Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna

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People's Liberation Front

ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ
மக்கள் விடுதலை முன்னணி
LeaderAnura Kumara Dissanayake
General SecretaryTilvin Silva
FounderRohana Wijeweera
Founded14 May 1965 (56 years ago) (1965-05-14)
Split fromCeylon Communist Party (Peking Wing)
Preceded byNew Left Movement
Headquarters464/20 Pannipitiya Road, Pelawatta, Battaramulla,
Sri Lanka.
  • Niyamuva (Sinhala)
  • Sensakhti (Tamil)
  • Red Power (English)
  • Deshapalana Vivarana (Sinhala)
Student wingSocialist Students Union
Youth wingSocialist Youth Union
Women's wingSocialist Women's Union
Relief Service Forceරතු තරුව (Red Star)
Membership (1983)200,000-300,000[1]
Political positionFar-left
National affiliationPeople's Alliance (Sri Lanka) (1994; observer)
United People's Freedom Alliance (2004-2005)
National Movement for People's Power (2015)
National People's Power (since 2019)[3]
International affiliationICS (defunct)
IMCWP (formerly)
Colors  Red
  Purple (for elections)
Parliament of Sri Lanka
3 / 225
Sri Lankan Provincial Councils
15 / 455
Local Government
436 / 8,356
Election symbol
JVP election symbol.png
Janatha Vimukti Peramuna leadership at May Day Celebration in Colombo in 1999.

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) lit.'People's Liberation Front'[a] is a Communist Marxist–Leninist party and a political movement in Sri Lanka.[5] The movement was involved in two armed uprisings against the government of Sri Lanka, first in 1971 (SLFP), and 1987–89 (UNP). Both times the motive was the establishment of a socialist state.[6]

The JVP started off as an organization of few members. However, in time it became a well-organized party that could make an influence in mainstream politics. Its members campaigned openly for the left-wing coalition government, United Front; following their disillusion of the coalition, they started an insurrection against the Dominion of Ceylon in early 1971, which eventually intensified following the ban on the party. The military arm referred to as the Red Guard was able to capture over 76 police strongholds throughout the island.[b]

The JVP entered democratic politics in 1977 when President J.R. Jayawardene released the JVP leader, Rohana Wijeweera, from prison. The United Front coalition government collapsed as the new government formed. Subsequently, Wijeweera contested the Presidential Elections in 1982 and obtained 4.16 percent of the votes cast. Prior to the elections: he had been convicted through the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) for conspiring to violently overthrow the State. The JVP launched a more organized insurrection for the second time in 1987 following the signing of the Indo-Lanka accord.

It returned to elections as the National Salvation Front following the death of Wijeweera, during Operation Combine. The surviving JVP members campaigned in the 1994 elections, but withdrew and started to support the nationalist opposition party, Sri Lanka Freedom Party. In 2004, it joined the government as a part of the United People's Freedom Alliance and started to support the government in its war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for the first time, however, it left the coalition government.

Later, it contested under its own National Coalition. The JVP has been a third party in overall Sri Lankan politics since then.[7][8]


The JVP was founded in 1965 with the aim of providing a leading force for a Communist revolution in Sri Lanka.[9]:60 By 1965, there were four other leftist political parties: the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), established in 1935 as the first political party in Sri Lanka;[10] the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL), which broke away from the LSSP and formed their own party in 1943 due to differences of opinion on supporting Britain during the 2nd World War;[11] the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP); and the Peking Left.

It was a period when the economic crisis in the country was deepening. Since the country's independence the two main parties, the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (which broke away from the UNP in 1951), had governed the country, each for eight years. According to the founders of the JVP, neither party had been able to implement even a single measure to resolve the crisis that Sri Lanka faced. The JVP considered the entry of three left parties into the United Front of Sri Lanka in 1964 as a conscious betrayal of the aspirations of the people and the working class. Inflation and unemployment were increasing. Food prices increased despite government efforts to prevent this from happening.[12]

Rohana Wijeweera[edit]

Rohana Wijeweera's father was a political activist of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL). During an election campaign in the 1960s, he was severely assaulted by UNP members and in consequence he was paralysed. The young Rohana Wijeweera was likely emotionally affected which may have changed his views and caused his hatred against the UNP. When Rohana Wijewera's further education was in jeopardy as a result of his father being incapacitated, the CPSL arranged a scholarship for him to study medicine at the Patrice Lumumba Friendship University in Moscow.[13] There, he read the works of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Lenin, and became a committed Marxist.

Effects of the Sino-Soviet split[edit]

By this time, the United Socialist Party (USP) was divided into two factions: the Chinese faction and the Soviet faction. Wijeweera broke away from the CPC which was aligned with the USSR and joined the Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist) - CCP (M).

After a visit to Sri Lanka in 1964, he was not permitted to return to the USSR. His student activism in favour of the Maoist line while in Moscow displeased the Russians. The Chinese faction was led by Premalal Kumarasiri. Through his father's political activities, Wijeweera came in contact with Kumarasiri and joined the party's staff. He made the trade union office of the Chinese faction his home.


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. He also believed 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-1965 to launch a new party explicitly revolutionary in character. They started from scratch, contrasting with 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.[14]

Five classes[edit]

Wijeweera felt that one of the more important tasks was to politically educate the masses. Following deliberations on this issue, it was decided that an uncomplicated Marxist analysis of the socio-politico-economic problems of the country should be the introductory step. The Marxist analysis was split into five discussions along with five main themes.[15]

Throughout the rest of 1968, Wijeweera walked the length and breadth of the country conducting political classes for the members of the party. The five basic political classes were followed by an education camp. Precautions had to be taken to keep this educational camp a secret to avoid alarming the government as well as the "old left". The classes, all conducted by Wijeweera, stretched from 17 to 18 hours a day, interrupted only by meals.

By 1971, the JVP had established itself as a political party and offered an alternative to those disillusioned with the politics of the other left organizations. Most of the members and supporters of the JVP, at that time, were in the young adult age group. Alarmed at the political potential and the political challenge of the JVP, the government and its leftist allies leveled a variety of slanders against the fledgling party. Many representatives of the "Old Left" called the JVPers "as CIA agents attempting to overthrow the pro-Eastern bloc party".[16]

The JVP had later admitted that at that time, it was not a completely mature political party. There were many shortcomings, which they sought to rectify.

Full-time organization[edit]

Building cells[edit]

JVP successfully built cells in multiple countries including South Yemen, Belgium, UK and Ba'athist Iraq along with South Yemen promised to hold some weapon supplies indirectly but only if possible. However the Yemeni weapon manufacturer later said that there was no possible way to supply weapons.[17][18] However the government of South Yemen congratulated the organisation with a letter that read "Revolutionary Greetings". [19]

1971 uprising[edit]

A police station in ruins after an insurgent attack. JVP in total destroyed 75 police stations similarly

The 1971 uprising led by the party was an unsuccessful Marxist rebellion that allegedly claimed nearly 5,000 lives. The JVP drew worldwide attention when it launched an insurrection against the Bandaranaike government in April 1971. Although the insurgents were young, poorly armed, and inadequately trained, they succeeded in seizing and holding major areas in the southern and central provinces of Sri Lanka before they were defeated by the security forces. Their attempt to seize power created a major crisis for the government and forced a fundamental reassessment of the nation's security needs. In March 1971, after an accidental explosion in one of the bomb factories, the police found fifty-eight bombs in a hut in Nelundeniya, Kegalla District. Shortly afterward, Wijeweera was arrested and sent to Jaffna Prison, where he remained throughout the revolt. In response to his arrest and the growing pressure of police investigations, other JVP leaders decided to act immediately, and they agreed to begin the uprising at 11:00 p.m. on 5 April. After two weeks of fighting, the government regained control of all but a few remote areas. In both human and political terms, the cost of the victory was high: an estimated 30,000 insurgents according to the JVP – many of them in their teens–died in the conflict, and the army and police were widely perceived to have used excessive force. In order to win over an alienated population and to prevent a prolonged conflict, Bandaranaike offered amnesties in May and June 1971, and mainly but not only the top leaders were imprisoned. Wijeweera, who was already in detention at the time of the uprising, was given a twenty-year sentence.[20]

The insurgency 1987–89[edit]

Trees felled across streets by the JVP as disturbance to government supply

The Indian intervention and the plan to divide the island led to the 1987 revolt. Adroitly exploiting the arrival of the Indian Peace-keeping Force and the widespread nationalist sentiments of large sections of the Sinhalese people, the JVP began to terrorise both the state machinery and those sections of civil society opposed its thinking and almost brought the state to its knees. Organised in multiple cells country-wide and mostly based around the capital Kandy in the centre, the JVP murdered probably thousands of people and crippled the country with violently-enforced hartals (general strikes) for three years. Government forces captured and killed Wijeweera and his deputy in November 1989 in Colombo; by early 1990 they had killed or imprisoned the remaining JVP politburo and detained an estimated 7,000 suspected JVP members. Although the government won a decisive military victory, there were credible accusations of brutality and extrajudicial methods. The number of deaths during the insurgency is uncertain: the Government was fighting multiple Tamil insurgent groups at the time, using multiple official and unofficial forces, and reports confirm that the death toll exceeds 60,000. In addition, many people took advantage of the chaos to prosecute deadly local feuds.[21][22]

What is certain is the methods of death, including the "necklace" of a burning tyre, copied on the South African ANC-practice of the time, victims eviscerated and left to die, and even the occasion of eighteen heads arranged around the Alwis pond of the University of Peradeniya after the Captain T.E. Nagahawatte, the Assistant Registrar of the University and a volunteer officer was killed by two gunmen inside the University premises the day prior.[23]

International relationships[edit]

The JVP has been affiliated to multiple organizations internationally, few of those that it has links to are Palestine Liberation Organization[24] (PLO), National Liberation Front of Yemen, and Korean Workers' Party (KWP).[25][26]

North Korea[edit]

In the early 1970s, North Korea backed the JVP by supplying training. As a result, diplomatic connections between Sri Lanka and North Korea were cut off and it haven't been re-established.[27] 18 North Koreans were expelled from the island; however this did not stop their support of the JVP, and Indian patrol boats deployed around the island were attacked by North Korean gunboats that raided the territory.[28] The North Koreans prior to expulsion from the island spent 14,000 dollars supporting the movement with propaganda. Furthermore they supplied militant equipment and instructions on how to make explosives and conduct guerilla warfare.[27]

In 2017 the Sri Lankan government imposed UN sanctions on North Korea and the leader of the opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, criticised the procedure involved. He further claimed North Korea is Socialist and Sri Lanka should support it.[29]

Maintaining relations with North Korea[edit]

In 1970 a North Korean trade office in Colombo became an embassy and started its work the same year. While in Sri Lanka, North Korean diplomats cultivated links to the JVP. North Korea later helped the group directly through the office. Rohana Wijeweera visited North Korea prior to the establishment of the JVP.


The JVP sectors before the 1970s were limited to the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party of Iraq (ASBPI). Rohana Wijeweera and Shantha Bandara visited Iraq multiple times in order to meet the members of the ASBPI. Shantha Bandara successfully formed the Inter-University Students' Federation to work as a liaison point between the two parties. When the Iran-Iraq War began, a few members of the JVP protested in front of the Iranian embassy. During the second JVP insurgency, the JVP received amounts of cash to fund the Patriotic People's Movement.[30][31][32][33]

Soviet Union[edit]

The Soviet Union started to recognize the JVP in 1978, when it was no longer affiliated to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The Soviet Communist Party invited the organization along with the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL), to participate in the International Federation of Youths and Students. All financing were done by the Soviet Union for the parties that visited the meeting upon Soviet invitation.[26]


The ideology of the JVP rapidly changed over the times depending on its leadership or other National and Political issues within Sri Lanka or any other influencing group.[34] The JVPs mixed ideology was shaped by its origin from Maoism and transition to other forms of Marxism such as Guevarism and Ho Chi Minh Thought. In the beginning, it had some splits from internal conflicts mostly based on ideology.[35] JVP took neccessary instruments from Maoism, such as the criticism Soviet-style Communism aftermath of Joseph Stalin; it was heavily anti-revisionist.[36][37]


The first five lectures of the JVP based on class and social struggle was about the "failures" of the old left and the "path" for a new left. Wijeweera who had a great anti-Indian ideology, gave lectures against Indian irredentism. The rest of the lectures are based on economy and unemployment.[34]


The ideology of the JVP in 1983 ideologically modified itself as it had foreseen the consequence of inaction to Indian intelligence agencies (particularly the RAW) to infiltrating the national patronage. It by this time developed its own ideology named Jathika Chintanaya (National Ideology).[38]

Third lecture (1994-present)[edit]

Somawansa Amarasinghe who subsequently became the leader, modified the JVP from the roots and the group once again got more socialized with other democratic groups. It refused national affiliations but later joined some left-right alliances such as the United National Front. The organization following socialization believes in democracy-based political lines rather than insurrectionist lines it appreciated since formation.[39] The JVP formed the National People's Power in 2015. It consists of various leftist groups which follows various leftist ideologies such as Agrarian socialism, Democratic socialism and Revolutionary socialism. The current ideology of the group is democracy and anti-imperialism.

JVP claims Sri Lanka never had a socialist constitution and even when it was claimed as the 'Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka'. It further says how Sri Lanka have remained a colony even after the British empire lost authority within the country. It believes that the Sri Lankan society should convert internally and learn self-reliancy. Anura Kumara Dissanayake during a rally stated:[40]

The socio-economic policies that have been followed for the last 71 years have dragged our country towards destruction. As such, the responsibility of rescuing the country and our people from this disastrous situation should be shouldered not only by the JVP but by all of us. It is with this intention that we built the National People's Power together with progressive, left and democratic organizations.

Democratic politics[edit]

Prior to the 1971 insurrection[edit]

JVP were not recognized as a political party until its first uprising. The party rejected being a democratic party following the military coup in Indonesia against the Indonesian Communist Party. They had complaints that Ceylonse government would try to militarily defeat it if the group would stop arming itself. The government banned the JVP following an attack on the United States high commission in Ceylon. The government blamed the protests that followed up to the attack on the JVP members, however it was revealed that the attack was conducted by a Maoist organization.[2]

After the 1971 uprising[edit]

The brief conflict created turmoil in Sri Lanka's national politics and its international relations. Many countries were blamed for supporting the JVP, these included the People's Republic of China (China) and North Korea. China denied any support allegation.[41] As a result of the struggle, the United Front Government proscribed the JVP in April 1971. It became an underground organisation but in 1978 participated in the local government elections. It refrained from attacking the government as the United Front Government was already facing persecution, the newly elected pro-US government was supportive of the JVP.

Entrance to elections[edit]

Following its participation in the 1978 elections, the reputation of the organization among revolutionaries, decreased; however the public started to recognize it thus increasing its membership rapidly. In 1982 the JVP also participated in the District Development Council (DDC) elections and the presidential elections. The JVP was the only radical party that contested the DDC elections in 1982.[42][2][43]

The United National Party had introduced the District Development Council as a solution to the ethnic conflict. The NSSP, CPSL, and the nationalistic SLFP boycotted the elections, but as the JVP contested, it won a couple of seats in the council's elections: it was during this period that the Election Commission of Sri Lanka formally recognised the JVP as a legitimate political party.[44]

Persecution of the United Front[edit]

The UNP in 1978 introduced commissions to charge the United Front members calling they ignored or violated human rights through events such as the humiliation, rape and murder of Premawathie Manamperie. The UNP called JVP members to give evidence against the UF, which they did. The UF criticized the procedure involved calling it capitalist.[45]:76;77 Following the success, the United Front members lost their civil ownership, they weren't allowed to participate in the 1978 elections. As a result the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) came to become the opposition. The JVP however tried to remove the TULF as well.[46]

1982 presidential election[edit]

The government feared the JVP after the DDC elections. In 1982, Rohana Wijeweera contested the presidential elections. The party expected to win more than 500,000 votes, but won only 275,000. Though it received more votes than the candidate Colvin R. de Silva, the party was disappointed by the results. The government again banned the party, and JVP membership declined as people began to doubt its electoral viability.

1983 ethnic riots[edit]

In 1983, after the ethnic riots, the government proscribed the JVP, CPSL, and NSSP (Vasudeva Nanayakkara's and Vikrambahu Karunaratne's Party) claiming that they were involved in the Black July riots that killed thousands of Tamils.[47] In order to attract the United States and the UK, the government had resorted to proscription of the three parties.[48] However, the proscription on the CPSL was lifted, but the JVP continued to be proscribed due to the lack of Tamil representation in the party. Although it is to be noted that CPSL was the first party to publish a Sinhalese article about the ethnic riots.[49]

Full-time performance in elections[edit]

A banner set up for May Day celebrations

After the JVP leadership was completely eliminated by a violent and ruthless State repression during the Premadasa government, the JVP was resurrected as a political party joining the mainstream led by Somawansa Amerasinghe – the only surviving member of the decimated JVP politburo, however the JVP had an internal conflict breaking out. The JVP supported Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranatunga's election campaign after withdrawing their candidate. The JVP contested the Presidential Elections in 1999 and their candidate Nandana Gunatilleke received 4.08% of the vote. The JVP contested under the banner of National Salvation Front. This was not due to any ban against it, instead it was an internal conflict in the party.[50]

The high point of the JVP's electoral effort was at the parliamentary elections the legislative elections held on 2 April 2004, the party was part of the United People's Freedom Alliance that won 45.6% of the popular vote and 105 out of the 225 seats in Parliament. As the second-largest party of this coalition, it became part of the government with 39 MPs and three cabinet portfolios.[51]

Post-Tsunami violence[edit]

Shortly after the 2004 Tsunami, the JVP considered the Sri Lankan government (coalition) was seeking for assistance from the LTTE. After multiple arguments, the JVP and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU; Sinhala National Heritage) started protests against the peace involvement from Norway. Subsequently, Tamil journalist Dharman Sivaram was assassinated. The Therraputtabaya Brigade, unknown before, issued death threats to multipe other journalists, these included the former JVP member, Victor Ivan.[52]

The Theraputtabhaya Brigade however didn't issue death threats to those within the government (coalition).

2005 presidential elections[edit]

In 2005, Mahinda Rajapakse was elected president of Sri Lanka. Some political analysts believed that the majority of support and endorsement to Rajapakse came from the JVP due to Rajapaksha opposing the peace process. A few analysts reject this idea by saying that JVP and were too weak at this point to make an influence in mainstream elections. But some other independent intellects like Dayan Jayatilleka, Nalin de Silva and Mohan Samaranayake point out that Rajapaksha agreement with JVP paved the path to his victory.[53]

Internal conflict of April 2008[edit]

The party had an internal conflict between the two factions of Wimal Weerawansa and the party leadership in April 2008.[54] The party had decided to suspend the membership of Wimal Weerawansa as of 21 March 2008. The media reports said that Weerawansa had an argument with the leadership based on the disarmament of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) political party, which was contesting in the country's eastern provincial council elections to be held in May 2008 under the banner of the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA).[55][56]

A member of the party, Piyasiri Wijenayake, accused the opposition party, UNP, of conspiring against JVP at a media conference held at Nippon Hotel in Colombo on 8 April 2008. He alleged that Ravi Karunanayake, a UNP member who had attended a meeting with senior JVP leaders at his residence, was the main conspirator.[57] Piyasiri Wijenayake further told BBC that his and Achala Suranga Jagoda's vehicles were forcefully removed by the group led by Jayanatha Wijesekara, a member of the parliament from Trincomalee district.[58]

The dissident Wimal Weerawansa group visited the most senior Buddhist monks of Asgiriya and Malwatte chapters on 20 April 2008, to seek the blessings for their new political movement. Weerawansa also accused the UNP Kotte leaders of the conspiracy against the JVP.[59]

The breakaway group of ten JVP parliamentarians led by Wimal Weerawansa formed a new political party called the Jathika Nidahas Peramuna (JNP). Party activities began on 14 May 2008, the anniversary of the day Rohana Wijeweera had formed the JVP in 1965 and of the day the LTTE had killed 146 pilgrims during the Anuradhapura massacre at the Sri Maha Bodhi in 1985. The party leaders who addressed the inaugural ceremony at BMICH in Colombo said that the new political party was an alternative to the two main political parties, UNP and SLFP, but not of the JVP.[60] In December 2008, JNP joined the government. They claimed that the government should be supported in this moment as it was successfully fighting LTTE in the north of Sri Lanka. In commenting on this issue, JVP politicians blamed the government, saying that it had mishandled many problems. They further alleged that their rivals had joined the government for personal gain.[61]

2010 presidential and parliamentary elections[edit]

JVP formed a coalition with UNP to support Sarath Fonseka, the former army chief, in the 2010 presidential elections,[62] but he was defeated by the incumbent, Mahinda Rajapakse.[63] After this, the UNP left the coalition and the JVP contested the general elections along with Sarath Fonseka's factions under the banner of Democratic National Alliance. The alliance won 7 seats, of which 4 were won by JVP candidates. The party had 39 seats before the elections.[64]

Internal Conflict in April 2012[edit]

The party had a split in 2012 when a group of party members left the party to make the new Frontline Socialist Party. Although the FLSP was not quite successful as the JVP, they still participated in elections. FLSP would fail to overcome the popularity of the JVP but they remained more active by conducting protests and anti-American propaganda.

Formation of FLSP[edit]

Premakumar Gunaratnam was an elusive leader and JVP leaders denied the existence of a party member as "Premakumar Gunaratnam". In April 2012, internal crisis within the party heated up between the hard core socialist Gunaratnam and the party leader Somawansa Amarasinghe. As a result, the party's media unit was shut down once a majority of the members extended their support to Gunarathnam. The women's wing and a majority of the students' and youth wings have extended their support to Gunaratnam group.

A former politburo member of the JVP, Dimuthu Attygalle was the former head of the JVP women's wing and the party leader for several districts. Another former politburo member Pubudu Jagoda was an active member in the Socialist Youth Union that includes the education wing. He also played a key role in the JVP newspaper 'Lanka'. Several student union leaders like Duminda Nagamuwa, Udul Premaratne and Chameera Koswatte have also sided with FLSP. [65]

2015 presidential and parliamentary elections[edit]

A pro-Democracy protest

JVP neither contested nor directly supported any coalition in the January 2015 presidential election, but it heavily criticized incumbent President Mahinda Rajapakse, which eventually assisted in his defeat. Later in August the party contested on its own for the parliamentary election and obtained six seats, receiving 543,944 votes.

2019 presidential elections[edit]

The JVP candidate was Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, who contested under the symbol of the compass. The total votes received was 418553 votes which accounted for 3.16% of valid votes for the Presidential Election. For the election, party went as the National People's Power. Since then the party was called "NPP" or "JJB" (Jathika Jana Balavegaya) but also referenced as the "JVP" casually.[66]

2020 Parliamentary elections[edit]

The Jathika Jana Balavegaya participated in the 2020 elections which they became the fourth from the total vote. The party gained a total of 445,958(3.48%) votes which is the least the party gained since the second election in 1994.[67]



Name Portrait Periods in party leadership Special Notes
Rohana Wijeweera Rohana Wijeweera (1943-1989).jpg 14 May 1965 – 13 November 1989 Founder, led the party from its beginning until his death on 13 November 1989
Saman Piyasiri Fernando 13 November 1989 – 29 December 1989 Leader for a few days after the death of Rohana Wijeweera
Lalith Wijerathna Lalith wijerathne photo.jpg 27 December 1989 – 1 January 1990 The third leader, albeit for a very brief period from December 1989 to January 1990
Somawansa Amarasinghe 1 January 1990 – 2 February 2014 Rebuilt the party after almost all of its top leaders were eliminated in 1989/1990. Continued to be the leader until his retirement in February 2014
Anura Kumara Dissanayaka AnuraKumara.jpg 2 February 2014 - Present The current leader, from February 2014

Other notable leaders[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Sri Lanka Parliamentary Elections
Election year Party leader Votes Vote % Seats won +/– Government
1994 Somawansa Amarasinghe 90,078 1.13%
1 / 225
Increase 1 Opposition
2000 518,774 6.00%
10 / 225
Increase 9 Opposition
2001 815,353 9.10%
16 / 225
Increase 6 Opposition
2004 4,223,970 45.60%
39 / 225
Increase 23 Government [c]
2010 441,251 5.49%
4 / 225
Decrease 31 Opposition
2015 Anura Kumara Dissanayaka 543,944 4.87%
6 / 225
Increase 2 Opposition
2020 445,958 3.84%
3 / 225
Decrease 3 Opposition
Sri Lanka Presidential Elections [e]
Election year Candidate Votes Vote % Result
1982 Rohana Wijeweera 273,428 4.19% Lost
1994 Nihal Galappaththi 22,749 0.30% Lost [f]
1999 Nandana Gunathilake 344,173 4.08% Lost
2019 Anura Kumara Dissanayake 418,553 3.16% Lost

Offshoots and Spin-offs[edit]

Since its creation in 1965, JVP had some major splits, some emerged as Militant factions and others participated in elections. Many splits were due to ideological changes while others were caused by internal conflicts with other major leaders within the party.

Viplavakari Tharuna Peramuna (Ceylon Revolutionary Youth Front), participated with the JVP and the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (Revolutionary) in a rally on May Day. Believed to be a spin-off.[68]

Motherland Defense Front, a patriotic front that was formerly a coalition between the JVP and the Maoists. It was succeeded by the Patriotic People's Movement.[68]

Maoist Youth Front, created in 1970 as a Maoist offshoot of the JVP, when a certain number of JVP members were expelled from the group. Maoist Youth Front highly emerged as a militant organization; until shortly collapsing following the end of the first JVP insurrection in 1971. The leader was named Dharmasekara.[68]

Frontline Socialist Party, formed in 2012 following the split by the former DJV leader; Premakumar Gunartnam.

Jathika Nidahas Peramuna, a left-wing offshoot by non-radicals in the party.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ
  2. ^ 1971 JVP insurrection#Prelude; 1971 JVP insurrection#Insurrection
  3. ^ As part of the United People's Freedom Alliance, but left the coalition after a year with the 39 elected seats
  4. ^ As part of the Democratic National Alliance, but later on the coalition was dissolved and JVP was left with 4 seats
  5. ^ JVP only contested in the 1982 and 1999 elections
  6. ^ Contested as Sri Lanka Progressive Front


  1. ^ Bennet, Owen. The Patriotic Struggle of the JVP: A Reappraisal. pp. 43–44.
  2. ^ a b c History of the JVP, 1965-1994.
  3. ^ "2020 results".
  4. ^ "The Internationale" in 82 languages
  5. ^ "List of recognized political parties" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 December 2014.
  6. ^ People's Liberation Front. Britannica
  7. ^ "Parliamentary General Election - 1994" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2010.
  8. ^ CIA: The World Factbook, 1991. p. 292.
  9. ^ Hartman, Tom (1988). A World Atlas Of Military History 1945-1984.
  10. ^ Lerski, Jerzy Jan; Lerski, George Jan (1968). Origins of Trotskyism in Ceylon: A Documentary History of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, 1935-1942. Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace.
  11. ^ Nubin, Walter (2002). Sri Lanka: Current Issues and Historical Background. ISBN 9781590335734.
  12. ^ "Ceylon: A Review of the First Year of the United Front Government in Office". Verfassung und Recht in Übersee / Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 4 (4): 415–427. 1971. JSTOR 43111387.
  13. ^ Alles, p. 11.
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Further reading[edit]

  • Alles, Anthony (1977). Insurgency – 1971 : An Account of the April Insurrection in Sri Lanka – via Google books.
  • Sri Lanka, the years of terror : The J.V.P. insurrection, 1987-1989 by C.A. Chandraprema, Lake House Bookshop (1991) ISBN 9559029037
  • Michael Colin Cooke, (2011). Rebellion, Repression and the Struggle for Justice in Sri Lanka : The Lionel Bopage Story, Colombo: Agahas Publishers ISBN 978-0300051308
  • Dharman Wickramaratne (2019). Satanin Satana [From war to a war] (in Sinhala).
  • 'Javipe deweni karalla', ජවිපෙ දෙවෙනි කැරැල්ල, Dharman Wickramaratne, 2016
  • Comrade Lionel, Dharman Wickramaratne, 2019
  • An Exceptional Collapse of the Rule of Law: Told Through Stories by Families of the Disappeared in Sri Lanka, Edited by Shyamali Puvimanasinghe, researched by Moon Jeong Ho and Bruce Van Voorhuis, Published by the Asian Legal Resource Center and Asian Human rights Commission (Hong Kong) and the 'Families of the Disappeared' (Sri Lanka), 2004.
  • Dr. Ruwan M. Jayatunge, 71 Karalla – aarambhaye sita avasaanaya dakva poorna samalochanayak (1971 Insurrection ‒ a complete review from the beginning to the end), Agahas Publishers, 2011.
  • Victor Ivan, 71 Karalla (1971 Insurgency)
  • Victor Ivan, Sinhala Karalikaruvange Samaja Pasubima (The Social Background of Sinhalese Rebels)
  • Eric Gamini Jinapriya, Api Anugamanaya Kale Mao ge Moola Kandavuru Nyaayaya (We followed Mao's base camp theory) ‒ Interview with Kalyananda Thiranagama, Divaina, August 11, 2014.
  • Mao Zedong, On Protracted War, marxists.org
  • Godahewa Indradasa, Failed Revolts in Sri Lanka (1971 and 1987 ‒ 1989)
  • Udeni Sarath Kumara, Wijeweerage Hardaya Saakshiya (Wijeweera's Conscience), Niyamuwa Publishers.

External links[edit]

Official website[edit]

Youth wing[edit]


Independent sources[edit]