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Last updated: 10 November, 2004 - Published 18:52 GMT
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Wijeweera murder investigation not priority : JVP
Rohana Wijeweera
JVP says the allaince government has other priorities
Appointing a commission to investigate the murder of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s (JVP) founding leader is not the government’s top priority, says the JVP.

JVP parliamentarian and minister for Cultural Affairs Vijitha Herath said that the party is instead doing its utmost to continue his policies to serve the nation as the late leader would have expected.

Minister Herath told BBC Sandeshaya the JVP is conducting a series of commemorations world-wide.

Critics however point out the JVP is reluctant to initiate an investigation to bring the killers to justice as the party is turning 180 degrees from the founder’s policies.

“How could a party, which vehemently opposed Indian intervention in Sri Lanka, now asks Indian mediation to crush the Tamils’ independence struggle?” questioned Gnanasiri Kottigoda, editor of Sinhala weekly “Haraya”.

15 years

Murdered in custody
 The culprits will and need to be brought to justice. But it is not the priority of the Alliance government
Vijitha Herath

JVP’s founding leader Rohana Wijeweera, who led the first armed struggle against the government in post-independence Sri Lanka in 1971, was allegedly murdered by the authorities while in custody on 13 November 1989.

Although eye-witness accounts have also been available, the then government led by the United National Party (UNP) did not conduct an investigation into the assassination despite repeated requests by the human rights organisations.

Minister Herath denied the accusations that the party is reluctant to initiate an investigation as the JVP, a junior partner of the government, is now working hand in hand with the armed forces, who were accused of carrying out the assassination.

“The culprits will and need to be brought to justice. But it is not the priority of the Alliance government,” he said.

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