Disabled in JVP attack on Dalada Maligawa
By Shane Seneviratne
It took nearly 12 years and the Diyawadane Nilame's expose, at a press
conference, of the JVP attack on the Dalada Maligawa, for one man who was
severely injured in that attack to tell his story .
K.G. Sisira then 19, was employed at the Kandy Municipal Council as
a labourer. On that unforgettable day, February 8, 1989, on which the Dalada
Maligawa was attacked, Sisira was going home to Lewella in a CTB bus. Close
to the Maligawa gunshots were heard and the driver had stopped the bus
right in front of the Maligawa.
It was then that Sisira saw a man in a blue T-shirt, with a gun in his
hand, chasing a soldier. Subsequently he had learnt the man was a JVPer.
Sisira was standing on the footboard of the bus when the soldier pushed
him in and boarded the bus. At that moment the gunman had shot at random
and Sisira was hit in his right leg.
In the shooting one person had died. Sisira was taken to hospital and
was there for eight months. Four bullets were found in his leg which was
Sisira, though disabled was back at the Kandy Municipal Council library
now working as a peon. He was the sole breadwinner in his family. He told
The Sunday Times that to date he had not received a cent as compensation.
If Somawansa Amarasinghe says that the JVP was willing to compensate
the families that had suffered at their hands, then he too should be compensated,
He added that no amount of compensation or acceptance of their guilt
can erase the fact that the JVP had attacked the sacred Dalada Maligawa.
As the undecided decide
PA, UNP picking up support
The polls exclude North and East
The ruling PA and the main opposition UNP appear to be picking up support
while support for the JVP is either at the same level or falling, as the
undecided voters begin to make up their mind, according to the results
of latest opinion polls conducted by two independent research groups.
Survey Research Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. in a poll covering a period upto Nov.
27 said support base for the PA appeared to have gone up by 5 percent and
for the UNP by 3 percent but the JVP's support base had apparently fallen
by about 3 percent.
The research group said some of the undecided voters and those who were
leaning towards the JVP were apparently shifting their allegiance to the
PA. It said the reduction in the JVP support base appeared to be linked
to doubts about the party's future approach relating to an arms struggle,
especially after the return of its self-exile leader Somawansa Amarasinghe.
The SRL in a statement said:
"A comparison of the results of the present opinion poll and the one
that was published in The Sunday Times of November 11, 2001 indicates that
during the interim period, the PA has succeeded in increasing its supports
base by more than 5% while the UNP has improved its standing by approximately
"The share of support enjoyed by the JVP on the other hand has eroded
by a little less than 3%. Moreover, at the time of the first Poll, a whopping
11% were undecided as to which Party is best suited to govern the county
during the next six years. This proportion has now reduced to about 3%.
The data suggest that most of these persons as well as some previous JVP
supporters have shifted their allegiance to the PA.
"This raises some very interesting questions:
"Are some of the JVP supporters merely flirting with the party and when
the push comes to shove will throw their weight behind the PA? "Or, has
the return of the JVP chief from exile introduced an element of doubt in
their minds of people regarding the stated objectives of the Party?
"Is the UNF campaign running out of steam? Or, is the anti-UNF campaign
succeeding in creating a sufficiently dense cloud of confusion in the minds
of people regarding what the UNF has said and not said about MOUs.
"Is the support for the PA real? Or, do people feel it is in their best
interest to have a PA rather than a UNF Government under a PA President?"
Another research group Org Marg Smart in the results of its latest opinion
poll upto November 24 said the UNP's support base had shot up from 33 percent
to 38 percent and the PA's from 23 percent to 33 percent while the JVP's
standing remained unchanged.
ORG-MARG SMART is an independent private market, social and economic
research agency undertaking research mainly in the areas of consumer goods
Both the SLR poll and the Org Marg poll did not cover the north-east
in their personal interviews and they left a margin of error.
A third survey conducted by a Colombo University research group known
as 'Inpact' (Initiative for political and conflict transformation) in all
parts of the country including the north-east indicated a massive 77 percent
of the people were in favour of a negotiated settlement of the ethnic conflict
through peace talks with the LTTE. This poll was carried out from November
12 to 24 using a simple cluster sampling system.
We publish here the detailed results of these three surveys.