27 May, 2022

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Vasudeva’s Ultimate Surrender: Once A Revolutionary, Now A Roadblock

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

“It is not defeat that is a disgrace, it is surrender,” roared Vasudeva Nanayakkara at the now forgotten Nugegoda rally on 18 February 2015. That was the “Mahinda Sulanga” rally that purportedly led to the return of the Rajapaksas in November 2019, but with a major difference – Gotabaya Rajapaksa elevated to come in for the family as Sri Lanka’s President, and Mahinda Rajapaksa relegating himself to play second fiddle as his brother’s Prime Minister. At Nugegoda, in 2015, Mr. Nanayakkara’s denunciation of surrender was hailed as setting the ‘moral’ tone for the rally. There is no need now to unpack the dubious moral claim that is based on interpreting electoral results in terms of disgrace and surrender.

What is pertinent today is the fall of Vasudeva Nanayakkara from rejecting surrender then, to his ultimate surrender now. From his defiance on behalf of Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2015, to his abject surrender today to Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Then he was in defiance of the people’s verdict in the 2015 presidential election that led to Maithripala Sirisena becoming President by the only virtue of being a common candidate. Now, Vasudeva is in cahoots with Sirisena to enable Gotabaya Rajapaksa stay in office in spite of public protests demanding the President’s resignation. Then it was an almost fascistic defiance of an electoral defeat. Now, it is a shameless deflection of public protest from its intended target.

Vasudeva Nanayakkara

In his latest move, reported by the Daily Financial Times, he is a co-signatory along with Maithripala Sirisena of a letter sent on behalf of “the SLPP dissident group in parliament numbering over 51 MPs,” addressed to SJB leader Sajith Premadasa and asking him to choose from one of two options “if they are to support the no-confidence motion against the government.” EITHER “the SJB leader should choose between joining an interim all-party administration,” OR “he should agree to become the Prime Minister and form the government with only SJB MPs in the event of the NCM getting approval of the House.” The 51 MPs are reportedly assuring that “they will sit in opposition if the SJB takes over and extend support to them.”

In either of the two scenarios, Gotabaya Rajapaksa remains President. Heads, we win; tails, you lose. Maithripala Sirisena and Vasudeva Nanayakkara may be playing games with Sajith Premadasa, who has declared himself as the man for no deals. Objectively, however, Sirisena and Vasu are showing their finger to the people.

Vasu as Enabler

To be clear, what matters is not Vasudeva’s subjective intentions, but the objective outcome of his current role in parliament as part of the triumvirate that is shepherding 40+/- MPs as the so called independents. They grow to 51 when they join hands with Sirisena-SLFPers. It is my contention that Vasudeva’s position is central and crucial to enabling Gotabaya Rajapaksa to pretend that he has majority support in parliament. Of the triumvirate, Wimal Weerawansa is a gifted political orator with zero credibility, while Udaya Gammanpila is an accidental MP with zero political endowments or following. They are not the key to holding the ostensible independents onside with Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Vasudeva is the key that can unlock the independents. If he were to call for the resignation of the President and declare his support for a No Confidence Motion in parliament against the President, the dynamic in parliament will consequentially change. I am not suggesting Vasudeva can trigger a flood of crossovers in parliament. Never mind crossovers in Kotte have no meaning as Sri Lanka’s MPs are constantly crossing over something or other. Just that there will be sufficient movement of MPs to demonstrate that a good majority of MPs in parliament have no confidence in the President.

As some of us have been saying all along, an NCM is not going to remove the President. But it is a necessary action by parliament to demonstrate solidarity with the people protesting for the President’s resignation. The people’s protest must mean something to Vasudeva Nanayakkara. Or else, he would not have made a show of being a co-leader of 40+/- MPs, taking them out of government and turning them into ‘independents.’ But he is only half-heartedly acknowledging the protest, otherwise he would not have led himself and his forty thieves (politically they all are, and as Lenin would have called them) back into Gota’s fold. Why is Vasudeva Nanayakkara refusing to whole-heartedly support the protest?

Obviously, Vasudeva is not questioning the sincerity and the spontaneity of the protesters. Otherwise, he would have called them out for that without hesitation. He cannot be unaware how the protests that began in Colombo have relentlessly resonated not only across the length and breadth of the country, but also up and down the layers and strata of Sri Lankan society. Most of all, he cannot be unaware of the broken economic ‘base’ that is both provoking and sustaining the protests, which in turn are shaking the ‘superstructures’ of the state. Isn’t it curious that a person like Vasudeva Nanyakkara with his radical genealogy, should be running away from the streets that are revolting to support the presidential scaffolding that is collapsing?

In fact, it is more than curious that Vasudeva, who as a hot-headed young comrade walked away from the likes of NM Perera, Colvin R de Silva and Leslie Goonewardene in search of revolutionary purity, could now stand by someone like Gotabaya Rajapaksa, whose idea of left and right is limited to military marches, and who has accomplished so pathetic a record, in so short a time, as the country’s President? In the past, Vasudeva never hesitated to leave a political party as a matter of principle, as he understood it, however misplaced it may have been. But never for personal gain or with selfish motives.

Vasudeva’s association with the Rajapaksas is a different story. It has been remarkably long, perhaps his longest stay in a political alliance. There would have been the satisfying of some vanities, as Vasu Aiya has been the elder statesman from Galle to the Medamulana brothers when they went to Colombo to play politics. But the cost to Vasudeva Nanayakkara’s reputation as a principled firebrand politician has been irreparable and deadly. Vasudeva took President Chandrika Kumaratunga to task and to courts for her abuse of her office and her powers in allowing her friends to make money at the expense of state assets. How would he square the anti-corruption alacrity that he showed against Chandrika Kumaratunga with his silent acceptance of all the corruption allegations that have been perpetually levelled against his Medamulana underlings? These allegations have come into sharp relief in the current protests, and by protecting the President from the protests, Vasudeva Nanayakkara is betraying everything he had stood for before 2005 when he began his power-association with Rajapaksas.

Stalemate in Parliament

Vasudeva Nanayakkara is not the only key to breaking the current stalemate in parliament. But he could be one of the effective ones. By stalemate, I mean, neither the government nor the opposition is able to show majority support in parliament. The re-election of Ranjith Siyambalapitiya as Deputy Speaker exposed how farcical the business of parliament has become and where the division of its members stands. Farcical, because Mr. Siyambalapitiya first resigned from office and then allowed himself to be nominated, on behalf of the ‘Opposition,’ including the SJB. SLFP MP Nimal Siripala De Silva proposed Mr. Siyambalapitiya’s name, just as Basil Rajapaksa has said that the SLPP will propose Mahinda Rajapaksa to be Prime Minister after he resigns from office.

GL Pieris announced that the government (SLPP) MPs will support Siambalapitiya. Resigning and getting reappointment is nothing to Pieris. Then the SJB got into a huff, smelling a deal between the government and its dissidents, and nominated its MP Bakeer Markar as the authentic opposition candidate and called for a secret ballot. What was the SJB expecting? 148 MPs vote for Siyambalapitiya and 65 for Bakeer Markar. (Three MPs spoilt their votes and another eight were absent). Nothing changed? Mr. Clever, Ranil Wickremesinghe, allegedly campaigned for Siambalapitiya, as the Opposition Candidate. Whom did he canvas, the TNA?

The SJB must be left wondering that if it cannot muster even a 100 votes in a secret ballot for its Deputy Speaker candidate, where is it going to get 113 votes for a No Confidence Motion against anybody. While the vote shows that the SJB has got a lot of homework to do, the vote does not change anything for the government or the President. All the usual suspects, the SLPP, the SLFP and the independents voted together, only secretly this time. And the SLPP-government MPs may even vote for an NCM against the governments, just for kicks. They know nothing will change so long as Gotabaya Rajapaksa remains President.

These are the games that are being played in the nation’s parliament when the people are struggling from day to day for food, for fuel, for medicine, and when they are protesting for serious and sincere responses from their representatives. And when food prices in April increased by nearly 50% from last year, non-food inflation by over 20%, and the overall Consumer Price index went up by 30%.

This is what is at the crux of Vasudeva’s position that the country can make a turnround by enabling President Rajapaksa to continue in office to form a ‘new government’, after making Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Ministers resign. He is now extending support to the SJB’s No Confidence Motion against the government (i.e., against Mahinda Rajapaksa) if Sajith Premadasa would agree to become the new Prime Minister under Gotabaya Rajapaksa, knowing full well that the SJB has categorically rejected being part of a government under the current President.

Even otherwise well meaning citizens and opinion leaders have fallen for the same ploy, as a matter of prioritizing action on the economic front instead of expending energies on the political front to make the President resign, have an interim government, and go for elections. The apparent argument is that it is prudent to let the current President continue with a ‘new government’ until economic normalcy is restored and then call for parliamentary election. This approach has three flaws.

First, it forgets the fact that there is nothing about the current President and any government under him that can give confidence to anyone that they are capable of turning the economic ship around from sinking to sailing. The President and his Ministers have given no indication over the last month and more that they are capable of acting not only responsibly, but also intelligently. All that the President has been doing for nearly forty days now, is making statements that he is ready to form an all-party cabinet, when only the same government-party MPs are answering his calls.

It is true that the Central Bank and the Finance Ministry are finally in adult professional hands, but while all the focus is on the IMF and Washington, there is nothing heard about what anyone in the government is doing about ensuring steady essential supplies and looking after the production sector to prevent it from total collapse. The President is yet to address the nation and persuade its people, why he should be allowed to continue. And how he will be different. In sum, there is no point in salvaging this government for the purpose of saving the country.

The second flaw is that the prospect of the current President continuing in office would be anathema to the protesters, who will not relent until the President and the Prime Minister resign. The trade unions have threatened that they will resort to permanent strike action until the two brothers resign. After their very successful strike action on April 28, many of the trade unions were supporting the island-wide hartal launched on Friday. The media is calling it the largest hartal after the Great Hartal of 1953. Political watchers are scratching their heads to taxonomize the seemingly leaderless current protest wave. Its classification can come later, what is urgent now is to respond constructively to the protests and their underlying economic reasons.

Therein is the third flaw in allowing the current President to continue until the country overcomes its economic crisis, is that it precludes the far better way out of the current impasse – which would be for the President to resign, not necessarily tomorrow, but after arrangements are in place for an interim President and an interim government to step in for a period of six to twelve months before calling a general election. Much can be accomplished in this interim period both on the economic front and by way of constitutional changes.

For starters, the current National List MPs can give up their seats so that outside professionals can be admitted to parliament as MPs and assume key portfolios as cabinet ministers. You don’t need a constitutional amendment to do this. The JVP and the NPP have already indicated their support for such measures. The real sacrifice should come from the National List MPs of the SLPP and the SJB. Many of them might be inspired to do so if only the President will lead the way. As for Vasudeva Nanayakkara, he should be showing the President his graceful way out, and not finding disgraceful ways to keep him in office.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    5

    Once A Revolutionary, Now A Roadblock
    ———-
    Once a freemason, still a freemason

    • 21
      2

      the writer has much more belief in Vasudeva’s morals than I have. Yes he was a fiery orator but that does not make you a revolutionary. Vasudeva was always an opportunist and always will be. right now he is betraying the people to eat some crumbs that fall from Gota’s table, or more accurately gota’s backside.

      • 4
        1

        “right now he is betraying the people to eat some crumbs “

        Perfect!
        Langkang Communists are very in-trustworthy. This Communist Pakkaya has taken a dangerous shape worse than the Old Rowdy King or Sarth Weerakudy. They both are sitting on the cushions and releasing the usual rhetoric, to dishearten the protesters, that it is only LTTE & Tamil Diaspora’ protest. But Communist Pakkaya keep organizing groups inside the parliament to prolong this hell-born parliament forever & make the protestors tired and retire. He obtained a promise from SJB that if he has to support NCM, they have to accept the government. Even in that, this rotten is making deals. Isn’t that Thero de Silva has been advocating here, against the protest, that the parliament has to be prolonged, or the military will take over. Interestingly, only Western governments opposed the Emergency declaration, not Russia, not China, not Cuba or not even India. It is at this time of the events Gopal Bag Lay donated a super water cannon to Lankawe to fight protest in UN Peacekeeping Missions. What a nincompoop joke of Gopal! UN has to response on this because India is secretly breaking the protest by using UN’s name. It is this India advocates no interference in other countries politics. Apparently, India hopes to use this time to hijack this anti-Indian Government from China.

    • 10
      3

      “Once A Revolutionary”

      Calling oneself a revolutionary does not a revolutionary make!

      Revolutionaries do revolutionary things!

      Someday, when Sinhala_Man is tearing down the hill-country on his motorcycle, the thought will enter his mind to jump from one hilltop to another like Evel Knievel …….. when the 125cc motor can’t quite make it, on the way down he will realize he has just done a revolutionary thang ………..

      And in that instant, God will reveal to him who I am ……..

      • 6
        0

        “Gotabaya Rajapaksa elevated to come in for the family as Sri Lanka’s President, and Mahinda Rajapaksa relegating himself to play second fiddle as his brother’s Prime Minister.”
        Well, things have taken an unexpected turn. MR has been “kindly” requested to leave by GR, who, instead of playing second fiddle to MR became the scarecrow that took on a life of its own. Rather like Maru Sira before him. What poetic justice!

    • 12
      0

      Nation s fool’s last days. Bugger cant walk properly as everyone could notice it. But his last straw is so called affinity to sinhalala buddhism which is far from truer buddhism.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpUV9V5Zs0A

      In a civilized country people would have stoned him to death. But slaves dominated island nation has no guts yet to do so. This is the mirror image of this nation.

    • 11
      0

      This NAKI PAPPA aka VASIDEWA (a man who would do any cheap work being caught by Rajapakshe mlechcha doctrine) was the main obstacle them not to have reacted timely, not going to IMF earlier.

      IMF was painted as if it can be a devil. No Plan B was there, but continued being stubborn. The consequences as of today are dangerous. In other words, these men played with the lives of the people.

      To everyone s note, Vasidewa is neither economist, nor an unbiased analyst. A man who u turned to be a racism supporter leaving all left politics aside.
      Alone the manner he once behaved himself in parliament ( P***ya), revealed his WIMALWEERAWANSISM. As anyone with some sanity would see it, Wimal weerawanse is the most known political prostitute. These men would have been punished on the spot, anywhere the law and order would have been given its due place. Even in Pakistan under IK – Wimal weerawanse would hav ebeen hung for his abusive politics.

      • 1
        0

        LM,
        It isn’t just politicians who must take the blame. Even our so-called intellectuals are as bad:

        https://youtu.be/xniPFC-rNY4

        • 3
          1

          OC
          Blaming politicians is always the easy way out.
          One can abuse them to one’s heart’s content, but nothing will change.
          Unless the people are politically alert the best confidence trickster wins.
          Intellectuals fail when they fail to speak out when essential, often out of cowardice if not self interest.

  • 15
    5

    I don’t know why somebody is giving so much importance for this Communist Pakkaya, a spent bullet. He is only a woodapple shell found in elephant dung. (People believe that elephants plug and swallow woodapple from trees as whole. When they drop dung, everything inside will be digested in the elephants’ stomach so they drop out the shells as whole, but hollow inside, no content). He was pretending for long like honest politician. He showed his true color when West started the UNHRC process in Geneva against Old. Then only he started to show what a low grade Sinhala Buddhist he is, and how much he dedicated to protect the war criminal. Ranil was number in protecting Old Rowdy King. Ranil went to UN to question the UN SG his authority to appoint a panel to investigate Langkang crime. He blocked signing to Rome Accord. He created the impunity culture of Appe Aanduwa to protect Royals. But this Sinhala Buddhist Modaya could not understand Ranil’s mind so he called Ranil in Parliament as Pakkaya. He such a chaff, but with a tore off big mouth.

  • 0
    0

    One of the parliamentarian to bring Sri lanka to this situation, After he was sacked is is against present Government if not all supporting story all Stories of imagination

  • 8
    0

    It is a pity that leftists are now more concerned about personalities than on polices..

    We are in the midst of a revolution, but the leftists are negotiating for deals.

    The revolution is being sold out by so called leftists as usual.

  • 8
    0

    Revolution is always round the corner for the leftists,but when the time comes to make revcolution a reality, the leftists get cold feet and falls flat on deals and when everything ends in a defeat they ill start in blame games.
    Oh pity

    • 6
      4

      “when the time comes to make revolution a reality, the leftists get cold feet and falls flat on deals”
      *
      When was such an opportunity there before the left?
      1953? That will be a gross misunderstanding of the message of the Hartal.
      1963? It was a betrayal of the working class by the LSSP. But the country was nowhere near ‘ready for a revolution’ and the Left was far from strong enough to make a revolution.
      *
      Cheap barbs are no substitute for serious comment.

      • 1
        0

        SJ,
        Very poor comment as usual!

        Revolutions always provide s opportunities to the left to capture power.
        Revolutions or revolutionary situations were not always similar. America, England, France, China, Cuba, Iran, Philippines and many other countries went through different revolutionary situations.

        The revolutions in these countries were successful, but all were not led by the left. Some of these revolutions happened before capitalism has ripened and in some of these countries the imaginative left had captured power by adopting different strategies.
        Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin, seized control of the government in Russia (October 1917) .Even in Russia at that time many from the left argued against capturing power making hair splitting arguments like what SJ is doing now.

        1953 was also a missed opportunity.

        SJ. do not be a spoiler.

        • 0
          2

          SK
          Sorry to be a spoiler of you fun.
          You talked of cold feet. My response was to that.
          Prove me wrong if you can without going at a tangent.

    • 3
      0

      srikrish

      “the leftists get cold feet and falls flat on deals and when everything ends in a defeat they ill start in blame games.”

      Ready for revolution only when Mao says so.

      • 1
        0

        NV
        Exactly

      • 0
        1

        There rolls the ball.

        • 0
          1

          …and a ball bearer.

  • 14
    0

    I have one question.

    Did Vasudeva’s wife ( after retirement) get a salary as an ‘adviser” from MR when he was President ? Vasu’s wife was a senior officer at the Inland Revenue Department. What did she advise MR on, and can you give us written proof of the advise she gave him?

    • 4
      0

      deepthi silva

      Vasu was sitting on the fence who criticised every party he did not belong to, naming and shaming every politician being Bonapartist, finally joining Sri Lankan Bonapartists himself, became part of Royal Household.

      What made him Rajapaksa crony is not known.
      Any idea.

  • 4
    0

    His clique was neither except opportunists.

  • 14
    0

    No name in politics fills me with more disgust than Vasudeva Nanayakkara.

    • 4
      0

      Enough is said about Mother of all Pseudos.

      • 0
        0

        Mother of all PSEUDOS is back with his first statement from his hideout, stating “Mara made a blunder by not listening to public but to those brothers of him”. Didn’t this A . Hole listen to all of them including Shiranthi, for two decades. I guess he wanted Mara to listen to his own advise. Lankan Revolutionist.

    • 2
      0

      Dear Mr Nathan.
      His is very unique to him. The kind of shameless men .how do they face their day today life? 😎🐃🤔😎😎😎

  • 7
    0

    So far, this country has not produced any revolutionist but only opportunistic patriots, revolutionists, marxists, communists or democrats or human rights activists. All these opportunists surrendered to Fundamentalists and Rich westernised families. Of course Vasudeva and Mahinda are good examples.

    • 8
      1

      A
      Read history seriously before making sweeping statements.
      Jaffna had produced many more honest and selfless left leaders than nationalists of such calibre.

      • 5
        3

        SJ,
        Where are they now? What happened to them? What was their achievements?

        • 4
          2

          You may not know them, because they were active before Tamil politics fell victim to narrow nationalism.
          I know one leader who fled Jaffna and died in Kandy in 1989 because he did not want to be killed by LTTE terrorists. Ask people who lived in the North in the 1950s to 1990s.
          It is not easy for a left party to thrive in a climate of parochial rivalry.
          Yet there is a very credible Marxist party still functioning in Jaffna.
          They have achieved more than any Tamil party. Their mass struggle against caste based oppression starting 1967 bore fruit in the 1970s.
          Things are changing with the people realizing that the TNA and the like of CVW are confidence tricksters.
          Read a little outside the “sacred texts” of Tamil nationalism to know the world and to know the Tamil society.

          • 2
            0

            SJ,
            When did you start teaching marxsism. You only study about Tamil Nationalism but we also study about Sinhalese Nationalism. I know lots of people killed in Kandy during 1983 massacre. I think he must have saved by Sinhalese Nationalists because he is an informant to Sinhala nationalists.
            Marxism is failed in Sri Lanka, not in Jaffna or North East.

            • 0
              1

              I do not teach anything to anybody. I believe in learning by one’s self.
              I only place information here as relevant.
              For all your learning only narrow Tamil nationalism shows in your comments.

        • 6
          1

          Ajith

          “Where are they now? “

          SJ has replaced all of them.
          Therefore there is no longer a viable left however they are left with some Mao loyalists. Even they continuously seek and suffer from Ideological division.

          • 1
            2

            The ball, the ball, the glazen ball.

          • 2
            0

            There are lots of them transferred by Mahinda regime to UK with all their families to enjoy their life in West.

            • 0
              2

              Really?
              You cannot be one I guess.

  • 7
    0

    Can someone kindly tell me which one of these two persons, Maithripala Sirisena or Vasudeva Nanayakkara, is the more detestable Snake in the Grass and Backstabber?

    • 5
      0

      Captain Morgan

      “is the more detestable Snake in the Grass and Backstabber”

      Its the wrong question.
      Ask yourself a question among all the politicians, including SWRD Banda, Siri Mao, NM, Pieter Keuneman, Colvin, Rohana Wijeweera, Somawansa, ….. who has not betrayed the people for their own benefits.

      The powers vested in them were abused, misused, used their own purpose and eventually all of them made sure the country is in ruins.

      • 0
        2

        The perfect one casts aspersions on the lesser mortals.

  • 10
    0

    Rajan, why do you spend your time to write ANYTHING on this bloody world class scumbag?? Vasudeva is a top class shit bag, a pathetic soul, no back bone, a wasted life, a traitor of the Left, not a human but a stinky worm, has no policies, will sell his soul for a few bucks, an utterly wasted low life………………….!!!

    • 2
      0

      Jit/
      ..
      The kind of men would never stand before a mirror. I wonder how this man would see in the eyes of his grand children? Little ones would not wonder why the country is in the edge of a precipice looking at the men and how they respond to even thrivial questions.🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

  • 7
    1

    Vasu was only a paper Revolutionary. For a number of years of his Parliamentary career he was the left ball of Weerawansa. Now he is also the right ball of Maitripala.
    He was once referred to as a dried Pumpkin.Now Mallaiyuran has brilliantly compared him to a Woodapple Shell found in Elephant Dung.

    MaRa must have read through Vasu like a book. Keep his Goblet [ Prof: Kumar David uses this description for a Glass ] full Vasu will do anything for you.

    Had Prabaharan met him earlier than MaRa he too would have sized him up and promised him a lifelong supply of a single malt [ A PRIVILEGE ONLY FOR VASU] in return for his ingenious political deals.Who knows we may have known him as Colonel Trotsky! like Colonel Karuna!

  • 5
    0

    “Isn’t it curious that a person like Vasudeva Nanyakkara with his radical genealogy, should be running away from the streets that are revolting to support the presidential scaffolding that is collapsing?”
    Is it really so curious, Rajan? My earliest memory of Vasu goes back 40 years, to the Referendum of 1982.

    Just before the ‘82 presidential election campaign, JR announced,
    “We are contesting this election to win & at a time most favourable to us. We intend to take advantage of all our opponents. We intend with the help of those supporting us to demolish & completely destroy the opposition politically. After that I say to you, roll up the electoral map of Sri Lanka. You will not need it for another ten years.”

    In the light of such unblinking confidence, the SLFP’s performance (with all its disabilities), at that election came as something of a shock to the president & the UNP.
    On 22 October 1982, the day after the results …were announced, President J. told foreign correspondents that he planned a post mortem on them before deciding the date of the next parliamentary election. “In any case,’ he added, “I must have it before July 1983. It’s a question of a few months.”

  • 5
    0

    …2
    That post mortem caused him “to effect a complete volte face a few days later & make the startling announcement that he had decided instead to hold a referendum, before the end of the year, to ask the electorate to agree to an extension of the incumbent parliament for six years.”

    Believing himself to be more popular than his MPs, he suddenly faced the possibility of not losing not only his vital 2/3 majority in parliament but maybe even losing the parliamentary election, altogether. The referendum was an utterly contemptible & devious blow at the people’s franchise.

    The opposition took time to decide on its attitude & strategy. Some parties were immediately in favour of boycotting it, anticipating that the prevailing repressive situation made it impossible to mount a feasible campaign against the govt’s proposal. The NSSP (Vasu) said that to participate at all would be tantamount to ‘legitimizing’ the referendum.

  • 5
    0

    …3
    Others suggested a boycott could defeat the govt. This was opposed as being unrealistic, since the govt was clearly determined to register the minimum vote required for it to win. Finally, with the exception of the NSSP, all opposition parties decided to campaign for a ‘no’ vote (i.e. for the ‘pot’). Nine parties formed a common front — the National Committee against Putting Off the 1983 Parliamentary General Election. Later, the ACTC, TULF & JVP decided to conduct independent campaigns for a ‘no’ vote.

    As a member of CRM, I was involved in this campaign (drafted the adopted campaign leaflet) & even (naively) tried to plead with Vasu in person to abandon his boycott. I went to an office where he was but Nimalka Fernando was “on guard” outside & wouldn’t let me enter. We had quite a set-to. At the time, I was completely ignorant of who she was, & was somewhat bemused at Vasu having a female security guard!
    Anyway, Vasu’s stand then was just as shameful as it became later; I wonder if it was the earliest instance of his failure to understand the main contradiction.

    • 4
      1

      “Finally, with the exception of the NSSP….The NSSP (Vasu) said that to participate at all would be tantamount to ‘legitimizing’ the referendum.”
      Manel, be fair.
      You are singling out Vasu for punishment in an NSSP led by Vikramabahu, and in which Kumar David, Nalin de Silva and several academics were still active members. I think that Rajan too was a supporter of that outfit.
      *
      I disagreed with that stand. But that was not an opportunist stand.
      Let us respect a political decision and not personalize it.
      Have you forgotten the General Strike of 1980 in which the NSSP battled it alone against JRJ’s state thuggery. Where were the defenders of democracy?

      • 3
        0

        Thank you, SJ, I stand corrected.
        But, oh dear, I’ve rather gone & put my foot in it, havent I? Implicitly, criticised 2 people here, R & KD, for whom I have nothing but the greatest respect.

  • 4
    0

    Vasudeva is only true to the LSSP tradition of dumping principles.
    Landing in the lap of the UNP started with Philip G’s MEP and should hopefully finish with the NSSP.
    Where are the learned gentlemen who founded the NSSP today?
    One of the founders of the NSSP I know is a rabid racist for three decades.
    I see members of that tradition talking of global events with no reference to US imperialism when abusing Latin American victims of US sanctions as ‘failures’.
    *
    I cannot imagine how this ‘discredited’ Vasu has so much clout within the group of Independents.
    Is the theory that if not for V, they would have all faithfully obeyed the command of Sajit P?
    I am not sure if V explicitly said Gota should go. Had he, there will be a strong case of betrayal by him.

  • 3
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    He was never a revolutionary; it was just an ego trip.

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      Would you say that of Philip Gunawardana?
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      Vasu was detained by the UF government for his alleged association with the JVP in 1971, as was Sanmugathasan.
      Did the LSSP lift a little finger to secure his release?
      It was a kind of left politics that went astray in the 1960s and Vasu was part of it as are many others from the LSSP tradition.

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