Commemorating a Mass Murderer!

| by S. L. Gunasekara

(October 28, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Both the official JVP and its rebel group ‘claim’ to have eschewed violence and/or violent methods of achieving power. However, they, who are now locked in battle one against the other, are at one in desiring to commemorate that arch mass murderer Rohana Wijeweera because according to the news of the day, the two factions of that murderous party seek to have separate meetings/seminars to commemorate the death of Wijeweera.
Where the destruction was concerned, even the `diehards’ of the JVP, (of either faction) do not even contend that Wijeweera sought unsuccessfully to contain its murderous members from going about committing murder left, right, center and middle or that he sought to prevent them from committing robberies and mischief as they were doing.
At this stage it is pertinent to pose the question of what had Wijeweera done for the Country and/or our People or any segment of our People.
Let us, in this context, consider the conduct of Wijeweera and the JVP under his command. That the JVP under his leadership committed mass murder and destruction of property is indisputable. Those who were murdered by them were practically all citizens of the Sinhala race. They, while putting up placards, posters and slogans on the walls calling on all to chase away the Indian army of occupation called the IPKF, did not harm a single hair on the head of a single Indian soldier, but murdered instead Sinhalese postmen, Sinhalese bus drivers and conductors, Sinhalese executives, Sinhalese servicemen and policemen and Sinhalese members of families of those soldiers, of those policemen and other servicemen. Did he, perchance believe that the Indian soldiers on our soil would go away because his followers were murdering Sinhalese citizens? What did he achieve? He was, no doubt, very great at destruction but what is the construction he did? It is axiomatic that no country can grow or blossom by destruction but that it can only do so through construction. What then did Wijeweera do towards constructing anything?
Where the destruction was concerned, even the `diehards’ of the JVP, (of either faction) do not even contend that Wijeweera sought unsuccessfully to contain its murderous members from going about committing murder left, right, center and middle or that he sought to prevent them from committing robberies and mischief as they were doing.
It must here be remembered that the JVP burnt to cinders fleets of buses and numerous factories and thereby deprived the poor people of this Country of their principal mode of transport and their employment. Hardly an owner of a factory suffered as a result of a factory being burnt by the JVP because he was able to recover from insurance the damage caused by such acts of wanton mischief. Those who suffered were the workers, the poor, the underprivileged and the oppressed who lost their employment as a result. The responsibility for all this must lie fairly, squarely and wholly on the monster Wijeweera whom both these factions now seek to commemorate.
When on the frequent occasions on which stalwarts of the JVP seek to defend that party against the allegations of these atrocities which come a reasonably close second to those committed by the LTTE, their answer is that this kind insensate violence was forced on them by J R Jayewardene.
This is plainly nonsensical. There can no doubt, that J R Jayewardene was to blame and responsible for banning the JVP wrongly, on the advice of the then IGP Ernest Perera who obviously gave reports designed to please JRJ. However, when the JVP had a genuine grievance against J R Jayewardene and possibly his government, how was it necessary for them to go about slaughtering postmen, bus drivers, bus conductors and even patients in hospitals including patients in the Lady Ridgeway Hospital by calling strikes in them and preventing those patients from getting treatment? How is it that ordinary civilians of this country had to suffer because of the manifest iniquities of J R Jayewardene and his government by being compelled to switch off their lights and thereby preventing their children from studying for examinations and so on except by candle light or with the light of highly dangerous bottle lamps?
The fact of the matter is that the JVP and their purportedly brave activists who are referred to as the “heroes” were dead scared of Jayewardene and shivered in their boots at the very thought of seeking to conduct an operation against him or any of those who were obviously responsible for the wholly unjust banning of the JVP.
Is the conduct of the JVP in this regard any different from that of the LTTE?
Just as must as Velupullai Prabhakaran was the biggest curse the Tamils in particular had ever encountered, so also was Rohana Wijeweera the biggest curse the Sinhalese in particular had ever encountered.
Thus, similar questions to those we posed to Prabhakaran and those apologists for the LTTE both at home and abroad are pertinent to raise vis-à-vis Wijeweera. Thus, just as much as neither the LTTE nor any of its apologists have been able to explain why it was necessary for the LTTE to murder Muslims worshipping in their mosques, working in their fields or sleeping in their homes because of the alleged iniquities of the government comprised mainly of Sinhalese, the JVP has yet been unable to and not even attempted to explain how it became necessary to murder Sinhalese civilians in employment in minor capacities such as bus drivers, postmen, bus conductors and so on because the person occupying the highest position in the State J R Jayewardene together with his cohorts in office, most unjustly and inequitably banned the JVP.
In these circumstances what is the meaning of these commemoration ceremonies? Wijeweera was clearly an ogre who must be condemned by the people of this Country as a whole: who must be remembered only as a traitor whom no one must follow or emulate (let us not forget that Wijeweera was one who supported the call of the LTTE for a separate State).
The only persons who would genuinely want to commemorate him are those who desire to follow his murderous path. Is that what the two factions of the JVP desire?
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Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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