The dissident JVP group yesterday dismissed accusations that it would join President Mahinda Rajapaksa s government and accept ministerial portfolios.
Kalutara District JVP MP Jayantha Samaraweera told The Island they wouldn t accept ministerial portfolios under any circumstances.
The dissident group s spokesman Samaraweera said they challenged the JVP leadership publicly after an influential section of the party attempted to politically assassinate their parliamentary group leader Wimal Weerawansa.
The MP said Mrs. Sujatha Alahakoon, who had been a member of the 11-member dissident group, switched allegiance to the leadership due to heavy pressure. `We sympathise with her,` he said, asserting that the rest would stand by Weerawansa and face any eventuality. Accusing the leadership of resorting to strong arm tactics to subvert the dissidents in a bid to isolate Weerawansa, Samaraweera expressed confidence in resolving the dispute.
Fielding questions, he said they hadn t entered into any official level talks with the party. `But MPs are in constant touch,` he said, asserting that their unofficial talks would facilitate an understanding and hopefully a quick end to the dispute.
Both factions are determined to resolve the damaging crisis before Parliament meets again on May 6.
Samaraweera said Nandana Gunatilleke, MP, quit the party as he strongly opposed to the path the Marxist party was taking. With his departure along with the exit of Gampaha District MP Siripala Amarasinghe on medical grounds, the JVP parliamentary group was reduced to 37. The revolt triggered by Weerawansa has now reduced the group to 27 and unless the JVP leadership drops its bid to oust Weerawansa, the break-up would be permanent, the MP said.
Meanwhile, the dissidents, in a letter addressed to IGP Victor Perera, had urged the immediate release of Trincomalee District MP Jayantha Wijesekera now in remand over the seizure of two vehicles belonging to dissident MPs. Samaraweera said they wouldn t want police to pursue seizure of vehicles belonging to dissidents Piyasiri Wijenayake and Achala Suranga Jagodage from the MPs vehicle park in Parliament premises. Wijesekera was remanded till April 17 when police produced him before Chief Colombo Magistrate Nishantha Hapuarachchi last Friday.
Samaraweera said Wijesekera wouldn t have acted on his own. He would have been ordered by the leadership to target MPs supportive of Werawansa, he said.
Fielding questions, the MP emphasised that Wijesekera s presence was urgently needed in the East to lead the campaign for the first ever elections to the Eastern Provincial Council. He said they wouldn t in anyway try to cripple the JVP campaign or undermine the party. The party needed Wijesekera in Trincomalee and the dissidents wouldn t try to interfere in the JVP campaign in the East.