JVP Organizations Caught In The Internal Crisis
The split in the JVP following the internal crisis has trickled down to groups and organizations affiliated to the party.
The key organization of the JVP trade union wing led by politburo member K.D. Lalkantha has extended its support to the moderate group led by JVP Leader Somawansa Amerasinghe.
In fact it is the members from the party’s trade union wing that have now taken over the party headquarters in Pelawatte. Most of the party offices in the districts have also been taken over by the trade union members.
The party leadership last week re-assigned the party members who were earlier working at the party headquarters and handed the administration work to the trade union wing.
The party’s media unit was shut down once a majority of the members extended their support to the extremist dissident group led by elusive party senior Premakumar Gunarathnam alias Kumar.
The women’s wing and a majority of the students’ and youth wings have extended their support to Kumar’s group.
A former politburo member, Dimuthu Attygalle, who is now an active member of the dissident group, was the former head of the JVP women’s wing and the party leader for several districts.
Another former politburo member Pubudu Jagoda was an active member in the youth movement that includes the education wing. He also played a key role in the JVP newspaper, Lanka.
Several student union leaders like Duminda Nagamuwa, Udul Premaratne and Chameera Koswatte have also sided with Kumar’s group.
However, the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) that is controlled by the JVP has remained silent. Amidst the split in the party, a large number of party cadres are yet undecided on which side to extend their support.
Amerasinghe’s group however has vowed to get the party machinery back on track in a few weeks.
TNA Undecided On PSC
The TNA is yet to decide on whether the party would participate in the parliamentary select committee (PSC) proposed by the government to find a solution to the ethnic issue.
However, the party has expressed its willingness to continue with the dialogue with the government.
The government and the TNA last week recommenced discussions on finding a political solution to the ethnic issue following pressure from the international community after talks stalled a few months back.
Another round of talks is scheduled for October 3.
The government however has not yet handed its proposals to solving the ethnic issue in writing as previously requested by the TNA.
The TNA meanwhile has requested the government to set a time line for the discussions in order to find a political solution without delaying the process.
TNA sources said they had requested the government to set a deadline for end of this year to formulate the proposal to solve the ethnic issue.
The government has not responded to the proposal.
Nevertheless, the TNA has decided to continue with the discussion with the government.
Milinda’s Right To Information Policy Criticized
The assurance given by UPFA mayoral candidate for the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Milinda Moragoda to establish the right to information if he assumes office has come under fire by several members of the government as well as opposition political parties.
Several government ministers have criticized Moragoda’s move to include the introduction of the right to information in his policy statement when the government has twice defeated the right to information bill presented to parliament by Deputy Leader of the UNP, Karu Jayasuriya.
A senior government minister said the government had not made any official decision to introduce such legislation for approval in the House.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa when asked during a meeting with heads of media institutions a few months back if the government was in the process of drafting legislation for a right to information bill said he was not aware of such a move. He added that it was “news to him.”
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has said last Friday that a municipal council did not have the mandate to implement new laws, as it was held only by parliament.
Wickremesinghe has added that UPFA ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Dinesh Gunawardena and Wimal Weerawansa have told him that the government had no intention of legalizing the right to information.
Addressing a gathering of party lawyers, he has said that the responsibilities of a municipal council included the imposing assessment taxes, adopting municipal health rules etc., and it cannot introduce laws to right to information.
According to Wickremesinghe, a municipal council could however adopt a proposal to request the government to introduce such laws.