JVP too must answer | Daily News

JVP too must answer

Questions continue to be asked if it is correct to speak of the JVP in the same breath as that of the LTTE. No doubt, there will be different points of view on this depending on one's sympathies. Some say the LTTE waged war with the sole aim of creating a separate state in this country while the JVP, on the other hand, was a patriotic organisation and commanded the support of the majority Sinhalese and thus there was a world of difference between the two outfits.

Here, the JVP has an unlikely ally in Joint Opposition MP Dilum Amunugama who claims that the LTTE cannot be treated on par with the JVP contrary to the assertion by Health Minister and Cabinet spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne who saw no difference between the two groups. Responding to journalists at the weekly Cabinet news briefing, the other day, Dr. Senaratne opined that if the JVP is allowed to commemorate its fallen cadres in the twin insurrections of 1971 and 1989-90 he saw nothing wrong with the parents of those killed in the war in the North similarly remembering the dead.

Amunugama, though, begged to differ. Speaking to the media the young MP said it was wrong to compare the JVP's commemorations with that of the LTTE."A lot of people who died during the JVP insurgency were killed by paramilitary groups and went onto make insinuations against Dr. Senaratne. He also was critical of Senaratne for hinting that the security forces may have killed civilians.”

JVP spokesperson and MP Vijitha Herath too took strong exception to the Minister's view saying that the JVP was a political party that stood for the people's rights, their day-to-day issues and for justice and that the party was suppressed by those who could not tolerate its rise in popularity, and banned it in 1981.

Be that as it may, it could not be denied that both sides waged war against the state and one is as guilty as the other in this respect though their causes were different. However making a difference between the two groups where the killing of members of the armed forces are concerned won't be accepted by most. The JVP, like the LTTE, was also responsible for killing of members of the armed forces and police though the numbers differ vastly. Both fought for their respective causes with equal determination. Why, politicians in the South, particularly those of the JO speak more tolerantly of the JVP and don't wish to compare it with the LTTE is purely based on race. It is the Us vs. Them syndrome that has come to be associated with politics of the South. That is why those practicing the Rajapaksa brand of politics want to keep alive all issues associated with the North, as it affected the majority community. This is why politicians of the calibre of Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila, ably assisted by the pro-Rajapaksa media, keep on harping on commemoration events in the North ad nauseam. This is also why any perceived slight or insult on members of the security forces deployed in the North are blown out of proportion.

One cannot recall even a single so called nationalist making any noise when the JVP killed members of the security forces (and even members of their families). Where were the Gunadasa Amarasekaras and other vociferous monks who are weeping buckets today against the government's alleged maltreatment of members of the armed forces, read war heroes? Dilum Amunugama says that he had not approved of the arrest of former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka. "I am critical of how he acted after the war but the fact remains that he led the army. He played a great role and his arrest was wrong".

Amunugama may have been critical of how the Rajapaksas treated Sarath Fonseka but his protest, if indeed he protested at all, was remarkably muted indeed. One cannot recall the MP rushing to the media to register his protest as he is doing today with such alacrity. This is a clear demonstration of how members of the JO are using the ranaviruvas in their political games. None of the Buddhist monks who are vocal in their criticism of Dr. Senaratne for his comments on the security forces raised even a whimper of protest when the war winning army commander was dragged away like a common criminal and thrown behind bars. Nor did they raise a voice when the JVP killed soldiers and members of their families. Nay, they were silent when the rathu sahodarayas gunned down bikkhus such as Ven.Kotikawatte Sri Saddhatissa and Wellethota Hamuduruwo, the latter decapitated after being shot.

Soldiers, to be killed by the JVP is par for the course for the JO types. To be killed by the LTTE is what constitutes a national crime. Similarly releasing land to their original owners in the North too is unacceptable to them. Yet they claim that the country was united under Mahinda Rajapaksa by ending the war. Then why not make common cause with the people of the North?


 

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