Opinion

The JVP has a meaningful role to play

As one of the 200 civilian officers deployed by the government to record statements from the JVP detainees in 1971, I felt it relevant to comment on Dr. Kingsley Heendeniya’s list (items 1-10) published in The Island’s opinion page (3/23/2007). I do not think any progress in Sri Lanka is possible without the JVP movement. We must separate the JVP leaders from the movement. Even the leaders deserve our help and not ridicule. The JVP already has several big steps taken by them to their credit such as P-toms and de-merger cases.

1. 1 - Karl Marx and even CBK had to escape to London and therefore having a foot in UK is not the issue. How did he "escape" to London via India when he was only hundreds of yards away from Wijeweera’s hiding place is the million dollar question. The JVP was killing any body with links to India yet he later thanked India for helping him to escape! This is a mystery that should not die with him or his relative Sirisena Cooray.

2. 2 & 3 - English is widespread but English is not the reason for not getting publicity. S.D. Bandaranaike, Susil Siriwardena (in 1971) and Richard de Zoysa (Mrs. Saravanamuttu’s son) (1989) provided all the English the JVP needed. Just like colonial masters used the translator service (Banadaranaikes were translators first and mudaliyars later).

Abraham Lincoln had no pedigree and Martin Luther King. Jr. had no pedigree. So were "nobodies to somebodies," (ref. Kumari Vishaka Jayawardena’s book) mentioned in KH’s list. KH is still living in a world where black whites are worshiped.

3. 4, 5, 6 & 7 – When one of KH’s persons with "charisma" ( Ranil W ) said that UNP and SLFP leaders were like avalangu kaasi (worthless money) and another Ratnasiri W) said "UNP and SLFP utter lies and the party utter more and better lies to win the election" KH must be able to see why JVP got a driving place. JRJ who designed an election system for him to stay in power for ever would never have dreamt that it would help the JVP to win 40 seats! It boomeranged on establishment and black / white politicians. Now the parliament is full of crooks and thugs.

JVP ministers proved that they can deliver and a JVP minister had the courage to tell the World Bank agent to fly a kite. I think this was the only incident of that nature in modern history. This was similar to Patrice Lumumba telling the Belgian king in 1960, who came to "deliver" independence to Congo to get out of the country ASAP as the Belgian people robbed Congo’s wealth. Compare this with SWRD’s pep talk in 1948 making the King’s agent to comment on his sweet English. Of course Lumumba was murdered within months.

JVP behaviour is honest just as Lumumba’s behaviour was, but working under a paradigm of "the white man’s burden," it is important to use the white system to kill the white system. This is where JVP and their guru Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera are failing today. Blindly attacking the West or USA is foolish because the average American is as helpless as the average Sri Lankan. But then even H. L. Gunasekera, a valuable man, gets so excited when meeting with US embassy personnel.

4. 8 – When the old Marxists called King Dutugemunu a "fool of bricks" for building the Ruwan Vali Maha Seya, while touring Egypt to marvel at the pyramids, the Ananda College-educated NM was ignorant of the "national heritage" and made nationalism and Marxism not mixable like oil and water. For example, Marxists selling sooriya mal and helping malaria victims could have worked with Ven. Kalukondayave Pragnasaara in his crime prevention and rural development movement (in the 1930s -40s). It was only in 1964 NM went to the Dalada Maligawa with a tray of jasmine flowers.

In a competition to claim ownership to the Ven. Soma’s heritage (dowry), JVP members allowed monks waiting on road sides to tie pirirth nool on their wrists and I have no doubt they are a "national force" as opposed to the Colombo black / white crowd of the UNP, SLFP, UNF, PA, LSSP, CP or Vasu and Bahu.

5. Finally KH should be reminded of what the Seventh Great Force in Sri Lanka, those who work as professors, researchers and engineers in the West, who went to Sri Lankan universities in the Sinhala medium are willing, waiting and already doing to fill the gap of English and other gaps of JVP as well as the implementation of the Mahinda Chinthanaya programme in Sri Lanka. When Marxist dogma and blind faith is removed from the JVP movement it is nothing but Mahinda Chinthanaya which is a resurrection of the philosophy of the Pancha Maha Bala Vegaya of the 1956 era.

What is sad is that some actions of JVP is damaging the nationalist movement and indirectly helping the anti-national western powers and NGOs against whom JVP says it is fighting. JVP is cutting the branch of a tree while sitting on the edge of the branch!

C. Wijeyawickrema
USA

 

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