D.M. Ananda

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D.M. Ananda
Born Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Nandasena
1954
Wariyapola, Sri Lanka
Nationality Sri Lanka Sri Lankan
Other names Amal Mahattaya
Alma mater University of Peradeniya
Occupation Politician, Revolutionary
Political party
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna

Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Nandasena alias D. M. Ananda alias Amal Mahattaya (1954–1989) was a senior leader and a politburo member of the Jantha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) during the 1987-89 insurrection.[1] A hard working man, D.M. Ananda worked to build the movement, but was captured and killed by government forces in 1989.

Early life[edit]

D.M. Ananda was a native of Wariyapola, North Central Province.[1] He graduated in Arts form the University of Peradeniya in 1980. He entered the university as a Buddhist monk and later switched to engage in political activities.[1]

Student Leader[edit]

During his university days, D.M. Ananda was a student activist. He was President of the Socialist Students Union, the student arm of the JVP, and the Secretary of the Inter University Students' Federation (IUSF).[1] He came into prominence in 1981 during the countrywide protest against the government White Paper on Educational Reforms. As the chief organizer of this campaign, which was largely steered by the JVP, thousands of university and other students demonstrated on the streets.[2] The protest was a major success as President J.R. Jayawardane was compelled to shelve the reforms.

As a result of this campaign, the JVP drew radical youths to the movement. Ananda was recognized as a capable organizer. He became the key link between the JVP and the university activists. They played the most vital part of the 1987-89 insurrection and many of the party’s leaders were students or former students.

Rise in the Party[edit]

By 1985, some of the top leaders had left the party including Lionel Bopage, Daya Wanniarachchi, Vaas Thilakaratne and Mahinda Pathirana. As a result, young leaders, such as D.M. Ananda, H.B. Herath and Shantha Bandara had the opportunity to move up.

Ananda was appointed to the politburo.[3] He was installed as political leader of the Western Zone, which included Western and Sabaragamuwa provinces.[4] In addition, three of the five frontal organisations of the party were under his leadership: students, Bhikku and women.[4]

Generally, the JVP politburo is at the apex of the party's hierarchy. It is the main decision-making body and consists of the 12 top most members. During the proscription, politburo members decided, as a safety measure, to convene only in groups of two or three. Ananda played a key role by conveying decisions from one gathering to another.

During the 1987-89 insurrection, he was generally ranked third in the JVP after Rohana Wijeweera and Upatissa Gamanayake.[1] However, the movements of Wijeweera and Gamanayake, then the only known leaders to the public, were severely restricted after the 1983 proscription of the party. They were not visible to junior party comrades. This left Ananda as the top person in the JVP. Wijeweera was not superseded as the charismatic leader of the party, but Ananda's scope was much larger than Wijeweera's.[5]

Capture and Death[edit]

The Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) of the Sri Lankan Army arrested Raja Mahattaya, the Colombo District division 2 leader, in October 1989. Ananda had been at the location where Mahattaya was captured, but had left several hours earlier. Through information received from Mahattaya, RDF arrested Ananda near Eheliyagoda.

Ananda was held at Mattegoda Army camp. After weeks of interrogation and possibly torture, he divulged one important JVP hideout: Araliya Estate in Galaha. A party led by Col. Janaka Perera arrested politburo members Piyadasa Ranasinghe and H.B. Herath, which led to the subsequent arrest of Wijeweera in Ulapane.[5][6]

Ananda apparently died in captivity.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e C.A. Chandraprema (1991), Sri Lanka, The Years of Terror - The JVP Insurrection, 1987-1989, Lake House Bookshop,ISBN 955-9029-03-7, p.10
  2. ^ Rohan Gunaratne (1990), Sri Lanka, a Lost Revolution? - The Inside Story of the JVP, Institute of Fundamental Studies, ISBN 955-26-0004-9, p.38
  3. ^ C.A. Chandraprema (1991), Sri Lanka, The Years of Terror - The JVP Insurrection, 1987-1989, Lake House Bookshop,ISBN 955-9029-03-7, p.6
  4. ^ a b C.A. Chandraprema (1991), Sri Lanka, The Years of Terror - The JVP Insurrection, 1987-1989, Lake House Bookshop,ISBN 955-9029-03-7, pp.16-17
  5. ^ a b C.A. Chandraprema (1991), Sri Lanka, The Years of Terror - The JVP Insurrection, 1987-1989, Lake House Bookshop,ISBN 955-9029-03-7, pp.302-304
  6. ^ "Suppression of JVP Terror and Premadasa Regime" by Leslie Fernando, Sunday Observer, 07.02.2010 [1]

Further reading[edit]

  • C.A Chandrapream (1991), Sri Lanka, the Years of Terror - The JVP Insurrection 1987-1989, Lake House Bookshop, ISBN 955-9029-03-7 [2]
  • Rohan Gunaratne (1990), Sri Lanka, a Lost Revolution? - The Inside Story of the JVP, Institute of Fundamental Studies, ISBN 955-26-0004-9 [3]