The killing fields | Sunday Observer

The killing fields

2 October, 2022

The National People’s Power (NPP) party and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the next people’s uprising will be led by the JVP. Attending the NPP electoral organising committee of Akuressa recently. Dissanayake forewarned that the second uprising of the people will be far more dangerous than the first.

While expressing his regret for the failure to lead the recent struggle - Aragalaya to victory, he said that the second people’s uprising will happen through the leadership and guidance of the NPP.

Nearly 5,000 youth were killed in the JVP insurrection on April 5, 1971. The 2nd JVP insurrection lasted from 1986 to 1990 and at least 67,652 people were either killed or made to disappear as a result of it.

Of these, 6,661 were killed by JVP insurrectionists. This is a reflection on that violent past.


The last poem written by a JVP insurrectionist:

I saw the beauty of the rose
but I only witnessed its thorns later
I was enticed by the wonders of the Kekatiya flower
But I only witnessed the mire on it much later
I listened to the soothing sound of the Hewisi wafting across the village
but I only realised later
that the sound emanated from a hollow instrument
I witnessed the magnificence of a rainbow
but I only understood later
that this was a mere illusion created by light.

This poem was written by a first-year student of the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Peradeniya (D 87/36) Jayasundara Mudiyanselage Vipul Rajasinghe aka Devaka Perera who was born on 20 June 1966 in Dematiyawa, Ratnapura.

He was the Ratnapura district leader of the National Student Centre during the 2nd JVP insurrection. After his arrest in Balangoda Ellepola on November 22, 1989, he was detained at the Kiriella police station, where he wrote this poem and had it delivered to his home. Vipula Rajasinghe along with 6 others who were detained by the Kiriella Police were killed by them on November 25, 1989 and thrown into the Kalu Ganga near the Heraniyaka Bridge in Kiriella. Vipula’s younger brother, Anura Priyantha Jayasundara, a first-year student of the Colombo University Law Faculty, was also killed on December 23, 1989, after being arrested by the officers of the Kajugaswatta Artillery Army Camp in Ratnapura.


Details of the 6661 persons killed by the JVP in the JVP 2nd insurrection

1789 UNP activists, 483 State employees, 324 policemen, 202 military personnel including officers, 187 university and school students, 92 family members of police officers, 70 family members of military personnel, 52 principals, 41 bhikkhus, 27 trade unionists, 18 estate managers, 9 journalists and artists, 7 lawyers, 6 leading businessman, 2 professors, 2 catholic clergy, 200 SLFP members, 141 Mahajana Pakshaya members, 43 Communist Party members, 24 NSSP members, 22 Sama Samaja Party members, 19 Janatha Sangamaya members, 7 insurrectionists from 1971, 3 independent student union members, 2 people’s socialist members, 1 socialist people’s movement member, 1 Avissawella group member, 2888 civilians including doctors, engineers and teachers.


Value of some properties destroyed during the JVP 2nd insurrection

According to statistics published by the Government on March 9, 1993, some of the properties destroyed by the JVP insurgents were as follows:

State-owned buses worth Rs. 280 million, private buses worth Rs. 240 million, railway property worth Rs. 240 million, Government vehicles worth Rs 100 million, Government buildings worth Rs. 960 million, communication equipment worth Rs. 200 million, electrical transformers worth Rs. 250 million, tea factories worth Rs. 40 million, agricultural property worth Rs. 200 million. Also among them are properties related to the mining industry worth Rs. 620 million, administrative institutions worth Rs. 160 million, and institutions worth Rs. 50 million.