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Ranil Wickremesinghe is 'architect' of Black July massacre – JVP national organiser

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s (JVP) National Organizer Bimal Rathnayake said the United National Party (UNP) and current Sri Lankan president Ranil Wickremesinghe were responsible for the 1983 Black July pogroms that killed thousands of Tamils and claimed ‘that false information’ regarding his party’s involvement was preventing Tamils from joining the JVP. 

“They are spreading false propaganda among the Tamil people that the Black July riots were carried out with the intervention of JVP,” said Rathnayake. “This is a blatant lie.”

“The architects of the riots in Black July were JR Jayawardena, R Premadasa, and Ranil Wickremasinghe under the-then United National Party government. We have enough evidence on it.”

Rathnayake claimed the JVP has written extensively about the pogrom and even linked the torching of the 1981 Jaffna Library to the UNP.  “We can submit everything we know,” he said adding that the 1983 riots were a massacre of Tamils orchestrated by the UNP government in power.

In his lengthy statement on Facebook, Rathnayake alleges that prior to 1983 there had been no war in the country. “A conflict situation developed around 1981 due to the wrong policies taken by both JR and Ranil.” he claimed. ”In 1983 the bodies of soldiers from the Sri Lankan army were brought back to Colombo and from that time onwards the Ranil-JR government unleashed these attacks targetting the Tamil community.” 

He further says that the same government also banned the leftist movement so it was a clear indication to them that JR feared them and intentionally unleashed this terror on Tamils. “This is no different to what Hitler did,” he continued.

Rathnayake’s lengthy statement claimed there has been heightened interest from Tamils in the JVP after leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s recent visit to India. 

“We are seeing a growing acceptance of the National’s People Power (a JVP-led coalition) among the general public,” he claimed. “At the same time when there’s a lot of interest from the Tamil community, we find detractors making baseless allegations such as the 1983 riots, that’s preventing Tamils from joining us.”

He added that various groups affiliated with the United National Party have been fabricating information in an attempt to portray the JVP in a bad light among the Tamil community. 

Despite Rathanayake’s claims, throughout the armed conflict, the JVP would weaponize the pretence of Marxism to justify their hardline opposition to Tamil demands.

In the 2004 parliamentary elections, the JVP became a coalition partner of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and stood opposed to continued peace negotiations with the LTTE; they further rejected the possibility of joint post-tsunami aid distribution, and in 2005 endorsed Mahinda Rajapaksa on a platform specifically opposed to the peace process. In early 2006 the JVP openly promoted a military solution that would culminate in the Mullivaikkal genocide.

Earlier this month,  senior party leader Vijitha Herath  said his party will engage in politics while ensuring the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity remain intact, after accompanying Dissanayake in Delhi. He went on to reference the 1987 JVP uprising, which took place to oppose the Indo-Lanka Accord and devolution of power to Tamils, stating “we strongly opposed the Indo-Lanka Accord decades ago, and dedicated our initiatives to safeguarding Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, at the cost of many lives".

"This stance has not changed and will not change,” he told reporters in Colombo.

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