Explains his political ideologies and how ‘aragalaya’ was groomed with his vision
The anti-government uprising, colloquially known as the ‘aragalaya,’ comleated 100 days. This initiative was able to achieve many milestones that turned the country’s political landscape upside down.
Kumar Gunaratna should be recognised for initiating and rallying people towards a single goal of chasing Rajapakse during a period when the country was politically, economically, and socially bankrupt.
He began his political career as a JVP front-line leader. He later left the JVP and joined the ‘Peratu gami Samajavadi’ party. As the party’s general secretary, he is responsible for the party’s advancement. He was the hidden character in the Galle Face ‘aragalaya’ as a mytry arm.
In a YouTube interview titled “Truth with Chamuditha,” he openly discussed his contribution to the “aragalaya.” He expressed his thoughts on what is going on in the country, the political uprising that is taking place, and the explicit power struggle for the intelligent political audience’s benefit. We have reproduced excerpts of it below for the benefit of mawrata readers’ knowledge.
Q: Is Arragalaya now over?
A: Aragalay has reached one crucial juncture, but it still has a long way to proceed.
Q: Let me ask you something. Please reveal the truth. Aren’t you the real owner of this Aragalay?
A: The real owners of this ‘aragalaya’ are the people of this country, because we know the great number of people who made the ultimate sacrifice inside this ‘aragalaya’. Therefore, I must state that the owners of the ‘aragalaya’ are the people. The reason for this is that we know people were humilated in many ways. They were classified as’slaves.” Many derogatory remarks were made about them, but people demonstrated how to be disciplined, organized, and well-behaved within an ‘aragalaya,’ as well as how to approach goals methodically.
Q: Comrade Kumar Gunaratnam. You are a very dangerous person. At times, you appear to be a very wealthy individual; at times, you travel in a push cycle, at times in a motor cycle, at times in a three-wheeler, at times you live in an open air, secret life, so are you the brain behind this ‘aragalaya’?
A: From the beginning, we discharged a very active conribution in this ‘aragalaya’. Actually, from the time Gotabaya Rajapakse came to power, when people were oppressed, the aragalaya created a backdrop to rise against militarisation. Putting a dictator in the constitution creates faith in Aragala. People come to a state believing that there is no alternative to Aragala. We intervene in Aragala because we believe in it.
Q; A president who assumes power with one third of the power and with 69 million votes could be outsted by Kumar Gunaratnam, who polled 12,000 votes.
A: The issue here is not about votes; regardless of party affiliation, cast, creed, or religion, Mases created a platform to exercise their sovereignty
Q: What I ask is how come Kumar Gunaratnam’s 12,000 became bigger than Gota’s 69 lacks?
A: We have to learn something here. The verdict from an election is a robbed one. It does not represent the true mandate of the people. We know how they used Easter attacks and communal violence before 69 lacked to bring Gota to power. This is not the true mandate that can be achieved by people’s efforts that are discharged towards representing people’s true intentions and wishes.
Q: Whatever you say within the aragalaya, that’s how you act. Even though you try to portray yourself as a “innocent baby” today, you were a leader in the JVP’s military wing and were in charge of Trincomalee. You do not belong to the democratic flow, comrade, and you are knowledgeable about armed conflict. This is how you successfully captured the legislature using your strategy.
A: It is good that you used the word “democracy.” What is democracy? Is it drafting dectatorial constitutions, getting all the power concentrated on one family, and enacting laws and statutes for one dictator’s benefit? if not having duel citizenship and allowing foreign agents to thrive. No, it is not democracy. On the 9th, we saw how people exercise their sovereign rights.
Q: why you are still in hiding?
We are openly engaged in politics. We come to the media and express our views. To return to your original question, people’s power outside of parliament, away from ‘diyawannawa,’ is the only solution to Sri Lanka’s political ills.
Q: At the moment, anyone who is not on the national list can enter parliament and even become president; your goal is to do so?
A: This constitution has such provisions. But I, our Peratugami Samajawadi party, the political force we represent, and the people who believe in our doctrine do not believe in bringing someone in and making him President or Prime Minister. I can state exactly that the people’s force that converged on the president’s house on the 9th had a plan for the future. However, our party had a better program, but we agree with the people’s program that they presented on that day.
Q: you do not accept the constitution of the country?
A: We have to address this issue to the people. We believe this constitution is a divine word. These are enacted by people. For instance, they brought the 20th amendment, which expanded powers. Did it not become the law? After that, dual citizens can enter parliament and become ministers. If this is so, are these laws correct? People know these are not correct laws. Therefore, what we say is that laws that strengthen the power of the people, laws that treasure people’s power, and laws that express people’s power.
Q : Why don’t you answer directly? Do you accept the constitution of this country or not?
A: The representation under this constitution is bizarre. That weirdness we saw. This constitution did not have a provision to remove a president whom the people hated.
Q: Do you accept the county’s constitution?
A: Clearly, we have to superseed this constitution and the people’s constitution should be enacted.
Q: I can tell Kumar Gunaratnam does not accept this constitution.
A: Not only me the left movement of this country continuously emphasized this constitution should be changed. there for the constitution is not acceptable. we offer pople to enact one through a referendum.
Q: Kumar Gunaratnam launched this aragalaya aiming at the presidential campaign.
A: This argalaya is to win people’s democratic rights , to strengthen peoples economic power strenthen Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, people’s unity and strengthen all opresed peoples rights. ?
Q: I asked kumar gunaratnems goal was the presidential election?
A: I think this question need not to be answerd peole’s victory and elevate their living standards is the main aim.
Q: Kumar Gunaratnam does not understand debates or dialogues; he only knows how to be armed and wage war. He was in hiding and he did not know about these democratic values.
A: Kuar Gunaratnam knows the left moment’s agreement. That agreement is with the people. That is to agree with people’s economic and political aspirations.
Q: There are two aspects to this. Some refuse the owner ship to the Aragala, while others try to take credit for it. to own this. But this is people’s. But Dumnda Nagamuwa had said inside this aragalaya in may places our presence is there.
A: Exactly yes.
Q: ‘Antharey’ is clearly a part of peratugami.?
A: No as a political party we have a trade union , student union fisheries and other
Q: Antharaya is Preatugami?
A: antharaya is the wider student centre. they have different political view but one ageda. Struggling for education over a period of time collective .
Q: who financed this aragalaya? or is it an international coup. Australian money? Web sites termed you a wealthy man? Are you the financier of this ? Raw organization is behind this?
A: Raw, I believe, is concerned about the situation, and pursuing Rajapakse is a concern for their activities. I read people like Subramanium Swamy requesting to bring these people back to power. They lost the opportunity to grab economic strategic places for themselves. They are very sad. Therefore, RAW is very worried about this. Western powers are very worried because when governments and leaders are weaker, it’s easier for them to get what they want in the region.
Q: Wasn’t there a international net work inside the aragalaya?
A; Definitely no. There was an international network. Those who had migrated all Sinhala and Tamils in the diaspora were with the aragalaya. All those were in the preogessive groups in those countries.
Q: How much money you spent ?
A : A good question This was decided by the people of this country. We know when Galle Face protesters were in a difficult time, the people of the country provided them with food and basic necessities. Therefore, the people of this country financed this aragalay completely.
Q: Comrade Gunaratnam I need a direct answer. What I ask you is who you are actually. Are you playing a double game? Are you a tykoon in Australia?
A: I actually had to go to Australia amidst Rajapaka regime harressments for safety. Because we went there, we had to live there as well. My wife and children live there. Perhaps they may come to Sri Lanka. As you mentioned, I had to break away from JVP because of ideological differences and form my own party. But to form the party, we have not changed our policies. Since my joining the party in 1981, I am still a leftist politician. I am involved in people’s policies. I aspire to take people away from the suffering and solve the national issue from their angle.
Q: from the past to today you believe you have only one political religion that is armed conflict?
A: I believe that people have done this based on personal experience. Two years ago, when we suggested incorporating aragalaya into daily life, it was regarded as a joke. It was something that is impossible to believe. But today, we observed that throughout the previous six months, people had gone to work, stood in a fuel line in the evening, attended to their children’s needs, and then participated in the aragalaya. It was incorporated into their daily lives.
Because of this, we advise the citizens of this nation to remain neutral until after casting their ballots. True democratic rights cannot be realized in representative democracies. Vote, choose governments, but also engage in daily activity to maintain your political rights
Q: That means an armed conflict?
A: No we clearly saw 9th what happened is not an armed conflict
Q;: Then who torched Ranil’s house?
A: That we do not know?.
Q: That is not possible if arragalay was arrange you should have answer to everything?
A: Yesterday, I visited the National Hospital to see a journalist who had been assaulted and a wounded comrade. The events of that day are quite mysterious to many journalists. We saw’sirasa’ journalist were attacked when approximately a group of twenty protesters there acted in a very wired style, and we observe some organized coup behind all of this.
They adopted the tactic of attacking and anticipating a counterattack without attempting to stop it. In order to maintain their power, the IGP, Army commander, and president assaulted the demonstration. I believe there is a motto hidden underneath Ranil Wickramasinghe’s house sign as well.
Q: you mean there was a coup.?
A: yes very clearly.
Q: Behaviour of police suspicious means police burned Ranil’s house?
A: A number of police officers are present. majority opinion we are aware of. They all result from free education. We are aware of their suffering, yet some people continue to play filthy games with the patronage of politicians by becoming their stooges. Such a past exists for us. However, there are some similar evil deeds going on behind the scenes, according to social media.
Q you mean attack on Ranil’s house is a coup?
A: Definitely. How come all of a sudden the same night they go to Ranil’s house and light it on fire after so few people risked the police firing and threats so peacefully
Q: It means that protesters are not attacking? .
A: Political leadership is structured to systematically weaken Aragalay’s initiatives. Such plans are made by those who want to maintain their authority. I believe the truth will become clear very shortly.
Q: This implies that the government directly orchestrated the attack, correct?
A: The question is what is a government. where the President’s whereabouts are unknown. The president, who received 69 percent of the vote, has no idea where he is. The location of the government’s ministers is unknown. Therefore, there are several parts of government that you might refer to. Some people engage in many dicey activities in order to keep their power. They think they can perform inside the legislature, but the public’s perception has altered recently.
He further explained when asked if the president’s departure on the 13th was believable. No one ever trusted Ranil’s political game. Therefore, the president should go by the 13th.
If he does not leave, he recalled on the 9th that these people tried to hold on to power what happened in two months due to the people’s resistance. They had to leave.
He said the power has to be defined according to the people’s pulse. Therefore, this is not ours or any other political party’s requirement. This is a srugle of the general public. This is not the struggle of those who indulge in day to-day activities. As a result, this has spread from the lower ranks to the most affluent. this is the expectation of all to get rid of Rajapaksa. Democratic reforms should come immediately.
Who would replace Rajapaksa? It’s not the problem.When Aragalaya triumphs, political genuinity flourishes. we saw about six months ago is different from today.
There is no point in replacing Rajapakse with someone else. Now is the time for the people who denounce the system and wish to see the implementation of a new system. That is what is needed.
There is no one inside the parliament who could get someone transformed into this. He said, “Argalay, we must have read in books, but really experiencing it is an achievement.” Is that too peaceful?