The month of July had been the hallmark of several ill-fated days in Sri Lanka. It was in July 1980 that several thousand workers were ruthlessly dismissed for demanding a measly wage increase of Rs. 10 which subsequently forced thousands of those victimized workers to commit suicide. The self-proclaimed leader of working class Lalkantha pompously claimed that life in Sri Lanka will be brought to a halt and the government will be forced to kneel down on July 10th..

When the terrorist proxy TNA also joined the fray and the terrorist leader blessed the strike of the JVP-UNP-TNA combine, Lalkantha became further hawkish and vowed in Parliament on the 9th “Mama mage manthreekama athharino, wruththeeya samithi nayakathwayath athharino, heta CTB eka Langama bus NATHARAKARE NATTHANG” (I would relinquish my MP status, relinquish Trade Union leadership if the CTB, the Langama buses were not stopped tommorrow) the people feared a potential horrendous blood bath on July 10th. It was in such a dismal situation, the heroic and patriotic working class intelligently grasped the vicious conspiracy of the despicable JVP-UNP-TNA combine to destabilize the government, demoralise the security forces skilfully foiled the Thunputtu Conspiracy admirably displaying their determination to join the masses to support the security forces in their brilliant effort to end the terrorist menace.

The JVP continue to hold overestimation of the mandate given by the masses in the 2004 General Election for them to be a part of the government and naively believe on the contrary that it was a mandate given to them to act on their own. Despite their claim to political astuteness their haughty manners obsess them from understanding the people’s true aspirations. They posses a false belief that people hold them in great credence and people, especially the youth and the working class would unreservedly oblige them, blindly acknowledge their proposals and heed their calls for any sort of action.

This is what that made the politically immatured and haughty headed Lalkantha to overestimate his capacity and erroneously believe that he could play pandu with the working class of this nation who are patriotic and love the nation over and above their personal welfare unlike their treacherous new found allies UNP and TNA holding dearly to agendas for the destruction of this country and help the terrorists.

Although the strike undoubtedly was a complete failure, Mr. Lalkantha refusing to grasp the reality, still claims that 70% of the working class struck work on Friday. This hilarious claim was self defeating and its absurdity was evident to anyone..

There was no break down in electricity and water supplies, there was no work stoppage in the ports, schools functioned as normal with few teachers remaining absent including those belonging to pro-Terrorist TNA union, Hospitals throughout the country functioned normal except for some non-essential minor staff remaining absent, trains worked on normal schedule packed with commuters as usual, SLTB busses operated in all routes, challenging Mr. Lalakantha to fulfil his vow in the Parliament. It is also reported that the CTB operated 127 additional busses on Friday. Private buses too operated as normal with the usual haste to overtake each other, the Government Departments and other services too, including the distribution of petroleum functioned normally without any interruption. It was amazing to note that the JVP Tissamaharama Pradeshiya Sabha was reported to have functioned normally without any one being on strike.

However, some workers of the 660 Unions Mr. Lalkantha claimed would participate were reported to have joined the strike. They included some Estate workers, Health Services Minor Unions and the sorting staff of the Postal Department and their work stoppage did not make any significant impact to make the government to kneel down as threatened by Mr. Lal Kantha.

Contrary to the horrendous and brutal cycle-chain, club and sword attacks carried out by the UNP government goons (mainly by the JSS and UNP patronised Thugs and underground elements) at the time of the 1980 General Strike killing Somapala and injuring scores of others including Trade Union leaders admitting them in ICU Wards the complete freedom given by the Government for the working class to exercise their trade union rights, if they desired, is indeed praiseworthy and is of historical significance.

The total freedom of action given by the Government shattered all insidious and hidden motives of the UNP and TNA gameplan of joining the strike which was primarily to cause disturbance in the country, harass the innocent masses, and pave the way to arrest the war and even foreign intervention. The Thunputtu Kalliya anticipated that the government would use force against the strikers that may result in death and injuries so that they could market the incident as another act of so-called human rights violation. It was the very reason the “foreign sales agent” Ranil Wickremasinghe urged the JSS goons to join the strike. The Government proved by its deeds that it is not a Government of heartless Urbanite, Elite Clans but a worker-friendly Government committed to emancipation of the poor,

In the meantime, it should be condemned by everyone the attacks and disruptive activities carried out by the organisers of the strike. In Kandy an ambulance driver named Hemasiri Jayawardene has been assaulted with a sword attempting to kill him for rejecting the strike call. This driver is severely wounded and is fighting for his life in the ICU ward of the Kandy hospital. Attempts had been made to derail trains by placing concrete slabs in the rail track at Beruwela, Hettipola and Rambukkana, Further, railway signal installations have been destroyed at Aluthgama, Beruwela and Gintota. Passengers travelling from Kurunegala in the train had been splashed with burnt diesel oil (Kaluthel). In some other incidents tyres of SLTB busses have been deflated. These acts confirm that the objective of the strike was not related to employment grievances but to cause destruction and mayhem in the country.

The JVP, which has shamelessly abandoned the cause of supporting our gallant security forces and condemning of the terrorists, having entered into a partnership with the very outfit UNP which it used to call as “the anti national outfit and foreign puppets (Videsha Hasthaya)” should come out from its self-imposed shell and represent the masses that elected their Parliamentarians, majority of those who voted for them in fact were SLFPers.

The fact that it was with the votes of SLFPers, and the absurd PR System that most of the JVP Parliamentarians, and Provincial Council Members got elected .It was clearly apparent through foolish bid they made to contest Local Government Elections on their own. If they contested as a coalition with the SLFP accepting the 30 Local Government Councils offered by the President they would be holding the Chairmanship of 30 Local Government Institutions today. Another testimony for them to accept the reality was the fewer number of votes they received in the recent Eastern Province Elections. If the Government candidates succeeded in getting another 144 votes the JVP would have lost the seat they got and would have gone into the history as an “also contested” in that election.

They have no moral right to be with the UNP that brutally murdered over 60,000 youth some of them were for the mere crime of possessing a notice issued by JVP or holding an ID Card with an address from an area where it was considered as a JVP stronghold. There was an incident of two brothers of a traditional UNP family from Matara killed by State Terrorists in Negombo for the crime of possessing such ID Cards.

It is due to some arrogant personalities and pro-UNP elements in the JVP it has got boarded onto a downhill path in its popularity. It betrayed the youth and the rural masses when it contested the Local Government Elections alone and betrayed the working classes by deliberately overriding the working class grievances and demand instead Anti-Terrorist Lobby slogans such as postponing elections, human rights guarantees etc. If Mr. Lalkantha is a honest politicians he had been claiming of he should not delay in fulfilling the vow made in the Parliament last Wednesday.

The true patriotism fearlessly displayed by the working class by their non-participation in the pro-terrorist anti-patriotic strike despite various forms of duress and intimidation should receive the plaudit of everyone as fittingly stated by the President. They in fact are real heroes the whole nation should salute as their alignment with the cause of the gallant security forces averted a major conspiracy floated by the Thunputtu Kalliya

The Government should not allow the great sacrifice made by them to pass over as another incident. They have true grievances and suffer in silence without any means to overcome their problems, while the plunderers, racketeers, and underground elements reign high. They are true patriots and a main stumbling block against the reactionary scoundrels. Maximum efforts should be made by the government to protect, and address the grievances of this important sector at least in the forthcoming budget.

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