| by Victor Cherubim
( May 25, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Sri Lanka M.P, on his first visit to London, as Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Perumana (People’s Liberation Front) was given a rousing reception by a full house of Sinhala disapora at a Community Centre in Wembley Central on 24 May 2014.
He was “Meeting the People” to explain the Vision of his party in building up the country, as he outlined his policy framework.
“There is only one genuine solution for the crisis Sri Lanka is confronted with at present. It is a new social transformation that changes the present social system in its whole entity. It is a society where genuine economic development, social justice, democracy, national unity, genuine independence, individual freedom and good governance could be achieved. It needed a new society with a people’s administration that is suitable for our country and is based on new socialist policies. Such a society could be developed not with false promises but by implementing a clear and steadfast set of policies, “as outlined in the JVP Vision Statement.
Anura Dissanayake raised many issues and spoke for over two and a half hours, with pin drop silence, except during applause - a record perhaps, as someone in the audience remarked, for a talk in London, He spoke passionately about the worry of the modern evils of casino gambling, drugs, anti social acts and accompanying debt and taxes. He said, the absence of a production economy has pushed Sri Lanka into a debt trap with more overseas loans to pay for development.
He touched on the burdens of youth in education, employment and healthcare. He tried hard to be sombre and subdued. However, it appeared as if he could sense vibrancy in his audience literally edging him on, craving for more information,
He fielded many questions after his address elaborating in greater detail of the institutionalisation of the Executive functions, the inordinate burdens on the working class and the life of wealthy capitalists as well as the promotion of religious disharmony.
The suggestion perhaps, is that only a magician can solve this litany of disregards in the world of today. Where does one start to tackle this problem, was not one of the questions asked, neither was one proffered?
The atmosphere was electric. The late afternoon with thundershowers and brilliant sunshine, replicated as in Sri Lanka. The address was in Sinhala, to a Sinhala audience, clamouring for a “revolution” of sorts. Talking about Sri Lanka to this inspired audience in London was one thing, delivering it in Sri Lanka is another matter, said an elder.
It was vintage Sri Lanka with nostalgia and a treat for the senses.