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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 16. September 8th 1971

Preparation for struggle:

Preparation for struggle:

The Janata Vimukthi Peramuna's preparations for struggle were clandestine for nearly five years up to August 1970, from which time they appeared and commenced to function in the open. Their ideological preparation was also clandestine and confined to their cadres, membership and their periphery of sympathisers who were also of the youth. Their political training was through basic classes organised in secret. They is no evidence of the circulation of any literature or newspapers until they came into the open. In the light of the armed struggle they launched donning uniforms and using guns and bombs, it would appear that they had given military training to their cadres. Evidently from the very outset, their main preoccupation was preparation for armed struggle. The secretive nature of their military preparations was such, that sooner or later, they had to embark on armed struggle irrespective of the development of the mass situation.

When they came out into thyopen they held well attended mass rallies and published their own newpaper. At the time of their illegalisation the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna had several newspapers. It any event their open work was auxiliary to their preparation for armed struggle.

The reaction of the coalition government to the open political activities of the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna and their visible success was to denounce them as C.I.A, agents. A joint statement signed by the secretaries of the three coalition parties - SLFP, LSSP and CP in August 1970 was an announcement that the government had decided to attack this movement with strong-arm methods. And very soon this was happening. The full repressive force of the State apparatus was used. The police invaded the homes of the youth, arrested, beat them up and even tortured them, and thereafter had number of this youth remanded even when there was no evidence to place any charge against them in that regard.

When the failure of the coalition government with regard to the pressing problems of the workers, peasants, youth and students made the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna a left oppositional rallying centre which was visibly growing, police action against this movement stepped up. In March (1971) this police action came to a head with the arrest of the two well-known leaders of this party, and also a large number of their members and supporters. It was in this context, that the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna launched their uprising on 5th April.