Sinhala nationalists dared to go beyond Vavuniya
[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 December 2003, 03:40 GMT]
“I dare Wimal Weerawanse and Champika Ranawaka to go beyond Vavuniya. They can’t. But I can take them now or even during war because we have trust in the Tamil people,” said Mr. Dharmasiri Bandaranayaka, a well known and respected Sinhala film director, addressing a meeting organised by leftist political parties, trade unions and civil society groups at the New Town Hall in Colombo Wednesday. The Liberation Tigers control most of the northern province beyond Vavuniya.
Mr. Weerawanse is the powerful propaganda secretary of the Sinhala nationalist/Marxist party, Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Mr. Ranawaka is the national organiser of the Sinhala extremist group, Sihala Urumaya (SU).
|Mr. Bandaranayaka addressing the meeting Wednesday
The JVP and SU, which supported President Kumaratunga when she took over the Ministry of Defence, say that the cease-fire agreement with the Liberation Tigers should be torn up, and resolutely oppose devolution of power to the Tamils.
Wednesday’s meeting was organised to condemn the attack on the Sinhala-Tamil cultural festival in Colombo last month and to oppose chauvinistic forces that are bent on scuttling the peace process.
Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratna, the leader of the leftist Nava Sama Samaja Party, observed in his speech that the SU, which says that the LTTE is not democratic and that Singhalese cannot go to LTTE controlled areas in the northeast, attacked Tamils from those parts when they came to Colombo to take part in the cultural festival last month.
A group of teenage Buddhist monks listening to Mr. Banadaranayaka
“Those who defended the Tamils who took part in the festival were fighting for the heritage of the Tamil and Sinhala people and youth who have fought against national and social oppression in this country since its independence”, said Mr. Rohitha Bashana, one of the convenors of the meeting in his address.
Mr. Bashana is from the Hiru Group that works against chauvinism in southern Sri Lanka.
Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakkara, the leader of the Democratic Left Front (DLF) said the fact that the organisers of the Sinhala- Tamil cultural festival had fought back the SU attack showed the SU will be shown its limits when it tries to limit the freedom of others.
The meeting was organised by the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, Communist Party, DLF, New Left Front, Hiru Group, Diyasa Education Circle, United Government Workers’ Union, Railway Workers Union, etc.