ERASING THE EELAM VICTORY PT 17 C 5a
Posted on September 9th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS

The JVP did not fade away after April 1971 as it would have done, had it been a purely local affair. Instead, JVP met secretly and reorganized.  JVP first retreated into their hideouts in the jungles of the North Central Province. They moved the camps from place to place.  They did not stay in one place for long. The leader at Namal oya camp was in a separate chena known only to couple of trustworthy members.

There were jail breaks. In November 1971 JVPers escaped from Vidyalankara, Vidyodaya and Weerawila camps. At Vidyalankara, they   escaped through a tunnel which they had dug.  Prison authorities had earlier reported that there was no tunnel  leading to the conclusion that JVP has accomplices in the prison. At Anuradhapura prison as they escaped, JVPers had freed the other prisoners as well.

The plan was to get back the original cadres rather than recruit new ones. JVP prisoners received visits by   persons pretending to be relatives. They carried JVP messages in and out of these camps and prisons.  JVP cadres   met them as they were released. One of the places used for this was the Peradeniya University.  It was done discreetly without arousing suspicions of undergrads, said Indradasa.

Cells were established throughout the country except North and East. Cells were set up in Colombo, Galle, Tangalle, Embilipitiya, Ratnapura, Polonnaruwa, Chilaw Kegalle and Moneragala.  There were cells of 25 in each police area  Cells were all linked with each other,  Cells were used for recruitment, indoctrination, and weapons training. Cells were  organized  in schools  as well. JVP also later  had   cells at Walkers and Central Finance Co in Kandy

The  five lectures  had originated in 1968 and were developed in 1969. In 1977 the five lectures were revised. They now focused on the need to capture power by force.  They were given by specially trained members.

After 1971, JVP made changes in its structure. All key points in the organization were held by those loyal to Rohana Wijeweera. A secret Central Committee was established, which gave the main directions.  The identities of this secret committee were known only to the district organizers. The leading JVPers had code names.

The JVP was wary of those who wanted to join them and they were first screened. There was tight control of information. Those who came for lectures were given places to meet at, from where they would be taken to a secret venue. The  organization structure of JVP was secretive. It was almost beyond destruction said Rohan Gunaratna. 

By 1977, Wijeweera had set-up an organization with thirteen Politbureau members and twenty-nine Central Committee members. The Politbureau Members were Rohana Wijeweera, Upatissa Gamanayake, Piyadasa Ranasinghe, Saman Piyasiri Fernando, P.B. Wimalaratne, Gunaratna Wanasinghe, Sumith Athukorale, Somawansa Amerasinghe, H.B. Herath, D.M. Ananda, Shantha Bandara, Nandatillake Galapatthi and Lalith Wijeratne. Names of the Central Committee members are given in the footnote below. [1]

The JVP Politburo never met in full session. They got together only in ones, twos or threes. It was D M Ananda the functionary number 1 in the JVP’ who conveyed decisions from one group to another.

The organization was divided into three Departments. The departments were directly placed under the Politbureau. Department No1” consisted of Zonal Committees. The island was divided into five zones, (i) Western/Sabaragamuwa; (ii) Central; (iii) Rajarata; (iv) Uva/Eastern, and (v) Southern.   Analysts noted that the North and North West were excluded. The names of the Zonal leader are given in the footnote below.[2]

The Zonal Committees were in turn divided into District Committees which were placed under the leadership of members of the Central Committee. The District Committees were headed By Central Committee members. Names of District committee members are given in footnote below. [3] 

Each district was divided into a number of Divisions. A district could have two or more Divisions, depending on the size and requirements. Each Division had a Divisional Secretary, and a Secretary each for education, finance, military organization, propaganda, youth, students, workers, bhikkhu and women. Rank wise, the Secretaries of the Divisions were just below the Central Committee. But often, a single person   held various ranks simultaneously.  The military wing had   an operation leader, trainer, intelligence specialist,  planner and strategist.

Divisions were classified and numbered .  Kandy district was divided into four divisions D1 to D4. D1 contained K 33, K 66 and K 99. K 33 was Mahanuwara, Senkadagala ,K 66 was Udunuwara, Yatinuwara   and K 99 was Galaha, Marassana and Talatuoya. D2 was Gampola and Nawalapitiya, D3 was Galagedera and Harispattuwa, D4 was Teldeniya, Ududumbara, Kundasala and Wattegama.  With the exception of Wattegama, l these are  the polling divisions of the Kandy electorate.

Department No. 2” consisted of National Committees. There were national committees for Education, Finance, Propaganda, and Military Organization. Gunaratne Wanasinghe headed the committee for education; Finance was Somawansa Amerasinghe, Propaganda, Upatissa Gamanayake and Military, Saman Piyasiri Fernando

Department No. 3” consisted of eight Front Organizations. They were Youth, Students, Bhikkhus, Women, Trade unions, Rural,  Cultural and Propaganda. Through these JVP   expanded its support among school children, university students, unemployed youth, Buddhist monks, the nationalist intelligentsia and intermediate layers of rural Sinhala society” said analysts. The Womens wing was started in  1983 and schools girls joined.

Regarding these fronts, there was  the Patriotic Students Movement for secondary schools. This was entirely controlled by the JVP though they avoided getting identified directly with it.  Branches of this organization were set up in several schools in Colombo and outstations.  The intention was to build up a membership, especially in the ‘A’ level classes, from which these students would enter university. This would ensure a readymade membership from among freshers.  JVP had put up posters near smaller schools so that an awareness of JVP would be in their minds when they reached A levels. This was one of their most valued sources of recruitment.

In the universities JVP started with action committees. From these developed a powerful apex organization, the Inter-University Student Federation (IUSF). The IUSF co-ordinated student activities in a national level. The IUSF  became the most powerful organization formed by JVP in the universities.   By 1985, the JVP came to dominate student politics   in school and University.

Analysts noted that the Arts students, who had traditionally given the lead, were now the followers. At the Peradeniya University, it was the Engineering students who took the lead, at the Colombo University it was the  Science undergrads and  at  Ruhuna , it was the medical students. 

Two powerful  bhikkhu fronts, Deshapremi Taruna Bhikshu Samidanaya and Manava Hitavadi Bhikkhu Sanvidanaya were set up by the JVP  in the 1980s  Young bhikkhus, some from University  joined these fronts  and were  very active. The possibility of some bhikkhus giving up their robes and joining the JVP/DJV cannot be ruled out, said Attanayake.  It is also  possible that members of the JVP, posing as priests, went to various temples to propagate their ideology. The robe  could be used to great advantage, observed Indradasa. The robe offered cover, and had impact on a Buddhist population.  

However, this was not the first JVP bhikkhu  organization . Young bhikkhus had participated in the 1971 insurgency. The decision to  start the 1971 attack was  taken in  the  Bhikkhu hostel of a university. In Kotmale insurgent activity had  centered around the Buddhist temple, where they coordinated the plan to attack the police station.   Fifty     six bhikkhus had been arrested by 1976. The correct figure could he much higher, said analysts.

These bhikkhus had gone to great lengths to provide all kinds of incidental help, said Attanayake. These bhikkhus had  assisted in raising funds for the organization. They  had provided shelter in abandoned temples to JVP members on the run. These temples were also used for storing weapons.

For the trade union front, JVP created their own trade unions and also infiltrated the trade unions of other political parties. JVP-led trade union, the Samastha Lanka Sevaka Sangamaya which only had about 500 to start  with, benefited by the July 1980 strike where the government dismissed over 40,000 workers. They also  benefited from the Nurses strike of 1986.   JVP tried to take over the GMOA but failed.

There were 17 JVP dominated or controlled trade unions in 1986. A trade union combine, called Janata Satan Peramuna, comprising all JVP trade unions was formed thereafter. When JVP trade unions were proscribed, JVP infiltrated the service itself.

JVP also set up  the Jatika Sisya Madyastanaya and the Jatika Kamkaru Satan Madyastanaya. Jatika Sisiya Madhastanaya handled all JVP action in schools and technical colleges . It formed committees of teachers, parents, and staff.  In 1986 JVP had support in over 2000 schools in island except in north and east.

 there were also ‘sympathetic  organisations’ such as   ‘Citizens Committee of Colombo’, ‘HR  organization of University teachers’ and  ‘international University bhikkhu Federation.

JVP conducted  its  propaganda at village, district and town level. JVP had monthly, bi weekly and weekly publications.  Publications had militant sounding titles,  such as Vedihanda”,” Ripalaya” (rifle)” Aragalaya”.  Some publications were targeted  towards specific groups, such as fishermen, school teachers, or  security forces. By 1987 these publications were popular at village level.  There was also the  JVP  radio transmissions. Postersgave time and frequency.

To attract mass support at village level JVP  organized several attractive campaigns in late 1970s and 1980s where  Wijeweera said that JVP was the leading left movement in the country. The JVP are the only saviors  of the workers ,unemployed, students and the masses. Speakers at public meetings of JVP were articulate, they were carefully handpicked, progress monitored. Many listened to speeches  even if they did not agree with all of it,  to hear the criticisms against those in power in the country. Hundreds joined JVP  from 1983-1987 and were indoctrinated.

JVP was  a major underground force from1983-1987.  JVP had   grass roots contacts and  knew exactly where to go and whom to meet  it was not possible to catch the JVP in a particular area, because there was absolute secrecy. they used five to ten aliases. . 

 leaders and cadres never operated in an area native to them. Nobody knew them.  . there was a rapid transfer of activists from one unit to another or from one zone to another.  if  the leader was caught, he would be rapidly replaced       Even if all are taken from one district those in the other district will oversee, said Rohan Gunaratna.  

By 1984, the JVP had decided on a second armed struggle.  in 1984 JVP  started camps for    military training in jungles between Ampara and Siyambalanduwa, there were camps at Hiniduma, Hambegamuva. Hambegamuwa camp was a major JVP training center.

Batches of 30 to 40 were trained for five to seven days. . these temporary training camps familiarized member with various types of weapons such as T56, AK 47, said Indradasa. This was done mainly by hand drawn sketches, and pictures of rifles. A rudimentary military training was given.  There were also classes in physical training. At the camp trainees were forbidden to divulge real name, and  place of residence,  only the leader knew the names.

in 1987 intelligence services had received reports of university students undergoing weaponry training in camps of the Deshapremi Janatha Vyapaaraya  DJV. The biggest such training camp was held in the Erathna area, near Sri Pada in January 1987. Maheepala Kodippili, following his arrest, admitted to the CID on June 19, 1987, that he had attended the training camp along with a group of university students under the direction of Sarath of the Colombo University.   JVP leader Padmasiri was asked to form an armed student battalion. there were at least 100 combat trained JVPers in University of Ruhuna. Undergraduates  had played a key role in the raid on Pallekelle army camp.

A separate military wing  was set up in 1986  and JVP started to collect weapons. Weapons were discovered in Ruhuna, Colombo  and Peradeniya  Universities.

1987–89 JVP INSURRECTION

JVP  staged a second uprising which lasted from 1987 to 1989. This was not an open revolt, but a low intensity conflict with the JVP resorting to assassinations, raids and attacks on military and civilian targets. With these practices of fear and intimidation, the JVP was able to bring the country to a standstill. This campaign virtually brought the country to a standstill confirmed Indradasa. It was known as  period of terror.

 JVP had some support initially among the public, especially in the southern and central districts, after JVP challenged the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord.  JVP seemed to enjoy public support  In Matara, Hambantota, Moneragala, Badulla, Kurunegala and in the Uva Province as well and successfully carried out various strikes, work-stoppages, protests and boycotts, in 1987. 

JVP resorted to sheer terrorism to bring about work stoppages, disruption to transport services,    and trade  JVP burned down post offices, robbed the collections from bus conductors, and destroyed their ticket machines, damaged industrial and domestic electricity and water meters. JVP forcibly collecting vehicle revenue licenses. JVP destroyed records held in kachcheries including files on local taxes and land registers.

 Almost two thirds of the country did not have an electricity supply for more than six weeks, because the power pylons in Matale were destroyed by the JVP.  JVP repeatedly went for electric transformers. There were other  acts of sabotage with the destruction of Government property.    There was also a campaign to boycott Indian goods.

JVP crippled the country with violently enforced general strikes for two years. Many individuals or organizations were warned or intimidated with messages dropped in the night in front of homes and with posters or graffiti on walls. Those that did not cooperate were brutally killed, with the repercussions extended to their family members.

JVP issued death threats to professionals, to lawyers and doctors so they could not work.  JVP called for hartals and work stoppages. JVPs repeated warning to State-owned media personnel to stay away from work and  increasing threats led to resignations. As a result, trains were not functioning properly, schools and college did not hold exams for almost two years.  For four years no one had graduated from any of the state universities. Medical College was not functioning for almost five years. Factories and work place were forced to close down for long periods resulting in the workers undergoing severe hardship and production suffered. Strikes paralyzed key government departments. Tourists were walking past immigration and customs   counters freely as the officers were not there.

JVP called upon the public to engage in a civil disobedience campaign by refraining from paying taxes and other dues such a bus fares. Posting letters’ without stamps. JVP said people must observe curfew and not leave homes, work places should shut down, transport must cease to operate, blackout must be observed from 6 pm. People should refrain from listening to radio or watching TV.  The public  were ordered not to go out of their homes. “Lights off” and “switch-off Radio and Television” orders were given.

Schools were targeted. Ellawala Medhananda recalled that when he was principal of Anura Maha Vidyalaya, Getahatta, his pupils informed him that they were ordered not to attend school and to congregate outside. Or they will be killed. They had to go on strike in school. Pupils were told they would be killed if they did not strike for at least   three days. The pupils obeyed, after informing Medhananda.

Medhananda also received a letter, from Kirti Vijayabahu”, threatening to kill him.  His temple received a letter telling  both monks to leave the temple .The two monks did so. Medhananda went back to the school and hid there.  In the night the JVP came to the school and searched it, watched by  Medhananda  who had hidden in a loft in the school.

In June  1989, a group of students at the Peradeniya University seized a jeep, killed the three inside, and burnt their bodies within university premises. A similar incident took place at Sri Jayewardenepura University. In July 1989 all universities were closed down indefinitely.

Initially the public did not take JVP orders seriously. But JVP started killing and the public realized that they dare not disobey these orders. Teachers who resisted interference of JVP activities were assassinated. JVP selectively conducted attacks on shopkeepers, drivers of public and private vehicles,   trade unionists, management staff of government and private institutions and burning buses of both private and public companies. These acts of terror served to create fear among the public.JVP made it a point to track down those who resisted  opposed or betrayed them and punished them. Principal of Mahakumbura college who opposed JVP  was shot and killed together with his two daughters.

From 1987 to 1989, the JVP  was  able to dominate in the affairs of the country. The  UNP government tried to appease it. 1988 JVP Imposed ban on Sinahla New Year shops in south ordered to close before that. University exams not held due to threats . there were spectacular jail breaks at Welikada, Bogambara, Badulla.

 At the height of the JVP’s attempted destabilization, police officers in and around Colombo given the task of fighting the JVP had to live at the end of their wits. They found that they could not hold conferences in police stations as the JVP had informants inside. They found themselves having conferences at odd hours in places like Galle Face Green and the Parliament Esplanade.

JVP reacted violently to exposure of their activities by newspapers, TV and radio. Newspaper agents were killed, vehicles transporting newspapers were burned, and employees of TV stations, Rupavahini, ITN and SLBC were threatened and ordered to give up employment. When these were ignored JVP killed important media personnel, including  DG of Rupavahini and SLBC,  a director of SLBC,  a radio and TV announcer. Gladys Jayawardene, Chairman of the State Pharmaceutical Corporation was also assassinated for not stopping the import of Indian pharmaceuticals.

Deshapremi Janatha Viyaparaya (DJV)   the military wing of the JVP  was the division responsible for the violence of the 1987 period. DJV trained it members, in the  jungles in the southern and western quarters, In central highland and a few in India. The training tactics were a closely guarded secret. JVP   first said that DJV, was a separate  organization which was being supported but not directed by the JVP Later, they abandoned this position. DJV openly  received instructions from JVP.

The head of the DJV was Keerthi Wijebahu”. Keerthi Wijebahu was the pseudonym of Saman Piyasiri Fernando leader of the military wing.. There was also another military wing, Deshapremi Sannadha Balakaya also under Keerthi Wijayabahu.

DJV  consisted of full time members, they had a cell structure. Communicating between one cell and another was  tightly controlled, so that even if one was caught he could not give info on more than ten members. Many gave  useless information  and stayed silent under extreme pressure when caught.

DJV   used the army. Soldiers who went on leave were used to attack security force installations.  Some were asked to desert and bring a weapon with them. DJV also roped in  those who were  suspended from the army.  The three who started the JVP  military campaign in south  were three deserters from the army in the north. DJV also used common criminals  and contract killers.

The DJV carried out a large number of murders. It killed more than 70 Members of Parliament between July 1989 and November 1989. The DJV murdered probably thousands of people, said analysts. Killings took place in both urban and rural areas . DJV targeted opponents.  On December 15, 1986, the DJV abducted and murdered Daya Pathirana, the leader of the Independent Students’ Union (ISU) of the Colombo University, which was a rival students’ union.. analysts see this as the significant starting point of  political assassinations.

Executions were mostly carried out at night with armed groups entering homes of victims and carrying them away to be tortured and executed. Occasional bombings also took place. Funerals of these victims were not allowed to be held.  Traditional final rights were not allowed and the caskets had to be carried below the knee level as a mark of disrespect.

There was also   a JVP Bhikkhu death squad called Kudahapola Balakaya, operating in the JVP insurrection in 1980s. These were Buddhist monks who were also terrorists.  At night they would done civilian clothes and go out and commit murders and as monks would do the last rights later on, said Chandraprema.

 JVP Killings

JVP killed 1342 government supporters, 353 government servants, 250 policemen, 284 policemen, 163 servicemen, and 80 home guards. 3 university dons, 2 education officers, 44 principals of schools, and 57 teachers. They destroyed 430 post offices, 78 DDC offices, 59 GA/AGA offices, and 59 agrarian centers, 17 Superintendants of estates were killed.

JVP assassinated some senior monks as well. They  included Pohaddaramulle Pemaloka, Thambugala Sumanasiri, Vellatota Pannadassi and Kotikawatte Sadhatissa.

Many civilians including a cultivation officer in Anamaduwa, cooperative chairmen of Weuda and a CTB driver were killed   these killings were all in Sinhala areas JVP also killed surrendering JVP cadres. They killed two families of surrendered cadres in Anuradhapura. Heads of some  people who were slain were arranged around the Peradeniya University pond.

Wasantha Bandara  General Secretary of the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) JVP assassin Lionel Ranasinghe widely believed to be responsible for at least 41 targeted high-profile killings. Ranasinghe’s victims included Sri Lanka Mahajana Pakshaya (SLMP) leader Vijaya Kumaratunga, Professor Stanley Wijesundera, Director, CID, Terrence Perera, UNP General Secretary Nandalal Fernando and UNP Colombo Municipal Council member Jayantha Mallimarachchi. Sub Inspector of Police T.C.D. Rajapaksa attached to the Counter Subversive Unit (CSU), Narahenpita police. Lionel Ranasinghe shot him at Ambagahapura, Maharagama on Sept 22, 1988. .

Here is a list of some persons killed.

   GOVERNMENT RESPONSE.

From 1987 to 1989, the JVP was able to dominate the country. On December 12, 1988, 170 JVP detainees escaped after breaching the prison walls in two simultaneous operations launched outside and within the prison. It stunned the UNP Government.

But the attitude changed in 1989. The government decided not to give in. When Thevis Guruge, head of SLBC was assassinated in 1989 for ignoring the threats of the JVP, security forces took charge of the Radio and Television Stations. The news was read by armed service personnel. 

The government under President Premadasa responded militarily in 1989. The army and police started shooting suspected JVPers and their families and burning their houses. In Kandy road barriers were put up at night time,   in places like Lewella. 

At mid-year, 1989 the Government began a massive crackdown on the JVP. It detained several thousand JVP suspects. By the end of the year, security forces had captured or killed much of the JVP’s top leadership.” Anti JVP operations of government   after July 1989 were effective and sophisticated. Impact felt only after August 1989. 

Initially there were five intelligence agencies working on JVP .They were National Intelligence Bureau, Counter Subversive Unit, Colombo Detective Bureau, Military Intelligence and Operations Combine . They could not function effectively because there were political barriers,   bureaucratic intervention, and operation  difficulties, said Gunaratna. He does not give further information on the subject.

Earlier  the Secretary Defence, Joint Operations Command and the army  could give orders for Ops Combine. Army now asked for and obtained full  control of Ops Combine .   Ops combines restructured. Under single authority,  troops better deployed , a new intelligence unit set up and Rapid deployment force was given specialist tasks.  Cops combine was to capture special targets covertly.  Ops combine  in Colombo was  given a lot of security forces. 

War against the JVP was a hit-job war. It was not superior weapons or training or numerical strength, it was accurate information and element of surprise. It was not difficult to kill off the JVP , observed Chandraprema.. A lot of work was also done by police.

The operations were  carried out by platoon commanders and corporal s .  Specially trained to work in small numbers army detachments were sent into jungles and villages throughout Sri Lanka . Troops moved light, often out of tents in mini groups. Most of the time they were out on operations moved by foot, keeping enemy under pressure, They divided into three, guard group to guard camp,  reinforcement group, and deep penetrating group. JVP now deterred from using small number attacking patrols,  forces also operated in small  numbers

Troops checked vehicles day and night. There were cordon and search operations as well. Sudden road blocks were  set up  every time at  different  places . Troops  were positioned there and also undercover . Troops in civil  were also at bus stand, tea boutiques and eating houses, trailing suspicious persons, keeping watch on houses.  They also engaged in ambushes, these were done mostly at night after 10 pm and would last till early hours of dawn.  Persons were picked up late in night or early morning.

Operations teams isolated themselves from the rest and kept mum about their work. Army used code words and were vigilant about infiltration.   Army watched soldiers when they went on leave.

 The teams were also asked to obtain public support. To encourage information from public, ask them identify infiltrators  and to indicate land mines. The teams were told that  they should go out and patrol impressively with canopy removed from the truck. They should give the  public confidence.

From August 1989 reprisal killings against JVP became common. Bodies began to appear on road daily. 16 decapitated heads were placed around the pond in University of Peradeniya . JVP had killed three army families in Anuradhapura . In retaliation, decapitated heads appeared on stakes, all over Anuradhapura district.

 Private armed groups emerged to counter JVP terrorism. JVP were killed by private vigilante groups,  such as  Black Panthers, Yellow Scorpions and the People’s Revolutionary Red Army, PRRA.

When JVP issued death  threats,   these vigilante groups issued counter threats. Posters appeared which said ape ekata thope dolahak.” The ‘Deshapremi Sinhala tharuna Peramuna’ circulated a letter to JVP.

This letter said  Dear father/ mother/ sister, your son, / brother/ husband has taken the lives of mothers like you, also sisters and innocent children.  They have killed the family members of heroic Sinhala soldiers who fought the Tamil tigers to protect the motherland.  Is it not justified  to put you also to death? Be  ready to die. May you attain Nirvana. Sgd Patriotic Youth Front. ( abridged )

Estates  employed private defence groups known as Green Tigers.  JVP had killed 17 estate superintendants. Lawyers who took up the causes of JVPers were also killed by these vigilantes. It was not possible for the security forces to  protect all threatened persons, so they encouraged the creation of these vigilance groups and provided them with shot guns. Political parties were given repeater shot guns for their protection.

By October, 1989  it became clear that although the JVP was still in a position to organize strikes and hit out at key state installations, its capacity to seize  state power had weakened considerably. It was running out of weapons and manpower. The fact that the JVP had been unable to kill more than 20 people from the ceasefire on 27th to the end of September, was an indication of their limited  strength. ·

Government of Sri Lanka eventually defeated the JVP. Intelligence cells  set up in police stations, had  good penetration and advance information  was received on JVP activities. The government set up the Operation Combine ,  the Joint Operations of the armed forces(“Ops Combine”) . in  July 1989 Ops Combine underwent certain changes. The Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) was given specific tasks and a new intelligence service unit was formed. One of the concepts of the “Ops Combine” was the capture of special targets secretly. 

In 1988 a large section of the elite was willing to bend over backwards to accommodate the JVP, but in 1989 JVP’s excesses had upset them. The Government was therefore able to obtain help from a wide spectrum of society including the opposition parties and particularly the Left in crushing the JVP. The Government was thus able to deploy methods from the crudest to the highly sophisticated.  They used persons who knew to handle different groups of people accordingly, said Rajan Hoole.

When the security forces and the vigilante groups launched an offensive against the JVP, younger monks were very vulnerable as they had been identified for having spearheaded public agitations. Many monks gave up robes, some died or disappeared.  By early 1990, there were 45 Buddhist monks, mostly university students, in detention camps. Some had surrendered. They criticized the JVP for misleading them and started supporting the government. Their statements were given wide publicity in the media.

Analysts had had much to say about the state operation against the JVP.  Certain analysts were more upset about the state killings than the JVP killings. This period, according to observers was as bad as the JVP offensive. Death squads were dominant and the government allowed them to function. . There seemed to be no difference between State armed forces and secret death squads. Both had only two objectives: eliminating subversives and injecting as much fear in the public mind as possible. As a result of this double violence the highest number of killings in Sri Lanka took place in August 1989.  , the target list of the JVP had also expanded at this time.

 Death squads and Joint Operations did not hesitate to take away any youths from their homes and no complaint was accepted by the police or army posts regarding those youths. The authorities kept quiet about the abductions and investigations were closed after the abductions took place.  Strict censorship of the mass-media prevented any coverage of events. On the whole, the result was terror and near-anarchy in the country.  

From August 1989 onwards, reprisal killings against the JVP became a regular feature. Bodies began to appear on road sides. Bullet riddled and burnt bodies were a common sight in rivers, wells, pits and by the road sides. That was the only evidence about how many youths were abducted per night.

A section of the JVP cadres made use of the ceasefire declared by the government over a period of three weeks and surrendered to the armed forces. The government announced that over 7,200 were under detention for involvement with the JVP.

In October 1989, Raja Mahattaya, the Colombo district division number two leader, was arrested. From information the army received from Raja Mahattaya and from others, they were able to trace D M Ananda to the Ratnapura area. His arrest was a major breakthrough for the government.

D.M.Ananda was the functionary number 1 in the JVP . He was also the political cum military leader of the Colombo/Sabaragamuwa area, the leader of the bhikkhu, women’s and workers’ fronts and the leader of the Jathika Kmart Satan Madyathanaya. These  made him the single most powerful person in the organization.”

Ananda was held in the Mattegoda army camp, where he divulged that Araliya Estate in Galaha was the group’s headquarters in the region. A special operations team of the army arrested Piyadasa Ranasinghe and H B Herat in Galaha. they were JVP leaders who met Rohana Wijeweera frequently.

Under interrogation, they told army investigators the whereabouts of Wijeweera and a few hours later Wijeweera was arrested at Ulapane, Kandy, at the estate bungalow where he lived, masquerading as a planter under the name of Attanayake. The next day, Upatissa Gamananayake, who was the General Secretary of the JVP, was also captured. He was captured in Panadura, where he was running a small shop under the pseudonym of Dias.

By November  1989 Rohana Wijeweera  and  12 of  the 13 JVP Politbureau members  were arrested. The only  Politbureau member to survive was Somawansa Amarasinghe who had fled the country as soon as the first arrest took place. ( continued)


[1] Central Committee Members were  Gamini Wijegunasekera, Kandewatte, Amarasiri, Lionel Fernando, Ragama Some, Upali Jayaweera, Norman Manawadu, Ananda Idagama, Ruwan, Jayatilaka. Palitha, Jude Anthnny, Mirigama Chandare, P. Thangarajah, Gamini Jayalath, Beligalla Siriwardene, Aruna Wijesuriya, Gunapala Satharasinghe, Ariyasena, Piyasena Ramanayake, Dharmawardhana Munasinghe, Indraratne, Samaranayake, Algiriye Munasinghe, Y.M. Aheyratne, K.G. Jinadasa, Sirimal, Ranjitham Gunaratnam and  Kitulagoda. 

[2] The Zonal Leaders were 1.Western/Saharagamuwa Zone Political Secretary: D.M. Ananda Military Secretary: Saman Piyasiri Fernando 2. Central Zone Political Secretary: Piyadas:1 Ranasinghe Military Secretary: H.B. Herath 3. Rajarata Zone Political Secretary: Lalith Wijeratne Military Secretary: Lalith Wijeratne 4. Southern Zone Political Secretary: Upatissa Gamanayake Military Secretary: Upatissa Gamanayake 5. Uva/Eastern Zone Political Secretary: Shantha Bandara Military Secretary: H.B. Herath( godahewa probably)

[3] Distdct Secretaries D.M. Ananda (Colombo), Dharmawardana Munasinghe (Gampaha), P.K.B.A. Indraratne (Kegalle), Mahinda (Puttalam), Upali Jayaweera (Kandy), Dhammika ldamegama (Matale), Ranjitham Gunaratnam (Kurunegale), Wimalaratne (Kalutara), S.K. Jayatilaka (Galle), Gamini Wijegunesekera (Matara), Ariyasena (Hambantota), Sumeda (Polonnaruwa), Tissa (AnUradhapura), Premakumar (Trincomalee), Shantha Bandara (Nuwara-Eiiya), Amarasiri (Badulla) and Kandewatte (Monaragale

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One Response to “ERASING THE EELAM VICTORY PT 17 C 5a”

  1. dingiri bandara Says:

    The JVP assassinated only prominent Sinhalese while the LTTE assassinated Tamil leaders, even ones that supported them. Can’t say if of the assassination of the racist Tamil leaders was a loss to the country. The assassination of the Sinhalese, I however, Believe, was a great loss. The assassination Mr Kadirgamar , however, was a great loss.

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