. An even better example of sharing power can
be found in our history where they did not lead the country for
separatism. What we need is a system that will not destroy the unitary
Q: The JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe's 'announcement' of a
boycotting of Indian goods has created a controversy now. The JVP which
objected the Norway's involvement is now opposing India. Why?
A: No, the JVP did not tell that we should boycott Indian
products here but what we said was that Sri Lankans would boycott Indian
products if the Indian interferences in our internal matters are getting
We do not believe that Norway's involvement in Sri Lanka took place
without the knowledge of the India. If there is no India's support then
Norway could not have carried out their desired work here. However,
Norway was not successful in achieving its targeted goal and had failed
in their mission.
We think that India taking the advantage under this situation, in the
guise of helping Sri Lanka defeat LTTE terrorism, has already launched a
very tactical mission to interfere in the country's political and
economical affairs now.
Even the JVP believes that the urge to implement the 13th Amendment,
which was created by India, is taking place under this mission. We
openly say that India is trying to increase their number of IOC filling
stations, acquiring more lands for power projects, selling power to Sri
Lanka are some of the hidden agendas that India already achieved. India
is also trying to dominate our power sector.
The JVP thinks the country does not want to make India a problem
after leaving one headache - Norway. Our view is that after defeating
LTTE terrorism, Sri Lanka does not need to face another problem and a
situation where the country's resources are owned by another nation.
Then all the efforts taken by the Government would be of no use as we
have already become dependent of another country unwillingly. I think it
is the JVP's duty as a responsible political party to unearth the hidden
agendas of our neighbour - India.
Q: Do you mean to say that India is not genuine in helping us
to crush terrorism and they have some hidden agendas?
A: Yes. Not only India but there are some sorts of efforts by
the Western countries to achieve their hidden agendas in the guise of
'helpers' to crush terrorism. WE should have a consensus about both
these elements and it is our responsibility to highlight these dangers
and educate our people in this respect.
Q: Are you confidant that our people would listen to the JVP
and do so?
A: We cannot predict it now. It depends on the outcome of the
situation. Who thought that India itself taught a lesson to the
Britishers by boycotting British made cloth. It was done by Mahatnma
They were able to close down British weaving factories in India with
the patriotic Indian people. Who can say it would not happen here? The
JVP believes that India will not interfere in our internal matters and
try to make use of our situation to achieve their agendas. I do not thin
that they will be so stubborn. If things get worst we cannot give a
guarantee of the decisions of the people of this country. They will
Q: if we need the assistance of the international community in
crushing terrorism, which country would be the ideal for us to look for,
according to the JVP?
A: The JVP does not have any special liking towards any of
these countries and there is no need to recommend countries. Our policy
is Sri Lanka should work with all the countries closely without
sacrificing the country's important policies and resources. We should be
able to stand on our own feet in respect of solving our internal
We should have policies that we should not exchange with other
countries. For an example President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Iran
recently but now Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka has gone to
If we are to receive some benefits from Arab countries after the
President's Iran visit, we are to lose them after the visit of the PM.
This reflects this Government's inability to manage foreign affairs
systematically. They engage in a ball game where they hit every ball
that comes to the court.
Q: Do you say that the Government lacks a proper foreign
A: Yes, we do not have a very effective foreign policy. That
is one major problem, which is badly affecting us. The Government still
cannot identify our real friends. On the other hand we do not have a
list of priorities, which we should protect when handling the foreign
In this sphere we cannot blame India for its wish to interfere with
our problems. Leaders of this country has opened the doors for India to
interfere with our own problems.
Q: The LTTE has lost the confidence of India after PM Rajiv
Gandhi's assassination. Will the continuous objection by the JVP for
Indian help to solve the national issue, mend the hatred between the
LTTE and India?
A: From the outside the relationship between India and the
LTTE is no more. But who can fully guarantee that the Indian
intelligence services like RAW would not continue its relationship with
the LTTE to be totally different to the one that they give to the LTTE
The picture that we see is not the exact picture that depicts
reality. Most of these countries have double signals. The signals that
they give us may be totally different from the signal that they give the
LTTE. The important factor is to maintain trust with India and defeat
If we can maintain trust, it would not be difficult to get the
support of other countries. But the JVP does not believe that any of
these countries would genuinely assist us to solve our problems and we
should be very careful.
Q: Can you tell where the JVP stand now? Are you with the
Alliance or not?
A: We are with the people and the JVP is an independent
political party. We do not have to be in any of the alliances - with the
UPFA or the UNP. The JVP is a patriotic political party.
Q: The government is in the process of defeating the LTTE. If
the JVP wants to defeat the Government the JVP will help to fulfill the
aspirations of the LTTE. What is your comment?
A: If there is an allegation that the JVP is up in arms in
some of the vital issues because we want to support the LTTE indirectly,
the main blame should direct go towards the Government. Because the
Government make us go against the it by engaging in corruption,
maintaining a massive Cabinet and wasting public money and also by
trying to harm the unitary status of this country.
As I mentioned earlier as a responsible political party we cannot
turn a blind eye when these things happen. We should oppose them. If
talking against these things is fulfilling the aspirations of the LTTE,
I would like to ask who compelled us to take that path? Simply it was
the Government that pushed us there. The Government should set an
example while engaging in the war. People of this country are
intelligent and they know the urgent need to crush terrorism and also
the other issues.
The JVP will never help the LTTE terrorists but the Government should
be more responsible in ruling this country.
Q: The JVP helped the Rajapaksa Government come into power. Do
you regret about this decision?
A: I too maintain the same opinion. If Ranil Wickremesinghe
came to power at that time, this country would be divided into pieces by
The JVP helped the Presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa to
prevent that unfortunate situation. As a result, the Rajapaksa
Government successfully engaged in the war against terrorism, abolished
the Ceasefire Agreement and Norway was sent home as pledged.
Therefore we do not regret our decision to help him come into power.
But the JVP regret about the Government's inability to foresee the
future challenges of the country.
Q: But your strong objections in vital decisions of the
Government shows that the JVP is indirectly supporting the UNP to come
A: The JVP strongly believes that the UNP will never come to
power. Therefore we do not want to talk about a thing, which will never
Q: If the JVP wanted to change the Government, you could have
done so during the last Budget. But you were silent.
A: While the Government was trying to survive, the UNP tried
to defeat the Government.
The JVP did not want to help both wishes. So we decided to be
independent. If we take one side, we were helping to achieve the wish of
the other side.
Q: But the opposition, including the UNP and the SLMC, claimed
that the JVP misled them at the budget. What is your comment?
A: We did not misled any of them. If they can be misled so
easily, they cannot be mature politicians.
Then they do not qualify enough to rule this country.
Q: The Opposition Leader has pledged party support for the
13th Amendment while the JVP is opposing it. Do you think that the JVP
is now politically isolated?
A: It is not a big surprise. The 13th Amendment is the
brainchild of the UNP. So they should help to implement that. They do
not have any other choice.
Ours is different. We opposed it from the beginning and still we
maintain the same stance. We are a responsible political party which
keep our promises and views unchanged, so we do not think we are
Q: Do you think that the Government will go for a general
election before the next budget?
A: It depends on the victories that the Government gains
through crushing terrorism. If the Government can have victories in the
war front then there is a possibility of going for an election.
Who is Wimal Weerawansa...
He entered politics with the arrival of the Indian Peace Keeping
Forces which was called in to fight against the LTTE terrorists in 1987.
The Advanced Level student, who had the leftist ideas, wanted to see a
country with 'no thieves and people enjoying similar benefits'. Simply
he wanted to see Sri Lanka like Russia or China.
The birth of a strong political campaigner was marked in 1987. He
joined the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which urged late President
R. Premadasa to send the Indian army home. They won their demand but the
strong military campaign against the JVP during the 1989 insurrection
made the young schoolboy go 'missing' from time to time with other the
"The most unforgettable incident of my life was the day I narrowly
escaped death in 1989 when a group of Army soldiers shot at 'Anith
sahodarayo denna' (two JVP members) and me. We ran for miles and miles
for our lives. Finally, we reached an isolated place and spent days
without food and water," he recalled.
Recalling the warm memories of his father, P. Weerawansa, one of the
popular dancers of the state dancing troupe - he said that his father
was his best friend. "I used to sleep along with my father until I left
home after joining the JVP. The books he had brought from Russia and
China and also the tales about their society motivated me to think new,"
The young schoolboy who had never talked with the former leader
Rohana Wijeweera but had seen him addressing a political rally. Today,
he, who is the Propaganda Secretary of the JVP has a goal. That is to
see his childhood dream - a country with more freedom and unity - a
Wimal Weerawansa, who did not abandon the JVP, started his
journalistic career as a news and feature writer of the 'Lakmina', which
was edited by Sunil Madawa Prematilake. Later he joined the 'Lakdiva'
and 'Hiru'. "Apart from writing news and features I am an all rounder in
journalism," he said.
Weerawansa has set many popular figures as his role models. He said
he wanted to fulfil the task entrusted him by the people of this
country. Ready to face any challenge on behalf of the future of this
country, this popular young politician reads and enjoys his free time
with his two children whenever he find a breathing space.