14 December, 2017

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The Anti-SAITM Student-GMOA Struggle: The World’s Very First Unarmed ‘Terrorists’?

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

As an indicted veteran of the 1980s, the period that Jude Ratnam’s movie ‘Demons in Paradise’ deals with, I can see the darkness gather. In a sense it is slightly crazier and therefore even more ominous.

The JVP of the 1971 insurrection was at least in part, the product of the UNP’s alienation of the university student community in Peradeniya and Colombo, owing to the confrontational approach of a single cabinet Minister, the UNP’s Minister of Education, IMRA Iriyagolla, and the resultant student clashes with the Police and the Army in 1966 and 1968/9.

In 1980 the student movement uncoiled against two initiatives of the UNP government of the day, with which the then Minister of education and the current Prime Minister was involved. These were the White Paper on Education and the Private Medical College. There was a hunger fast on the rooftop of Moratuwa University, and a mounted Police baton charge on Galle Face Green. The powerful President Jayewardene’s administration ‘nationalized’ the Private Medical College, but not before the student movement had been radicalized. Today, a far weaker, inefficient UNP is trying to do otherwise.

The next wave was in 1984 when two students were shot dead by the police; one before my eyes, down Havelock Road. Wounded, he was taken to hospital by CA Chandraprema, then a student activist, now a well-established political columnist, but the vehicle was halted by the police and the kid bled to death. Round three was in 1987, when the student Kithsirimevan Ranawaka was shot dead on May 1st outside the Abhayarama temple, while demonstrating with the MEP under Dinesh Gunawardena’s leadership.

The alienation of the students, their sense of marginalization by a violently repressive government, yielded an armed student militancy which was so fanatical it even attempted to devour more moderate left student leaders and activists, who then mirrored their attackers by turning lethal themselves.    

What do we have today? While a strong Jayewardena administration finally took under state control, the Private Medical College, a far weaker, inefficient UNP is trying to do otherwise; defending the private ownership of a delegitimized enterprise. SAITM cannot hold. The Govt is taking a tough line against the GMOA, which no administration, including the strong coalition of Mrs. Bandaranaike could not intimidate (at the time the GMOA was led by Dr. Rienzie Pieris). 

Bright young medical students were brutally baton charged by the STF when they occupied the Ministry of Health. Certainly the buildings had to be cleared but tear gas would have done the trick. Instead a Police paramilitary militia trained for counterinsurgency, stormed the building and baton-charged the students, even those running away. One of the most dramatically courageous and affecting scenes I have seen (on TV) in recent years was of a skinny girl with shoulder length hair held by a clip, wearing denims and a black T shirt with sleeves pulled up, darting forward, hugging a male student and wheeling him away, shouting at the STF while shielding the young man from truncheon blows with her body. She darted in to save more than one comrade.

In the aftermath, the Minister of Health—playing the IMRA Iriyagolla of today– then grotesquely falsifies misquotes Lenin to accuse the students of “terrorism”. Lenin did criticize terrorism but that over a decade before, and was not in the text “Leftwing Communism: An Infantile Disorder”, which the Minister cited and was entirely about something else!  If the students were engaging in acts of terrorism, they must have been the world’s very first unarmed terrorists!   

The Health Minister has since gone on the record accusing the Frontline Socialist Party of conspiring to launch an armed struggle. Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka too accuses the “Frontliners” of violence. Meanwhile, like the long dead Egyptian princess in ‘The Mummy’ (with Tom Cruise) Chandrika has returned in the guise of the Empress of Reconciliation, to annoy the powerful Buddhist clergy and turn it against the government. Now the Champika Ranawaka connection with Ven. Gnanasara and the BBS fits. This is precisely how the UNP framed the far left JVP after Black July ’83, which the JVP had nothing to do with but sections of the UNP did at least in the months and years running up to it.

That is how the UNP twice created or catalyzed the monstrous violence of the JVP– in the 1960s and 1980s. That is how we journeyed to the heart of darkness. With the government assailed, if not besieged on several fronts and no firm dates for the reopening of the long shut electoral safety valves, we are headed that way again.

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Latest comments

  • 12
    2

    What he (Mr.Dayan Jayatilleka) wants to say difficult to digest, maybe he is more educated than anybody else in this world….

    • 14
      1

      Dayan buddy,

      For once you have got it right! SAITM was established by the UNP in 2009 while sitting in the opposition. Bad, Bad, Bad UNP.

      Pal, Monty Python is looking for a script writer …….. they say the pay is better than Basil’s. Need an introduction?

      • 5
        2

        “they say the pay is better than Basil’s. Need an introduction?”

        To Basil Fawlty?

        • 1
          0

          My point is that perceptual bias can affect nut jobs and scientists alike.

          If we hold too rigidly to what we think we know, we ignore or avoid evidence of anything that might change our mind.

          Martha Beck

      • 2
        4

        Your parents have to be separately taxed for wasting oxygen by producing empty shells like you.
        Stupid UNPers

        • 3
          0

          Ouch! Got hurt a little, eh? :)))

          • 2
            5

            what is to get hurt idiot? Hurt is when we see the state of the country thanks to UNP idiots

            • 2
              1

              Ha ha ha ha ……………… I can feel your pain brother! …… … See pal, I got you where I want you without a single insult ……. That’s pure oxygen! ……..

              Watch and learn; that’s if your brain has ever used oxygen.

              Oh boy, this is fun! Any more takers?

        • 5
          0

          Dear Sach,
          With respect, if I was your parent (I know you only had one) , I would take a selfie in front of a train TODAY.

          • 2
            2

            ha ha ha UNP idiots coming to the rescue of their poor UNP fella..who cares idiot? If you were my parent, i would be spreading stupid lies in this forum like the rest of stupid UNPers here…LOL

            Come with a proper answer to any point i raise without coming after nimali fenando

            • 2
              0

              Such,

              Your points are so stupid that no one bothers to respond constructively! Say for example you understanding of the noble principle of Democracy. Every time you are put in your place, you turn churlish! Get a grip.

    • 3
      2

      Every time DJ appears on these forums, one gets a sense of miasma of his halitosis!

    • 6
      2

      If any student so called bright ones or any others they remain bright so long behave so. If the very same turn out to be vandalists, even Dayana Jayathilaka is a terrorist for me.

      We perfectly know all these student brutal acts are calculated acts by hidden Rajapakshe and other men that seek toppling the govt.

      And you DJ, disk jokii, too are part of the culprits. We know your recent history, you even betrayed the educated community at the time, you sat with dogs inthe the Nugegoda stage drama.

      Your crying calling yourself so called patriots is becoming clear to us today even more… since you have no real heart feelings but the feeelings to grab an another post for your surivival.

      However you have been made a loser to this date in lanken active scences, like a stray dog would do so you have bring your thoughts this way.

      I think if I were powerful authority to act, I would charge almost every SO CALLED BRIGHT student for the vandalistic acts they intentionally made to MINISTRY OF HEALTH.

      We the tax payers are no means ready to spend for the kind of unhearted students but for the poor.

    • 6
      0

      We have a simple question to DJ: Here we have to assume, you are not just a Dr title holder, but you have worked on that academic achievement. :::

      Why you see things so doublestandardly ?

      I believe you have studied few degrees and then you should have some sort of intelligence. However, what the average masses see as – no go, you are trying very hard to interpret in favour of [edited out] et al who looted the country to the core.

      Why you need to be that servile to Rajakshe agendas ? We can understand Wimal Buruwanse to continue so given than he has not the least knowledge, to be in his position. Today, we know garbage colelctors have the same education as is the case of Wimal. Some of the garbage collectors are too school drop outs as Wimal.

    • 2
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      D J

      It is time to retire and enjoy retirement.

      Jagath

    • 2
      0

      Sad to say this Government is going to give DJ what he is dreaming of!

      The failure to go after the Rajapaksas criminals will end up toppling this government and creating cracks within the UNP and the Maithripala faction that Gota will exploit to come into power.

      Then back to having a dictator. Only this time no one will be able to topple him without destabilizing the state and turn it into a chaotic state like Afghanistan.

  • 2
    0

    praying for the worst

  • 5
    3

    DJ the smart patriot
    Why don’t you something about:
    – Tricot Acf unarmed terrorists
    – Five unarmed student terrorists
    – 40000 unarmed terrorists from vanni
    – Rathpusallawe unarmed terrorists
    – Katunayake unarmed terrorists

    All in front of our eyes and on TV channels. Why your mind is still blind on one side. The hatred you have against one person (Rw) makes your brain shut down to write the truth.

    [Edited out]

  • 2
    1

    The argument was If JR cannot how RW can?
    There is no any other points in this articles.
    Do not consider him, we saw how he and Sarath can turn the tongue .

  • 4
    2

    It looks that Dayan is writing for the sake of writing, too bad. Please stop this gibberish.

  • 2
    3

    Wherever there is a shithole dayan has to put his foot into it
    yesterdays students are todays thugs
    however hard he tries when it comes to the written word he cant hold a candle to the likes of Tissaranee ,Gomin, uncle Neville,or papa Mervyn so don’t waste your time

  • 4
    1

    Forget about what DJ says.
    Money sucking GMOA is the mafia rules all walk of life with impunity, perks, privileges and immunity.
    How many duty free cars they need?
    How many foreign trips in a year sponsored by pharmaceutical giants?
    How many times they are demanding upgrade for free??
    They are bunch of psychopath need all the best of best include their wives.
    Look around!!!!

  • 1
    6

    I have never seen or heard of such an unsuccessful government ever in this country like Yahapalana

    • 3
      1

      We all know you are deaf & blind before 2015. Open Terror , open Bribe, Open Corruption, Open murders under jungle law – how can you see & hear about that regime. White van democracy come in if you open your mouth, see with your eyes or hear from your ears.

      • 0
        0

        I have been a staunch critic of MR government during his days. But this RW’s government ( the biggest failure in SL) has surpassed MR in every wrong they did

  • 4
    0

    I went through university around the same time as the JVP uprisings. I have a different take. The rural students were brought to university with false hopes. They were fed a diet of Pali, Sanskrit and Buddhist Civilization- no hope subjects. Their poor parents pawned the last cow to send them to Colombo. I remember how economics was taught in what was known as the Aswa Vidyalaya. The lecturer used to end the lectures saying “Maage Mila Niyaya Kiyawanna” as if this slim Sinhala book of 200 pages contained all of economics. The Sinhala politician, both SLFP and UNP cheated these students. Aswa Vidyalaya was started to accommodate politicians children at Peradeniya. Most of the Sinhala chauvinists had their children sent to the UK (like Ma Ra, even if idiots to do whatever). There was frustration among these Sinhala youths. I remember well that after the uprising, the Sinhala medium classes were virtually empty. Now the Mahanayakes do not want the missing to be identified so that the guilty could be let off.. What a glorious Buddhist country we have. It is all the fault of Western capitalism, not the Sinhala Mudalali and political class which has been ripping people off for the last several years.

  • 1
    0

    For me it looks like DJ PhD wants to bring back MaRa & Bros regime using students as one of his tool.
    I do not think majority of younger generation have much higher IQ & EQ than DJ. Further even if they are against the current regime they will not bring back MaRa regime again after qhat they dud between 2010 & 2015.
    The younger generation know what to do when 2020 comes. In the mean time they are in the process of finding new young leaders and will make sure MaRa & brothers gracefully retire from SL politics. DJ you too can retire from SL politics & settle down in Cuba in US with Raja Siblings.

  • 1
    0

    It took quite an effort for workers to win their rights. Trade union movement no doubt contributed to this. GMOA is exercising their right but this man calls them ‘unarmed terrorists”. Pro-SAITM are looking for some deaths which can, through subterfuge, be attributed to the strike. Dayan is not able to see this.
    Dayan is more stupid than he appears to be.
    PS: Please Dayan we do not want your review of “Demons in Paradise”.

  • 1
    0

    “Bright young medical students were brutally baton charged by the STF when they occupied the Ministry of Health.”

    is there something wrong with this statement?
    Silly at best.

  • 0
    0

    Present government could invite MR and GMOA for dialogue to find a way forward with consensus. We should find a way to have private medical colleges or stop students qualified at foreign private medical schools, which have much lower standards and with requirement of much lower entrance qualification, practicing in Srilanka. GMOA having this double standard is very damaging and disappointing for moral and ethical standards of their profession and their commitment to wellbeing of Srilanka. Points scoring on this issue at the expense of ignoring ordinary people’s health is not the way for doctors to carry out their duties to the people and to their country. Wish doctors have the courage and confidence to do the right thing.

  • 1
    0

    Are you justifying the JVP violence? If so, isn’t it the same kind of logic used by Ealmists to justify the violence of the LTTE?

    In my opinion, Sri Lankan students (especially state university students) are a pampered lot. They have been told that they are creme-de-la creme from day one and given a free education and their antics of violent and abusive ragging and political theater and violence is ignored.

    They should be made to work full-time and study, instead of organizing political rallies and not waste the poor people’s money that is used to educate them.

  • 0
    0

    Greeting Dayan! It is an interesting study, the study of the 1979 government and its relationship to the opposition, students and communist parties. An arrogance buttressed by heavy handed right wing suppression and economic development. So you are saying history repeats, we shall see.

    “JR was the originator of the ethnic problem in its violent form after 1983, and he was at least partly responsible for the extension of the war after 1987. It is arguable that his virtual destruction of democracy played an important role in that extension. “

    Re-Assessing President JR – Izeth Hussain, CT

  • 1
    0

    Unless we have more local privatised Universities, public universities students will keep on rebelling at tax-payers expenses.

    100 years from now, they will be demanding the same thing what the public students are complaining now.

    Anything give free, including education, attracts no respect. That’s the nature of the beast. The best universities in the world are the most expensive.

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