Strange bedfellows!

The JVP has taken up cudgels for the ousted Ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathy Suriaarachchi on the grounds that they worked tirelessly to ensure President Mahinda Rajapakse’s victory and supported the Mahinda Chinthnaya. The JVP faults the President for lacking gratitude. Gratitude, as we know, is a rare commodity in politics, where there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies but only permanent interests. The JVP, however, hasn’t risen in support of Anura.

True, Anura didn’t throw his weight behind Mahinda during the presidential election campaign and thus forfeited his right to premiership. But, the fact remains that Anura was one of the few Sri Lanka Freedom Party stalwarts who campaigned hard for forging an alliance with the JVP in 2004, despite heavy fire they came under from many SLFP heavyweights including Mahinda, who was all out to torpedo a political partnership with the JVP. But for that alliance, the JVP would never have secured 38 seats, which have helped it become the third political force. Strangely, the JVP is not being grateful to Anura at the hour of his need. Gratitude, eh?

In the early 1990s, Chandrika helped the JVP in no small measure, despite many atrocities that it had perpetrated against her and her family in the late 1980s. She even had to flee the country following her husband Vijaya’s assassination because of JVP threats. However, she was magnanimous enough to help the outfit at a time when it was languishing in the political wilderness. Perhaps, the JVP would still have been in hiding, if she hadn’t facilitated its re-entry into the political mainstream. Was the JVP ever grateful to her?

Never mind gratitude, what about principles? The JVP claims to be a principled party. It claims to be a party that abhors terrorism. (Who doesn’t know that?) It is urging the government to abrogate the CFA and declare total war against the LTTE. Well, it is entitled to its views, though it has not yet outgrown its revolutionary myopia. The JVP has taken upon itself the burden of protecting the country and takes on anyone suspected to be sympathetic to the LTTE. Look at the way it has waged a propaganda war against a private TV channel, which, it claims, is biased towards the LTTE. It wants the Norwegian facilitators booted out for their partiality to the LTTE. But, strangely, mum’s the word on the part of the JVP, where certain publications, which are alleged to be sympathetic to the LTTE, are concerned. Worse, it is supportive of the very politicians who are said to be behind them!

One of the reasons that the President has given for sacking Mangala is that he didn’t do enough against the LTTE internationally, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was also involved in Sudu Nelum and Sama Thavalama campaigns, which were anathema to the JVP, during the Kumaratunga regime. Mangala still makes no bones about his belief that negotiations are the best way to resolve the conflict. He has accused the President of having placed the country on a dangerous course! He has sided with former President Kumaratunga, who went hell for leather to grant a Joint Mechanism (JM) to the LTTE to share tsunami relief. It was in protest against her JM move that the JVP left the UPFA government and sat with the Opposition. Chandrika, who persistently advocates the JM, is on all fours with the UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who signed the CFA, which the JVP wants scrapped.

The question is how the JVP can support Mangala, who is a member of the Devolution Camp, which is enamoured of a federal solution. How can the JVP reconcile its support for Mangala with its opposition to federalism? If the JVP is supporting him because he was an architect of the SLFP-JVP alliance—which is true—then a logical conclusion is that it is being hypocritical. For, it doesn’t mind supporting even an advocate of federalism, if he is politically useful.

If the JVP is not supporting Anura simply because he didn’t subscribe to the Mahinda Chinthanaya, then how can it justify its support to Mangala, who has sided with not only Anura but also his sister Chandrika who went all out to defeat Mahinda, the eponym of Mahinda Chinthanaya at the 2005 Presidential Election?

On the other hand, how can the JVP take up the cause of a group which stands accused of undermining the authority of the President, who is fighting the LTTE? By extending its support to Mangala and others, isn’t the JVP furthering the cause of the Devolution Camp, albeit indirectly?

Thus, we see that the JVP is not what it claims to be—a principled political entity devoid of hypocrisy? It seems to have gone the same way as the two main political parties which don’t care two hoots about principles.

Of the emerging alliance between the hawkish JVP and the SLFP dissidents who represent the Devolution Camp, we have only this to say: Strange bedfellows!

via .. The Island



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Posted on February 14, 2007, in Sri Lanka and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Strange bedfellows!.

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