23 September, 2020

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A Dressing Down For JVP Anura

By TU Senan –

TU Senan

TU Senan

JVP Leader Fails To Satisfy London Meeting Seeking Answers

A late arrival was not enough to save JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake from a barrage of questions. At a meeting held on Saturday 31 May in East Ham, London, organisers prevented the JVP from putting up their banners. This was not ‘a JVP propaganda meeting’ we were informed – and the organisers must be congratulated for showing the JVP for what it still is, a Sinhala nationalist organisation trying to hide behind Marxist rhetoric. But Anura himself was key to exposing this reality.

The JVP is incapable of organising a meeting of this kind anywhere outside Sri Lanka, hence they had to rely on others to organise the event. Not so surprisingly there is no way they can attract Tamils or Muslim minorities to their meetings. This, however, did not stop the JVP from boasting to the Sinhala media in Sri Lanka that they’d held ‘successful meetings internationally’. But the truth is somewhat on the contrary.

The JVP has been trying to revamp their war-tainted image by selecting a new leader and claiming to have changed. Relying on a bit of nationalism, they made a relatively successful comeback in the last provincial elections. However, their support among the Sinhala Diaspora remains very weak.

Anura DisaThe creation of the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) and the international tour by its leader Kumar Gunaratnam has also done huge damage to the JVP. The aim of Anura’s visit, supposedly to recover from this, can without exaggeration be said to have failed.

The London meeting once more demonstrated the inability of the JVP to attract revolutionary sections of the community. Faced with questions, Anura resorted to diplomatic dodging rather than actually attempting to provide answers.

Anura had an opportunity to explain the mistakes of the past to his audience – the JVP’s false perspective that led them to enter a coalition with an anti-worker, capitalist government and to be complicit in the genocidal slaughter of Tamil-speaking people that took place in 2009. But, despite repeated probing, he touched on none of these issues. For Anura these issues may be in the long-forgotten past but they are firmly centred in the minds of many participants at the meeting.

The audience was told not to dwell on the past and instructed to ask questions about the current situation. But the attendees were well informed and the questions were not restricted to issues specifically of interest to Tamils.

Anura was bombarded with relevant questions for anyone concerned about political developments in Sri Lanka. What sort of government do you propose? What is ‘new socialism’? How can you attempt to explain the national question in four lines in your new propaganda pamphlet and say that you explained it in detail? How can you expect the support of minorities when you hand over the first copy of your pamphlet to Kandy Mahanayaka? Is it really ‘Marxist’ to make an appointment to discuss your manifesto with members of the Chamber of Commerce? Why do you still oppose the 13th amendment? Why don’t you campaign against the divisive BBS? Do you respect the national rights of Muslims?

They went on: Why don’t you have a single line about the trade unions in your ‘new vision’ pamphlet? Given all the attacks on working rights and public services, what about organising a united struggle and mobilising the trade unions for it? What about language rights? Do you support the international investigation into war crimes? And so they came, thick and fast. Apart from one person who challenged the question of trade unions, absurdly dismissing this relevant query as ‘rhetoric’, Anura received no support from the audience.

Anura received a real dressing down. He appeared nervous; he struggled to answer many of the questions, skipping over a number. But he made it clear that the JVP will never back down from opposing the 13th amendment in the name of defending a ‘unitary state’. Furthermore, he ridiculously claimed that there is no need for a state language – only a national language exists.

The one clear message Anura gave is that the JVP has nothing to offer working class and young Tamils facing oppression on many fronts. Despite claiming that the JVP stands for a separation of religion and state, they also have nothing to offer ordinary Muslims. The BBS is a creation of the state so we must oppose the state, Anura claimed.

This was shockingly disappointing to those anti-BBS campaigners in the audience who oppose both the butcher Mahinda Rajapaksa and the BBS and don’t want to postpone struggle against this vicious force until the JVP establishes socialism in Sri Lanka! Anura even claimed that the JVP would support the Chinese regime as opposed to ‘imperialism’. From this point of view he completely dismissed any possible inquiry into the war crimes. The JVP is not concerned with a return to any sort of mass struggle politics. As an audience member pointed out, with these views and tactics the JVP does huge damage to the left in general.

One thing was clear: if Anura could not even slightly convince a crowd, largely made up of activists, gathered at a London meeting, he has a cat in hell’s chance of getting a hearing among ordinary folk in Sri Lanka. The problem of the absence of a powerful organisation that can answer these important questions and give a lead to the oppressed Tamils, Muslims, workers and poor in Sri Lanka remains to be solved. At least this meeting showed that the JVP, even with its new leadership, can be crossed off the list.

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Latest comments

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    I don’t know of AKD’s foreign travels, perhaps the London visit would be his baptism of how people act in Liberal Democracies. All questions are valid and each requires an answer.

    Btw, let’s not get hung-up over taking his manifesto first to the Mahanayake’s. It is the nature of things in our Holy Land. or as one says, It is , what it is.

    In the current thick of things, the only credible alternate the Nation has is AKD. The UNP is dormant. MR ruling the roost.

    As for the National Question, It’s not only JVP, the SLFP ( if there is still one ) and the UNP too have no answer to the National Question. Or they have an answer which is not marketable to the vote banks which get them into power. As we know both the JVP and the SLFP live on the Sinhala Buddhist, predominantly Rural vote.

    Violence, in our country has been dished out by all Govt’s, during War and Peace; and non govt parties. This is also the nature of our Holy Land. So all is forgiven and forgotten for the JVP, Yes ?

    Time to watch a Cricket match. The opium of the masses.

  • 2
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    TU Senan –

    “One thing was clear: if Anura could not even slightly convince a crowd, largely made up of activists, gathered at a London meeting, he has a cat in hell’s chance of getting a hearing among ordinary folk in Sri Lanka. The problem of the absence of a powerful organisation that can answer these important questions and give a lead to the oppressed Tamils, Muslims, workers and poor in Sri Lanka remains to be solved. At least this meeting showed that the JVP, even with its new leadership, can be crossed off the list.”

    Thanks.A good analysis.

    So, JVP will follow the policies of LSSP and will sell out.

    Interesting, Visiting the Mahanayaka or Pussnayaka in Kandy.

    However, they can make a lot of noise. The NNP is not making much noise. RW seems to be happy being the Permanent leader of the opposition. MR wants it that way….

    JVP in the Land of Native Veddah…

  • 0
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    TU Senan,

    Do not write the JVP off so fast. They survived two rounds of sustained massacres. They keep raising their heads even though the heads are severed heads. They are going to be a festering thorn in the body politic of Sri Lanka for a long time to come. However they will remain only a festering thorn.

    You are right, AKD has not given any new hopes to anyone in particular. Their policies are disjointed and do not take on any of the stark injustices the people face, especially what the minority is facing.

  • 0
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    So Anura was trying to convince a smattering of London wallahs that things will improve when they get power, and all can return to buy condos with their pensions? NOT!

    The JVP has a been a insular organization and has realized to play in the big leagues one has to at least pretend to see the world for what it is. How can you talk about what is good for Menika and Mohamed if you have no clue what Sunil goes through working 70 hours in a Petrol Station in London!

    The JVP cannot be a ruling party. Left alone, it can become a critical minority party like the TULF, SLMC and the JVP itself have been. That is all they care about.

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    AKD is a non-controversial person but falls far short of what takes to make a leader – even in a less influential extreme Sinhala political party. Wijeweera was somewhat educated, fairly well-informed of socialism and was an acceptable leader to a party at that stage in its political being that had intellectuals such as
    Uyangoda, Susil Siriwardena and others. But they are and were dwarfs compared to the left giants of days gone by – NM, Colvin, Dr.Wicks, Pieter, Bernard et al who could have held their own within and outside the country where audiences of the learned and scholars gather. Hansard is rich with the fine contributions of these great left leaders.

    AKD’s visit is largely to fool its own local cadres, mostly semi-literate youth, they held “well-attended meetings” in London and abroad.

    The JVP was and is an anti-Tamil, anti-Indian and anti-rich Sinhala extreme party. Since of late, for its own acceptance in the foreign diplomatic community it has, now and then, taken a few issues of the Tamils. The JVP Politbureau lacks men of learning, analytical skill and education. The votes it gets are largely caste-based and anti-establishment votes. Its other strengths are the Trade Unions that it controls by fascistic means as it does its Student unions.

    With the departure of the rabble-rouser firebrand Weerawansa, who was seduced by an offer of office, the JVP has lost its crowd-drawing capacity. It will quietly fade away in the years to come.

    Dr. B.I. Passe

  • 4
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    Mr Sennan asserts that : “One thing was clear: if Anura could not even slightly convince a crowd, largely made up of activists, gathered at a London meeting, he has a cat in hell’s chance of getting a hearing among ordinary folk in Sri Lanka.”

    I would say that what was clear was precisely the opposite. This is bone out by a line in the latest article by Darisha Bastians, a sharp critic of the BBS and the government:

    ” As it stands, the JVP, which is making the biggest inroads in terms of an Opposition party, appears strongly unwilling to join a broad Opposition alliance.

    The JVP’s calculation – which is not entirely without merit – is that following defeat at the 2015 election, the UNP will be decimated as the main political Opposition, paving the way for Dissanayake and his ‘new’ JVP to emerge as a strong contender for the role.

    Already Dissanayake’s fiery speeches and capacity to grasp and articulate fundamental issues plaguing the polity is winning him strong support not only among the party’s core base, but strangely even with the urban elite. Six more years in Opposition could prove a game-changer for the JVP, if Dissanayake can keep the current momentum going and as discontent grows with the incumbency and the alternative, his party would stand the most to gain.” ( Daily FT Politics)

    • 1
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      What is in it for you Dayan?

      Come on, you can tell me, I promise I won’t tell anyone

      • 3
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        Robert.R

        “What is in it for you Dayan?”

        He loves tin pot dictators. He loves to work under them. He loves more war warmongering, more blood, more gory, more dead bodies, ….

        He had had his works experience under Varadharahaperumal, Premachandran, Premadasa, and MR.

        He refused to work for Chandrika.

      • 2
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        5 More years of Shilling!

  • 2
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    The JVP leadership, current and past, have not even apologised for its complicity with the regime in murdering thousands of civilians. The faces of the mutiliated, raped and murdered womenfolk do not mean anything to AKD or his JVP. They just want to fish for votes. And this is the guy “recommended” by another Sinhala extremist Dayan Jayatilake. Thanks for highlighting with this article on the “moonlighting” by AKD.

  • 2
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    Oh, Senan, aren’t you being too harsh towards AKD. I prefer AKD to any other politician from any other major political party in Sri Lanka. At least the guy is not corrupt and I do not doubt his personal integrity.

    To get elected AKD needs the support of the Sinhala Buddhist vote bank, that is nurtured and moulded by the Mahana Yakas. So it seems practical to hand over the first copy of the pamphlet to one of the Yakas, at least to mute the vociferous opposition.

    I would rather hope the JVP get their act together; that they formulate a policy to govern with respect for human dignity and the rule of law; that they will say no to institutionalized corruption, recognize and enforce the precept that Sri Lanka is the abode of all its citizens, entitled to live in dignity; that majoritarian first past the post outcome will not be allowed to ride rough shod over the minorities. And so on and so forth. If this happens no one in Sri Lanka need to devise political strategies in racist terms, which is the most abhorrent political form. At the moment there is no political party that can make it happen. At least with the JVP there is a little hope.

    Like I have said elsewhere, the deaf dumb and blind Sinhala Buddhist Vote Bank is the eternal enemy of mother Lanka taking her to her doom. If the JVP fails, then She may need a Noah’s Ark to sail away from Samanala Kanda, leaving behind the SBVB.

  • 1
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    Dr. Dayan Jayathilake.

    There is a hidden agenda behind your every line. As our readers are aware of that i wish to draw your attention to what the JVP did during the July strike in 1980.They openly supported the strike while secretly instructing their supporters not to join the strike. Their objective was to capture the trade unions that led by Left Movement telling the workers that they lost the strike because of their leaders.Due to this double game of the JVP Ceylon Teachers’ Union whose president was H.N.Fernando (Brother of Wijeweera’s wife)exposed this double game to the public and resigned from the JVP.Due to JVP’s opportunism it lost the only trade union it had at that time.
    Like wise if the JVP thinks it will be able to come to power or at least to be the second most powerful political party at an election after the next by not supporting to defeat the present government at the forthcoming election it shows it has not learnt lessons from the past follies.
    The JVP is only a political party of Sinhalese. In short it is the elder brother of Champika’s party, Weerawansa’s pary, BBS and Rawana Balaya.

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