JVP’s demise will be caused by new entrants – Former JVP MP Piyasiri Wijenayake | Sunday Observer

JVP’s demise will be caused by new entrants – Former JVP MP Piyasiri Wijenayake

26 February, 2023

The rallies of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) do not reflect public opinion, says former JVP MP Piyasiri Wijenayake. In an interview with the Sunday Observer, Wijenayake said the JVP now engages in hate politics. He said those who joined the JVP will one day cause its demise, noting that the JVP spends the most on political campaigns. He said there is no use in transporting bus loads of people to meetings held in various districts. Excerpts from the interview:

Q: What was your time with the JVP like from 1979 - 2008?

A: I Joined the JVP as a university student and later became an MP. I left the party in 2008. We worked together with Comrade Rohana Wijeweera but when I felt the JVP’s path had taken a different turn and it was failing to deliver fairness and justice for the people I left it. I dedicated myself to the JVP to fulfill my social responsibilities. I am neither pleased nor displeased about it today. It can be described as a socio-political experience.

Q: You joined a different political camp in 2008. Why?

A: I left the JVP due to internal political issues during the end of the war. I then joined Wimal Weerawansa to set up our own political movement, the National Freedom Front. I was in the party till it was time to leave. I believe the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) is a progressive party and therefore I support it today. I am currently an electoral organiser for the party.

Q: Some Leftist parties believe they can come into power through a struggle (Aragalaya). Your comments?

A: The JVP or any other Leftist party is not strong enough to gain power through a struggle in Sri Lanka. These struggles were unplanned and were influenced by external powers.

Q: The JVP has never made any significant gains each time it contested alone. Why?

A: Though the rallies draw crowds, it does not reflect the true mandate of the people. The same party members attend these rallies. To create a mandate and gain power, a party must come forward in every sector.

Though the rallies have crowds it is questionable if they can win even a single electorate.

Today no single party can gain control of a Local Government (LG) body. They have to join hands with others. The JVP appears to be dreaming but I don’t believe they have the capability to win even one electorate. They have not matured as a political movement.

Q: But they claim they can win the LG polls leading to a change in power on a national level. Your comment?

A: They show that they have the crowds but that’s not the truth. In 1982 when Comrade Wijeweera contested the Presidential Polls people came to watch him but they did not vote for him.

Q: Do you mean the JVP is unable to reach the people?

A: Yes. The reason is because the JVP politics today is all about hate. They are trying to create chaos and instill hate in the people. As long as they do not stop this and understand the current socio-cultural environment they cannot gain power. The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) nor the JVP has the ability to form a Government.

The apparent wave is self-created. None of these parties has a political movement built with a strong political agenda to come to power.

Q: Does the JVP have the political consciousness to move in the right direction?

A: It does not. Their decisions are not practical. They claim they are clean and others steal the money of the people. But is the JVP not spending public funds when they bus in people for rallies and spend on them. Therefore, claiming they do not take the people’s money is a lie. The leaders use the party’s funds. Therefore they are using the people’s money to do all their politics. JVP spends the most money on rallies. Only if parties make political changes can they move forward today.

Q: The JVP failed in Tissamaharama. Your comment?

A: This proved they cannot govern even a village. They do not know what needs to be done. This is why the people did not vote for them again. Before seeking change, the people must see where they went wrong in making similar attempts in the past. Every time they experimented it failed. This is why we became poor. This is not a time for experiments. People do not care for popular or catchy slogans now.

Q: Do you mean to say the JVP only has popular slogans and nothing else?

A: A country cannot be developed through popular slogans. The Leftist parties were always fooled by spies. I am asking the people not to experiment. The JVP’s political journey is weak. They have no plan. This country has been ruined by the slogans carried by the JVP together with trade unions. Only a few will vote for the JVP. A new group has joined the party and it appears they will mark the end of the JVP. As someone who worked for the JVP, today it has become a mere movement that moves according to the trends.

Q: Do you think that the JVP today has the theoretical guidance and political outlook it had in its early days?

A: It has no theoretical guidance or political outlook today. There is hardly any difference between the JVP and the United National Party (UNP) agendas.