Herath confirms JVP split amid war of words

By Leon Berenger

Official confirmation that the Janatha Vimukthi Perumana (JVP) was in deep crisis came yesterday from one of its senior members, Vijitha Herath. Mr. Herath, the Gampaha District parliamentarian and General Secretary of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) where the JVP is the main partner, said a group including politburo members, regional politicians and organisers were working against the party.
“We had several rounds of talks with the group but they are insisting on a complete change in the leadership among other demands that do not conform to the party’s constitution,” he told the Sunday Times

Mr. Herath warned that legal action would be taken if the group used the party symbol or any other related material for its propaganda campaign. He described the dissident group’s demands as idiotic and absurd and said they could not be entertained at any cost.

He said the party has launched a grassroots level campaign to educate the membership and followers on the dangers posed by this group. However, dissident faction spokesman Chameera Koswatte said they too had launched an island-wide campaign to gather support for their group. Mr. Koswatte, who is also Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council member, said: “As of now there has been no official notification by the politburo on any matter.”

Meanwhile other JVP seniors who did not wish to be named accused the government of having a hand in the dispute. Somebody somewhere inside the JVP was working with the government to destabilise the party and weaken the opposition. This same person or group was also responsible for the initial leaks to the media, they said.

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