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JVP bashing has become the norm of the day….

Charles Perera

It was very disheartening to read media reports after the donor meeting held in Kandy. Island carried a very good editorial on “Venerable Rathana said a Mouthful…” That was encouraging , because the Island editorial does not often leave saying things without a biting aside to” Chandrika” or “JVP “ on an editorial on a political subject directly or indirectly concerned with the Government.

But Island put its records right by a subsequent editorial: “ Minister Anura Kumara Dissanayake had taken umbrage over a question, by Opposition MP Ravi Karunanayake, in Parliament about his foreign travel, reports said yesterday. The JVP being a party that preaches austerity and faults others for ostentatious living etc., Mr. Karunayake may have thought of raising that query to embarrass his bete noire. “

And again in a long article in the Opinion page of the Island in a later edition: “Joint Mechanism in limbo while President slams JVP”, two excerpts from the article read:”…….Although Ven. Ratana Thera's surprise speech did not have an impact on the donor conference as such, it was a setback for the JVP, since both parties are outdoing each other for the leadership of the chauvinistic forces. But in Kandy, the JVP was represented by the soft-spoken Minister Vijitha Herath” and again,“…..It also did not show the rabidly anti-Indian stance taken by the JVP during that period. But the President who is compelled for political reasons to be in alliance with the JVP tried to put the record straight by reminding the JVP of its true past.” The Island has not forgotten to play its part in, JVP bashing.

Asian Tribune had all this to say, and more:”……… But this is not going to help the JVP in the electorate. The most formidable rival for the JVP is the JHU. They set out to attack the JHU from the time JHU enter political arena in the last elections. The nine seats captured by the JHU in the last election would have probably gone to the JVP if the JHU did not cut into their votes.” The tone and the way of putting facts together are to create a greater rift between JVP and JHU. That would be a profitable situation for reactionary political parties.

The Yahoo Asia News reports: “……..The Marxists say the agreement would help the rebels achieve their goal of establishing a separate Tamil state and threatened to withdraw from the coalition if the plan goes ahead, a move that could cause the government to collapse. “ Asia News, does not bother even calling JVP by its correct name. They call it Marxists.

The Dawn the Internet Edition, had this to report”………Claiming that only those who were power hungry obstructed her attempts to make peace with the LTTE, President Kumaratunge’s direct barbs at her government’s chief coalition party , the radical anti-LTTE Marxist party, the Jathika Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has further widened the gulf between herself and the JVP. The intention of the report is quite evident.

The Xinhua had this to report: “……Sri Lanka's ruling coalition partner slam president’ s speech(Simmering differences between the JVP and Kumaratunga's Freedom Party has plagued the government's policy implementation and adversely affected efforts to revive the stalled peace negotiations with the Tamil Tigers. “ It makes it clear who is to be blamed.

The Asia Tribune had a report under this heading:” JVP condemns Sri Lanka President's mention of party differences at donors' meeting.”

Gulf News, The World, carried a news report: “…….In an interview broadcast over national television, Kumaratunga said her party should not be held responsible in the event her government collapses and it is the JVP which should be held responsible."It was the JVP that convinced me to dissolve the former United National Party [UNP] Government and hold fresh elections [last year]," Kumaratunga. At least here we know that JVP did a good turn to Sri Lanka, by getting UNP voted out of election.

Another report in Asian Tribune reported: “……Ven Rathana Thero’s bold act is also seen as a blow to the JVP which is making noises on the sidelines without taking any decisive action on this issue. The JVP which was in the forefront of the movement against the LTTE has been overshadowed by the act of Ven. Rathana Thero which stunned the audience gathered at Earle Regency Hotel, Kandy.” The report puts the lime light on JHU , putting JVP in the dark shadow behind lights.

I cannot remember where this report was in, I think it was in the Colombo Page. :”…….. The news that our politicians including JVP members are seeking to obtain Double Cabs, Jeeps and other luxury vehicles at duty free rates is far from the road they need to take to set an example and give leadership to the country to overcome the fuel crisis.” This puts JVP in par with all others politicians, the good, the bad and the brutes….!

What is noticeable in all these reports is how media have taken an immense pleasure, to twist the news to blame and thus stop any credit going to JVP. The way how these items are “cooked” to make a young political party unpopular, seems unfair media tactic.

The media quoted , caters to the upper middle class, and more well to do upper class readers. Therefore, these attempt to create displeasure among the voters towards JVP may not work, because the popular voter identifies himself with the JVP. Nothing the JVP has said so far are the “untruth” or sorted out to bring popularity to themselves. From the beginning they have been against giving LTTE any recognition, and spelled out in no uncertain terms what the consequences would be in trusting this “untouchable” blood thirsty terrorists, who do not know what it is to keep their word….

This item from the Lanka Muslim website shows how correct the JVP is with regard to dealings with LTTE: "We are angered by the irresponsible comments of the President that we accept the sovereignty of the Government. We refuse to work under any authority under the Sri Lankan government but in an independent body consisting of foreign monitors and observers" stated Thamilchelvam.” This is what JVP and JHU feared from the beginning, that one cannot predict what the LTTE’s next act could be. The LTTE are cunning and much more clever than the Government pro JM crowd. They used Ranil Wickrmasinghe with GL Pieris to fortify themselves and build up a powerful armed force. Now they will use Chandrika Kumaratunga and her yes men for the same reason. Once they set up their “provisional” Eelam Government, who will be able to displace them ?

But on the contrary UNP is back with its antics:”……… Former Speaker Joseph Michael Perera, the Gampaha District MP, addressing a meeting elsewhere said the UNP was fully backing the Joint Mechanism despite opposition from others. “Whether the JVP like it or not, we are not concerned. We are ready to support it. But there is a problem and that is we don't know the content of the proposed Joint Mechanism. The President should disclose it fully,” Mr. Perera said. Now Mr. Michael Perera, says that if JVP were to leave the Government TNA may support the Government, and if not UNP will not let the Government fall. How very thoughtful of them. Will the President fall into this trap ? God ! let’s hope not.


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