Posted on October 2nd, 2022


The third eruption of JVP violence was in May, 2022 when they burned down houses of politicians. This was the first time that JVP had engaged in arson on this scale, but this was not the first time JVP had burnt houses. They did it during the 1971 insurgency too.

Neville Jayaweera reported that in 1971, JVP controlled Madukanda, a village   in Vavuniya. From there, JVP made regular incursions into town and torched school buildings and buses.  In 1988 JVP burned down JR Jayewardene’s holiday home in Mirissa, “Red cliffs”, with all the antique furniture in it.

JVP hotly denied in Parliament that they were responsible for the arson attacks on houses in May 2022.  Anura Kumara Dissanayake told the House, that after returning to democratic politics in 1994, the JVP had never responded with violence. None of the arrested in connection to the attacks so far are from the JVP, he said.

MPs obstructed Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s speech. MPs started shouting various allegations at Dissanayake. A tense situation arose in Parliament  Some Parliamentarians began calling Dissanayake a murderer and blaming him for the violence.

MP Arundika Fernando said that the IGP had said that out of the some 400 arrested over the recent violence, around 150 of them were JVP members. JVP wrote to the IGP requesting a clarification on this allegation. JVP also asked for an appointment with the IGP to find out the truth behind the allegations against the JVP.

However, most people are certain that it is the JVP. The general opinion is that the JVP were behind the all island arson. The group I was watching television with, including domestics, promptly exclaimed, ‘this is JVP’, when television news showed the houses burning. That is what everybody is saying, said a   friend who rang me later.

Sunday Times spoke to several MPs whose properties were attacked. Many said it was  JVP and  Frontline Socialist Party (FSP), together with personal and political enemies who were out to settle scores.  Island reported that MPs said that the JVP and its offshoot the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) carried out organized attacks on houses of MPs.  JVP and FSP denied this.

SLPP Digamadulla District MP W.G. Weerasinghe accused local JVP activists of being behind the attack that destroyed his house in Ampara. Weerasinghe claimed the attackers were mainly JVP activists and came from the Gota Go Gama” branch set up in Ampara town. Some even broadcast the attack on Face book Live. A JVP organizer and a JVP Pradeshiya Sabha contestant have been arrested in connection with the burning of his house.

MP Shantha Bandara said that among the mob that had attacked his house there was a prominent JVP activist.  Keheliya Rambukwella said he suspected JVP, FLSP and Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF).  The attackers were wearing helmets and carrying petrol bombs and had come from protest site at Galle Face.

Those who took part in the attack on the residence of Bandula Gunawardena at Nugegoda have been identified through the CCTV footage, police said. Among those identified were a JVP activist and an Inter-University Student Federation member.

Dinesh Gunawardena said in Parliament that his Boralugoda house, as well as other residences of SLPP lawmakers had been ‘mapped out’ earlier. His property had come under aerial surveillance, a few days before the incident. These so-called spontaneous retaliatory attacks were carried out with military precision.Ordinary people could not have carried out countrywide attacks in such an organized manner.  The need to examine the possibility of external conspiracy couldn’t be ruled out.

Most of those whose houses were burnt down were first time parliamentarians or ordinary MPs without ministerial responsibilities, said Dinesh Gunawardena. Nalaka Godahewa said the project was meant to discourage new entrants. Professionals would now think twice before entering politics at any level in the future.

 MP Wimal Weerawansa asked how ordinary people could trace all the properties owned by leading SLPP politician/businessman Johnston Fernando across the country and destroy them overnight. Those living close by to one such property, situated on the exclusive Lake Road Pelawatte, had not known whose house it was till it was attacked, looted and torched. While it was being torched by one set of attackers, people from surrounding areas who converged there had shouted that there were several dogs inside the residence. A helmet clad group who were apparently overseeing the drama from outside had told them that they had already chased away the dogs.

The attackers were very selective when it came to burning houses, observed Shenali Waduge. Houses of SJB and UNP parliamentarians were not touched. The houses of some leading Pohottu MPs, such as Ali Sabry and GL Pieris were also not targeted.

The residences of Mahinda Rajapakse in Tangalle, Medamulana, Carlton House and Kurunegala were burnt down as well as the monument to his father, but President’s residence in Mirihana was not.

In the case of Tamil politicians, only offices were attacked not homes. The office of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) MP, Angajan Ramanathan’s office in Sandilipai, Jaffna, was destroyed. The residences of Douglas Devananda, Cader Masthan and Angajan Ramanathan, as well as those of Batticaloa District Parliamentarians Sathasivam, Viyalendran and Sivanesadurai Chandrakanthan  were given   protection.

However, Batticaloa District Parliamentarian and former Minister Habiz Nazeer Ahamed’s office, shop, garment factory and residence in Eravur town, Batticaloa, were destroyed and set on fire on May 10.

The photographs of the President and the Prime Minister were brought out to the road and set on fire at Podujana Peramuna Batticaloa District Organizer P. Chandrakumar’s office at Kaluwanchikudy and Iruthayapuram.

An organized group has succeeded in brainwashing youths into resorting to violence, said Nimal Lansa. Today’s youth do not know anything of the 71 riots by the JVP, or 88/89 riots by the JVP and have been misled by the JVP again, said W.G Weerasinghe.

These arsons attacks show that JVP has succeeded in   using three separate generations, to destabilize the country. They are the youth of 1971, 1988 and now 2022. The 1970 and 1980 lots were trained to kill. The 2022 lot have been taught to burn and destroy property but without killing people.

They have been taught how to burn down  large, solid, newly built,  spacious multi storey buildings using   petrol bombs.,  This means that Sri Lanka now has a   set of young arsonists, controlled by  a single authority,  poised to strike anywhere in the island  when ordered to do so. This is a new, very dangerous political development.

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