With the heat of the political situation rising daily, JVP Leader and MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake expressed his views regarding this crisis during an interview. Excerpts:
Q What is the JVP’s opinion on the political situation that is unfolding at present?
The political incidents that are taking place now are not related to the forward march of the country or its citizens. All these incidents have erupted as a result of the shameless, conspiratorial power struggle within the two political camps. Observing the activities in these camps during the past few days one could judge what sort of people they are and their characters. We are asking the people to think intelligently as to what they (Politicians) have done for the country during the past seventy years. Therefore the JVP is drawing the people’s attention as an alternative force around which the masses can rally round.
Q At a time when the attention of everyone is drawn towards who would be the Prime Minister and what is going to happen to the Government, do you think people would show any interest on an alternative force as proposed by you?
This is the opportune moment. It is clearly evident that there is a political conspiracy. This conspiracy is similar to eloping with a village damsel under the moonlight. The President in the dead of the night calls an MP and without the knowledge of all appoints him as the Prime Minister and follows this by proroguing the Parliament. It is true that the President has the power to appoint the Prime Minister, but it is the Parliament that decides who should be the Prime Minister. By this action it is amply proved that the President had activated this political conspiracy. The behaviour of Ranil Wickremesinghe during the recent past may have prompted him (President Sirisena) to resort to this action. But Sirisena should not forget that he was also a stake holder in this as he too is responsible for the three-and - a-half year rule.
"The person who was subject to such slandering by the Mahinda camp has now sent his hands around the shoulders of those who slandered and slung mud at him"
Sirisena has betrayed the 6.2 million who placed their trust in him by casting their franchise preferring him to Mahinda Rajapaksa. There were 5.7 million who voted against Sirisena. Therefore it is a established fact that there is no one among these groups who has hopes of uniting these two. Therefore it is proved now that both of them have gone against the mandate given to them. They had betrayed the mandate. It reached the boiling point last Friday with the conspiracy for a power change. Therefore there is no trust in each other. Therefore we are inviting everyone to join in protecting the peoples’ mandate. Therefore this is the moment for an alternate party, which can be a force to be reckoned with.
Q You are vociferous in claiming that Maithripala Sirisena once alleged that in the event he had lost the Presidential election he and his family would have been buried six feet under while also levelling serious charges that they were mass scale fraudsters and corrupt individuals. Sirisena has finally put his arms around a person whom he has accused. Your comments.
This surely portrays the level of politics and the rut into which they have dragged it into. Without any shame the dirtiest nature of it is now being displayed. This set of people is now jumping about in the stinking mud hole. Being in the Government of Mahinda, Maithri remained as a Minister and raised his hand approving all the misdeeds that were committed by the former president. Maithri then made his exit saying that he did not get a place and adding that if he was appointed as the Prime Minister at that time he would have left that Government. No, Maithripala Sirisena would never do that. The 2015 power camp gets build up with the aim of securing power. A coalition Government featuring both the UNP with the SLFP is formed with the aim of securing power. The present Mahinda- Maithri group of conspirators was formed with the intention of grabbing power in a shameless manner.
"We however have a responsibility as a political group to intervene at a time the country is subject to anarchy or instability"
It was Maithri who repeatedly claimed that in the event of losing the Presidential elections, he and his family would have been six feet underground. He also said that on the night of the elections he took shelter in a coconut estate. Who said these? Was it we? Maithri who made this announcement aloud and clear on many occasions has stooped to such a low by teaming up with Mahinda whom he accused and ridiculed. We also remember how Mahinda’s camp took the micky out of Maithri and ridiculed him using words and phrases which are unprintable. The person who was subject to such slandering by the Mahinda camp has now sent his hands around the shoulders of those who slandered and slung mud at him. This proves to the entire world how politically bankrupt these two individuals are. To grab power they would resort to any low tactics.
Q What do you feel about having a possible Government under Maithripala and Mahinda Rajapakse given that there was a past where the president had lambasted the Rajapakses as rogues?
There is no doubt about Ranil and Maithripala directly and indirectly working to delay the investigations relating to the frauds and acts of corruption of the former regime. If there had been a genuine interest to unearth the truth relating to these frauds and acts of corruption, they could have been uncovered. Those who were hell bent on taking these robbers into custody, they are now conniving with the same group of robbers to form a new Government. We have no doubt that this is an extension of the black era of the Rajapakses. Even those who were in the Yahapalana Government whose names have surfaced in connection with alleged frauds and corruption, have been bought over by the new regime. These individuals are featured in bids amounting to several millions of rupees. These three groups are presently engaged in gambling risking the lives of the people.
Q Now everyone is anxiously awaiting the reconvening of the Parliament. Your comments.
We do not think that this issue would resolve with the convening of the Parliament, removing the crown from Ranil and putting it on Mahinda or putting it back on Ranil’s head.
It would not produce a solution to the issues confronting the country and its people. We however have a responsibility as a political group to intervene at a time the country is subject to anarchy or instability. The only solution is to convene Parliament and entrust responsibility to the person who commands the confidence of the majority. We demand that Parliament be reconvened with the aim of overcoming this instability. We remember how Dinesh Gunawardene, during the recent past, used to make much hue and cry demanding that parliament be summoned despite there being a flood situation in the country. Where are they now? They are today absconding from the Parliament. We are not demanding the reconvening of Parliament so that Ranil or Mahinda can show the majority, but do it because we have opinions to express regarding this instability.
Q Presently it is said that the value of an MP is rising rapidly. Did they place any bids for JVP members?
There were no calls from any side.
Q Is it true that Basil Rajapaksa threw a bait earlier?
There was some idea like that earlier. But we would never join in any coalition. We have no political affiliations with both these camps. However, instead, we have a political matter to sort out with these two factions. No one will step forward to make deals with our MPS, and that is the testimonial they had issued on us. From where do these groups get all this millions of money? This is the black money they possess.
Q What will now happen to the post of chief organiser of the opposition
As far as we are concerned we don’t recognise such positions . We took them on as responsibilities. The party in the opposition which has the majority would get the post of ‘Leader of the Opposition’ and the post of Chief Organizer of the Opposition.
Q Opposition Leader Sampandan met Mahinda Rajapaksa and had a discussion. Your comments
Mahinda Rajapaksa in order to retain his power, and taking into consideration the cases against them, and in order to block the entry of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is now ready to resort to any dirty work. That is the reason he come forward at this critical juncture and accepted to work along with his enemy Maithripala Sirisena, thus obtaining the Premiership. Mahinda would not rest on his laurels and would align with any group in order to protect himself .
Q Have you discussed this grave situation and the political instability with other minority parties?
We are exploring all avenues to have discussions with the left movements, members of other parties, citizens groups, civil society Intellectuals and other individuals regarding this situation. We do not want to be mere spectators. We are getting directly involved in this and our interventions are to change this political out flow.
Q What have you got to say about President Maithripala Sirisena’s address to the nation?
Actually it was lamentation. Is the President someone who laments in the face of his people? Mathripala Sirisena used to speak in this manner. There is no difference between his speech after exiting the government of Mahinda and the recent one he made. As President he was lamenting that he could not do many things and giving excuses. This questions his suitability for the post. Actually his address to the nation was a great insult to those who are tasked with such duties. It is similar to a comical act.
Q Though you make accusations against Maithripala Sirisena, your political stance at that time indirectly contributed to him becoming the President. Therefore you too are responsible for the present situation
During that election we were firm in our decision and that was to defeat the Rajapakse camp. We also reiterated that we had no faith in the rule that would follow. That is happening now. In the midst of these happenings it is our responsibility not to let go. Therefore we are offering leadership to the people to defeat both camps and strengthen the alternative force.
(Courtesy Sunday Lankadeepa)