ECONOMYNEXT – A controversial remark by former MP K D Lal Kantha, a frontliner of Sri Lanka’s Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), was taken out of context and the ensuing outrage was emblematic of alleged suppression, according to former JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti.
Speaking at an event in Japan on Sunday January 15, Handunnetti poked holes in the criticism aimed at Lal Kantha.
“They didn’t take the essence of it; did not take the idea behind it. They just clung to one word,” said Handunnetthi.
The former MP was referring to a social media backlash against a remark made by his JVP colleague when the latter was addressing a group of female nurses. In his speech, the outspoken politician said nurses should take care of their physical appearance and go to the gym to maintain their figures.
The comment was highly controversial, with many social media users calling it misogynistic and demanding that the party leadership condemn it.
The party has yet to officially comment on the matter, but according to Handunnetthi, Lal Kantha’s remark was taken out of context.
“They know that even if we are destroyed on a personal level, many like us can be created. Have no doubt about that.
“As long as you are with us, we’re not afraid,” Handunneththi told the gathering.
Meanwhile main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) stalwart former MP Hirunika Premachandra also lashed out at Lal Kantha’s remark.
“Is this the kind of thing those who are going to take charge of the country should be saying,” she said speaking at an event on Monday.
Premachandra has been on the warpath with the JVP and the JVP-led National People’s Power (NPP) which some political analysts believe is seeing a soaring of its popularity, with the party expected to perform well at the local government elections due to be held in March.
Last week, Premachandra cried foul over criticisms levelled at her party leader by the JVP, whose leadership had allegedly mocked a school bus donation campaign by SJB leader Sajith Premadasa.