The Jantha Vimukthi Peramuna shattered following the leadership crisis which has surfaced. The Somawansa faction and the Gunaratnam faction are engaged in a furious battle to consolidate power.
Even though the JVP leadership has reiterated that there is no crisis within the party, a spokesman for the party confirmed that it had definitely split. Even the power at the District level had also been divided. The rebel group of Prem Kumar Gunaratnam had secured a majority of the power in Kalutara, Galle and Matara while the power in Hambantota and Anuradhapura lies in the hands of the Somawansa faction. Internal sources said that the power of the other districts was being tested.
The rebel group claims that the women and student forces of the JVP are with the Gunaratnam faction. Somawansa Amarasinghe enjoys more authority in Trade Unions and the Central Working Committee. Many activists are also divided on the issue. Informed sources further said that JVP’s main office at Pelawatte is in the hands of the rebel group from Thursday night. The JVP Media Unit has been dissolved. Severe threats have been made by the Somawansa faction to the Party’s official newspaper “Lanka”. Managing Director of the newspaper, Venura Herath and Janaka Mahendra are in Police custody.
In the meantime, JVP General Secretary Tylwin Silva is reported to have faced an embarrassing situation at the meeting of party activists in Divulapitiya. He had been rendered helpless when queries were raised by nearly 500 activists gathered at the meeting on the party internal crisis and the financial frauds. About 400 of them are reported to have walked out of the meeting as they did not get a proper response for their queries. Our representative said that Tylwin Silva had later left the venue due to a strong protest raised by the remaining activists. Party internal sources have further confirmed that the party will experience a split in the near future and a change in leadership was imminent.