By Kumar David –
Only two commentators are referred to below because to discuss all the politically important responses to “Kumar at 80: Engineer, Scholar, Socialist” by Rajan Philips in Colombo Telegraph would too exhausting for me at this age!
“In 1970, Kumar David was one of a triumvirate of young Sama Samajists who set up a secret internal left faction (Vaama Sama Samaja group) within the LSSP.”
Perhaps Dr. KD should have stayed inside the LSSP and changed its ways.
This is an interminable point of debate among us now. But it was impossible once the old guard understood how big a threat we posed (We would have won a Party Conference in the late 1970s hands down if they accepted our demand for one which the leadership refused). They expelled Vasu to prevent it – Bahu and Siritunga were expelled earlier; I was expelled later. The old guard also knew that we had strong international support from Marxist groups.
Old Codger also said: The only reason that the LSSP got such massive number of seats in 1970 was its pact with the SLFP, like the JVP much later. Our voters aren’t very interested in being offered hard work now and paradise later. They want paradise up front.
True, that’s why I all upon the JVP now to work towards a front with the Liberals on a Social Democratic programme. Like OC I too have no illusions about our voters.
SJ’s – Comments
Siva ridiculed someone using the term “Marxist blueprint”. Very fair ridicule of that person.
“I think that the Vama Samasamaja group emerged a little too late.”
What the hell!! Pity Vasu, Bahu and I were born a “bit too late”. Maybe we should have in 1964 launched a Baby Samasamaja when we were still raw youth (instead of Vama Samajamaja). The real culprits in this respect were Bala, Edmund and Karlo who had the standing in the Party to stay and fight do what we did not succeed in achieving. We would have been irrelevant had these establish Samasamaja figures stayed and given leadership after the 1964 Conference.
The Vama group as NSSP did fairly well because the Government Clerical Service Union supported it.
No absolutely NOT true. We had much deeper organisational roots in all districts and branches of the LSSP. That’s why the leadership feared us so much and systematically expelled us.
The general strike of 1981 was badly timed or rather badly coordinated. Its defeat was a severe blow to the NSSP.
100% agreed. NSSP Central Committee was split and the leading working class comrades in the CC called the decision “madness”.
(The Older Codger)