25 August, 2019

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An Open Letter To JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake: From Block Votes To Floating Votes

By Ranga Kalansooriya

Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya

Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya

Dear Anura,

Everything in this world is subjected to change and so do the people. Political parties, too, cannot avoid this global phenomenon. So, no argument about you and your party.

I thought of writing to this open letter after listening to you at Campbell Park a few days ago at a rally organized by Purawesi Balaya. In fact more than me, it was my wife and a few of her women friends insisted listening to you and were looking for an opportunity. Thus, I accompanied them to Campbell Park. But this does not mean that I am not in your ‘fan club.’

No debate – you have become the most powerful political orator on the contemporary political platform in Sri Lanka. You are with substance, facts and depth – of course with humour to keep the audience glued. You know how to hit the head of the nail by using correct word at suitable place and correct style with an appropriate flow. Some would claim that you are a star on the political stage but I would rather like to see you as a professional politician with strong communication skills. [Stardom does not suit you at all]. When I use the word ‘professional’ it entails knowledge, discipline and honesty, the key requirements to a politician.

Anura Kumara JVPThe history of your political party – the JVP – is not a strange fairytale for us. I don’t think any political party in Sri Lanka has gone through the bitter experiences that JVP has had during its five decade history. Even though there are no confirmed facts and figures the two unsuccessful revolutions by the JVP may have killed more lives than the ethnic conflict in its entire 30-year period. The loss of lives I refer to was both from JVP and non-JVP camps.

Anura – May I now refer to my opening lines of this letter which I wanted to highlight in line with your own party. Since its re-emergence in early 90s the JVP has proved the fact that it is a formidable political force that is necessary to win elections. From militarism, it has moved to pure democratic pluralism and now has become a powerful campaigner for strengthening parliamentary democracy through the ballot –not the bullet. Ironically people may not vote for your party in millions but of course millions would listen to you before voting for the major political forces. The impact you make is immense. Thus your voice does matter – not to yourselves as JVP but to the others.

But Anura, I should mention here that your style of performance has attracted new voters to your own camp. I have heard many a time where non-JVPers [mainly strong UNPers] claim that they would like to vote for you at a future general election. You have converted them from block voters to floating voters. But they still do not want to vote for JVP as a party. I am not proposing you to cross over – please do not misunderstand me. But the JVP need to develop a strategy to convert these popular personal votes for you in to party votes. This is your biggest challenge.

How to face this challenge? Probably through party reforms – on policy level. This is not to propose you to embrace capitalism to match present politico-economic trends but to think new and think out of the box. For an example JVP needs to redesign its strategy on student movement – something beyond the conventional street fights through Inter-University Student Federation. These reforms should be visible in every sector of society.

Winning over the defectors of your party [or uniting the party] is another challenge. Though not strongly visible, they also make significant impact from within, I suppose. Wimal’s defection could be a blessing in disguise, but I am referring to the Gunaratnam group.

I am highlighting these issues due to two reasons. One, you have become a politician that I like and the second is the change we see within the JVP under your leadership which is entirely democratic. As citizens, we must encourage political forces like yours to become strong voices in defending democracy. There should be a room for a change and also a process to ensure that change to happen. I think JVP has started to change under your leadership but people should feel it.

All the best to you

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Latest comments

  • 24
    1

    I Totally agree with you. I have been listening to his speeches very lately and I am totally impressed. He is absolutely the best orator backed with facts and genuine passion. He, as you say needs to convert the personal votes to party votes. I TRUST THIS MAN ANURA. PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE WHAT WE NEED FOR MOTHER LANKA.

    • 9
      1

      I can’t agree more.. And AKD’s decision not to have any pacts with new coalition is commendable too. We need AKD like leaders to ensure Mithri and the clan are honest in the future… His understanding on the current ” Kada Imma” and future “Kada Imi” or future challenges show that he has good understanding on SL politics and is not believing on miraculous changes after Jan 8.
      Keep up your good work AKD…

      • 6
        3

        AVB

        “he has good understanding on SL politics and is not believing on miraculous changes after Jan 8. Keep up your good work AKD…”

        All of us should congratulate him for being realistic. Oratory is a great gift. In the past many Sinhala/Tamil leaders have had used this single ability to move and convince large number of people from being innocent to lethal murderers.

        All great orators have been humbugs/nasty/destructive to say the least though would have started with good intentions.

        The problem with JVP is that it hasn’t changed a bit since its origin, another Sinhala/Buddhist racist party with arcane/archaic ideas…. of life and death. A modern party needs modern thinking, realistic and should address issues that are real, equally appeal to young and old, go beyond its entrenched position on decentralization devolution debate, …… an exclusive party which has no appeal beyond its narrow nationalistic Sinhala/Buddhists support base, ………

        There are millions of other progressive ideas. They are stuck in the past and see the future with the same old perverted Marxist/Maoist and racist glasses.

        Old stuff in new packaging.

        Never completely owned up their mistakes nor did they said sorry to the people they hurt, never surrendered a single weapon voluntarily, ….. mute on China’s capitalist expansion in this island, so many inconsistencies and above all JVP hypocrisy knows no bound.

        AKD should address many issues corruption is just one of them.

        • 6
          2

          Native Vedda,
          Since when the JVP became a “Sinhala/Buddhist racist” party? JVP stands for equal rights, a just society based on socialist values regardless of the race or creed (I am not a member of JVP, but an admirer). There may be nationalistic elements there, but it is not part of its agenda. Like democracy, Marxism has it own faults, but JVP ideology is a one that has a unique appeal to the Sri Lankans. It’s a blend of Marxism, socialism, true, but on a true democratic path. I am happy to see it evolving. No question, AKD and other leaders should sit down once the current election settles, and start drafting a ‘new’ manifesto and policy proposals. Agree.

          About their armed struggles, you need to go back and check why in the first place such struggles started. When you have an elite bourgeois class ruling the country for so long, denying any upward mobility to the rural masses, what else could they do? It’s not like they can change governments democratically. You need to read up on class warfare, caste warfare (shamefully even among Buddhist nikayas in Sri Lanka), and all the other social injustices in Sri Lanka to understand why this swath of population got disappointed with the status quo. When someone has a cushy life, all set out for them they tend not to be aware of the real issues. It’s part our education system too, to get the folks institutionalized into this thinking. It’s quite evident in the pathetic utterings of Rajapakse sons that I saw on social media lately. Just pure ignorance!!

          Sorry if I have offended you, but I can’t stand ignorance.

          • 2
            4

            Cruella

            “Since when the JVP became a “Sinhala/Buddhist racist” party?”

            Since the day Rohana Wijeyweera believed he was a thinking man’s general, Võ Nguyên Giáp. Refer to his lesson three where he discusses Indian expansion and fifth column.

            Why it was right for the JVP kill innocent people in the name of its perverted revolution and it was wrong for the LTTE to use violence as means to achieve its so called national liberation.

            JVP always supported anti minority position of the Sinhala/Buddhist state. It supported the armed forces which killed many innocent people since 5th April 1971 yet praised it as a patriotic force when Tamil speaking innocent people were killed. It is on mute mode regarding war crimes and crime against humanity.

            Never surrendered its arms while campaigning for the decimation of Tamil speaking LTTE.

            Never owned up its past atrocities and never said they were wrong and never apologized for its crime against humanity.

            JVP opposed all forms of devolution including provincial councils which is seen as extension of democratic right of the people, yet it continues to contest and enjoy the elected office.

            Somawansa and his fellow terrorists constantly attacked Indian Expansionism yet they fled to Hindia with the help of RAW, and then to Europe from the same armed forces which they supported later for just one reason, the armed forces were killing innocent Tamils. War mongering continued.

            Mute on China’s imperial design and its expansion.

            Never surrendered arms.

            When its suited the JVP despite its claim to be democratic, proletarian and all the other stupid sloganeering, it was happy to join hands with the most racist parties JHU, SLFP, etc, to work against the other minorities. There cover story, under its brand of socialism, things would be better for the minority communities. I am not sure as to why North Korea comes to my mind.

            I can go on on and on JVP’s racism, double standards, anti democratic credentials, its share of war crimes since 1971, war mongering, hypocrisy, ………….

  • 15
    0

    Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya

    1. “No debate – you have become the most powerful political orator on the contemporary political platform in Sri Lanka.

    Anura Kumara Dissanayaka has an Undergraduate degree in Physics, and I am sure his IQ is well over 125, compared to the average iQ of 79 for Sri Lankans including most politicians.

    http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

    2. “The history of your political party – the JVP – is not a strange fairytale for us.”

    Have you heard of Asoka? Dhrmasoka? Angulimala?

    This is not the Old JVP.

    JVP is now taking the middle path…

    https://www.facebook.com/jvpsrilanka

    • 10
      1

      Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya

      When the JVP 1971 Insurrection, “infantile Revolution” took place, AKD was 2 to 3 years old.

      When the JVP 19787-88 Insurrection, took place, AKD was 2 to 39years old.

      AKD is the New generation of JVP.

      They are not babies, and they are not teenagers either, and they have a higher iQ than their predecessors.

      Check the IQ of “Crown Price” Namal Rajapaksa with that of anura Kumara Dissanayaka.

      • 6
        0

        Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya

        Correction:

        “When the JVP 19787-88 Insurrection, took place, AKD was 2 to 39years old.”

        When the JVP 1987-88 Insurrection took place, AKD was 19 to 20 years old.

        AKD is the New generation of JVP. Do not put the errors of the older generation on the current JVP.

  • 12
    2

    There is no question, AKD is doing an excellent job.

  • 15
    1

    I agree. AKD could change the political framework of Sri Lanka for the better. So far he has shown signs of doing just that. To steer Sri Lanka away from politics of violence, racism, nepotism, bribery and corruption, thuggery and intimidation, the malevolent influence of the monks and so forth is not an easy job. If AKD can help change even a little bit of this horrible political fabric of Sri Lanka, he will be doing a great favour for the country. I wish him best of luck.

  • 12
    0

    I had my reservation about JVP for a along time. But with the selection of Anura as its leader, my impressions of this party have changed. I have had the opportunity to listen to this man in Parliament(from the gallery) on many of the occasions, especially during the debate on the Budget. He excelled well and out shined all others, in that, he spoke to the point with relevant facts and figures, in the midst of deep silence from even the Government benches. Of course, this brilliance did not come out of the confines of the Parliament, until this election campaign to elect a President in 2015. I attended some of the meetings,including that of Piliyandala, where Aura addressed a mammoth crowd for much longer period of time than permitted in Parliament. He was exemplary and well disciplined and deployed all skills in keeping the crowed glued to him for the duration of the speech. He is doing well.

    As far as JVP’s stand at this Presidential election, I presume the strategy adopted would have been the brain child of Anura and that appears to be working for the party well. The party knows what is “FIRST” to be done i.e. “Get rid of this corrupt regime”. They go all out for that. Then they also KNOW what the NEXT STEP must be. In that NEXT STEP,the party, mainly via its leader Anura and other front runners, is making this Presidential Election a PLATFORM to go all out to make that happen, and the people are beginning to think “seriously” JVP as an “alternative”. What attracted me most was their “slogan”: FILL THIS PARLIAMENT – THE AUGUST ASSEMBLY OF PEOPLE WITH INTELLIGENT, HONOURABLE AND DIGNIFIED REPRESENTATIVES WHO CAN ENGAGE IN MAKING THIS COUNTRY A LIVEABLE AND A PLEASANT PLACE FOR US AND FUTURE GENERATIONS.

    I feel they are making a success in the “NEXT STEP”; but slowly and steadily. That too, in my opinion is a BIG CHANGE from the old set up.

    • 4
      1

      douglas:-

      “He excelled well and out shined all others, in that, he spoke to the point with relevant facts and figures, in the midst of deep silence from even the Government benches.”

      Of course, douglas, that is the difference between an educated Politician, with a degree in Physics, and someone with an ‘O’Level or even less.

      The ‘deep silence’ could have been the result of not being able to follow Anura’s arguments.

      • 6
        2

        Rationalist

        “Of course, douglas, that is the difference between an educated Politician, with a degree in Physics, and someone with an ‘O’Level or even less.”

        Education has nothing to do with wisdom. You only have to look at GLP, Rajiva, Dayan, Champika, Mohan Pieris, ………………….

        Education and wisdom are mutually exclusive.

        • 4
          0

          NV,
          I can’t agree with your statement “Education and wisdom are mutually exclusive”, but when you put examples like GLP, Dayan, how could I disagree.
          Anyway, we can say that one cannot become WISE without the ability to LEARN “New”.

        • 4
          0

          Ah, but NV you are not talking about True Education, which derives from:-
          ‘educere’ which means ‘to lead out’ or ‘to draw out’.

          This is True Education which leads to Wisdom.
          Passing examinations alone, does not lead to Wisdom.

          You have to apply Education to Everyday Life as Aruna Kumara seems to be doing, to get any benefit from it.

          • 3
            0

            Rationalist

            Please read these quotes:

            The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
            Socrates

            We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.
            Swami Vivekananda

            From the errors of others, a wise man corrects his own.
            Publilius Syrus

            • 1
              0

              Exactly, NV. Thank you.

              We can add the Buddha’s words too, to your quotes:-

              “Our Life is shaped by our Mind, We become what we Think.
              Joy follows a Pure Thought, like a Shadow that never leaves.”
              Dhammapada

        • 2
          0

          Native Veddah,

          “You only have to look at GLP, Rajiva, Dayan, Champika, Mohan Pieris, “

          Education and not mutually exclusive but somewhat correlated.

          GLP, Rajiva, Dayan, Champika, Mohan Pieris are out liars or exceptions.

          Have you checked their IQ’s? Are they above that of the Average Singaporean 108?

          http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

  • 6
    0

    I am also thoroughly impressed with the strategic position adopted by the JVP. I have listened to some of his recent speeches. They are the best delivered in this round of electioneering. Congratulations should go to the leadership of AKD. He has moved the Party forward as a significant and a serious player among both the ordinary people and the thinking people.I hope people will show their appreciation by voting for them in large numbers.

    I must also point out to its deficiencies. That is, JVP is held out to be the champion of the wretched and the marginalised. Maithri is conceptually targeting that population for his victory. Why is it that the JVP is not competing with Maithri to occupy that position ? I feel JVP should have been in that position as of right, if not for some of their policies. JVP will have to address those issue that is holding it back seriously. I would suggest that the JVP has to produce a set of policies that is inclusive of all the people in Sri Lanka and try to create the big tent under which all marginalised can come together with hope and trust.
    For example, if the Tamil people are capable of voting for Sarath Fonseka immediately after the war in large numbers, what is preventing them from voting for the JVP. JVP is a principled Party and by and large most of their members are not the jumping type of politicians. So is the Tamil voter and their political leadership.
    Should not the JVP address this matter urgently, that is, how to lead a coalition of the marginalised and get the party ready for the future. may be the time has come for it to think big.

  • 4
    1

    Anura Dissanayake is an important person.
    Anura is not like Udgoshana Wansa( Weerawansa) Unfortunately Weerawansa has no any wansa…Many people in our society know about Weerawansa’s real character.

    Anura Dissanayake performs great duty and fulfils his paramount responsibility as a Member of Parliament.

    Anura must be in our political environment

    We salute Anura.

  • 4
    0

    Dr. RK’s views are noteworthy, let JVP come up its own way, all other political parties in Sri Lanka has lost its originality and thereby its credibility. I feel they are on the track and it will not be very long to emerge at the top. Dr RK and all of us are mere laymen compared to what JVPers have gone through all these years, so let them decide all that.

    I really appreciate that JVP refrained from sharing the stage of Common Candidate this time which showed clearly that they were bent on long term wellbeing of this country and were not keen on mortgaging their policieis like Wimal Weerawansa did which has caused him political diarrhea and eventually his political death. We appreciate all what JVP is doing within the framework at this need of the hour to rescue Mother Lanka from the clutches of this monstrous family!!dynasty!

  • 4
    0

    BRAVO! to Ranga Kalansooriya for bringing this up. I agree one hundred percent with your evaluation of Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

    Living abroad, I listened to his Purawesi Balaya speech on line. I was mesmerized – remembered the days I listened to statesmen like SWRD, Colvin, NM, Stanley, Premadasa, Gamini, Lalith, etc. I agree that Anura Kumara is an outstanding orator, and he explained issues before us in a convincing manner. I have reason to believe that he is speaking from his heart, and that he truly means what he says.

    Anura Kumara is heading JVP — a party that unfortunately has a dark background. I happen to be a contemporary of Rohana Wijeweera. But, in 1970, he put me, my wife and son on JVP death list as we had opposing views. Many innocent people were killed – for no rhyme nor reason.

    At that time, I was teaching at Vidyalankara University – a center of JVP insurrection. The unnecessary death of tens of thousands of our youth misguided by JVP will remain a dark chapter in history. The unwanted and unwarranted death and destruction that JVP caused in 1970’s and in late 1980’s are immeasurable. The Governments too had a tit for tat.

    But I have reason to believe (though still suspicious) that JVP has changed given the fact that the JVP voted against the 18th Amendment, voted against the impeachment of the Chief Justice. Even today, if I understood correctly, JVP is supporting the common Presidential Candidate Maitripala Sirisena without expecting any perks in return. JVP wants the abolition of the Executive Presidency, stop corruption, nepotism,etc., and bring good governance, establish democratic rights and principles with rule of law– and all good things the opposition is promising the people.

    Regardless of the Presidential election outcome, Anura promises that JVP will continue to fight for these rights. Sri Lanka needs honest and sincere orators of his caliber. Anura should endeavor to revamp JVP and its policies and strategies for the future — not fake to capture power but as a political party that can direct the country for a better future. I am sure Anura can guide the younger generation of JVP in the right direction.

    I may never vote for JVP as a political party but I will definitely vote for Anura Kumara Dissanayake as Sri Lanka needs such a leader.

    All the best to you Anura.

  • 5
    1

    Anura K D;
    I like the way You deliver Your speeches. Plenty of clarity and depth.
    Come to the fore front and help this Country of ours flourish. Maithri could well do with someone like You in cabinet.
    Your speeches give me a sense of relief.
    Listening to MR, frightens me.

  • 2
    0

    I would readily vote for the reformed JVP if only they are able to practice what they preach. I am in sympathy with anuras verbal pontifications. But then we have the jvp:s IUSF engaging in ragging and violently quelling any and all dissent.

  • 2
    0

    We need a strong opposition in future parliamentary elections. I am very impressed with Mr Anura Kumara Dissanayakes knowledge, oratory and understanding. The New JVP is definitely worth voting for. I have never been a JVP supporter nor will I be one in the future but I will definitely consider voting for them as I beleive they will be a solid and critical voice in the opposition which Sri Lanka desperately needs.

  • 2
    0

    I have followed AKD’s speeches for a good length of time and have no hesitation in agreeing with the opinions and sentiments expressed in this forum and, would thank Dr. Range K for initiating that process with his contribution.

    But ultimately It is the people of this country irrespective of their race, religion or creed to decide if he and the JVP should be given the opportunity to put his views and plans into action in order to better their lives.

    For that to happen his oratorical skills should reach even those who cannot unfortunately understand the languagage he speaks with so much conviction which not doubt comes from the bottom of his heart.

  • 0
    0

    What our former leftist intellectuals did in Parliament earlier is now

    doing single handedly bu A K D. Best wishes.

  • 0
    0

    Agree with all the comments on AKD. A level of integrity that is refreshing and absent in our polity; combined with being an effective speaker armed with facts and figures that cannot be contested – unbeatable. We must also not forget Mr Herath, who is equally good.
    Unfortunately, the majority of our voters are not able to appreciate these points of view – but are swayed by “bread and Circuses” and other baubles.
    that is the tragedy of this country.

  • 0
    0

    Dear Sirs,
    I also vote your party & specially I was very happy about leader of Mr. Anura Kumara Disanayaka. this leadership was very important & I think it is a must. Other wise who ever party gets full power will be created big disasters. Ex Rapaksha Regent.

    Yahapalanaya should be accepted. But there are peoples were helping to current ministers & those ministers have to help them but they are help & given some executive grade may be with out considering their qualifications 7 they are not away a about them past experiences.

    Ex Mr. Nalin Ranaweera was working under Minister Duminda Disanayaka & he has recruited as a director for Pospate. And he has commented that he going to be recruited for Tractor Cooperation & hopping to restart again.
    He has very bad experience when he was working at Brown & Co, Dew Tractors & after that he was play out RS 1,300, 0000. 00. (10 MILLION & three hundred thousand) in the Sigiriya. Already court matter was processing after he was remanded for 03 months period.

    May be every body can be think this was a presenting vase on personal revenge. Yes it is also correct but you can check what I am saying true or not.
    Appreciated your consideration & hopping my safety.

    Best Regards

    Neville

    I feel very bad about Yahapalanaya in these regards & please

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