JVP’s branch in Japan ceases
funding,  more to follow
"May have to rob petrol sheds again"
The JVP yesterday received a heavy blow to its fund raising on the international front as its branch in Japan, which had poured in billions of rupees, severed all connections with the party over the ousting of Wimal Weerawansa and ten other MPs along with a large number of party members.

"Our comrades in Japan had directed all money they earned to the party fund. They were under orders to send their pay-packets home and were allowed only to keep a meager sum for subsistence. We funded all elections except for the recent polls to the Eastern Provincial Council. Other than this the Japanese branch had loaned a large sum of money on various occasions at the request of party leader Somawansa Amarasinghe. Not a cent of the loans was repaid and we did not even request that the loans be repaid as we were clear about our priorities. Now we understand that our sacrifices had been misused," organiser of the JVP’s Japan Branch Saman Priyankara said in a letter addressed to JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva.

He said party leader Somawansa Amarasinghe had come under the grip of several top rankers acting like frogs in the well and he had mixed up the party’s priorities and had commenced to silence dissent against it. "The leader of the party should have acted prudently and respected the opinion of the majority within the politburo and central committee. Instead he gave into several front liners. The end result was a major split in the party resulting in the loss of eleven MPs including Wimal Weerawansa, a large number of provincial and local government level representatives and full timers in almost all districts."

"In a recent TV interview the General Secretary said that there was no JVP branch in Japan. If he could utter those words without shame, disregarding the sacrifices made by our comrades on foreign soil, for petty political mileage, we understand that the remaining leaders would resort to further low levels," he said in the letter.

Priyankara accused Tilvin Silva of violating party discipline by publicizing a document carrying a ‘self-criticism’ made by Wimal Weerawansa. "The JVP, as a revolutionary party has a policy of not divulging any matter related to self-criticisms. This sin was committed by the General Secretary himself and such a disgusting tactic would never be pardoned or approved by any member of the party," he said.

The Japanese Branch will not fund the JVP anymore and there would be no further connections with the party, he said. The National Freedom Front, formed by Wimal Weerawansa and dissidents, seemed to be fulfilling the need of the hour in Sri Lankan polity and the JVP’s Japan Branch would extend its fullest support to the new party, he said.

Priyankara would soon be appointed a central committee member of the NFF, party sources said adding that this would be a major blow to the fund raising activities of the JVP. The party would have to return to the level of manually sketchingposters instead of printing them in the near future as a major source of income has now been terminated once and for all leaving the party to find its funds by robbing petrol sheds, a senior NFF member told The Island.

The JVP branches in Norway, Italy and several Middle Eastern countries will follow suit in the near future and all of them will discontinue funding the JVP. The JVP activists who left the country during the UNP led anti-revolutionary crackdown had formed these branches abroad and collected funds for the party. These members are now joining forces with the NFF and soon there would be branches of the NFF in place of JVP branches, he said.

JVP’s International Affairs Secretary, MP Vijitha Herath said that there was no committee or branch of the JVP in Japan. "We have friends and activists but there is no committee or branch. Saman Priyankara too was such a friend of the party. Since there was no party branch there we do not think that it would affect us. He is only an individual," Herath told The Island.

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