ECONOMYNEXT – The leftist “collective” National People’s Power (NPP) must encourage diversity within its ranks but its objective of capturing state power must remain intact and unwavering, according to K D Lal Kantha, who also said he was prepared to join an armed struggle if the need were ever to arise.
Lal Kantha is former parliamentarian who currently serves as a politburo member of the formerly revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist Janatha Vimukthi Peruman (JVP), the NPP’s controlling and largest constituent.
“There is nothing I love more than diversity. We have diversity here, but let’s maintain one objective. In order to achieve our objective, we must obtain state power. We cannot do it otherwise. The objective is that we want to build a good country and for that we need state power,” Lal Kantha said addressing a crowd of NPP supporters.
The former MP said that, since 1931, Sri Lankans have been changing governments through universal franchise.
“More than in any other country in Asia, the people in this country have a habit of using their power to vote. Besides that, there have been various attempts at armed struggle. I too have been part of armed struggles. If needed, I’m also ready to join one anytime. But that’s a separate discussion,” he said.
With the long overdue local government elections already postponed, said Lal Kantha, voters are now looking forward to presidential elections next year. They are excited to put an end to a “75-year curse” of successive governments led by the political mainstream and vote for the NPP, he said.
Former minister and now independent MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara, a veteran leftist and staunch ally of the Rajapaksa family, has said the JVP must lead the fight against the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-backed policies of the incumbent government, Lal Kantha claimed.
“He must note however that it is not the JVP. It is the NPP.”
Recognising what he called the ever-increasing diversity within the ranks of the NPP, Lal Kantha said the party’s objective must remain.
“Don’t send anyone away. The NPP is not one to reject but to include,” he said.
The former MP also intimated that the JVP, with its reputation for being a highly disciplined party that is noted for cleaning up after its rallies, must move on from that image in order to win, becoming a home for a wide assortment of people, even those who have a propensity to drunkenly litter at a rally.
“That’s when we will win,” he said.
Lal Kantha also called for sacrifice from the party membership.
“We must have unrelenting determination. There is a class of oppressors, enabling this 75-year curse. There must be some sacrifice. We can’t do this without sacrifice, without energy, without heroism.”
“We must have love for our oppressed class,” he said. (Colombo/Nov06/2023)