Monday, May 22, 2017
We recently published a letter from one of our Alumni, Ariyadasa Yapa, sent to the editor of this blog.
Those who have not read that letter, can use the link below.
As you can see from the link above, a few fellow alumni have said that they dont agree with the views expressed by Ariyadasa.
It turns out that this is not the first time Ariyadasa, who seems to be having a personal grudge against Vickrambahu, has come out to attack Vickramabahu.
We take this opportunity to republish a trail of articles previously published in the Lakehouse publication, Daily News, in 2007.
The first article is about an European trip by Vickramabahu Karunaratne in 2007.
'Loony' left leader in LTTE payroll
R. Srikanthan in London
UK: The aging leader of the unrepresentative Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) in Sri Lanka has undertaken an international campaign work for the LTTE. A leader who was born in the communist era and campaigned for decades for proletariat revolution in Sri Lanka is now compromising his ideological stand to campaign for the LTTE killer machine.
Dr. Karunaratne advocates that LTTE is a national liberation movement fighting a legitimate struggle against the oppressive state of Sri Lanka.
The NSSP leader is currently touring the European countries. He addressed a meeting in Norway on February 24, 2007 and in his marathon running campaign work flew back from Oslo to London to make a key note address at a LTTE meeting on the same evening attended by the opposition British Lib- Dem parliamentarians. The meeting turned out to be a vote winning campaign meeting for the Lib-Dem that made any mileage to the LTTE cause.
Dr. Karunaratne's speech in Oslo was relayed in the Vanni based Tamil National Television (TNT) of the LTTE. In his financially rewarding campaign work Dr Karunaratne has agreed not to speak about the NSSP members killed by the LTTE.
The prominent of those killed was the NSSP member Comrade Annamalai who was gunned down in Jaffna in the late 1980's. Killing of Comrade Annamalai was a campaign tool of NSSP against the LTTE for a long time.
Dr. Karunaratne and his party live a very meagre financial existence. NSSP is considered as a passive talk shop which does not command major support anywhere in Sri Lanka to impact on the Sri Lankan politics.
Their loony politics is not attractive even during popular left base campaigns in Sri Lanka.
A full scale investigation of funding for his trip will confirm LTTE's dirty money being used. Dr. Wickramabhu Karunaratne is well looked after by the LTTE activists in London.
Vickramabahu Karunaratne provided the following clarification.
Dr. Karunarathne’s clarification
On February 28, 2007 the Daily News carried a news item about my visit to Europe with many errors and lapses and I wish to clarify the following:
R. Srikanthan’s report on February 28 is interesting and it would have been informative too, if not for the following lapses.
Firstly I have claimed the LTTE to be a liberation movement since its inception, in spite of its capitalist socio-economic perspective and terrorist methods of which Comrade Annamalai was a victim. Secondly I am yet to receive any contribution from the LTTE.
I have accepted all contributions and help from everybody that were prepared to donate, including my friend President Mahinda Rajapaksa. But all these were used for my aims and perspectives.
Thirdly, it is true that I spoke in a meeting with two liberal democratic MPs and a Libdem European Parliament Member, a baroness.
However it is lunacy to maintain the both, that I presented the view of a ferocious guerrilla organisation and also helped the election campaign of English liberal barons!
Presentation of a consistent democratic way out for the Tamil and Muslim people may have helped the liberal campaign. As a Marxist I did not advocate separation.
On the contrary, I made a strong appeal for unity, based on substantial autonomy for the Tamil speaking people.
In any case if I am a loony then those who took me seriously and bestowed awards, such as then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who presented a certificate with a trophy for distinguished service to the working masses and also the academics of the universities of Peradeniya and Cambridge who gave me certificates of distinction, must also be loonies.
Finally Srikantha is silent about my campaign against the development strategy of the Mahinda regime which has made the corrupt rich richer while the poor has become miserable with inflation beyond 20 per cent, at the same time all social services are reduced, ecological recourses are plundered, over 2500 years of both Sinhala and Tamil cultural assets are destroyed and labour and media have lost their rights.
DR. VICKRAMABAHU KARUNARATHNE - President Left Front
Within a couple of days following letter from Ariyadasa Yapa was published in the same news paper.
Response to Wickramabahu’s clarification
In his clarification Dr Karunarathne has mentioned that acadamics of the universities of Peradeniya and Cambridge who gave him certificates of distinctions must also be loones (reference DN March 10).
Yes, there is some truth in it. Let me clarify this. In Sri Lankan society, people generally respect and recognize titles or letter added before or after the name like Dr, Proc, Prof, or BA, MA, B.Sc, M.SC, P.hD, D.Sc, etc., because, majority of the Sri Lankans are still respect the academic achievements and consider those titles or labels added to the name as a measure of the integrity, honesty, decency and trustworthiness of the individual.
I came across Dr. Karunarathne in 1970s when he was a member of the academic staff of the Faculty of Engineering in Peradeniya University and I was also a student in the same faculty.
He was supposed to teach mathematics to the engineering students. But he never did his job right.
Instead, he abused his position and freedom as a lecturer in the faculty of engineering which is considered a very respectable position among the student community as well as in general public to confuse people by spreading false and harmful political ideologies to gain cheap popularity specially among young people.
He encouraged students to fight with the university administration for student’s demands promoting violence, sabotage and vandalism.
He acted as an important catalyst in instigating student unrest by student union creating strikes and unwanted disruptions to the peaceful academic life in the campus.
He did not know or deliberately ignored to recognise that the university is another place for learning and not to govern the country.
He was a real headache and a troublemaker for the peaceful existence of the entire Peradeniya Campus at that time. He still try to abuse his titles and the names of the academic institutions for his advantage to achieve his cheap political objectives. I do not know how many decent Sri Lankans will listen to this man to day.
He is a real danger to the entire nation and a disgrace to the academic institutions that he claimed to have obtained distinctions.
Jayantha Anandappa, a batchmate of Ariyadasa Yapa, provided the following reply.
Bahu Vs Yapa
Ariyadasa Yapa (DN March 12) had completely failed to digest the issues raised by Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne (DN March 10).
Instead he has picked a cursory remark made more in irony on the subject of qualifications and had chosen to go on in a tangent quite angrily, alternating between idiocy and lunacy in a senseless display of mud slinging.
Normally I will be reluctant to respond to such meaningless comments. But as an ex-engineering student of Bahu and a fellow batch mate of Yapa who had sat in the same lecture rooms and followed the same lectures (at Peradeniya in 1972-75) I must post these comments.
As far as I know Ariyadasa Yapa left the island in late seventies or early eighties and since then had been living overseas. Clearly he is light years away from understanding the contemporary Sri Lankan politics and the complex problems faced by the country and the society.
I am too an apolitical person, but this does not mean that university students or lecturers or anyone with voting rights should be denied their fundamental right of expressing their political views or dissent (particularly with respect to social injustices) in a legitimate manner.
Bahu was arrested more than once - on one occasion for hoisting a black flag in his quarters as a protest against the 1978 Constitution giving dictatorial executive powers to one person, an act that has proved to be the bane of the country, which we all must agree at least now on hindsight.
He was also arrested in 1981 in Fort for peacefully demonstrating against JRJ’s ruthless mass scale sacking of public servants for going on strike - an unprecedented undemocratic act in Sri Lanka.
After more than three decades, though his performance as a lecturer may not have relevance to his current role in politics, it is uncharitable to say that Bahu never did his job right as a lecturer.
It is certainly a lie to say that he promoted violence, sabotage and vandalism.
I do not recall a single instance in which Bahu tried to use his position to preach students on his political ideology, certainly not during the course of a lecture.
Contrary to what Yapa had pictured, Bahu was generally regarded as a good lecturer, was popular and highly respected by the entire student community and the staff. He was academically brilliant, charismatic and was one of the few lecturers who knew how to mix with the students. As students, we were simply fascinated by his charismatic personality.
Being the wide eyed, naive undergraduates, we could not then understand how a person of his calibre (who could have achieved anything he wanted in the field of engineering) could get attracted to politics of the masses. Some time in the late seventies or early eighties, Bahu decided to get in to politics full time.
This was Ariyadasa Yapa's reply. It seems that the exchange of letters ended there.
Bahu Vs Yapa
In response to Jayantha Anandappa’s letter titled ‘Bahu Vs Yapa’, it is important to note that the writer has provided wrong information on my behalf. At least, he should have checked with the Sri Lanka immigration about my departure/arrival dates from the island prior to sending false information about myself to a national newspaper.
Furthermore, he has made a flimsy attempt to express his own view about my personal knowledge and awareness of contemporary Sri Lankan issues by saying that my understanding is light years away because of my present stay away from Sri Lanka. Clearly, he has no knowledge of myself and how often I visit my family, relatives and friends in my home country.
It is also apparently clear that Mr. Anandappa is not aware of the modern communication systems and the internet available today for people to learn about Sri Lankan affairs on a minute by minute basis from any where in the world.
Obviously, this confirms to me that Jayantha Anandappa who admits himself that he was fascinated by the charismatic personality of Bahu as a wide eyed naive undegraduate is light years away from the current affairs of the world. Therefore, he has the right qualifications to defend Bahu.
Interesting, itn't it?