14 June, 2024

Blog

Anatomy Of A Change; From Wijeweera’s JVP To AKD’s NPP

By Vishwamithra

“Opinion is like a pendulum and obeys the same law. If it goes past the center of gravity on one side, it must go a like distance on the other; and it is only after a certain time that it finds the true point at which it can remain at rest.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

Senanayake enna (come), Senanayake enna, Senanayake enna…den (now) Bandaranaike enna, Bandaranaike enna…that’s how Rohana Wijeweera in the late nineteen sixties spoke about the exchange of political power between the two family hegemonies in the forties, fifties and the sixties. Power resided within the elite families in Colombo. The so-called ‘Independence’ won in 1948, in fact, was for these elite families and theirs only; that ‘Independence’ never left those families; the people at large were manacled to family rule. A society, more uneducated than undereducated, that was in the process of transforming itself from feudalism to crude mercantilism and to the verge of capitalism had no option other than one between two families whose members came to dominate the local political field.

Wijeweera exposed the inherent crudities and external fissures of the development of this sociopolitical evolution. While leaving behind the masses, for whom the very notion of Independence was an alien concept, the leaders of the various political entities, some of which were formed in a hurry on the eve of 1948 declaration of independence, began taking their initial steps that reached culmination in 2022, after seventy four (74) years in sheer collapse and disaster. However, when Wijeweera spoke, he did so with a declared intention of launching a violent revolution. Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) was essentially a cellish organization, organized around cells each of which was centered on an area that came under a local Police Station. The total strength of the whole of the JVP could not have exceeded ten thousand (10,000) members.

Their weapons were crude and fundamentally inadequate for an armed insurrection. From the very start to end it was never meant to succeed on a longstanding basis. Locally manufactured ‘gal katas’ or hand bombs were no match for semi or fully automatic guns wielded by the army. The JVP’s ideological warfare may have appealed as a realistic and well-crafted one to the youth of the day, but the ground combat depended on being ready with the matching weaponry and a steady replenishment of the same. Wijeweera was the local ‘Lenin’ but there was no indigenous Trotsky to organize the fighting forces along disciplined lines and issue orders to their perfect execution. 

The JVP did not learn any lessons. From the unsuccessful insurrection in 1971 to the gruesome murders in 1987 to 1989, its evolution, instead of inspiring the non-JVP segment of the population, displayed a perverted psyche of the leadership that did not care for the basic human values and decent exchange of views and ideas. Even after the total suppression of the 2nd revolution, despite the fact it has failed time after time, they continued to indulge in their usual exhibitionistic politics. Their propensity to get utterly carried away by seeing massive crowds at their public rallies never seemed to give way for more rational and analytically balanced thinking.

However, the situation changed, not only for the current leadership of the JVP, it also changed drastically for the country. What Aragalaya gave rise was not only to a fresh way of thinking for the entire nation, it also helped the JVP and its newest political coalition National People’s Power (Nawa Jana Balawegaya – NPP) in that in a chaotic and totally confusing scenario, the people were confronted with an absolute solution, one away from the status quo. Also the NPP, being not ever in power helped immensely in this context. What a veteran would call inexperience, the NPP is using it as purity. Smart  politics! All those who had enjoyed the fruits and ill-gotten perks and money from holding power were subjected to the brutal judgment of the people when the collapse of the economic system occurred in the beginning of April last year.

Not that Anura Kumara Dissanayake (AKD) and the rest of the NPP leadership were not corrupt; they had no chance to be corrupt because they were the only political party that was looking in from outside, so to speak. Untested and untried, the NPP and its leadership began exploiting this obvious advantage which appeared from nowhere. The JVP and the NPP coalition became the only non-corrupt or incorrupt political organization in the country. A very easy ride to be a puritanical political entity seeking office. When one couples that puritanical aspect to which the current national thinking is focused, with the marvelous oratory of AKD, one gets a winning formula. 

It’s not only this duo of factors, namely, the presumed purity of the character of the party and AKD’s unmatched oratorical skills that helped the NPP. The total depletion of the Pohottuwa group and its undisputed indulgences in corruption, Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s fleeing from Presidency and the country, ascension of Ranil Wickremesinghe, an unelected to the seat of highest power, worsening of the economic hardships via belt-tightening preached to the masses while horrendous amounts are spent on celebrations of Independence, inaction against those who have been found corrupt and guilty of wheeler-dealing in public money have all contributed to an immeasurable power vacuum created in the middle. 

Who would fall into this vacuum? Who is left to be considered by the masses as incorrupt and seemingly incorruptible? AKD and his close cohorts, by sheer force of personality, have captured the imagination of a greater majority of Sinhalese Buddhists. When the Pohottuwa is being decimated, almost 100% of that decimation starts collecting at the foot of the NPP; one cannot help it, for those who leave the Pohottuwa would hardly rally round a breakaway group of the UNP which is Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB).            

At this time it is pertinent to discuss the way AKD is presenting his case before the people. When Wijeweera orated, in very engaging fashion, about the swing of the pendulum between the Senanayakes and the Bandaranaikes, AKD too is allowing the people to identify the NPP as the only option left for the people as they are now absolutely fed up with the status quo. AKD is very smartly coupling Sajith and his SJB with the status quo.

The demand of the people is for a total change. Voting for Sajith and installing his men and women in power once again would seem completely out of character for a nation that is demanding total change. Yet AKD has to succeed in that effort to couple the two- Sajith and SJB with the rest of the political field. He achieves that by cleverly inserting R Premadasa, Sajith’s father as an integral part of that Family bandyism, in his speeches. AKD has become extremely shrewd in his political endeavors and his dominance in the social media is sometimes mindboggling. 

His uncanny ability in paraphrasing Rohana Wijeweera regarding the swing of the political pendulum between the Senanayakes and the Bandaranaikes in a most understandable ways to the listening public is extraordinary. Unlike a couple of years ago, AKD is rushing through his talking points; on the contrary he is showing the discipline and patience of a seasoned debater in the caliber of NM Perera, JR Jayewardene and Peter Keuneman. 

Has AKD penetrated the outer layer of the public mind? Has he reached the inner core of the average voter? Does he have sufficient amount of stamina and staying power in the event of a bad loss at the forthcoming local government (LG) elections? What stoicism does he possess in such an event? All these questions will be answered in the LG elections and afterwards.

The Colombo circles are definitely getting jittery. The Sinhala-speaking Colombo and big city-based academia might rally round the NPP, yet a sizeable segment of the elite is still nervous and jumpy about an NPP-dominated government. Although it is only a local government elections that are the issue, the prognostication of a wide and far ranged dominance of the local political scene by the National People’s Power would be unthinkable for those who attended St Thomas’ or Royal College. Twenty first century has not taught them anything. Patronage to those who hold power and slavish bootlicking that they most willingly stoop to is no badge any one should wear with any modicum of pride. But one cannot put anything past our Colombo Pukka Sahibs. They may hold MBAs from foreign universities, but internally they are the same dishonorable dregs that any society has to reconcile itself with.

While all this is being played about in the crudest of fashions, the international players, especially the USA, India and China are not closing their hawkish eyes. America, at least as per their declared reasons, would not allow our democratic way of government to perish; India on the other hand, being our closest neighbor, simply cannot allow any anarchical situation to arise; nor would she be interested in making Sri Lanka another State in their Federal government. China is a different kettle of fish. Having risen to be the second most influential and strong economy in the world, China’s ruthless approach to geopolitics has not been understood by the previous regimes of the two Rajapaksa brothers, Mahinda and Gotabaya. Ill-advised pursuit of foreign loans at loan-shark proportions, may have massaged their hands for a while but when the payback time came, it was virtually insufferable. A whole new column is warranted in this regard- an analysis through the international prism. 

The issue is not with them, now. The issue is with our people. They are the Judge, the Jury and the Executioner. Will they once again capitulate to the pressures of ethnic and identity politics which seemed to have been the reason for our collective downfall.

*The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com      

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 8
    0

    Vishwamithra has touched a chord…….
    …………..But one cannot put anything past our Colombo Pukka Sahibs. They may hold MBAs from foreign Universities,but internally THEY ARE THE SAME DISHONORABLE DREGS THAT ANY SOCIETY HAS TO RECONCILE ITSELF WITH………..

    It was just the other day we saw these dregs who called themselves as the Viyath Maga…………………

  • 3
    3

    NPP’s Dr. HA is a side projection of the likes of Prof. GL. She does not seem to be conversant with her present role of a MP of playing the role of a legislator. She should be vociferous inside the Parliament inciting the Ministers to perform and rather not outside exiting the characters like S_M.

    • 5
      4

      h
      She is among the more decent MPs and cautious of what she utters.
      What gimmicks would you want her to perform to get you excited?

      • 2
        0

        SJ,
        “What gimmicks would you want her to perform..”

        I’ll take 4 Harinis for 1 Hirunickers , any time.

    • 6
      1

      totally disagree with you HP.
      .
      You can’t compare to the spineless Prof. GL with Dr. HA. It is heaven- earth differences between the two.
      She is fearless. She has more potential to be a politician of Dr. Merkel nature (Dr. Merkel is one of the most powerful world leaders in recent times).

      Besides, Dr. HA is new to politics. Professor GL has been in politics for the past 2 decades or more. had he continued as the Vice Chancellor of CMO University, at least he would have been able to help many more students with their theses. What has he achieved in his entire political career? Nothing… He served the Medamulana clan like a “bag boy”. Always shameless academia… we should be ashamed to call them srilankans. – I dont hate anyone, but when I look at GLP, I become very ashamed….
      .
      I am not against NPP but would never help JVP. I will be happy if NPP is strengthened by other parties. That can still happen. But all of them should be young and corruption free candidates. It is silly even to think all young politicians in other parties are equally corrupt. JVP is not capable of working with others. That alone make them disqualified to allow ruling this stupid dominated nation.
      :

  • 0
    0

    The problem with a kitten is that it eventually becomes a Pussy Cat. I thought we had a bumper harvest of MS. Weerawansa, Vasu, Gamanpila, GLP, certainly it is too long a list to proceed with. They all were strictly fed with a Marxist, Lenninist, Maoist Diet.

  • 1
    0

    I really do not know much about NPP to form an opinion. Though the recent opinion polls may not be reliable, it clearly shows NPP / JVP gathering strength in becoming a potential third force. I see this as mandatory for real electoral changes,thereby putting an end to 75 years of two party system. The only way for them to succeed is to, project more of NPP and lesser JVP.

  • 0
    1

    The way things are going there are bound to be protests. Please don’t blame the protesters; blame the actions of Ranil Wickremasinghe:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjXpx4D74lE

    දැන් ඡන්දෙට මොකක් වෙයිද? -මහාචාර්ය G.L උපරිමාධිකරණ පරිශ්‍රයේ සිට කියයි
    .
    7” 20’ Professor G. L. Peiris in Sinhala, on 23/02/2023 about 4.00 pm.
    .
    This next starts with AKD arriving for the meeting in Kandy.
    .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3uIHEo1XoA
    .
    Only 3 minutes
    .
    Another 3 minutes:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaJMLQs7VYw&t=49s
    .
    Diana Gamage on Ukraine, and Eran Wickremasinghe on the need for Non-alignment.

    .
    The speaker here is Sunil Watagala, the prospective Chairman of the Maharagama Urban Council. I have not met him.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kSIqKD9mWE

    .
    See 1; 44” of 7 minutes here:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWDkWtflcTg
    .
    Shanikyan Rajamanikkam on 23/02/2023
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWDkWtflcTg
    .
    .
    A Tamil MP from the Batticaloa District speaking for 9 minutes, mainly in Sinhalese.
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjXpx4D74lE
    .
    Shanakiyan Rasamanikkam

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.