The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) dissidents for the first time yesterday (October 4) announced that they would form a mass movement based on leftist principles after carrying out a thorough awareness campaign among the people.
Senadeera Gunatillake also known as Opatha told the Daily Mirror in an interview, that there was an urgent need for a real leftist movement in the world particularly in Sri Lanka.
Mr. Gunatillaka who is leading the dissidents with Kumaran Gunaratnam is a central committee member of the JVP. He played an active role in revamping the party after the 1989 insurrection. He also contested the 1994 elections from the Kurunegala District.
Mr. Gunatillaka said the JVP had chosen right wing politics under the present political system.
“There is an internal debate in the party to distinguish left wing politics from right wing politics. This dialogue has dragged on for 12 years. Now it is no longer a dialogue. It has now become a struggle for a leftist movement. It is not a question of retaining the party name, symbol or headquarters. The JVP has abandoned its historic duty in this case,” he said.
When asked whether a new political party would be formed soon, Mr. Gunatillaka said it was all the more important to solicit the support of people for a leftist movement through awareness rather than registering a political party in a hurry.
“We have already launched a series of seminars. It is part of this campaign. Once the ground support is secured, we can go for the next step of forming a party. It will take time. Only the future will decide how soon we can do it. It is too early for us to mention it in weeks or years at the moment,” he said.
When asked how they would contest elections if declared before such a party was registered Mr. Gunatillaka said, “We had the idea of registering the JVP in 1977. Yet, we could not do it. We contested the election later as an independent group under the leadership of Rohana Wijeweera. We believe in electoral politics. If an election is declared, we will look at a different option to contest it.”
Responding to the allegation that the international intelligence agencies such as RAW and the CIA are behind the recent split of the JVP, he said it was an idea planted by the JVP leadership to distract the people’s attention from the real issues confronting the party.
“They have tried to link our struggle to LTTE separatism, the Tamil Diaspora and international forces such as this. All these are attempts to deceive the public and convince them that there is no issue in the party,” he said.
Mr. Gunatillaka said his group still believed in ‘Indian expansionism’ as pointed out by founder leader Rohana Wijeweera. “Today, India is trying to establish its regional hegemony in social, economic and political spheres in a novel approach. The situation is even more serious today. China is also doing the same as a world power. Of course, we have to restudy the changing world order. We have to do strategic studies about China in today’s world,” he said. (Kelum Bandara)