( Rohana Wijeweera)
Somawansa Amarasinghe, the former leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) says that Rohana Wijeweera did not listen to security warnings by politburo members that he should no t go back to his residence just two days before his arrest and death. Amarasinghe says that even today he cannot understand why Wijeweeera took a lukewarm attitude towards their warnings. He had sat with the leaders such as Rohana Wijeweera and Upatissa Gamanayaka in the last politburo meeting held before their death.
Did you discuss this issue in the politburo meeting?
A: Yes. I said when the agenda was ready that I had a security issue to be discussed first. I was given the chance and I explained it. We had another problem. A comrade was to come from Lewwegoda Estate to guard the politburo meeting. He too did not come. He was a member of the central committee. I highlighted that we needed to know what happened in Bandarawela. But the discussion was continued. However, I continued to raise the issue from time to time.
Did the absence of two politburo members become an issue?
A: We were aware that Gunarathna Wanasinghe was ill. D.M. Ananda’s absence was another problem. We suspected that he could be arrested.
Why were the discussions in Galaha stopped on the second day?
A: When I raised the security issue, Saman Piyasiri and Lalith Wijerathna also supported me. They stressed that what Siri Aiya was telling had to be considered.
Did you get permission to visit Bandarawela?
A: We supplied tea leaves to Neluwa State Plantation Company. The manager was friendly with me. I went to the Peradeniya Post Office and phoned the estate office. We did not have a telephone in our estate. The manager asked me not to visit the estate since there was a risk. He said he had heard the reports of gunfire. He did not want to send anyone there due to the prevailing situation in the country.
Did you return to Galaha?
A: Yes. I left for Galaha and was asked to stop the meeting. I said that it was wrong we returned to the places we were staying earlier.
What did Wijeweera say?
A: Saman Piyasiri and Lalith Wijerathna approved me. I wonder even today about it. Comrade Rohana was keen on security but appeared lukewarm at that moment. I don’t have an answer to that question even today.
Didn’t you suspend the discussion?
A: We decided to suspend the discussion and to wait and see. We also wanted to return to old places if there were no troubles. The politburo discussion was suspended on 11 November at 12 noon.
Did Wijeweera go back to Ulapone?
A: Saman Piyasiri and I insisted that he should not go there. Instead we offered to go there and check. Finally we went there and did not see anything strange. Then Wijeweera went there.
Did all of you leave the place?
A: H.B. Herath and Piyadasa Ranasinghe did not go. Piyadasa was to stay in Galaha for several days since he had security problems in his residence. Both of them stayed there in fear of being isolated during the curfew.
Where were you then?
A: I stayed in an annexe on Trinity Mountain in Kandy. I went there in the night. I had a house by the time I bought the estate in Bandarawela. Since my name had been exposed, I left for Negombo in the night.
How did you know that Wijeweera had been arrested?
A: I heard the special news on 13 November when I was in Negombo.
How did you react to it?
A: I cannot describe my feeling. It was like suffocating. I could not speak. Those who were near asked me whether it was true. I said “yes.”
( Original caption : Somawansa spills the beans – Last JVP politburo meeting )
BY Udeni Saman Kumara/ Ceylon Today