Up against a ‘human’ wall, JVP rebels boycott CC meeting

By Saman Indrajith

A group of dissident JVPers yesterday boycotted a Central Committee meeting at Pelawatte party headquarters, alleging that they had been man-handled on the pretext of being frisked by some thugs brought in there by those loyal to leader Somawansa Amarasinghe.

Spokesman for the dissident group, Pubudu Jagoda told The Island that a group of Central Committee members had gone to party headquarters on the invitation of JVP General Secretary, Tilvin Silva to attend a Central Committee meeting scheduled to begin at 3.00 pm. According to Jagoda, MP Ajith Kumara, Dimuthu Attigalle, Duminda Nagamuwa, Chameera Koswatte, S.K. Subasinghe, Dimuthu Abeykoon and G. Kularatne were among the invitees. 

Jagoda said: "We saw many strangers there among about 200 persons forming a human wall. We were told we would not be allowed to enter the premises unless they were allowed to frisk us. We objected to their move and walked out."

Responding to a query, Jagoda said that he and Dimuthu Attigalle, though not invited as they weren’t CC members, accompanied those invited to the meeting. An invitation had been sent to Western Provincial Council member Waruna Rajapaksa as well, though he wasn’t in the country, Jagoda said.

"In spite of our strong protests, JVP General Secretary insisted on a thorough body check," Jagoda said, adding that the dissident group members would meet last evening to discuss the situation. The meeting was in progress at the time this edition went to press.

Denying allegations, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva told The Island that it was mandatory for all CC members to leave their mobile phones prior to the CC meeting. Security measures were needed to protect the party members and it could not be compromised according to the whims and fancies of a few, Silva said alleging that the dissidents had refused to switch off their mobile phones. "Although they walked out of the meeting, we had a quorum and meeting started as scheduled."

Silva said the CC meeting had made several important decisions including banning party members from criticising the party or party leadership in public and making it compulsory for members to obtain prior permission of the party to address media and public rallies. A three member disciplinary committee had been appointed to make recommendations to the party as to what action should be taken against those who had violated the organizational discipline. The CC had also decided to continue their agitation against the budget and to hold a massive rally on Dec. 14 in Colombo.

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