Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna - History - Split


Wijeweera increasingly felt that the Left movement (which is now generally referred to in Sri Lanka as 'old left') that had existed up until then had not produced even a few professional revolutionaries and had never made a meaningful effort to educate the masses on Marxism. The words mouthed by the leaders of the 'old left' were accepted by workers as the final word. Even more pathetic, to him, was that the leadership of the 'old left', aware of this aspect, utilized it to the fullest to blunt the militancy of workers.

Wijeweera and others decided in mid-1966 to launch a new party explicitly revolutionary in character. They started from scratch, in contrast to the birth of most political parties in Sri Lanka, which broke off from other established parties.

In the period that followed the cadres engaged themselves in political activities that consisted mainly of trying to increase the political awareness of the working class. The economic hardships they faced were crippling. They walked miles and slept in bus halts or temples. Sometimes the only meal of rice for the day was got from the mid-day alms offered to temples. The mornings were spent earning money by carrying loads in the vegetable markets and the afternoons were devoted to political work.

Read more about this topic:  Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, History

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