We want to defeat the Rajapaksa political culture -Vijitha Herath
JVP which launched its manifesto last week has committed itseld to an
ideological struggle to bring about political changes in the country. In
an interview with the Sunday Observer, former MP and JVP Propaganda
Secretary Vijitha Herath said the party aims at taking 'controlling
power' of the next Parliament to work for the people.
Q:In the past two parliamentary elections the JVP opted to
contest as an alliance. Why did it decide to contest the elections as a
A: During the past two parliament elections the JVP contested
the elections as an alliance since there were political and national
requirements to do so. In 2004 we all had to thwart the attempt to
divide the country with the so-called Peace Agreement signed with the
LTTE. We did it after forming a political alliance and defeating the
then government which was in power. In the 2010 we took the
responsibility of getting Sarath Fonseka released from jail and as a
party we contested the election after forming an alliance with him while
he was in jail. We took those decisions based on the political changes
in the country.
Q:What is the main objective the party hopes to achieve by
contesting the parliament election ?
A:The country is left with grave issues to be resolved at
present after the SLFP and the UNP have ruled this country for the past
67 years. We believe that the country should be directed in a different
path. The policies of the two major parties are almost the same. The JVP
is the only party which has a vision and a comprehensive plan as an
alternative to those of the two main parties to take the country
Q:The JVP launched its national program 'Accord of Conscience'
on July 23. What is the message the party is going to convey through
this program to the people of this country?
A:As a party we have a vision how we should develop the
country. At the same time we also wanted to get the ideas of the people.
So, we invited people to send their proposals to us when formulating our
national program to develop the country. In the national program we
included our ideas and the views of the people and it was launched as an
accord between the JVP and the people in the country.
Q:When launching your national program the party emphasised
that the JVP is ready to make changes in Sri Lankan politics through an
ideological struggle instead of an armed struggle. What does it means ?
A:That political change should be made through an ideological
struggle. Armed struggles are now history. There were reasons for the
emergence of armed struggles and there were consensus and agreements
after the curbing of those two armed struggles. Therefore, we as a
political party emphasized that JVP will not revert back to an armed
Q:The JVP has presented its national program in an attractive
manner. Will this also be another election pledge?
A:No. This will not become another election pledge. It
includes the identification of the problem and also the way of solving
that problem. Therefore, it is not like any other election pledge given
by a political party during the election period. What we have presented
is a set of proposals which can be practically implemented. That is a
program aimed at increasing the production economy and the human
resource in the country by creating a 'participatory economy' to develop
Q:What sort of economic policies the JVP hopes to pursue as a
A:We believed in a modern socialist economy. The world has
changed and developed. Science and technology has been improved. No
country can maintain its economy in isolation.
Therefore, we should taking in to account the new trends and changes
in the world. We have presented an economic program that suits to the
modern world. People of this country had a negative attitude towards a
socialist economy because what was implemented was an absurd socialist
economy. The economic policy we present is an industry-based economy
after identifying new trends in the global economy.
Q:Any political party contesting the elections aspires to form
a government. Does the JVP hope to form a government after the election?
A:The objective of any political party is to secure political
power. That is why political parties are formed. The JVP is no
exception. We need power to implement our program . Considering the the
current situation in the country our aim at this election is to take
over the 'controlling power' in the parliament.
Q:If you secure the power at the forthcoming election which
party will the JVP support to form a government ?
A:We will not align or join with any political party to form a
government. We do not need any offerings or portfolios to work for the
country. We will make use of that power to control whichever the
government comes into power. We will ensure that the government will
work for the people.
Q:We saw the JVP was playing a leading role in getting former
President Mahinda Rajapaksa ousted in the past elections. As a party how
does the JVP see the re-entry of Mahinda Rajapaksa to politics? Will the
JVP continue it efforts to defeat him politically at the elections?
A:We have nothing personal against Mahinda Rajapaksa. What we
wanted is to defeat the political culture he has created. He is the one
who created drugs, ethanol and corrupt political culture in this
country. There is a possibility of the re-emergence of that culture.
Q:As a whole how do you describe the team the JVP has fielded
to contest the election ?
A:Our party national list consists of university lecturers,
professors, auditor generals, doctors, artistes and many other
professionals when other parties comprise of those who are incapable of
winning elections in their national lists. Seventeen out of the 22
district leaders of our party are graduates from recognized universities
in the country.
Q:Any political party contesting the election has a target.
How many seats you are expecting to win at the forthcoming election ?
A:We definitely know that the number of JVP seats in the
parliament will be increased at this election.