Wimal Weerawanse - Well Done! Your Speech is Timely!

M.R. Opatha

Alas, why am I not surprised with the criticism re. Wimal's speech and the JVP in general?

What the disoriented critic has to realize is that the so called old guard of SL - be they from the left or right - simply speaking, FAILED TO DELIVER! Since gaining independence from our "whitey illegal" (thank you, Bob Marley!) masters, these so called men/women of "intellectual stature" (as how the critic described, what I call the old guard) basically ruined our nation with their servitude attitude to anyone who flexed a muscle. This old guard simply lacked the courage to stand firm on national issues. They, in their infinitely cockeyed wisdom, bastardized, prostituted, and placed our independence, and self-worth, once again at the feet of the old (and new found) masters so that servitude can continue for another millennia! This old guard, amounting to little more than post-colonial "fixtures" in the parliament, could not think out of the box, act, and be bold! The old guard could "Impress any international gathering" the confused critic said - yes, this they certainly did well to gain personal popularity at the expense of the nation's interests, or more specifically, the masses' welfare.

The only exception to this old guard's dismal performance came from none other than the late Hon. SWRD. The bold and unambiguous measures taken by the late SWRD, to attempt at correcting centuries of persecution and unfairness that the majority community of the country had received at the hands of successive colonial masters, naturally were not universally popular. Not only the highly privileged minority groups (an intended product of the white masters' divide and rule strategy) feared his moves, but our own few clans of Sinhala kalu-suddas (KS) feared them as well. These KS clans were very much indebted to the white masters for granting upon them special status and privileges - in return for the KS' help in subjugating the country's masses.

I am not a blind JVP supporter. Until recently I used to think that the path to country's prosperity was primarily through the free-market system as espoused by the UNP. However, it did not take me long to see the sheer calamity that awaited us at the hand of the UNP which was dilly-dallying with the LTTE problem and callously sacrificing the lives of our precious youth, in a cannon-fodder manner, to the LTTE. Also, it did not take me long to realize that the UNP regime in power since 1977 was beginning to rot from the core and commercial interests were taking precedence over indisputably more sacred values such as the country's sovereignty. Every sign pointed to the regime being taken over by a very opportunistic and corrupt "fat-cat" clique of men and Ranil Wickremasinghe's performance post-2000 basically cemented my suspicion.

Therefore, Wimal, kudos to you brother for pointing out some unpalatable truths (i.e. truths that have become "politically incorrect" in SL's context due to the extreme pandering to separatist-terrorists by successive leaders), which I cannot remember being pointed out in the same matter-of-fact tone as you did, by another SL leader recently.

I would consider the following highlights from you are worthy of repeat:

"Primarily there are only three such groups in this country. We believe that ethnic diversity is a factor that adorns a nation. However, sadly, that factor which is there to adorn this nation has turned into a factor that is conspiring to separate this nation along cultural boundaries. Therefore we believe that it is the responsibility of all of us to prevent our cultural and national identities from becoming the factors that divide our country."

"However, at the same time we would also like to emphasize that our dedication to peace should not be construed by any one as a fear of the bullet. The 'peace' should be acceptable to the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, and all ethnic communities of this country. But we do not believe that the peace to a country is to be attained just for the sake of putting power in the hands of any one group or an individual."

"We strongly believe that the only boundary that our country could have is the ocean that surrounds us. We strongly believe that our national security, our sovereignty are factors that cannot be valued at any price."

"At the same time I would like to emphasize that we also have the responsibility to reject any attempt that does not regard these minimum requirements that destroy the state's sovereignty, national security and its historically uninterrupted ownership."

Wimal, with the above statements, you categorically reinforced that:

- Kindness should not be taken for weakness
- Compromise is a two-way street
- Solution is not about creating a fascist, racist ethnic entity within SL

However, in my view, the prized statement from you came when you said:

"We believe that it is the most important lesson there for us to learn through the failure of the so called 'peace' process that started a little over two years ago."

Although I do think that the JVP's economic policies need recalibration to suit the current global politico-economic environment, and I would strongly urge you to consider so, unlike the prattling critic, I do not view the JVP's performance as hopeless. On the contrary, you have shown that your party has the vigor, youth power, patriotism, and the fortitude to carry the country over this tremendous period of burden that was architected upon us by the previous generation of leaders - leaders that your ardent critic described as individuals who had "intellectual stature." I would urge you to pay little attention to these spent-up-poops' criticism; being new and the "young blood" in the political arena, this is your time theirs was long gone through squander.

We all know how the younger LTTE mass-murder-king handled the successive old guard of the nation over nearly 20 years of artful duplicity where these pathetic fixtures swallowed every hook-line-and-sinker that the LTTE threw at them. It is a fact that every round of blind-faith negotiations that this old guard carried out with the LTTE, it ended up with disastrous consequences for us today and many generations to come!



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