the real face of the JVP
LTTE refuses to be drawn into a political confrontation with
the new alliance, the United People's Freedom Party (UPFA)
despite Wimal Weerawansa, spokesman for the Janatha Vimukthi
Peramuna (JVP) stating that as far as the JVP is concerned
no ceasefire agreement with the Tamil Tigers exists.
of the LTTE's Peace Secretariat, S. Puleedevan said,
"as far as the LTTE is concerned the MoU is between the
government and the LTTE. We are not concerned with the
statements of a political party who have just become
Weerawansa has no authority to state that the ceasefire
agreement does not exist."
of the destruction caused
by the JVP during their reign of terror
added that the LTTE continues to remain fully committed to the
peace process. "We are only waiting for the political
situation in the south to resolve itself and then we are ready to
begin negotiations again." Asked if the LTTE is willing to
negotiate with the new alliance in the event it wins the April 2,
general election, Puleedevan replied, "we are willing to
negotiate with any party that comes into power."
of course the LTTE maintains it must be recognised as the sole
representatives of the Tamils and the new government must be
prepared to commence negotiations for an interim administration in
the north east.
reiterated if the JVP helps form a new government in April this
year, it would not serve to deter the Tigers from negotiating a
political settlement to the ethnic conflict. Until then, he said
the LTTE has every intention of honouring the ceasefire agreement
it has signed with the United National Front government. He
asserted that even after April 2nd, the Tigers have no intention
of changing or altering the existing agreement.
JVP's Wimal Weerawansa however continues to insist that no
ceasefire agreement exists with the Tamil Tigers. Weerawansa
maintains that the ceasefire agreement signed between the
government and the LTTE has been limited to the document only, as
the Tigers have during the time of the ceasefire continued to kill
"hundreds of opponents, including officers of military
intelligence and members of parties against the Tigers."
to Weerawansa, the JVP he says is prepared to hold talks with the
LTTE "based on reasonable and correct foundation." He
refrains from detailing what exactly a "reasonable and
correct foundation" would be. In our spotlight on the JVP's
changing face last week, we summarised its different stances over
the years, to its most recent rhetoric trying to portray itself as
a Sinhala-Buddhist party. According
to Weerawansa the party was even founded on a poya day.
Weerawansa's utterances - history has been documented and it is
important in the public interest to place them on record since
this is a decisive election for the future of the country and the
people should have the benefit of making an informed choice of
their ballot. And, the fact of the matter is that in 1987, gearing
for a violent anti-government onslaught, the JVP established links
with the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE).
The introduction was made for the JVP by a PLOTE
representative D. P. Sivaram. And these close links with PLOTE were enjoyed by the JVP
until 1990. During this time the JVP together with PLOTE,
transferred weapons, explosives and landmines.
JVP members in fact underwent training in the north in
camps run by PLOTE. According to state intelligence reports PLOTE
also ran camps for the JVP in the south.
is on record that the first landmine detonated by the JVP in the
south that killed a police officer was the work of a PLOTE
operative. Intelligence reports reveal that the JVP paid this man
Rs. 50,000 for helping execute this particular operation. The link
with PLOTE in 1987 was to establish the JVP's military wing. The
JVP's military wing not only received training from PLOTE in
northern and southern Sri Lanka but in South India as well.
it was known as the DJV and was responsible for a number of
assassinations, ambushes and attacks. Statistics suggest that the
JVP has directly or indirectly been responsible for the killing of
more than 50,000 civilians during its reign of terror.
arm of the JVP carried out raids on security forces installations
for weapons and ammunition. They twice removed weapons from the
Katunayake airbase, while also removing weapons from the Pannala
National Auxiliary forces training center, the General Sir John
Kotelawela Defence Academy, the Field Force Headquarters in
Colombo, several police stations in Colombo and police stations in
the south and elsewhere in the country.
Sri Lanka Air Force base at Katunayake was attacked by the JVP on
April 22, 1988 and again on June 7, 1989. In order to fund these
attacks the JVP robbed several banks and institutions. According
to intelligence reports the JVP robbed 31 rural banks, four town
banks and three banks in the city.
touch with RAW
are reports that the EPRLF also approached the JVP during this
time - but there is no confirmation if indeed, any talks took
place. Even though the JVP was perceived as an anti-Indian outfit,
India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) also kept in close touch
with the JVP leadership after the death of Wijeweera. RAW officers
have been quoted as saying that it was a tactical necessity to
keep in touch with the JVP, with which they acknowledged that they
had established significant links.
has even arranged accommodation and other assistance to fleeing
JVP cadres, in India, where nearly 400 were given sanctuary when
they were forced to go underground in Sri Lanka during 1989-1990.
Somawansa Amarasinghe, the worst anti-Tamil basher and now JVP
leader, was assisted by RAW to safely flee Sri Lanka, and he was
initially given refuge in India. Subsequently, he managed to
emigrate with the help of RAW to the United Kingdom, where he
continues to run a special international JVP cell.
is of telling significance at this juncture is the rhetoric of the
JVP on the agitation of the Tamils.
In May 1982 - a year before the 1983 anti Tamil riots - JVP
Leader Rohana Wijeweera said at a rally held in Muttur, "the
JVP would contest the TULF in all the electorates in the north and
east in view of the support extended by progressive minded Tamils
asserted at this rally that the TULF had collaborated with
capitalist forces namely the UNP and the SLFP to the detriment of
the Tamil community. He thus maintained that instead, "Tamils
should support a socialist party with a broad base in the entirety
of the island with potentiality to form a government."
added at this same rally that the LSSP and CP are spent forces
asserting, "the JVP was the only left party that had
stabilised itself in all 24 districts and was gathering
momentum." He further said at this rally, "the JVP was not
committed to the declaration of any particular religion as state
religion or any language as state language."
JVP has over a period of time adopted contradictory and
conciliatory policies. They always have had two conflicting
policies on the same issue - one meant for public consumption, the
other for future implementation. Accordingly, the JVP voiced
anti-Indian views in public, while they looked to India as their
potential partner in their effort to combat the Tamil Eelam
militants. Again, the JVP vehemently opposed any move by the
government to grant a certain degree of self-rule to the Tamils in
the north east. But, privately, the JVP acknowledged that Tamils
did have grievances that had to be redressed.
the 1980's they supported the theory of self-determination in
respect of the ethnic question. The following excerpts from the
booklet The Constitution Of Sri Lanka And The National Question,
which was published by the JVP branch in London in 1980 (Ginipupura
Publications), exposes the duplicity of the JVP.
This it what it says on the issue of self- determination
for the Tamil people: "If one nation oppresses another, that
oppressor is oppressed. The proletariat in struggle against
oppression, must always acknowledge this observation.
Marxists-Leninists within the oppressing nation must fight for the
right of the oppressed nation to self- determination, even to the
extent of a separate political existence." Despite this
rhetoric, the JVP confusingly was the most anti-Eelamist political
group in the country. They have alleged that the government has
only half-heartedly pursued an anti-Eelam campaign and their
slogans gradually became more aggressive and anti-separatist.
After being proscribed they said that the real reason that they
were banned was because they resolutely opposed the Eelam demand
of the TULF and the Tamil militant organisations.
July 1983 to 1985 when Rohana Wijeweera was underground, he wrote
a 315 page book which included arguments on "what is the
solution to the Tamil Eelam struggle."
Wijeweera maintained the ethnic conflict is a manifestation
of the national problem the country was facing which according to
him was fourfold. Economically, the crisis of the ruling
capitalist class and the oppressed class, and an imperialistic
strategy that was the root cause of the national problem.
Wijeweera wrote his book Solutions To Tamil Eelam Struggle in
1985, but it was only published in 1986. He expounded a theory
that America was involved in breaking up India and Sri Lanka.
According to him, America was involved in splitting India into
pieces. He explained that separation of Pakistan from India and
Bangladesh from Pakistan had proved to be a boon to America,
because now both these countries were successfully integrated into
the American network.
to Rohana Wijeweera's analysis, the Americans, too, were seen
wanting the separation of Sri Lanka so that they could control
both parts of the island. He wrote that, therefore, the Americans
were heavily involved with the leaders of the Tamil Eelam
analysis in similar vein to Weerawansa today, was extremely
contradictory to the party's own statements.
The Ginipupura the journal of the JVP's
UK branch, speaking on these same lines in July 1980 wrote:
"The decision as to whether they (Tamils) are to live
together with the Sinhala-speaking people, or separately from
them, namely whether they are to form a unitary state or two
separate states, is entirely in the hands of the Tamil-speaking
people of this country. This is what the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna
means when it says that it accepts the right of the Tamil-speaking
people to self-determination.
We support that struggle to the extent of its current
demand for secession."
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna is continuing to agitate for the
recognition and acceptance by all, of the right of the Tamil
speaking people to self- determination, that is, including their
right to establish a separate state will give correct leadership
to that struggle and gain the understanding and trust of the Tamil
speaking people," it reiterated.
JVP has now of course changed its stance again, and acquired
another dimension. Today it projects itself as a Sinhala Buddhist
party, propagating concern about "unethical conversions"
of Sinhala-Buddhists by evangelical groups allegedly financed by
astrological calculations are necessary to predict at this point
that somewhere, at some point, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, if
one is to judge their own track record will no doubt change their
stance on this issue as well.
two faced stance on security forces
JVP, since the start of their campaign of terror in 1987,
and even before that, had hailed the security forces as the
heroes who were preventing the separation of the country by
waging war against the Tamil terrorists. In 1989, the JVP
began to condemn to death not only these very heroes, but
also members of their families. The JVP knew that they had
made a fatal mistake. No sooner had they issued death
threats to the families of the servicemen, posters appeared
all over the country announcing, "Ape ekata thope
dolahak!" (12 of yours for one of ours!) A vigilante
group known as the Deshapremi Sinhala Tharuna Peramuna
(Patriotic Sinhala Youth Front) under whose name the 12 to
one posters appeared, also circulated a note to the families
of the JVPers, which read as follows:
know that your son/brother/husband is engaged in a brutal
murder under the pretence of patriotism. Your
son/brother/husband, the so-called patriot, has cruelly
taken the lives of mothers like you, of sisters, of innocent
little children. In addition he has started killing the
family members of the heroic Sinhalese soldiers who fought
with the Tamil Tigers and sacrificed their lives, in order
to protect the motherland.
is not amongst us, ourselves, the Sinhalese people, that
your son/brother/husband has launched the conflict in the
name of patriotism? Is it then right that you, the
wife/mother/sister of this person who engages in human
murder of children should be free to live? Is it not
justified to put you to death? From this moment, you and all
your family members must be ready to die. May you attain
nirvana! Patriotic Sinhala Youth Front."
notable acts of violence planned
and carried out by the JVP
JVP was also responsible for the parliamentary bomb attack,
the infamous Welikada jail break, and a number of robberies
and murders, some of which we documented in our article last
week. The JVP during its anti-government campaign controlled
workers by initiating island-wide hartals, meetings, poster
campaigns and demonstrations bringing to a stand-still
trains, buses, the harbour, co-operatives, the health
sector, posts and telecommunications as well as other
has been revealed that, just before the signing of the
Indo-Lanka Accord, the JVP managed to get hold of weapons
and these were moved to strategic locations in Colombo and
other southern spots. On the day of the signing of the
accord, the General Secretary, Upatissa Gamanayake came to a
safe house in Hokandara, where a large haul of weapons was
stocked. He met JVP activists and briefed them on the course
of action to be taken. They were told to take positions in
Colombo, Kaduwela, Welikada, Battaramulla, Homagama and
Maharagama. It was reported that between July 28 and August
2, 1987, the anti-accord parties, including the JVP, SLFP,
MEP, MSV, MSS and other splinter groups, including a section
of the UNP, was responsible for nearly 2,527 incidents in