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Bringing Kumar Gunaratnam to Party Convention would have been our biggest publicity

Pubudu Jayagoda-pic courtesy of:

Arthur Wamanan Interviews Pubudu Jayagoda

The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) says it has no need to stage a publicity gimmick and points the finger at the government for the abduction of two of its members.

Party Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda in an interview with The Nation said more than 30 people were abducted within the last couple of months and alleged the government was behind these abductions

Following are excerpts:

Q. You initially said that you would not form a political party and were working on forming a common left platform. What made you change?

Our aim is to create socialism in the country. Politics in Sri Lanka is either based on anti-Imperialism or aligned to the government or the UNP. We believe that has to be changed. The Jana Aragala Vyaparaya was started with the view of this change. Initially we were the only people involved. But there are many left groups and parties that have joined us now. Already, more than 50 organisations joined us on this endeavour especially after the problems last week. We thought of making the Jana Aragala a platform for all these organisations to get together. We thought that we also need an individual identity to be a part of this platform. Therefore, we decided to form a political party.

Q. Do you still point finger at Government over the abduction?

We pointed the finger at the government, because we know that it was involved in anti-democratic activities. Around 31 people have been abducted in white vans, most of them from Colombo. The government has said it had nothing to do with these abductions. However, when the Kolonnawa Mayor was about to be abducted, the people surrounded the van. There were military persons inside the vehicles with weapons and number plates. A UNP provincial councillor was abducted and released. His statements also indicated government’s involvement behind abductions.

Q. In the case of your party members, do you have proof to say that they were abducted?

We have their statements. The details they had provided indicate that those who abducted had links to the security forces. Some government members like S.B. Dissanayake and Basil Rajapaksa tried to justify the abduction. This indicates that the government is behind these incidents.

Q. Some say this is a publicity campaign. What are your comments?

These are baseless allegations. We started the Jana Aragala campaign on December 13. Two of our activists went missing four days ago. Similar allegations were levelled against us even at that time. However, whoever making these allegations do not understand that we do not have to get publicity in this way. Our biggest publicity would have been bringing comrade Gunaratnam to our party convention.

Q. If it was a case of abduction, how was it that Gunaratnam had his passport with him?

Well, I cannot say for certain about the passport. But, what we came to know is that several of his things were taken when he was abducted. His laptop, mobile phone and car keys were taken with several important documents. The passport might have also been taken with them

Q. Is that true that Dimuthu had two garments in her bag at the time she was abducted?

I am not certain about it. But, even if it is true, it is not strange. We are always on the move or being outside from our homes. Sometimes we do not have time to go home by night. Therefore, we have extra clothing inside our bags. They (abductors) would have found a separate clothes and things like tooth brush if they had searched my bag.

Q. You are yet to name a party leader. But, you will have to mention a name when you register the party with the Commissioner of Elections. Who will be named? Who are the other designation holders?

The appointment of a party leader has nothing to do with the constitution of the country. It all depends on the party constitution. The UNP constitution states something about its leadership. However, it is different for us. We do not have a leader. We have appointed Senadhira Gunathilaka as our General Secretary. We have a six-member Secretariat that includes C.E. Kularatne, Chameera Koswatte, Champika Sudarshana, Dimuthu Attygala and I myself. We have a nine member politburo including above six. The politburo also includes Comrade Premakumar Gunaratnam. courtesy: The

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