28th March, 2004  Volume 10, Issue 39

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SPOTLIGHT

Consorting with Vijaya's killers

Death threats issued by the JVP during the '88-'89 terror period

By Frederica Jansz 

Since President Chandrika Kumaratunga used her executive powers to dissolve parliament and kick-start another general election four years ahead of schedule and only two years after a majority vote brought in the United National Front (UNF), a key factor has emerged.And that is the assassination of her husband, Vijaya Kumaratunga.

Vijaya Kumaratunga's killing has become the basis for election propaganda for the new United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) of which Chandrika Kumaratunga is leader together with Somawansa Amarasinghe, leader of the alliance's main partner, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

The UNF is also not averse to using the murder of Vijaya Kumaratunga in order to portray and personify the fact that his killers are in partnership with his wife.

Undeniable

Somawansa Amarasinghe was very much a member of the 'assassination clique' of the JVP when Vijaya Kumaratunga was gunned down in cold-blood outside his home at Polhengoda, Kirulapone on February 16, 1988. This is an undeniable fact.

Chandrika Kumaratunga can deny this until she's blue in the face, but a 140-page signed confession by Vijaya's killer serves as a spine-chilling reminder that the JVP 16 years ago, meticulously planned and executed the assassination of Sri Lanka's best loved political leader.

Pahalamullage Lionel Ranasinghe - alias Gamini alias Mahinda alias Jayatilleka - whose occupation as a peanut seller was transformed by the JVP into a killing machine has in explicit detail confessed how he was ordered by the Deshapremi Janatha Viyaparaya (DJV) of the JVP to murder Vijaya Kumaratunga. Pahalamullage Lionel Ranasinghe alias Gamini was also later killed.

He is responsible not only for Vijaya's assassination but also for the murder of Prof. Stanley Wijeysundera, Terrence Perera and Nandalal Fernando who were among the more exalted citizens murdered by this assassin, among other lesser known civilians.

The UPFA today has pointed an accusing finger at the UNF claiming the UNP led by the late President R. Premadasa was responsible for ordering the death of Vijaya.The UPFA has in fact stooped to the level of alleging that the gun used for the killing was one belonging to Gamini Lokuge, the present Tourism Minister.

What is important at this juncture is to place on record other documentary evidence available, which proves beyond all shadow of doubt that it is none other than the JVP that planned and carried out the assassination of Vijaya Kumaratunga. And this home truth Chandrika Kumaratunga is only too aware of.

DSS admission

Given the fact that the memory of Vijaya Kumaratunga is at this present juncture being trashed beyond belief, The Sunday Leader today will lay before its readers not just the confession of Vijaya's killer, which has already been detailed, but the admission of the Patriotic Armed Battalion (Deshapremi Sannaddha Senankaya) which was the military wing of the JVP in 1988.

On February 21, 1988, five days after Vijaya had been gunned down, the DSS accepted responsibility for the assassination of Vijaya Kumaratunga. In fact, on March 20, 1988, the Sunday Times carried a lead article with a banner headline stating, "JVP explains why they killed Vijaya." This article to date has not been contradicted by the JVP.

A leaflet issued by the DSS on February 21, 1988, not only accepted responsibility for the death of Vijaya but also explained why they killed him.The leaflet is titled "Why Vijaya Kumaratunga was dispatched" ("Vijaya Kumaratunga yawwe aiy)."

The leaflet calls Vijaya a reactionary who by attempting to form the United Socialist Alliance (USA) would have helped to split the opposition vote at the forthcoming presidential elections. "In 1977, he entered the ranks of the SLFP and helped to create a rift in the party.

"In 1982, he gave the government an opportunity to spread false fears among the people about an alleged Naxalite threat and not conduct the general election.By using his popularity as a film star, he would have served the government by preventing a unified opposition challenge at the presidential polls and therefore deserves death," the leaflet states.

Other crimes the leaflet listed against Vijaya Kumaratunga were his "attempts to establish links with eelam terrorist groups by visiting Madras and Jaffna on the pretext of trying to seek the release of the Sinhala soldiers captured by the Tigers; supporting the presence of the Indian armed forces on Sri Lankan soil and thereby betraying the independence of the motherland; attempting to form an armed group similar to the green Tigers with the support of eelam terrorist leader, Uma Maheswaran; and remaining silent about state terrorism in the south. For these reasons Mr. Vijaya Kumaratunga who was a traitor was killed by us," the leaflet states.

It adds further, "Today the Indian forces in the north and the east have killed hundreds of our countrymen, looted property, raped women and rendered thousands homeless.Hundreds of patriotic young men and women have been kidnapped and secretly murdered in the south. Therefore, the death of one film star such as Vijaya Kumaratunga is no great loss. The grief displayed at his funeral was also not spontaneous but orchestrated by the government and given undue publicity on radio and television."

Fighting with the T-56

There is more. "Shortly before his killing, Mr. Kumaratunga was leaving his home to have lunch with an American diplomat in the capital proving the truth of the claim that he was a reactionary.Can a progressive people's leader secretly dine with an American diplomat? We believe that ideas must be fought with ideas. However, the government with its Green Tigers, Vijaya Kumaratunga with his henchmen such as the Independent Students Union, attempted to suppress us with armed force.  Therefore, what wrong can there be when we resort to fighting them with the T-56 instead of with ideas?" the leaflet states.

That Chandrika Kumaratunga can ignore these undeniable facts surrounding her husband's killing and flirt with his assassins who gunned down the father of her children all for the sake of attaining power is perhaps one of the most diabolical crimes to be committed by a wife and mother.

That Chandrika Kumaratunga can stoop to the extent of using her husband's tragic death which doubtless still evokes pain in the minds and hearts of her children for political mileage is further proof that Sri Lanka is devoid of a president with the basic qualities of decency and respect.

The complete and utter disrespect Chandrika Kumaratunga has displayed towards the memory of Vijaya Kumaratunga during this pre-election period surpasses all norms of moral decency, integrity and ethics.

Now let us look objectively at the track record of Somanwansa Amarasinghe - Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga's co-pilot in her present flight to power.

When Amarasinghe stepped on Sri Lankan soil after his 12-year exile in the United Kingdom, he dramatically fell to his knees and kissed the earth of the land that gave him birth. Apt it was that he did so, because he is - at least in his own opinion - a patriot of unusual sincerity.

Listen to him speak and almost every sentence is embellished with "deshapremi," a lover of his land. For in the convoluted minds of the murderers, arsonists, perverts and sadists that made up the JVP, Somawansa represented and strove to lead, they were all patriots. So much was their love for the land, they hated passionately all else that lived in it.

Behind bars

Many listening to Somawansa's rhetoric might wonder whether he is quite balanced. If indeed he is, it is only because he has chips on both shoulders. He is one of the few JVP activists who survived both insurrections. In 1971, as a stripling youth of some 28 years, it was he who was assigned to drive the car that was to capture and kidnap Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the then Prime Minister. His qualification? He was one of the few rankers who could drive a car, then considered by the JVP an instrument of the capitalist pigs. That was botched, and Somawansa found himself behind bars.

It was in prison that he joined up with Viraj Fernando, an even more rabid leftist than Rohana Wijeweera. A failed engineer, it was Fernando who converted Somawansa to the cause of true Trotskyism, a philosophy rather too complex for the simple-minded Wijeweera, whose idol was the equally simple-minded though brutally violent Che Guevara.

Although Fernando continued as Somawansa's guru for some years, the latter was quick to realise that it was Wijeweera who had the charisma and the following, and shifted camps as smoothly as one of those luxury double cabs the JVP MPs have now ordered.

If anyone nurses the belief that the JVP has changed its ways, we have only to look back a mere six months ago to September 2003 when Amarasinghe delivered a message to North Korea and the workers party of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) at its 55th anniversary celebrations.

The speech delivered on September 9, 2003, by Amarasinghe, pledges unconditional support to the DPRK and its "right to develop and maintain nuclear weapons for your country's security." Amarasinghe adds in this address to North Korea, "let us assure you that our party is vigilant and ever ready to shed blood and lives if the imperialist war mongers decided to violate international laws and to launch aggression against your beloved country."

Amarasinghe has commended the workers party of the DPRK stating the friendship between the JVP and North Korea goes back to the 1960s."Your great leader comrade Kim 11 Sung and his revolutionary thoughts were an immense source of inspiration for the young revolutionaries in my country especially for the then emerging revolutionary movement in Sri Lanka," Amarasinghe asserts.

Against the US

He maintains that, "since 1971 we have been supporting the Worker's Party of the DPRK in its struggle against the US imperialists and their lackeys in the region."

"We are very much moved by the fact and the happy time you are celebrating the 50th anniversary of your glorious victory over US aggressors and their lackeys."

One underlying factor in relation to Amarasinghe's speech on this occasion is the JVP's contempt and dislike for the United States.An emotion that stems from its early militant stages which bared itself once more when the DSS murdered Vijaya Kumaratunga.

In its published leaflet, the DSS stated that Kumaratunga when he was killed was leaving to lunch with an American diplomat and justified his murder stating one of the reasons, reiterating, "Can a progressive people's leader secretly dine with an American diplomat?"

Amarasinghe last September congratulated North Korea further stating, "Your leader and you have yet again proved to whole mankind that threats and intimidation of a so called super power are irrelevant and ineffective."

"Your enemy is our enemy too," he told North Korea, reinstating the JVP's military stance against America.

Undoubtedly, the murderer in Somawansa Amarasinghe lives and while Vijaya Kumaratunga paid the ultimate price, his wife, Chandrika Kumaratunga continues to flirt with the man who was an active member of the assassins clique that ordered the trigger to be pulled on Vijaya Kumaratunga.

Ironic

It is ironic that Somawansa, a rabid communist, chose to live in luxury in England, and not in a communist country, like the one he is trying to turn Sri Lanka into. Why did he not go to live in North Korea or Cuba or Albania? Why choose a domicile that is at the very heart of world capitalism? Did he too, like Wijeweera, amass untold wealth from the people the JVP robbed? As well as being a gold-digger, this is the kind of two-bit hypocrite this man is.

Now, Somawansa has set about capitalising on the work his 'boys' have done during his decade-long exile. In addition to re-writing history and whitewashing the JVP's bloody past, he has joined Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga in the front ranks of 'The World's Most Fluent and Habitual Liars.'

Not only that, he has failed to show an iota of remorse for all the blood he and his evil cronies caused to be shed. While his own children enjoy the best British education (paid for, pray, by whom?), he is striving to bring chaos on yet another generation of Sri Lankan youth, merely in order to satiate his bloodlust. Two generations of Sri Lankan youth have been sacrificed to the cause of the JVP, and now the ground is being laid for a third.

Vijaya's price

Among Somawansa's many boasts are that a future JVP government will compensate (from taxpayer's money, of course), those families who have suffered financial loss as a result of the JVP killing their bread winners! He should start by asking Yasodara and Vimukthi Kumaratunga how much they would like to be paid for their dad. We would all be interested to know what the value of Vijaya Kumaratunga is to his children.

Somawansa's arrogance knows no bounds. In order to satiate his new-found friend Chandrika Kumaratunga, he has now taken the view that the LTTE should be destroyed militarily. The JVP's strategy is to drive the country into chaos, and then offer themselves as messiahs to redeem it.

It worked for Lenin, it worked for Hitler and Somawansa hopes it will work for him, too. In taking on the LTTE however, he knows he is courting danger. That is why he sports a bullet-proof vest when addressing meetings these days.

Now, Somawansa claims that the thousands of innocents that were because the JVP was engaged in a liberation struggle and in effect at war with the government. "These are not issues you can resolve over a cup of tea," he announced glibly, to cheerful applause from the faithful.

Well, what we would like to know is that if indiscriminate killing is justified in order to resolve political disputes, what is wrong with what the LTTE does? What is wrong with what the LTTE did to Chandrika Kumaratunga or Gamini Dissanayake or the tens of thousands of monks, villagers and innocents who have been brutally massacred in the name of eelam?

But Somawansa values his own skin a lot more than any of those his party has killed, or those the LTTE has killed. He says that should the LTTE kill him, 50,000 JVP cadres will join the army and defeat the Tigers!

What we would like to know, Mister Somawansa, is why is it that these 50,000 JVP cadres cannot enlist today and save their motherland? Why is it that it is only in revenge for your death that they can become patriots? Is it that you are more important than even Sri Lanka?

Mass murderer

The fact is that you are a coward, an opportunist and a traitor to your own cause. Do not think, just because those gullible young men in red shirts who surround you cannot see it, that the people of Sri Lanka have not. You are a criminal, and at least an accessory to mass murder.

It is not here in Sri Lanka you should be, campaigning with a freedom that we, its citizens who have stuck it out here and defended valiantly, give you. You should be in handcuffs, sitting beside Slobodan Milosevic at The Hague, being tried for what you are: a mass murderer.

Attack on the Dalada Maligawa

On February 8, 1989, the JVP attacked the Sri Dalada Maligawa, the holy of holies of Sinhala and Buddhist culture. Their aim was to filch the sacred tooth relic and take it to Rohana Wijeweera. The sole survivor of that operation has now laid bare the facts.

What is relevant is that in an attempt to rewrite history, Somawansa denied before a crowd of thousands at Kalutara recently that the attack ever took place. He thereby branded as liars the Mahanayakes of Malwatte and Asgiriya, and the Diyawadana Nilame, joint custodians of the sacred relic, liars. Those dignitaries were not cowed by Somawansa's hysteria, they came right back in effect calling him a liar.

The reason for abducting the tooth relic was a belief, prevalent especially in Sri Lanka's south, that whoever had custody of this treasure would rule Sri Lanka. The plan was to take the relic from Kandy, and via a series of different motorcycle messengers, to Wijeweera, then in hiding in Ulapane under an assumed name.

*  *  *

The hand that held the till 

Old habits die hard, and the JVP in similar vein to days gone by, during the present election campaign is collecting 'funds' for the organisation.

Visiting homes and small trade establishments, the JVP, unlike other political parties is not engaged only in distributing political propaganda, but also busy convincing those they visit to make a 'small donation.'

Producing pieces of paper titled 'Let's bring victory to Sri Lanka,' the JVP is 'coercing' as it did in 1987, 1988 and 1989 civilians to 'contribute' towards its cause.

And those they seek to coerce do not voice any objections - doubtless afraid that the JVP renowned for its attraction to blood and guts will 'hunt' those who refuse to comply.

With a proven track record of having murdered, stolen and plundered public property and resources the JVP has the gall to state when producing its list for financial 'contributions,' the following:

"We believe that you, who are dedicated to take our Motherland on a correct path by bringing victory for the United People's Freedom Alliance would be more than willing to make your special contribution to bring victory to the candidates of the JVP.Electing JVP candidates who have proved to the country of a political culture without theft and corruption to the parliament is essential in establishing a pure and people-friendly administration.  Hence, we look forward to your utmost contribution on behalf of the JVP candidates and for the victory of the UPFA."

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