By Anuradha Herath
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader, Chief Opposition Whip and Member of Parliament Anura Kumara Dissanayake says, “Our strongest objections are against the present corrupt Government. The battle against the present administration’s crimes, corruption and frauds should not permit the corrupt persons who were involved in previous frauds to come to power. We will not allow the previous corrupt administration to gain power, by criticising the misdemeanours of the present administration, as a means to power. We are attacking both factions at the same time.”
The JVP has entered the election battle with a group of educated intellectuals and artistes who are not connected to politics. However, with the public being used to a conventional election system, will this method be fail?
A: We have many objectives from this Local Government Elections. We will take our message to the public with the focus on building a powerful people force, in the long term. The second objective is to fulfil aspirations of the people by winning the LG elections and through those bodies. What is important here is instead of traditional, hereditary politics knowing that people from various sectors of society are essential for politics.
The biggest problem is their silence.
A: There is an accusation that the JVP is using professionals and the student community to their advantage?
This is not a task that has been assigned only to us of the JVP; it is a common social responsibility to build our country through a common people’s campaign. Without a strong movement it will not be possible to do it. They too should be shareholders not mere observers of politics.
Most of these people who take to your platforms also say that they have criticisms about the JVP?
A: We believe that most people could have agreements regarding certain things; they may not be Party members. There are no responsibilities only for the Party. We have a general agreement among us. We have common requirements. We can forget the small differences from those among us and engage in politics.
The United National Party says that they will get more than 50 per cent votes and be the winners and the Mahinda faction is saying the same thing. Different factions are expressing varied views about their voter base. Where is the JVP base?
A: From this election campaign we expect to win several objectives. The biggest expectation is for a JVP leader to emerge from every village and JVP activism to be strengthened. We expect an extra special victory. With the current situation there is great propaganda. We do not engage in illogical politics that take into account statistics. We can see the results after the tenth.
Are you not looking into statistics as you know about the people‘s result?
A: No. We only have a battle of ideologies and not a battle of figures. We accept that we have won an ideological victory that is not declared through election results. When we talked of our resistance to corruption some took to blunt swords against corruption.
This small election, unlike no other in history, has become an election to topple the Government?
A: This has become a land mark election campaign. With the defeat, Rajapaksa politics is faced with an unstable situation. Also, this is an election being held after Ranil’s Government has been in power for three years; an election that will test the good and the bad. Maithri-Ranil election battle is fought on a rock. The JVP is working on the basis of ‘Come or go Chicago’ with the focus on building a broad people’s force by 2020.
The most powerful topic on the election platform is the Bond Fraud. As a powerful figure who very unwaveringly reveals fraud and corruption, what does Anura Kumara Dissanayake feel about how the Bond Fraud will turn out?
A: I do not believe in any way that the political leaders who engaged in these Bond Transactions will be punished in any way.
How can you make such a pre-judgement?
A: Has any Minister been imprisoned for fraud since 1970? Does that mean that not even one minister engaged in theft? No, they did steal. When every Government was chased away, everyone shouted about fraud and corruption on political platforms.
However, after gaining power, they provide very good protection for these fraudsters. In a country where a Minister has not been imprisoned for 70 years, I don’t believe, that a Prime Minister would be put in jail.
Previously various commissions were appointed on different matters. The Bandaranaike Commission, the Vijaya Kumaratunga Commission, and especially the Batalanda Commission which was of great importance to you are among them. No action was taken at all, though. Will the same thing happen to the Bond Commission?
A: No government has ever punished top politicians who were involved in those murders. Therefore, I doubt whether punishment will be meted out according to this Report either. However, as a political campaign, we will put strong pressure in Parliament to get the corrupt persons punished.
The UNP is saying let us be allowed to develop the villages in the same way we developed the country, within the past three years. What is your comment?
A: They came to power to catch the fraudsters and they developed fraudsters, they came to give good governance but developed a built them up, during the three years of Ranil’s rule what they did was engage in fraud and theft. They came to bring about good governance and built up a distorted administration; Ranil Wickremesinghe was the most unsuccessful leader. If such an unsuccessful leader is given the control of Local Government bodies, the people should realize what sort of a fate will befall them.
Why is the JVP so scared of the Mahinda Rajapaksa camp?
A: Of course we are not!
But I see that Rajapaksa is scared now. It was apparent through his document of three and a half pages of reproaches that were devoid of any truth. Why should we be scared of this Parliamentarian from Kurunegala, when, we didn’t fear him when he was in power and his younger brother was the Defence Secretary, who was heading the Army in the North, when media personnel were being assassinated, we did not get scared of Rajapaksa.
Why does the JVP who says that the Government is corrupt, not first attack the corrupt Government?
A: Why not, it is we in the JVP, who else is attacking?
While targeting the larger percentage of your allegations against the Rajapaksa regime, only as an add-on, are you all referring to the good and bad qualities of the Government?
A: Our strongest objections are against the present corrupt Government. The battle against the present administration’s crimes, corruption and frauds should not permit the corrupt persons who were involved in previous frauds to come to power. We will not allow the previous corrupt administration to gain power, by criticising the misdemeanours of the present administration, as a means to power. We are attacking both factions at the same time.
There is an accusation that a leader who is roaming around Temple Trees, came through the JVP?
A: Where was that mentioned? Whoever, says that, tell them to tell straight. We know that various journalists and media institutions have various objectives.
We do not consider media institutions or journalists as being pure and without agendas. Some have extremely destructive political needs and design news and criticisms to achieve these, and we have replied to those. A newspaper which calls itself a national, once, published such a criticism and had to even kneel before JVP. What these criticisms depict is how weak the enemies are.
It is correct that the JVP criticizes the Government in public; however, I need a clear answer to the allegation that the JVP is a Government stakeholder.
A: As soon as Maithripala became President on 8 January 2015, Parliament convened and Ranil was appointed the Prime Minister.
At that time Ranil had 42 Parliamentary seats. Mahinda had 142. Why was Ranil given the post of Prime Minister when Mahinda had 142? At that time if the JVP had 142 seats we would not have given up the Prime Ministerial Post. Giving that up itself was a wrongdoing.
Are you saying that there was a deal there?
A: They gave the Premiership to Ranil and sat in the Opposition like kittens. The post of Prime Minister was given up to save themselves. At the same time, Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over the Party in two weeks to Maithripala Sirisena who gave up the Party and fought against the candidate who contested from the SLFP, and won. Why was that? That was to save himself from Maithri. It is these people who have been tamed like kittens. At the same time various people, to escape from various accusations kept contact with the Prime Minister. This happened so much so that people, who were never even considered able to do such a thing, engaged in it, bewildering even the Mahinda faction. We have evidence to prove that they have met the Prime Minister who is the most powerful person who is standing up on behalf of that camp in the Gampaha District, meeting them from time to time.
President invited 96 UPFA Parliamentarians to join him, if they wished to?
A: If Maithripala Sirisena says that a government will be formed with the same group which was defeated on 8 January, what is apparent is that he is going back on his promises. We do not care whether a government will be established with those 96 or with Ranil Wickremesinghe. These are three factions of the same camp.
The former Propaganda Secretary of your Party Wimal Weerawansa says that after 10 February, the JVP will go to hell?
A: He is already stewing in hell in this world; there is no point in talking about the next world!
As the JVP is receiving Euros, Dollars and Yen, it seems as if the JVP has forgotten its days of Till Campaigns?
A: Even today our supporters collect funds for us. It is the JVP which has the biggest network abroad. At the same time those who have trust in the political campaign of the JVP, as well as many people in Sri Lanka who appreciate us, make financial contributions. We are a campaign that depend on funds from the people.