parliamentarians Vs. Anandasangari:
study in stormy seas
iron fist in velvet glove
US role in peace process unlikely
chaos theory condemned
Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema, Marianne David and Sehan Soyza
The controversial statement
made by JVP politburo member and parliamentarian Anura Kumara
Dissanayake disclosing the party’s view that intense political chaos
in the country would provide a positive backdrop has been widely
Dissanayake has made this statement in response to a question
in an interview published in the pro-JVP Lanka Sinhala weekly in
its November 30 issue.
The statement raises questions on the JVP’s democratic
credentials and claims of moderation and also its involvement in the
spate of strikes in the public sector in the recent past.
As reported in the media, an exact translation of the
concluding question and answer is as follows:
“Q: In this situation what is your party’s decision?
A: History contains any number of experiences. New
victories were brought into this world not in peaceful political
circumstances. The socialist Soviet Union was born in the political
situation of great upheaval during the First World War. In the mid-1940s
the socialist camp expanded in the midst of the great turbulence
generated by the Second World War. We must definitely utilise this
crisis, this turbulent situation in this country today, to bring victory
to the people.
“It may not be a total and broad social transformation. It
must at least prevent the destructive programme of Ranil Wickremesinghe,
retard its pace. We hope at least to effect a change up to that point.
But it will be the first step in a final victory. For this purpose, our
party is engaged in intervening to the maximum extent possible.”
highlights Marxist ideals
the controversial statement made by Anura Dissanayake, Sinhala
nationalist parties of the view that it highlighted the Marxist ideals
of the party rather than the patriotic ones, which according to the JVP
is the driving force behind its activities.
the People’s Alliance (PA), with whom the JVP is now planning to form
an alliance professing to have the best interests of the country at
heart, did not wish to comment on the matter.
PA chose to remain silent with regard to the JVP statement with
officials passing the buck each time The Sunday Leader contacted
them. PA spokesman Sarath Amunugama said that it was Party Secretary
Maithripala Sirisena who was authorised to make a comment on the matter
but Sirisena kept saying it was Amunugama who could make an official
The Sunday Leader later tried to contact Sirisena he had
disconnected the line.
Karunaratne of the Sihala Urumaya told The Sunday Leader that
while there is a chaos theory in science, chaos in any situation is bad
for a country.
on JVP parliamentarian Anura Dissanayake’s statement that political
unrest in the country is a good sign by highlighting the Russian
revolution in 1917, Karunaratne said that it is a classic Marxist
added that the Sihala Urumaya does not agree with the statement as the
party is not a Marxist movement but a patriotic one. Karunaratne said
that “according to Marxists, chaos rules.”
noted that chaos in a country is bad, as destabilisation of the
country’s system would not help it in any way.
Karunaratne explained that the JVP should not make such statements if
they claim to be patriotic, as it is not a statement that patriots would
make. “They should go for a more democratic and systematic solution.
Chaos in the country is not an option,” he said.
to Harischandra Wijetunga of the Sinhale Maha Sammatha Bhoomiputhra
party, when the JVP speaks of political chaos, it is their revolutionary
attitude that comes out. He said that he does not believe in
revolutions, as it first should come through a revolution in philosophy.
parties other than the Bhoomiputra party have no revolutionary ideas in
philosophies,” he said.
stated that the Bhoomiputra party does not agree with Dissanayake’s
statement, adding that however, there would be a war very soon judging
by the present situation in the country and that “the UNF government
under the guise of ushering in peace with the help of the Lutheran
church of Norway and Western powers aided by the UK and the US is sowing
the seeds of war in Buddhist Sri Lanka.”
Lanka was a country which was enjoying peace for several millennia. Now
the foreign powers have almost carved out a separate state for
church-guided Tamil terrorists in Sri Lanka. After killing and
massacring thousands of our people, it is they who are pushing the
country in to bloodshed with a view to creating an opportunity to wipe
out Buddhists,” he said.
to Wijetunga, foreign forces are trying to create another Chechnya,
Rwanda, Croatia, Vietnam or a Yugoslavia in the country. However, he
said that it is no doubt a futile act, as the “Buddhists will come
stated that the Bhoomiputra party is vehemently against creating a war
situation in the country.
community vehemently disagreed with JVP MP Dissanayake’s statement
supporting political chaos in the country. They were under the
impression that political chaos will bring about a downfall in the
economy, which in turn would affect the people of the country.
to a director at a leading company, political uncertainty is detrimental
to a country’s economy even in the short term. He went on to say that
political stability is essential to encourage long-term investors in the
country. “Economic prosperity could be achieved through a stable
political environment and people will be the final beneficiaries of
it,” he said.
National Chamber of Exporters, Felix Yahampath asserted that political
turbulence would certainly destroy business in the country.
said that the country has experienced enough political turbulence.
“Enough is enough,” he said regarding the uncertainty in the
political front. “We want smooth sailing. That is what the country
needs right now.”
explained that as an exporter, he felt it would be difficult to compete
with other neighbouring exporting countries in such a situation. He
stated that political turbulence is dangerous as the country only keeps
said that political parties should get together and resolve any
political crisis, blaming them for the negative publicity created in the
said it is important for politicians to first be interested in the
country before themselves or their parties. “I once spoke to an MP
from the south who considered safeguarding his party more important than
the country. I was surprised to hear that the people of the country were
not important to him,” he said.
have already ruined the country. If they cannot govern the country, they
should hand it over to the business community,” Yahampath said.
added that politicians should refrain from making comments such as the
one made by the JVP as it could only make the country go backward
without achieving any substantial progress.
always the case
Bellanvila Wimalarathna Thero, what JVP MP Anura Dissanayake said is not
correct as countries like Singapore have shown that war or a social
revolution is not necessary for economic or political stability.
said that though the JVP says victory for the people could be achieved
through the existing political instability and the possibility of the
recommencing of the war, this is not true and that the JVP has used the
Russian revolution that took place in 1917 as their model.
because the revolution in Russia worked in that country, it doesn’t
necessarily mean that it would work here. My opinion is that the JVP MP
should clarify what he has said in the interview. Using the political
instability in the country as an opportunity for victory is not
correct,” he said.
politburo member and parliamentarian Anura Dissa-nayake in his interview
with the Lanka paper stated that the party must “definitely”
utilise the crisis situation and turbulence in the country today to
bring “victory” to the people, when The Sunday Leader sought
public opinion on Dissanayake’s views, it was clear that people did
not agree with this view.
many people were reluctant to speak out against the JVP fearing
reprisals, they were all of the opinion that utilising the crisis
situation and turbulence in the country was wrong.
wheeler drivers M. Swarnapala and Shirley Francis Silva: A
revolution will not bring peace to the people and this idea is wrong. We
do not condone war. But we feel that the government should not give the
Tigers everything they are asking for.
when we go on hires we ask for a certain amount but the person who is
travelling may realise that the amount is too much and not agree to give
it. Likewise if the government gives the LTTE whatever they are asking
for, that is wrong. But we do not want war.
after fighting for 20 years, we were not victorious. It is the innocent
who died. So it is good that the government is working towards peace.
War will not work. But we do not agree with the JVP statement.
must not use the situation in the country for their own needs. The JVP
prefers revolutions because that it how the party came to be in the
first place and we don’t think they will give up that opinion.
ticket seller D. Chandrapala: I do not agree with the JVP statement. Even in 1989 they
tried to ruin the country. The people do not want such a situation. We
hawkers Muneer and Sanjeewa: We feel that using the crisis situation in the country is
wrong. We want peace without the checkpoints.
Nushard and Mohomed Faizal: We do not like the JVP idea. We want peace, that’s good for
supervisor Karunaratne: The JVP, UNP and SLFP are all the same. They are all power hungry and
only want to be in power, they don’t care about the country. I don’t
vote for any party because of this. Even the JVP wants power.
there is a national government, who is going to speak for the people?
All the parties will get together and share and rob the country. There
will be no help or relief for the people. When all are together in
power, they will be silent and the people will be helpless.
journalist W. M. Dayawantha: At a time of such uncertainties and political turbulence all the
parties must come forward and work together. The current sad state of
affairs in the country is the result of mistakes made by all the
JVP is responsible for causing a civil war, which resulted in deaths of
many people and causing untold misery. At a time when even Pirapaharan
is ready to come to a negotiated settlement there should not be more
should think of their responsibilities to the nation and not about
narrow political gains. The nation should be protected for the future
generations and past mistakes should not be repeated since this is the
only home we will ever have.