History of JVP’s ‘Voice of Conscience’
Posted on August 7th, 2015

By Dharman Wickremaratne

The UNP’s manifesto promises to build a new country in 60 days while the UPFA manifesto guarantees a better future and a new life for the country. Since the Democratic Party Leader Sarath Fonseka is suffering from a throat problem a recording is being played at his party meetings.  The DP has still not circulated a manifesto.

The JVP manifesto titled ‘Voice of Conscience’ says that they will find solutions to the problems Sri Lanka is facing since the leaders who ruled the country for 67 years could not solve them.   According to its manifesto what the JVP is asking for is not power to rule but a remote control by which they can control capitalist parties so that the JVP can eliminate corruption and wastage which are the usual features of capitalism.  Rohana Wijeweera gave birth to the JVP by making many sacrifices.  But today the JVP does not need to make such sacrifices since the modern world has made Marxism stand on its head.


JVP National List includes several well-recognized intellectuals.  They have been named JVP’s ‘ambassadors’ who will help to build up the party’s vote base. Among them are Professor Ruhunu Hewa, Mayadunne, Charles Dayananda and Professors Kapila Perera and Piyadasa Ranasinghe. This is apparently taking them for a ride.  Although seven from the JVP National List were appointed to Parliament since the year 2000 they were not given the opportunity to play any important role in the party.

The last to be appointed to Parliament from the JVP National List after the 11th Parliamentary Election held on October 10, 2000 were Anura Kumara Dissanayake and Anjaan Umma.  The total number JVP MPs (including those from the National List) was eight. At the 12th Parliamentary Election held on December 5, 2001 the JVP won 13 seats while Anura Kumara Dissanayake, S.K. Subasinghe and Ramalingam Chandrasekera were appointed from the National List.At the 13th Parliamentary Election held on April 2, 2004, the UPFA won 92 seats out of which 39 were JVP.   The UPFA National List MP (from JVP) was Ramalingam Chandrasekera.  At the 14th Parliamentary Election held on April 22, 2010 the JVP (which had joined Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic National Alliance) won five seats.   The only National List MPs were JVP’s Anura Kumara Dissanayake and DNA’s Tiran Alles.


The JVP manifesto ‘Voice of Conscience’ was launched at their Congress, which was broadcast live on a state TV channel, for which the party spent about Rs.800, 000 for airtime though actually worth around Rs. 1.6 million.Everything in life is impermanent.  Dark colours become light. Red becomes pink and eventually white.  If necessary it can be made blue or green.  If Left politicians like Dr. N.M. Perera and Dr. Colvin R. de Silva could hang on to Sirima Bandaranaike’s sari pota and form coalition governments the JVP too has the right to do the same.

It is for this reason that the JVP gave its blessings to the ‘Yahapalana’ (Good Governance) coalition which came to power on January 8.  The National Executive Council formed on a proposal by the JVP is even above the Cabinet of Ranil Wickremesinghe Government.In 2001 the JVP formed a probationary government with Chandrika Kumaratunga. It evolved into her People’s Alliance Government in 2004.   The JVP again entered into a coalition with Mahinda Rajapaksa during the Presidential Election campaign of 2005.  This same policy led the JVP to do a ‘U’ turn in 2010 and enter into a coalition with Sarath Fonseka and the UNP.

There is no doubt that if the UFPA fails to win 114 seats at the next election the JVP will extend its support the UNP to form a coalition government with representatives of Tamil separatist and Muslim extremist parties.  The support the JVP gave to the UNP-led Yahapalana coalition via the National Executive Council boosted the image of the ‘pickpocket’ government backed by a minority.


The JVP’s avowed aim is to build a socialist society.  To achieve the objective they lauched two insurgencies. According to Government statistics 1,200 rebels were killed in the first insurrection of 1971.  However it is said that the actual number of inrugents killed was nearly 5,000.

The JVP’s second insurgency began in 1986 and ended in 1990.  During this period the number killed by the Government’s armed groups and vigilantes was 34,014. The PRAA (People’s Revolutionary Red Army) killed 1,222.  The number killed by the JVP’s armed wing, the Deshapremi Janatha Vyapaaraya (Patriotic People’s Movement) was 6,577.   Accordingly the total number killed and disappeared in the JVP’s second insurgency was 41,813.  Unofficial reports state that nearly 60,000 people were killed during this period.

The 6,577 victims of JVP terror included 2,645 UNP members, 1,652 ordinary civilians, 702 spies, 487 government employees, 342 police officers, 15 army officers and 202 ordinary soldiers, 187 university students and students of schools, 117 Mahajana Party members, 93 members of police families, 52 school principals, 41 bhikkus, 16 doctors, 14 lawyers, eight artistes, two vice chancellors and two Catholic priests.

JVP march with Arjuna. Mangala, Mervin and Dilan

The value of state property the JVP destroyed by setting them on fire during its second insurgency was over Rs.1000 million. They included 553 CTB buses, 294 grama seva offices, 680 post offices, 132 government quarters and offices, workshops and factories and power distribution centres, 103 agrarian service offices.  JVP insurgents also robbed cash and jewellery after breaking into 40 People’s Banks, rural banks and other state banks. These actions convinced the public that the JVP was a destructive movement lacking a proper vision and logical thinking.

Rohana Wijeweera built up the JVP through his own efforts and the party’s politics were based on his philosophy. Although the methods the JVP employed to grab power were controversial we have to admit it had thousands of cadres who were filled with revolutionary fervor and sacrificed their lives for that purpose.

Anura Kumara Dissanayake became JVP Leader on February 2, 2014.  The party leaders before him were Rohana Wijeweera, Saman Piyasiri Fernando, Lalith Wijeratne and Somawansa Amarasinghe. After leavig the JVP Somawansa made serious allegations against the party. Among these was that Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa gave Rs.2.5 million to the party.  These reveal that the ‘love affair’ between the present JVP leadership and the UNP is no secret.

dharmaW01.JVP founder-leader Rohana Wijeweera (May 14, 1965-November 13,1989),JVP’s second leader Saman Piyasiri Fernando (November 28, 1989 – December 29, 1989),JVP’s third leader Lalith Wijeratne December 31, 1989-January 13, 1990),JVP’s fourth leader Somawansa Amarasinghe (March 1990-February 2, 2014),JVP’s present leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake (February 2, 2014 todate)

Although JVP Leader Rohana Wijeweera did not openly get involved in coalition politics and ruin his reputation there were allegations that he connived with the UNP secretly. He addressed a series of country wide meetings titled ‘The end of the road for SLFP’ after his release from prison. Thereafter the JVP forced people to boycott elections with death threats and paved the way for SLFP leader Sirima Bandaranaike’s defeat in the Presidential Election of December 19, 1988 and for Ranasinghe Premadasa to become President. Although it was claimed to be a strategic move it eventually led to the massacre of thousands of young people in less than a year after Premadasa swore in as President on January 2, 1989.

As former JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe says, today the JVP symbol bell is now hanging from the neck of the elephant – the UNP symbol.  The JVP has now paved the way to make Ranil Wickremesinghe Prime Minister again in the coming election.  It is similar to the way the JVP gave Ranasinghe Premadasa the opportunity to become President by killing hundreds of SLFP supporters and organizers in December 1988.

Since the majority of JVP candidates are graduates, the JVP says there are no crooks among them. It may be true that there are no ethanol smugglers and others engaged in fraudulent activities in the party.  But it is not without reason that people are accusing the JVP of chopping off limbs of persons before killing them, robbing gold from banks, throwing bombs and also causing some of their members to betray others to the security forces.

JVP held ministerial positions in the Chandrika Kumaratunga Government for nearly two years. The Cabinet Ministers were Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Lal Kantha, Vijitha Herath and Chandrasena.  The Deputy Ministers were Sunil Handunnetti, Vidyaratna, Nihal Galappaththi and Bimal Ratnayake.  There were a total of 39 JVP members in Parliament. Although the JVP held ministerial positions on such important areas as agriculture, cultural affairs, small industries and fisheries they did not have the technical knowledge, the ability and skills to launch practical programmes. Although Anura Kumara Dissanayake claimed he was going to repair and restore 10,000 tanks (reservoirs) in the end there was not a single tank which was restored. Lal Kantha’s self-employment promotional programmes never saw the light of day. Sunil Handunnetti succeeded in getting media publicity by having meals at his ministry’s common dining hall together with the ordinary employees after buying a packet of rice and curry from the canteen.

After accepting four cabinet ministerial positions and four deputy ministerial positions the JVP announced that the capitalist system has no solutions to the country’s economic crisis. Although they accepted ministerial positions their performance did not reflect any ability in meeting responsibilities towards the people. However for their luck the controversial Post Tsunami Operational Management Structure (PTOMS) was introduced in Parliament in July 2005.  This gave the JVP members the opportunity to resign from the ministerial and deputy ministerial positions on the pretext of protesting against PTOMS.

In the year 2000 JVP put forward a five-year plan. In 2013 they issued a manifesto on solving the national question. During the last Provincial Council Election they issued a policy statement titled, ‘Our Vision.’   The ‘Voice of Conscience’ they have put forward today in connection with the coming General Election is old wine in new bottles. They play a different tune at different times.  JVP election manifestos are like lumps of clay which can be shaped to fit into anything

What the JVP did during the Presidential Election of December 1988 and the General Election of February 1989 was to pave the way for the UNP to come to come to power by attacking the SLFP.  It is an extension of this same policy the country saw on January 8. 2015 and will be seeing again on August 17.   This time the JVP is trying to march towards Socialism via the ‘National Liberation Struggle’ by appointing Ranil Wickremesinghe Prime Minister.  But the JVP’s so-called Voice of Conscience will be drowned by the roars of the Mahinda Movement.(The writer is a senior journalist who could be reached at [email protected])

2 Responses to “History of JVP’s ‘Voice of Conscience’”

  1. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    For the supporters of UNPatriotic party (UNP) and for the supporters of Jaathiya Vinashakarana Party (JVP)
    red elephants.

    You all have very very short memories. Maybe this few clips from previous yahapalana regimes of UNPatriotic party (UNP)
    to jog your memories!


    UNPatriotic party (UNP) and Jaathiya Vinashakarana party (JVP) can’t help being traitors because it is in their names.

    Shamelss traitors. These guys can’t be Sinhalese!

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    Pure Communist political ideology did not work. Soviet Russia ended its Cold War with Capitalism in 1991. Does Pure Capitalism work ? Not likely.

    What does seem to work is a mix of Socialism and Capitalism, as done in Europe. After two World Wars which started in Europe, they have opted for this mix.

    JVP has a role to play to maintain a sense of BALANCE in the existing systems that work, i.e. Socialism & Capitalism.

    The JVP should apologise to the public of Lanka for the death of Lanka citizens and devastation of private and state property. The LTTE should do likewise. Then the dire distaste the public of Lanka has for these two parties may recede.

    Hatred is conquered only by caring kindness.

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