A tour of valour..
34 Years Of JVP
JVP is a political move-ment that aims a revolutionary change in the prevailing socio-economic system. It is now becoming popular in the society. Overaking the limits of national level public attraction, it has an internationally grown revolutionary reputation. What we see through the shocking startle, fear and unrest of the foe is nothing but the impact on them of the growth of JVP.
The pioneer party of the Sri Lankan oppressed class while experiencing that growth is celebrating its 34th anniversary. The 34 years it has struggled have been an extreme difficult tour. It is worth to evaluate that past experience for the future benefit.
By birth JVP is against Opportunism. It existed against the same political phenomenon. Final goal of the JVP would be the same, to defeat opportunism and paving the way for social revolution.
Capitalism, when falling into crisis, wears a leftist mask. In the 60s this occured in the Sri Lankan politics. The oppressed class were the captives of Opportunistic Old Left. Parliamentarianism, Reformism and Trade Unionism were the ideology of old Left. Within these circumstances, a need of an actual Leftist Movement existed. The birth of JVP was to fill that needed space. It occured on the 14th of May 1964. It was not just a gathering of few individuals as the enemy says. From the time of birth JVP pioneered a nonstop struggle against leftist opportunism. Ultimately, those who were surviving on such politics had to go to the lap of capitalists. From then on the JVP was the undefeated pioneer of the Sri Lankan Leftist Movement.
Both inside and outside the party there have been an organizational and theoretical struggle against opportunism. And so will that struggle remain in future too. The party within its Bolshevic Organization will continuously struggle against possible opportunistic syndrome within the party. Using that evaluation the party organization in return, achieve success growing in both quality and quantity.
After the struggles of 1971 and 1989 JVP while conducting self criticism struggled against opportunist trends within party. The close activity with the people is necessary. To keep the closeness educationally, party created the famous ‘five classes’. Even today an educational interaction with the people prevails. Humbly, we are learning from the people too.
In defeating opportunism, party has a task to identify class forces and to create party interaction among them. Opportunistic leftists have disorganized those class forces. Class conciosness was deformed. Class was in a hysterical condition. To the extent of that unhealthy condition, JVP received negative responses from the people. The working class was suspicious and lethargic about the organized political activities. They have experienced defeat only by political activities led by the old left. So having the pioneer forces of working class at length, the founder leaders of JVP were not discouraged. The other important force, farmers were the next force that JVP attempted to move with the working class politics. Through the farmer force the party could induce the working class politics among workers. The working class of Sri Lanka, having led to guilotine in 1980, were reorganized under the theme ‘A union for profession, Center for working class’. Even the party was established among farmers, it had the political maturity to understand the necessity of working class leadership. The student movement is well organized knowing its capacity and dynamics so as to become the torch that illuminate the class forces. The most important prerequisite in organizing the class is being aware of the heart beat of people. Where the Old Left went wrong was that. People live in there own culture. Their feelings and attitudes form accordingly. It is not the way of Russian, Cuban or Chinese way of life. Old leftists never thought of this. They made the people think that the Marxists are a set of anti-religeous, anti-cultural persons. JVP is not a party restricted within the Colombo City. The old left copying the Russian tradition addressed each and everyone as ‘comrade’. But JVP adopting that to Sri Lankan society, addressed people using the local words like ‘mother, father, brother and sister etc.’ It has enabled the party to establish within the depths of Sri Lankan society.
Theoretical knowledge won’t be enough. Practing the theory in actual situations are most important. JVP being a movement crushed to the ground twice, owing to its practice of adopting theory into realistic practice, had the capacity to rise up once again. When to activate party politics and when to becalm was well preacticed.
In 1967 Kalattewa discussion, comrade Rohana Wijeweera theoritically explained that the stereotype adaptation of Cuban Method into Sri Lankan Revolution. Before the 1971 suppression the party could reveal the people about capitalist coup against the proletarian movement. Then the crushed party was reestablished in 1977, using the election politics as a stage. The same stage was used in theoretically defeating the Old Left. After the infamous Indo- Lanka agreement in 1987 the JVP understood its historic duty for the sake of Sri Lankan proletarian movement.
Attempts to find solutions for the National Problem were taken and the party was not a prisoner of the ‘Formula of Self Determination for Nations’. Being the appriciater and follower of Socialist Soviet Union, JVP did not hesitate to mercilessly criticize the opportunistic Soviet policies in the need to correct them. The party was not theoritically lagging in the same spot but it has pu the theory into practical dynamics.
It is a big victory being able to mark a new political culture within the framework of capitalist politics. JVP has done that and it has costed lots of sacrifices for the party to come to that point. But since the capitalist greed still prevails, it would take much more sacrifices to establish that politics permanantly. The politicians’ devotion of sacrificing salary, privileges and other personal benefits came only from the JVP members in the representative councils. Public services done using the salaries of JVP councilors in the Local Councils have forced the cheaters, racketeers, thugs and robbers of capitalist parties to change their habits and to follow better programs in their own political agenda. Having sacrificed lives for the people’s benefit, JVP has no hesitation to give people these benefits using public funds.
The modernization of the social products modernize the society itself. This paves the way to the emergence of a new generation. JVP having absorbed the modernization for the realistic development of its politics, have used the Marxist theory, not the words of Marxist text, for the redefining of its practice. The party have never been traditional and stereotype in its practice to misinterpret Marxist examples as the Marxist foundamentals. What it sought is the path to organize people for the needs of revolutionizing the world according to the Marxist principles.
The enemy has startled in this interest. The party has not fallen into the traps of dogmatism as they expected. Experiences have made us aware much more than our early days. The party is developed both in local and international grounds. The self criticism against the ‘being confident only on the party power alone’ was considered and corrected. The organizational victories internationally achieved are stronger. Many of the Internationalist Leftist organizations have joined their hands with us. Our struggle for their rights and their struggle for our rights will continue !
This was a brief evaluation on the 34 years of JVP politics in our island. Much is to be written. But what is summarized are enough. The rest will also be added to the JVP tradition. For now let us try to conclude we have discussed.
The comrades who fought and sacrificed in the history of JVP had the wish to inherit the people of Sri Lanka, a better future. The each and every revolutionary in our society have gathered under the JVP flag owing to this. It is the task of contemporary revolutionary to defeat the opportunism what so ever. So let us wish,
"long live the people"
"Let us condemn the Political opportunism !"