Sri Lankan government keeps close watch on split in Marxist JVP

Sept 25, Colombo: The recent crisis in Sri Lanka’s Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is being closely watched by the government to monitor the possibility of some party cadres going underground to prepare for yet another armed struggle.

State intelligence units have reportedly said that JVP’s activities are closely being watched following the split in the party.

The dissident extremist group of the JVP led by elusive JVP senior Premakumar Gunarathnam known as Kumar is to form a separate political movement to carry out what they claim the true policies of the revolutionary movement.

Kumar, who has been self-exiled in Australia and returned to Sri Lanka recently, played a key role during the 1988-89 insurgency as a member of the armed cadre and another member of the group Marlon (name used by the JVP), who was a former member of the Politburo, was a head of the party’s security division.

When contacted by ColomboPage, a youth leader from the dissidents’ group said the group would continue as a revolutionary movement without any involvement with the JVP headquarters.

He said that a majority of the internal party cadre supported the dissident group.

However, when asked if there were any plans to recommence an armed struggle, the youth leader denied such claims saying Somawansa Amerasinghe’s group was circulating them.

Nevertheless, the clash among the two factions intensified last week with supporters from both factions arriving at the party headquarters in Pelawatte.

A JVP Politburo member told Colombo Page that the party would continue with its policies claiming that the dissidents are a group with extremist ideologies who have been conspiring against the party leadership for a while.

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