Insurrection fears as JVP commemorates dead

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 November 2002, 22:25 GMT]
The Janata Vimukthi Peramuna, the third largest party in Sri Lanka’s Parliament, Wednesday commemorated in Colombo its founder leader Mr. Rohana Wijeweera and party cadres who were killed by the Sri Lankan armed forces during two unsuccessful but bloody insurrections in 1971 and 89 to capture state power.


JVP convention
JVP leaders and MPs honouring their cadres who were killed in the insuurections of 71 and 89.
The convention and commemoration was held at the large Sugathadasa indoor stadium near downtown Colombo. More than a thousand full time party cadres took part in the event.

Rohana Wijeweera was captured by the Sri Lanka army and summarily executed on the night of 13 November 1989. The party also held its fourth national convention on the occasion amidst charges and fears that it is preparing for another insurrection.

The JVP controls a growing number of key trade unions in Sri Lanka’s export sector. It also dominates students’ unions in all the universities in the Sinhala majority districts of the island, brooking no competitors.


JVP convention
Armed Police commando guard at Sri Jayawardhenapura University Wednesday.
The Sri Lanka Police and University authorities blame the JVP student front, the Inter University Students’ Federation for rising violence in the seats of higher learning.

The terror tactics used by the JVP to keep its hold on Universities in the Sinhala majority regions of Sri Lanka shocked the Sinhala public when a young student opposed to ragging was brutally beaten to death allegedly by undergraduates belonging to the JVP backed IUSF in the University of Sri Jayawardenapura earlier this week. Several colleagues of the murdered undergraduate were also injured in the attack.

The University remains closed under special Police guard following the murder.


JVP convention
JVP leaders and MPs honouring their cadres who were killed in the insuurections of 71 and 89.


UNF and PA politicians Wednesday attended the funeral of Samantha Vithanage, the murdered third year student, in his hometown of Udahamulla.

The JVP has traded its Stalinist brand of Marxism for strident Sinhala Nationalism in recent years. However, it has systematically moved to control all the main trade unions in the Sinhala areas.

Colombo is increasingly concerned about the power the JVP unions wield among the work forces of export companies which bring dollars to the island’s cash strapped economy.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga developed close links with the JVP to whip up Sinhala opposition to peace negotiations between the UNF and the LTTE.

A section of the PA, led by opposition leader Mahinda Rajapakshe who attended the student’s funeral Wednesday are opposed to the President’s political dealings with the JVP.


Student's funeral
Funeral Wednesday of the Sri Jayawardhenapura University student who was allegedly beaten to death by students of a JVP backed union.

 

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