Anura Kumara apologises in London for JVP’s 1988-89 terror
The Janatha Vimuthi Peramuna (JVP), or the People’s Liberation
Organisation (PLO) as it was known in English at the early stages, is a
party which has a notorious track record. More often than never they
have reposed more faith in the bullet than the ballot, having resorted
to armed struggles to capture power at any cost.
On not less than two occasions, the JVP had attempted to overthrow
democratically elected Government through armed struggles and capture
power. But they were not successful on both occasions.
Their first such attempt was in 1971 against the then Prime Minister
Sirimavo Bandaranaike and her SLFP-led coalition government which was
only a year old. But the JVP insurgency was defeated by the Security
When the UNP regained power at the 1977 general election, the late
President J.R. Jayewardene gave a general amnesty to JVP insurgents,
including its leader Rohana Wijeweera who went on to contest the 1982
Presidential election and polled less than three hundred thousand votes.
The JVP went back to its jungle life after the 1987 Indo-Lanka
accord. They introduced their own rule of the jungle during their second
insurgency in 1988-89. They brutally killed their political opponents
under the guise of various groups and declared unofficial curfews to
disrupt the public life. It was under such a JVP terror period, that R.
Premadasa was elected the second Executive President in 1988.
Having won the 1989 general election too, President Premadasa
launched an all out attack on the JVP and showed no mercy to any of its
members. All top JVP seniors were either killed or managed to escape
overseas. JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera and his deputy Upatissa Gamanayake
were killed by the Security Forces during the Premadasa regime. Out of
the present JVP seniors, the only surviving leader was Somawansa
After the SLFP-led People’s Alliance ended the 17-year-old UNP regime
in 1994, the JVP once again returned to mainstream democratic politics.
But the masses were in two minds and always had doubts over their
sincerity in democratic politics. The only successful time for the JVP
was when they signed a pact with the then President Chandrika
Bandaranaike Kumaratunga to contest 2004 general election and produced
39 parliamentarians and had four Cabinet portfolios.
But during the past decade, there has been severe erosion in the JVP
vote base which prompted Somawansa to step down and hand over the
leadership to Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who is now trying different
tactics to show his colours - that he is a better leader than Somawansa!
Somawansa turns to Veddah community
With speculations over an early Presidential election, the JVP is
trying all options to increase their vote base with Anura Kumara making
The JVP’s latest attempt was to woo the support of the Vaddah
community. JVP’s international affairs secretary and former leader
Somawansa, along with Central Committee member Sudath Balagalle and a
few representatives went all the way to Dambana to meet the Vaddah
Somawansa called on Vaddhah chief Uruwarige Wanniyelaththo at
Kotabakiniya village in Dambana on Monday and presented a copy of the
new JVP policy statement titled ‘Our vision’.
It was the first time that a JVP leader had met the Veddah chief.
They had discussed the present political situation in the country and
problems faced by Veddah community.
One wonders whether the JVP was interested in mastering arrow and bow
art from Veddahs instead of the infamous T-56 culture during 1988-89.
Perhaps, the JVP would have felt that they could not increase their vote
base any more and must seek the support of even Veddah community.
Meanwhile, for the first time in its history, the JVP tendered an
apology to the people over 6,000 deaths that occurred due to JVP
activities during the 88-89 insurrection. Addressing a meeting in London
recently, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake had expressed ‘regret’
over the killings for which his party was responsible during the
The JVP leader apologised from the public over such unfortunate
“But one has to understand that 1988-89 uprising was no coincidence.
There were developments that led to unfortunate incidents occurred
during the 88-89 period,” Anura Kumara said. He added that the 88-89
uprising occurred due to oppressive behaviour of the then UNP
government, led by the late President J.R. Jayewardene.
Earlier, JVP former leader Somawansa Amarasinghe admitted that nearly
6,000 people died due to the underworld activities of the JVP. However,
he was reluctant to apologise. Amarasinghe was the only politburo member
of the JVP who survived the 1988-1989 insurrection.
There was a heavy outcry from the public that the JVP should
apologise for the killings during the 88-89 period. But the JVP claims
that over 60,000 people, including the ones who did not have any
political affiliation to the JVP, were killed or ‘disappeared’ by
Security Forces and paramilitary groups who operated under the blessings
of the then UNP regime of President Premadasa.
Sagala to oust Mangala
It has been a right royal battle for UNP leadership in the Matara
district with Mangala Samaraweera, from Opposition leader Ranil
Wickremesinghe’s era to the recent batches in the late 80s.
Sagala will soon get the green light from the party leadership as the
Matara District leader, ousting veteran Parliamentarian and his fellow
Royalist Mangala Samaraweera. However, some members of the UNP
Leadership Council and the Working Committee, have vehemently opposed
the move. The UNP leadership will diplomatically settle the issue to
please both of them as the due have been close confidants of Ranil.
Mangala will be told that he has a greater responsibility to play as the
head of the party’s Communication Unit and that his name could be
included in the national list for the next general election.
Inside party sources disclosed that Sagala has already received
blessings of Ranil to be the new District Leader for Matara. Playing a
key role behind the new move is a former Channel Head of a FM radio
network who was recently elected to the Western Provincial Council from
Having represented Matara district in Parliament from 2000 to 2010,
Sagala failed to secure his seat at the last general election in April
2010. But Mangala, who crossed over to the UNP from the government,
managed to win a seat from the Matara District.
Modi to visit Lanka earlier than expected
India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Sri
Lanka earlier than expected. The first invitation Modi got since his
election as India’s 15th Prime Minister was from President Mahinda
Rajapaksa. The BJP stalwart accepted the invitation from the Sri Lankan
leader but the tour is now expected to take place much earlier than
India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is also expected to
visit Sri Lanka prior to Modi’s visit. But dates for the tours are yet
to be fixed by the External Affairs Ministries of the two countries.
Swaraj seems to be having a better understanding about the true
ground situation in Sri Lanka. She headed a parliamentary delegation to
Sri Lanka in 2012 and undertook a fact finding mission in the Northern
and Eastern Provinces where the delegates interacted with a wide
cross-section of society.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Q branch sleuths obtained an arrest warrant on
Tuesday for a Sri Lankan national and suspected operative of Pakistan's
Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Mohammad Hossaini, arrested by the
Malaysian police in Kepong near Kuala Lumpur.
Hossaini was arrested on May 14. Investigators said Hossaini was a
close aide of Sakir Hussain, another Sri Lankan national recruited by
the ISI, who had been arrested by the Tamil Nadu police on April 29.
Malaysian special units had been monitoring Hossaini since December
last year and had informed Indian security agencies that he was part of
a plot to carry out terror strikes on the US and consulate in Chennai
and the Israeli consulate in Bangalore.
A pleasant surprise for UNP MPs
It was a pleasant surprise for UNP parliamentarians who went to
Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai on a fact-finding mission
Following the bitter experience they had in a similar visit to
Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota, the UNP would
have thought they could get same undue mileage in Norochcholai too.
But the UPFA politicians in the area acted intelligently with a warm
welcome and a reception that prompted the UNP MPs to make a confession
that the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai is a good
The government in a display of the highest democratic traditions
cordially welcomed a group of UNP members.
UNP parliamentarian Harsha de Silva said that his party was pleased
with the government’s massive power project.
Harsha further stated that they as UNP backbenchers decided to visit
the power plant since there were many rumours about the plant, some of
which were true and others false.
Harsha, one of the members of the UNP delegation that visited
Norochcholai said the third phase of the Lakvijaya Power Plant which is
the largest among the development projects undertaken by the government
is being completed and power will be connected to the National Grid for
a total contribution 900 MW. He added that this was a responsibility of
He made these observations to the media during the visit to the
Ajith P. Perera, R. Yogarajan, Dr. Harsha de Silva, Eran
Wickramaratne, Ashoka Abeysinghe, Ajith Mannapperuma, Niroshan Perera,
Ruwan Wijewardena, D. M. Swaminathan and Nalin Bandara Jayamaha took
part in the inspection tour of the Lakvijaya Power Plant which was set
up by the government amidst various pressures and protests, under the
guidance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The members were welcomed by Coconut Development and Janatha Estate
Development Deputy Minister Victor Antony who garlanded the opposition
Ranil’s wholesale lie boomerangs
The UNP, in a desperate attempt to show its presence, plays at
anything and everything. Its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe recently came
out with a concocted story that the Government was planning to prune
down budgetary allocations for free education after an agreement with
the International Monitory Fund (IMF).
But it ultimately boomeranged on the UNP when the Government
challenged it with a statement from the Education Minister that
President Rajapaksa has even offered to step down if the allegations are
Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena declared that if Opposition
Leader proves that President Rajapaksa had struck a deal with the IMF to
prune the education budget, the President will resign from the
“Neither the President nor the Finance Ministry has signed such a
pact. President Mahinda Rajapaksa will never harm the free education
which the children of this country are enjoying,” the minister told a
press conference at the Government Information Department Auditorium.
“Under the Mahindodaya Program 1,000 schools program,
science,computer, maths and language laboratories will be set up. For
this project, the government had allocated Rs. 1.5 billion and 90
schools in the Norther Province and 103 schools in Eastern Province will
be benefited. No other Government had spent so much funds to improve the
status of schools in the country,” Minister Gunawardena said.
He said 250 Mahindodaya Technical Laboratories will be completed by
year's end. Following the challenge thrown out by the Government, Ranil
has not uttered a word. He has preferred to keep mum without heading
towards further trouble.
SLFP revival from electorate level
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent party of the
ruling UPFA coalition, will conduct electorate level and district level
conventions in preparation for the National Convention, SLFP General
Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said.
It has been scheduled to hold the electorate level conventions from
next month and district level conventions after that. Addressing a media
conference at the SLFP headquarters in Colombo last week, the minister
added that, with the holding those conventions, all segments of society
will be made aware of the forward march of the government and fruitful
measures taken to take the country forward.
After conducting all district level conventions, the National
Convention will be held on a grand scale with the participation of
representatives from all segments of society and thousands of party
Speaking on the no confidence motion of the UNP, Minister Sirisena
said that the whole exercise boomeranged on the entire opposition. The
unity and the strength of the government was further enhanced by the no
confidence motion of the UNP. The government could secure its two third
majority once again showcasing the stability of the ruling party.
Nimal Siripala on Indo-Lanka ties
Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the bilateral relationship
between Sri Lanka and India were strengthened with the participation of
Sri Lankan President at the swearing - in ceremony of new Indian PM
Narendra Modi. India and Sri Lanka have been intimate friends for
centuries. The issues that prevailed between the two countries such as
the fishermen's issue can be sorted out in a friendly manner through
Answering a question raised by a journalist at a news conference last
week, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that the internal matters of a
country should be discussed within the country.
The 13th Amendment is not an exception and it should also be
discussed in Parliament for a solution that satisfies all.
“The Opposition parties should first come to the Parliamentary Select
Committee rather than level baseless allegations,” he said.
Parliamentarian Sajin Vass Gunawardena said the new Indian Prime
Minister highlighted the value of Asia speaking with one voice in the
international arena. He said that unity is vital to face international
Petroleum Industries Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that the
UPFA will win the upcoming Uva Provincial Council election with a
handsome majority. “Except in one Province, the UPFA did well in all
other provinces during all previous Provincial Council elections,”
Minister Yapa said.
He said the UPFA will retain its vote base and it could be a two
thirds majority this time.
“The UPFA government has done a lot for the people in the Uva
Province in the past,” the minister said. Minister Yapa said at the time
the UPFA took over the province, the people living in the province were
“Some people in Badulla and Monaragala districts were the poorest of
the poor. But now they are rich and not in that ‘poorest’ conditions any
longer. People are rich today.
There is a big boost in their economic condition,” he said. Farmers
benefited immensely during the UPFA regime.
They gained more during this regime which did not happen during
previous regimes. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the UPFA government
are popular among the people. There is no doubt about the election
victory, Yapa added.
TNA plays different games
Instead of beginning a dialogue with the Government to strengthen
reconciliation and further develop infrastructure facilities in the
North, the TNA, which was once remote-controlled by the LTTE from Wanni,
has resorted to various tactics to indulge in their dirty politics.
The TNA is making every endeavour to open a dialogue with the UNP as
well as Tamil Nadu state of India. Secret pacts with the TNA under the
blessings of the LTTE rump were nothing new for the UNP and there is all
possibility for securing another deal with the Tiger proxy party to
strengthen Ranil candidature at the next Presidential election.
The TNA has also sought a meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
Jayalalithaa Jeyaram. Congratulating Jayalalithaa for her success at
India’s election winning 37 out of 39 seats in Tamil Nadu to represent
Lok Sabha, TNA leader R. Sampanthan has sought an early appointment with
“This indeed, is an astounding achievement and is indicative of the
influence which you have the capacity to wield,” the TNA leader has
The TNA had expressed interest in working closely with her party, and
requested her to prevail upon the newly elected government of India to
bring about what the party called ‘honourable peace based on justice and