“When the opinion of the people is considered we believe we have a good opportunity for victories. We believe that we could win the ruling power in many local government councils. According to the political behaviour in the country, we have a better probability of victory. However, the final decision is with the people. We believe that the progressive people who are concerned about the country would take a correct decision at the local government election,” said the General Secretary of the JVP Comrade Tilvin Silva speaking to a weekend newspaper.
We publish a translation of the interview…
Q: The main topic at present is the local government election. Is the JVP ready for this election?
A: The JVP got ready for the election a long time in advance. We also attempted to get the election that was overdue held without defects in the system. It has been possible to hold the election under a new system compiled with the mediation of many. Of course, there was an attempt by persons connected to the government to get the election postponed by filing petitions. Now, this issue has been solved. Our wish is that the election should be held for the whole country at once. We have built our forces throughout the country for the election.
Q: although you say those who filed petitions are connected to the government, those in the government deny it.
A: The government cannot deny it. The whole country knows that the party that filed petitions is connected to the government. This is clear when the process of withdrawing the petitions is studied. They expected to postpone the whole election by filing petitions. They had to withdraw the petitions and make room for the elections when it was known that it was not necessary to postpone the whole election. As such, it is very clear who was behind this move and who was to be benefited by the act. There is also a reason behind it. For, the party of those who wanted the postponement has split. They have failed to have unity in the party. They know they will be defeated at the election. This is why they wanted to postpone the election. They thought they could get time to unite the two factions. We were able to defeat the attempt of the factions of the government. It is a victory for the country. To make it a victory for our party the people should give the ruling power of a large number of local government councils to the JVP. The people should reject the corrupt political parties. Then only it would be a complete victory for the people.
For both these parties ruled the local government councils for ages and have shown their inability. The people must understand this reality in future elections.
Q: Certain parties have already deposited their sureties. What is the position of the JVP?
A: It is those who are not aware of the manner the elections are held according to the new system that runs amok. In this election, the authority of depositing sureties is with the general secretary of the party or a person authorized to do so by the party. If it is an independent group the leader of the group could do it. Anyone else depositing sureties could be rejected. We are not in a hurry. Let those who are not aware of the new system get excited. We would do it at the correct time. Those who have already deposited are not even aware of the election law. We would appoint an authorized person for every council. We would complete depositing sureties through them during the next week.
Q: Are nomination lists ready now?
A: We have already completed nomination lists. We made a request to the people to come forward to change the existing political culture and unite with the JVP to develop the village and the town. We have got a very good response to this request. We have already completed out nomination papers. We have put forward a clean group of candidates who could develop the village or the town to every council. We would not hesitate to say that the team put forward by the JVP would be the best group for every council.
Q: You published an advertisement in newspapers asking those who like to contest from the JVP to apply. Don’t you have enough people to put forward as candidates?
A: There is no such thing. Even at the time of terror there were people in our party who would come forward to contest elections. There are plenty of party members who could be put forward as candidates. However, our wish was to give an opportunity to those who are not members of the party but progressive minded masses who are genuinely interested in changing the deteriorating political culture of this country to work for the country just as members of our party dedicate themselves for the people and the country. We got a good response to our request. However, we didn’t allow everybody who applied to contest. We gave the opportunity for the highest qualified and who could dedicate themselves to a cause.
Q: Is it true that the SLFP contesting as two faction is favourable to the JVP?
A: According to the political situation in the country we are at an advantage whether they come as two factions or as a single party. Even if they unite there wouldn’t be an end to issues that divide them. There would be issues when preparing nomination papers. If they contest separately they would never win as their voter base gets divided. They would not win when they come as one party or come divided.
Q: Will the JVP able to achieve victories beyond Thissamaharama?
A: When the opinion of the people is considered we believe we have a good opportunity for victories. We believe that we could win the ruling power in many local government councils. According to the political behaviour in the country, we have a better probability of victory. However, the final decision is with the people. We believe that the progressive people who are concerned about the country would take a correct decision at the local government election.”