Internal strife is causing major divisions in the country’s opposition political parties. It was first the United National Party (UNP), the main opposition group. Now, it is the second largest opposition group in the south, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).
The tussle is between a group of hitherto unknown radicals and the relative moderates like Tilvin Silva, Anura Kumara Dissanayake and K.D. Lal Kantha.
Recently, four radicals with
the support of another leading member now living in Australia, moved for a new politburo. In a separate development, the Australian resident and his wife, a nurse, are now being sought by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for allegedly entering that country on forged passports.
The call by the four radicals was heeded and a Central Committee (CC) meeting was held to pick a new politburo. It was through a resort to the secret ballot. The outcome turned out to be their undoing. The four radicals were voted out of the politburo.
The battle is not over. Now the four dissidents have begun a signature campaign to enlist the support of the Central Committee and other members for another effort to re-constitute the politburo. They are accusing the moderates of working against the JVP constitution and the principles the party stood for.
The Sunday Times has learnt that a hitherto unknown issue has surfaced ruing the on-going campaign by the party dissidents. Besides a JVP constitution, which has been filed with the Commissioner General of Elections heeding a legal requirement, there was another one which was adhered to by party members. That remained a secret, say JVP sources.