21 November, 2018

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The Crisis Of The JVP Is That It Has Lost Purpose

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Right now, the JVP is busy enthusiastically backing the Opposition move for a vote of no-confidence on the Prime Minister. Have any member of that party reflected on the possible net result of such action as far as the party’s own purpose lies?

Crisis of the JVP

In the original days of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), it had a clear sense of purpose. Whether that purpose or general goal had been right or apt or realistic is another issue altogether. The important thing is that the party had a clear and unambiguous eventual goal to which it had been working under the leadership of Rohana Wijeweera, Gamanayake etc. Ask the JVP today what its political purpose is and you will not get a valid answer. The crisis of the JVP today is that it has lost a purpose.

The JVP’s consistently poor showing at elections is largely an outcome of the fundamental reality that the party has ceased to be driven by anything other than being a critic of the government in power-whichever that may be. This is not a goal in any sense of a definition; it is just a state of negative being.

Contrast

By contrast, go back again to the 1969-70s. At that time the JVP took the shape of a growing political force- burgeoning by the day and attracting hundreds of youth from the towns and villages. These youth discovered in the party and its messiah a deeply enthusing idealism to embrace. JVP had been many things even then; but it carried the idealism of rectifying injustices from society and ushering in social justice for the poor and the disadvantaged of society by the destruction of the evil that is capitalism. The idea became viral and thousands of youth were able to conceal their prolonged training in the jungles. When the uprising of April 71 took place, it came as a shock to the broad masses of rulers and people. Rulers and others were thrown into confusion. Purpose can invest those in possession of it with dynamism and energy; with resilience.

Regi Mentis, Doric, NM and Bernard

Doric’s Classes

In my youthful days, the Samasamajists had such an appeal- although by then the appeal had weakened somewhat in intensity.

As a young undergraduate in Peradeniya, I remember how much we were magnetised by the theoretics of Doric De Souza – the exponent of Trotskysm. Doric, reflecting a strange coincidence with the JVP that was to come, had five classes which he held behind the Hindagala Hotel at the foot of Mahakande. We were individually and collectively caught up and fired by pledging to fight for the eradication of poverty and all social ills which, Doric told us, had been due to the dominance of the capitalist class. We were made to feel heroic as revolutionaries. A purpose drove us. The very idea of going out of ourselves to fight for a rule of the proletariat gave us adrenalin rushes. Some of us even neglected the reason for which our parents had spent for us to be in the university. (At the time, the University wasn’t free). The wider and transcendent goal of being courageous about changing society drove fire within us. One of our crowd, I remember, dear old Shanmuganathan, wrote slogans on walls with the blood of his body! In this way, the seniors who were indoctrinated (that is the right word) found it their pupose in turn to indoctrinate freshers who flowed in.

Personally, I realized after I left the University and even much later when I had been more exposed to the disciplines of economics and business at Melbourne University that the Doric theoretics were one-sided and that capitalism in fact had historically led to huge advances in wealth creation among the poor and working classes of the world and so the proletarians did not feel enthusiastic about forming a government of their own. The idea of a revolution was confined to discourse in parlors and in the gathering of intellects.

Marxism in the JVP

Anura Kumara

On the other hand, the JVP still does officially hold on to Marxism and the guys are red-shirted. However, they haven’t declared any goal of socialism in their published and articulated programs. Have you heard any of them arguing for socialism as we heard the old left shout hoarse during their golden days? That left has been liquidated and we now find only defunct ghosts like Vasudeva and DEW Gunasekera who talks of everything save of socialism.

Diverted Results of JVP Efforts

What does seem to be the purpose of the JVP today? You think and you’ll find none. They simply criticise the government in power. They attacked the Rajapaksas while the latter had been in power. The result was that their efforts translated into votes for the new Yahapalanaya government. This is the precise impact of mere negative approaches to politics. The criticism of the government that is, only helps the Opposition. The party does the dirty work of others. Did you observe how the JVP took on the recent local government elections? “Give us the villagers,” (Apata gama deela balanna) was the JVP slogan. Slathing assaults were directed on the yahapalanaya government; but the votes they may have earned got lodged with the Pohottuwa. I must say, Anura Kumara Dissanayake does his homework very well and he knows to find faults and to communicate effectively the deficiency of the ruling powers. But, then, who benefits-other than the Opposition to the government?” The elections signified a wash -out for the JVP and a swelling of Pohottuwa ranks.

No-Confidence Motion

Right now, the JVP is busy enthusiastically backing the Opposition move for a vote of no-confidence on the Prime Minister. Has any member of that party reflected on the possible net result of such action as far as the party’s purpose lies? That eventual outcome is to bring down the government as much as to swell the Pohottuwa power and pave the way for a Rajapaksa return. The JVP should ask themselves the question: how would such a result serve any overall purpose of their party? The evident outcome would,, first be negative for the JVP since the Rajapaksas winning would decimate their party further. The track record of the Rajapaksa government provides enough evidence to surmise that a fresh return of that regime would mean the complete destruction of democracy and a further erosion of human rights. How does such an implied outcome suit any purpose of the JVP?A returned regime would get about closing avenues for democratic dissent and conducting elections where the decision is preset. The hit squad will return and metamorphise Sri Lanka into another North Korea headed by a “dear leader!” This isn’t wild speculation if one were to assess the conduct and performance of the family regime’s last ruling exercise.

No Strategy

Not having a purpose has also meant that the JVP doesn’t have a strategy. The party thinks for the day and acts on short-term expectations. Not having a purpose means the JVP will not be able to attract new members to the ranks. At this rate, the party’s final end would be to slip into the cosy laps of the right-just as Vasu or DEW have done. That, too, if the new regime of the Rajapaksa’s will incorporate the JVP into some concocted fake of a “Joint” government.

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Latest comments

  • 6
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    Mr. Shymon: You are a living man among those known to be “Seven Blind Men” who tried to describe an elephant.

    • 1
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      Douglas

      Can you make it clear whether you are defending the JVP lock stock and barrel or calling Shyamon Jayasinghe a politically colour blind man who does not know/understand the difference between a Green Elephant and Red hammer and sickle?

  • 6
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    The JVP will never ever vote for Ranil since they remember Batalanda though you pretend not to know. The.JVP has managed to have their six MPs’ chosen as being within the ten most efficient in Parliament which goes to prove that they are fit to be where they are, which also tells us that they know what their duties towards the country are. Their vote base has increased at the last hustings whereas all the rest have not managed to do so. They had some 70 odd members in local govt: previously and got about 425 presently which is something for thought. They are honest in their dealings and there are no adverse hanky panky reports about them. I think they are correct in voting for the No confidence motion against RW since he has not delivered.on his promises and is only interested in dividing and ruling and not developing the country.

    • 1
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      Shyamon Jayasinghe

      The JVP never had a purpose.
      Its so called ideology was and is an isolationist approach to imminent disaster (Remember 1970 – 1977).
      The so called ideology was essentially racists, anti workers, anti people,………..
      The JVP would happily distribute wealth before creating it.

      JVP’s hypocrisy knows no bound. Between 1987 and 1990, Somawansa gang protested violently the presence of Hindians on the island but later made a high level official deal with them and escaped to India while his comrades were hunted down and killed by the same armed forces which routinely killed Tamils in the North, South, East and West. The JVP opposed provincial councils however later they contested and won few seats enjoyed the power and perks of the newly formed institution.

      Somawansa was sleeping with Rajapaksa for quite some time before he was cut to size. Dr Mahinda engineered the split (in 2008?). By the way they too meet the Mahasanghas to seek blessing.

      Somawansa and the gang never been sympathetic to the minorities, never made an effort to cease an opportunity to stop the war, never talked about war crimes, …………. though his comrades and innocent civilians also met with the same fate between 1987 and 1990.

      It seems JVP has’t removed its anti upcountry Tamil lecture (lesson 5?) from its ideology.

      JVP lost credibility among people, never able to convince minorities about their so called socialist project, … another failed socialist party which is ready to betray its supporters, comrades, the island, ………… when its suits its agenda, hidden or otherwise.

      Apart from being a critic of government in his marathon speeches what else could AKD (former Minister to Mahinda) do to stop the country racing to hit the bottom. Nothing.

  • 2
    2

    Shyamon: Do any of the Lankan political parties have a purpose? OK let us look at JVP
    The good old JVP was at a time when there was a semblance of law and order, corruption/nepotism was not visible – certainly not accepted as the norm, the ‘cold war’ allowed some idealist thoughts, Mao’s Thoughts were ‘Chinthanaya’. The old JVP (along with the left) indulged in some idealist dreams.
    Today the landscape is different. Corruption/nepotism is the norm – one has got to talk of the one and only one scam – the bond issue, the Lankan Army Commander talks of crushing skulls as part of operational duties, police has gotten into contract killing etc.
    The old JVP did not realise that the minority issue needs to be addressed. The re-born JVP has not done much about the recent crisis of the Muslims.
    The new JVP has well and truly got soaked in the new system.
    The reborn JVP has got into the main political arena. How did they do it? TNA is still called ‘terrorists’!

    • 3
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      We urge our lankan to vote for JVP in the next Presidential election and give them a chance to rule mother lanka . Then we can decide whether jvp can give a good governance or not. EVEN ONCE.. Why dont we ??

      • 1
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        Ceylonee,
        That’s what the mousetrap said to the mouse, my dear. Try me just ONCE.

    • 0
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      K.Pillai,
      “The old JVP did not realise that the minority issue needs to be addressed. The re-born JVP has not done much about the recent crisis of the Muslims.”
      We must give the devil its due. AKD had the nerve to make a speech in Parliament condemning the forced expulsion of Tamils from Colombo lodges by Gota. Wimal Weerawansa was unusually quiet.
      “TNA is still called ‘terrorists’! Only Tamils are terrorists here . the non-Tamils are ranaviruwas and insurgents.

  • 2
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    If Ranil is a Bhuthaya, Now Ranil is in Shyamon. HE thinks he is right and every one that opposes him are wrong. JVP was against Ranil and UNP. JVP knows very well about how Ranil was listening to sinhala youth that were screaming in Batalanda while going through torture until they died. JVP kept quait with UNP/Yahapalana until Yahapalana proves that they are none other than the same Mahinda chintanaya people or worse. So, now it is JVP’s time to come out or vanish. There are youth who survivied it and listened to what Ranil talked. Probably, they can reveal those If Ranil wants to contest the election., Because, it is the right moment coming. Shyamon Do you know that Ranil is the Evangelical – Pontifff and Ranil si cmpleting the taks of destreoying Sri lankan cultuire, economy and finances. Pretty soon Ranil will be saying that protecting Kumari Bambasara is not impiortant among manyother things. I heard family priest is advising him and he will become a Evangelical Bishop in Sri lanka.

  • 0
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 2
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    Shyman.
    What is.wrong with you ..
    Forget about the past history.
    Tell me which party is loyal one today .

    You know well.what MR did and what Ranil.did ?
    Do you expect any JVP Mps will do what Ranil.snd MR did .
    You look as an idiot as a uneducated Punic man in Sri Lanka?
    There is a huge difference between JVP Mps and others.
    JVP stand by its principles
    People Did not vote for.it because of all corrupted politics of Sri Lanka.

  • 0
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    Another fine piece of analysis. JVP is like the laundry man who launders the clothes of others

  • 0
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    JVP lost its purpose the day when LTTE was defeated

  • 0
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    This article is about JVP but Jim Softy is still thinking about Ranil. One has to admit that Shyamon J has hit the nail on the right spot as far as the journey of the JVP goes. JVP leaders must take note and reset itself altogether. If this does not happen the party will end up with one of the major groups and get lost like Dew Gunasekera and Vasu. Vasu talks mad things. He has lost the plot

  • 0
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    Hello Shyamon,

    I am sad about you all these days you wrote about the good side about Ranil and why we need to keep him. [edited out]

    My opinion is that not only Ranil but also MY 3 and the entire government has to be retired or dissolved. Sri Lanka needs to go for a Presidential and Parliamentary elections as soon as possible to establish the economic and political system. You may be sad. But that is what people are asking for.

    You says that JVP has lost their purpose or mission. They lost their purpose or mission in 2015 after supporting and appointing the Yahapalanya government, Ranil.and MY3. Their dead brothers and sisters who liad down their life for that purpose or mission are cursing now. That is also why JVP is abondoned by people. So that JVP is, reluctantly, supporting the no-confidence motion as this will be their last chance to survive.

  • 0
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    JVP knows the public mood better than Shyamon who is living in a far away country. They are in a dilemma as to how to respond to the JO move without antagonizing their support base. Their support for the NC motion is not a given. They might abstain allowing RW to survive by default. That is why they say, they agree with the NC motion “on principle”. It is on JO to create a public perception that abstaining the motion by both SLFP and JVP are equal to supporting Ranil. It will expose the “rathu ali” underhand deal with yamapalanaya.

    • 1
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      JVP mustn’t get involved in NCM but abstain.

    • 1
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      Hela

      What is JO?

  • 1
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    Frank assessment of the JVP.

  • 0
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    Mr. Shyamon only attempt is to safeguard the so called yahapalanaya what ever evil they have done and doing at the moment. Shame?

  • 2
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    this is not a matter of ranil or mahinda ,people in the country are not ready to give power to JVP some reason and JVP has failed last 50 years to give clear direction ,it loss current every opotunity to consolidated power at any level in the entire country. like now they only thinks make some political rally based on sinhala muslim fighht in the kandy. what will happen tmorrow if again sinhala and taml fight ? it is like a loss of the every direction.

  • 1
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    What ever the thinking of JVP either radical, marxism or out of the box, They too have used time and again the racism,pseudo patriotism and anti minority card to exploit the public . They had caused many road blocks in past when ever there was genuine chance in improving community integration.When there is no socialism/marxism or any so called “isms” are not in practice in China or Russia What is the message JVP has for the public, China and Russia are now ruled by life time leaders who behave like MR we know The leftover die hard communist I see is in pockets like Bengal and Kerala, but trust me even they dont believe in what they preach.

  • 1
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    What does the writer mean saying that the JVP has lost its purpose? Of course it has a purpose, all our political parties do. Their purpose is to make money while they can. No less an authority than Dr Mahinda Ph$ has said that in Sri Lanka, politics is a business. I remember seeing him explain this to a bemused foreign journalist some years ago.

  • 1
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    Present day JVP has misplaced its Mao thoughts among suit cases full of $$$$$$$.

    It will take another batalanda for the JVP to recal Ranil’s batalanda.
    Present day JVP has lost their way and the Marxist shine.

    Gone are the days of real patriotic marxists politics.
    JVP & Shyamon both groping………

  • 1
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    Thondamany

    “Gone are the days of real patriotic marxists politics.”

    Thanks a million.
    The lazy workshy bums were/are not interested in hard work, value addition, wealth creation ……….. but are all for wealth distribution. They should know without creating wealth there won’t be anything left for them to distribute.

    • 0
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      “Not having a purpose has also meant that the JVP doesn’t have a strategy. The party thinks for the day and acts on short-term expectations”

      What a brilliant analysis. The past three years had proved that quote to be true .With the corruption exhibited by the two main parties, and with the projected goal of taking over the country by 2020, I expected the JVP to come up with some positive proposals.They have not. Their propaganda machine seems to have fallen short.

      JVP should concentrate on providing proposals to take this country out of the morass it had got into., without platitudes to ancient dogma like a totally socialistic state.
      They do not seem to take a stand on principles but bases their stand on their view of what is popular.

      Let me analyse:

      1. SAITM issue the JVP and the doctor MP knew well that the grounds on which the GMOA went to the country was false.They talked about the quality of the education. Forget the GCE Al passes.I know of a successful consultant accepted internationally who started from the Arts stream.Malcolm Naki was a successful surgeon but by profession a gardner. He was involved in the first heart transplant.
      On the other hand the lecturers at SAITM were all ex Govt University pedagogues.

      JVP should have taken a stand, however unpopular it was, to protect the Private Medical college. It is useless to pillory the private sector, because Private sector takes the pressure off the tax payer.

      Remember that John Kennedy the President of US was a Catholic, a minority in the US then. He won because he took stands which were considered unpopular and when it came to his election people supported him because the people considered him a man of principles.

      JVP had not exhibited that knack.

  • 0
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    “Not having a purpose has also meant that the JVP doesn’t have a strategy. The party thinks for the day and acts on short-term expectations”
    Let take another issue. safeguarding the Tax payer’s money.They voted to increase the parliamentarians salaries. What the JVP should have stood for was to abolish all pensions to parliamentarians and restricted the parliamentarians benefits to an allowance for attendance, may be secretarial allowance, travel allowance and few others. According to some data published.in the press a parliamentarian sitting through five years collect benefits which an average employed person will earn in 500 years.What the parliamentarians earn is tax free at that.
    JVP is much involved in the sphere of education.They should have moved to correct some anomalies and the way that the tax payer is getting played out.
    1.The teaching profession is one where non professionals rule the roost.They may have a degree nothing else. It has become corrupt.Proposals should have been presented to correct this situation.
    2. the University education is a joke today. Study by rote.There should be proposals to improve the quality of University education.
    3. What does an Arts graduate expect after their degree – employment in the state sector. Why because of the pension. this is a crime.Do they serve the public after securing employment in the state sector, do they maintain the dignity of holding a degree.
    I met an Arts graduate at a certain spot where he was not expected.On inquiry I found that few of them – apparently Management Trainees- had come there to decorate a house owned by two ( married) govt employees, for the house warming. I heard later, after working through the night, they were given a parippu vade and a cup of plain tea and dismissed.

  • 0
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    “Not having a purpose has also meant that the JVP doesn’t have a strategy. The party thinks for the day and acts on short-term expectations.”

    When the JVP backed Mr Sirisena and RW they should have insisted a minimum programme. No such thing seems to have taken place and we see the chaos today.

    I expected this Govt to concentrate on the agricultural sector. That is where the votes are.From the day 1, the govt went head long to destroy the agricultural sector.Farmers were barred from cultivating paddy, in certain areas. Bad enough that the JRJ’s govt detroyed the Coconut Arrack industry this govt had moved to kill the Palmyrah industry.Destroying the Tamil man’s economy by the JRJ’s govt was one of the causes to the 30 year war.

    When the JVP was in the Cabinet they wanted to desilt 1000 tanks (reservoirs).Vijith Herath wanted top discipline the TV stations. They left without completing those tasks.If they had completed those tasks they would have been in a better situation today.
    When the TVs were introduced the subject matter presented at least till 9 pm were educative,.It is via the Rupavahini I saw the water falls of Sri Lanka, the Planet Earth was a very educative programme.

    Recently there was an 8.p.m. show – what is called a realty show. The leading compere – a lady was wearing a cloth split at the front. If she moved her legs bit further the under wear she was wearing would have been visible. There should be move against such exhibition of nakedness- not only that the programme should have been telecast after 9 p.m..JVP should move in these matters if they want to be taken seriously.

  • 0
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    Lakshman Yapa maintains that SLFP has to vote for the NCM because 13 of 15 points
    are in line with the reports of their central committee . JVP kept bragging that it is
    the force behind the exposure of Bond-Scam and many other irregularities of
    Yahapalanaya’s everyday businesses under the nose of Ranil ! SLPP foul-mouthed
    ex-JVPer is going on rant and rave calling JVP a Red Elephant and on top of all these
    the JVP and UNP are poles apart in policy and how the policy works for both of them
    is another question. You can not expect UNP and other forces to jiggling and the JVP
    to walk straight with the voters trained to crab-walk by their masters that are
    traditional rulers . Don’t forget that JVP played its role to defeat MARA which ended up
    bringing in SIRA and co ! How do you want them to react at a time like that ? They never
    asked their supporters to elect SIRA for MARA and didn’t stand a JVPer for the job !
    That was their strategy and you Shyamon , your favourite benefitted and some good
    things like 19th amendment and abolition of 18th did happen but that is not all about
    Yahapalanaya . Instead of trying to hunt down somebody else for your man’s ills , pin
    your man down Syamon and be reasonable for one day . JVP has scored well on many
    grounds although they didn’t get votes in appreciation ! If I was the head of JVP ,
    I would have lead the JVP to resign in protest to the people’s discourteousness ! You
    think people are all innocents and so should behave foolishly like going back to MARA
    and the politicians all should go behind them begging for votes ? Don’t you think for a
    moment that only crooks and soulless crooks can continue to fool people like this for
    ever and ever without an end ? If people are fools , you exploit their foolishness and
    call yourself leader of an era ? Come on , grow up !

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