‘Comrade Somawansa Amarasinghe, who had to hide in the wilderness, spend his time in prisons or live abroad under very trying conditions, fulfilled a very magnanimous task. For, he dedicated himself, without any consideration for his own life, for the elevation of the JVP on behalf of the downtrodden masses of this country who have been deprived of justice and fair play. The leadership task he carried out amidst repression, defeats with unrelenting dedication and determination would live among the whole membership of the party and the downtrodden masses in this country,’ states an announcement released by the Political Bureau of the JVP on behalf of the demise of former Leader Comrade Somawansa Amarasinghe.
Comrade Amarasinghe passed away at his brother’s residence at Rajagiriya today (15th) morning.
Full text of the announcement:
Comrade Somawansa Amarasinghe’s service would never be forgotten!
The former Leader of the JVP Comrade Somawansa Amarasinghe passed away today (15th) morning. We, who are saddened by his demise, salute him.
No one can forget the service he rendered bearing the leadership of the JVP for nearly two and a half decades. His mediation in elevating the JVP, the enemy had bragged that it had been wiped out, to the position it enjoys in Sri Lankan society today is laudable. Comrade Amarasinghe, who never abandoned his responsibility towards the party despite the leadership councils had been annihilated during the 88/89 terror period, strived to save the party without any consideration for his own life. As the suppression by the enemy intensified he secretly left the country voluntarily taking over his task on behalf of the downtrodden masses of the Motherland. Comrade Amarasinghe, who lived in foreign countries under very trying conditions and made his travelling bag his party office successfully overcame the vicious conspiracy hatched during the early 90s by various enemies of the party to grab the official ownership of the JVP.
Comrade Somawansa Amarasinghe became a full-time member of the JVP in 1969, contributed in the people’s uprising against state suppression of 1971 and was arrested on 5th April, 1971. He was remanded and according to the judgment in the trial against the JVP in 1974 he was sentenced to 2 years in prison. He joined party building process in 1976 while many others became traitors to the party.
In 1978 Comrade Amarasinghe was elected to the Central Committee of the JVP and was appointed to the Political Bureau in 1984 when the party had been already proscribed since 1983. When Comrade Rohana Wijeweera, the beloved Leader of the party, was assassinated by the enemy Comrade Amarasinghe shouldered the task of rebuilding the party as the only surviving member of the Political Bureau.
Comrade Somawansa Amarasinghe, who had to hide in the wilderness, spend his time in prisons or live abroad under very trying conditions, fulfilled a very magnanimous task. For, he dedicated himself, without any consideration for his own life, for the elevation of the JVP on behalf of the downtrodden masses of this country who have been deprived of justice and fair play. The leadership task he carried out amidst repression, defeats with unrelenting dedication and determination would live among the whole membership of the party and the downtrodden masses in this country. The task of Comrade Somawansa Amarasinghe, who played an unblemished political role for more than 45 years within the JVP, to hand over the JVP to its genuine inheritors and the task he carried out to bring back life to the JVP would never be forgotten.
Comrade Somawansa Amarasinghe, your service carried out on behalf of millions of downtrodden masses in our country will never be forgotten. We salute you.
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna.
Former leader of the JVP Comrade Somawansa Amarasinghe has passed away. He was living at his brother’s house at Rajagiriya when he passed away today (15th) morning.
The funeral arrangements have not been announced yet.
Comrade Wasantha Samarasinghe, Central Committee Member of the JVP visiting Europe at the moment, has addressed a seminar for Sri Lankans living in Switzerland.
The seminar was held yesterday (10th) under the theme ‘National government, good governance and the future of Sri Lanka’.
He is scheduled to address several seminars in the UK and the one in London would be held today (11th).
The government failed to mediate in providing relief or giving protection to the people affected by floods, earth slips and explosion at the ‘Salawa’ armoury. However, the government should immediately mediate to help people who saved themselves from the disasters says the Information Secretary of the JVP Comrade Vijitha Herath speaking at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta today (10th).
The JVP Member of the Western Provincial Council Comrade Lakshman Nipunarachchi also participated.
Comrade Vijitha Herath said, “The armoury at Salawa Army camp exploded on the 6th. As a result people living in the area were shaken. The Army camps as well as houses, hospitals, shops and other building around the camp were extensively damaged. The people, due to the danger to their lives fled to various places. The people escaped danger not due to announcements by the government but due to shock and terror of the explosion. People made a tremendous effort to save their lives. One life was lost. Many lives were saved as the explosion occurred in the evening.
The reason for the incident has not been revealed yet. However, as a result of the incident the people in the area have been subjected to extreme suffering as the armoury was planted in a congested area. With the incident the soldier s in eh camp as well as the residents in the area are confronted with several issues. As a result of sunning away due to fear many have been injured and several had to be hospitalized. Also, there are many who have been injured due to flying debris. Water, food and lodging necessary for people who have saved their lives to live have not been properly provided yet. Whatever authorities say the government has failed to provide essential commodities necessary for the people.
About 300 houses have been completely destroyed due to the explosion. There are also many houses that are partly damaged. The government has not been able to make a correct assessment of the destruction yet. The government instructs residents to go back to their houses. However, people don’t have their houses to go to. The people are also confronted with several issues due to the rainy weather prevailing in the area. Their daily income has broken down. Their vehicles have been damaged. Their shops and boutiques have been destroyed. They have no water to drink or other uses.
As such, an instant mediation is necessary to resolve these issues. When the floods disrupted normal lives of the people we emphasized to the government that it should have a quick mediation to confront special disaster situation. However, the government has failed again to get involved in the disaster situation immediately. An immediate involvement is necessary now regarding housing and food. At a time when the government should fulfill the needs of the people it partitioned eh Army camp by building a wall of zinc sheets around it. The residents were angered as the government neglected the needs of the people to partition the camp.
Also, there are students who were preparing for their scholarship and A/L examinations in the area. Their educational affairs have been completely halted. The government should look into such matter s and immediately mediate. The foremost matter is to establish a center to coordinate all institutions that have to mediate in the matter. At present it is carried out by the Divisional Secretariat. However, the distance from the site of the incident to the Divisional Secretariat is about 6 kilometers. The people cannot be expected to travel 6 kilometers to present their issues. Hence a coordinating office should be immediately established in the area to gather information, provide food and other necessities, protection and for the people to present their issues. The government has not yet explained to the people regarding the current situation. As a result the people are unable to mediate in any matter that is necessary to get their houses newly built or damaged ones repaired.
Despite the government has announced that all those who were affected due to the explosion would be given Rs.50, 000 each, no information has been given to the people when and how it would be given. As such, the people are clueless and distressed. This is why people ask why the government does not intervene in their disaster but allocate billions to bring down vehicles for ministers. The government that allocates Rs.1180 billion to buy vehicles for ministers when a no confidence motions is brought against the Minister of Finance has not fulfilled the needs of the those who were affected by recent floods. People in Aranayaka area where people suffered due to a landslide and people in Colombo and Gampaha districts that suffered from floods are still in camps for the displaced. The government, due to the explosion at Salawa Army camp, has forgotten the people who were affected due to floods. In both these incidents the government failed to provide immediate e relief to the affected.
The government should mediate and an immediate exercise should be launched to provide everything necessary for the people who saved their lives incredibly. The people invite President Maithripala Sirisena to come and have a look at their destroyed houses before he opens the President’s House for the public. All officials of the Ministry of Disaster Management who are spread throughout the island could be called. The personnel of the three forces could be deployed. People cannot build or repair their houses only by giving money. Hence, a special mediation of eh government is necessary to bring relief to these people.
Comrade Lakshman Nipunarachchi speaking at the press conference said, “The residents of Kosgama spent a normal life. They had no preparation for any danger. However, they were confronted with a sudden disaster. The government should be thankful for the people for saving their lives without any aid from the government. The government would have to face a bigger crisis if the people did not act the way they protected themselves. Now there are several issues that prevent them from leading their normal lives. There is no combines programme to resolve issues. The Grama Sevaka does one thing and Samurthi Officers do another. There is no assessment regarding the loss of property, damages to the houses and loss of valuables. People cannot find a house for rent with Rs.50,000 promised by the government. They will have to leave the area. They will have to go to Homagama or Avissawella to rent out a house.
When we visited the area we met the Commander of the Army. He too did not have a proper coordination. It was evident from his statements. The government displays its usual inefficiency. An area that extends more than two square kilometers has been affected due to the incident. The Minister of Disaster Management has said the water issue of 75% of the people was solved. Without knowing the number that has been affected how could the minister say that the water issue of 75% has been resolved?
Also, the mentality of the people in the area has been shattered. The divisional politician attempt to advice peopled without any knowledge of the disaster. Certain politicians are rejected, booed and chased away when they try to get involved in the issue without understanding the issues of the people.
The politicians should understand the mental state of these people who have faced a disaster situation. The people have been angered due to the neglect of the government.
We would like to make a special request. A special programme should be carried out on behalf of the children who were to sit the scholarship examination which is a competitive examination. The children have been subjected to an immense pressure due to the disaster that occurred just a few months before their examination. Also, a special programme should be carried out on behalf of the students who were preparing for the A/L examination.
The water issue in the area is very serious. Water is not available not only for drinking but also for other necessary purposes. Voluntary organizations have been restricted from getting involved in bringing relief. The people should be helped to build their houses. Raw material should be supplied and specially a programme should be carried out to provide security for the people and their property.”
The JVP organized a protest in Colombo yesterday (3rd) stating the present Maithri – Ranil administration burdens the people with more and more taxes, while wasting money for their luxuries is locking the country in a debt trap and is dragging the country towards a precipice.
Protesters marched from Technical Junction at Maradana to opposite Fort Railway Station where they held a massive agitation.
The Leader of the JVP Comrade Anura Dissanayaka, the General Secretary Comrade Tilvin Silva, Members of the Political Bureau Comrades K.D. Lal Kantha, Vijitha Herath, Sunil Handunneththi, Bimal Rathnayaka and a large crowd participated.
The protestors shouted and displayed following slogan:
Withdraw unfair VAT that burdens people!
Stop wasteful spending of the government!
Government that promised cars increased poor man’s three-wheeler price!
Government gets 50% from a Rs.100 reload!
Is tormenting helpless patients with VAT good governance?
Reveal IMF loan conditions that drives country into debt!
Defeat marauding economy that burdens country with debt & taxes!
Stop selling state resources immediately!
Is Rs.600 million spent for Ranil’s cars earned by taxing the poor?