The rebel JVP faction yesterday accused the government of taking its elusive leader Premakumara Gunaratnam into custody along with another senior cadre, Dimuthu Attygalle, in the run up to the launch of a new political outfit on April 9.
Udul Premaratne of the dissident group told The Sunday Island that both Gunaratnam and Attygalle were missing and were believed to be arrested by security authorities.
A senior defence official denied the allegation that the two JBVP rebels were in custody. In fact, there hadn’t been any indication of Gunaratnam returning to the country, though his wife was some time ago detained at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) and released after recording her statement, the official said.
The wife was quoted as having told the police that she wasn’t aware of the whereabouts of Gunaratnam.
Former JVP firebrand, Wimal Weerawansa told The Sunday Island that the rebels were planning to cause political chaos in the country. The National Freedom Front (NFF) leader emphasized that the new faction would do whatever possible to undermine the incumbent government as part of its overall strategy to facilitate external intervention in domestic politics.
The Island: What is happening in the JVP? Speculation is rife that the party is facing an unprecedented crisis due to a section of the party seeking to register a new party, thereby causing irrevocable damage.
Weerawansa: The JVP is on the verge of collapse. In the near future, it will be irrelevant in the domestic political scene, with the so-called rebels with the support of external elements taking control of the grass-root level organization.
We switched our allegiance to the UPFA in early April 2008, after failing to convince the party that they should unconditionally support the offensive against the LTTE, regardless of whatever differences over other contentious issues. Those who are now poised to register a political party of their own are working overtime with Western powers to destabilize the country. They pose a considerable threat to political stability.
Although they cooperate with those pursuing the LTTE’s strategy to divide the country on ethnic lines, their aim is not separation, but political chaos and instability to pave the way for external intervention for a post-war regime change.
In spite of the rebels indicating their leader Premakumara Gunaratnam coming on stage at the forthcoming launch of the party, he’ll not make an appearance. Instead, Senadeera Gunathilake, alias Opatha Mahattaya, is now expected to be elected as the General Secretary of the party, which will compete with the TNA for Tamil votes in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
Premakumara Gunaratnam, whose brother, Ranjitham Gunaratnam died at the hands of security forces during the 1989 insurgency, is likely to remain underground. The new party is likely to have control of the student movement, thereby further weakening the JVP. Actually, the JVP is now divided into three groups, with two taking positions opposed to each other, whereas the original party remains engulfed in a political mess.