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
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
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
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
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!