Monday, November 20, 2017 09:34:58 PM

The April 5: The Day that shook the South and its legacy

By Dayapala Thiranagama - Mon Apr 04, 1:26 am

Photo via The Killing of Rohana Wijeweera, BBC

The impulsion towards nationalist sentiment in politics, has in our view, exceedingly profound roots in the life style of the modern man, which makes for homogeneity of a single high culture within any political unit, and which condemns those not masters of the said culture, or unacceptable within it to a humiliating, painful second class status (Ernest Gellner, Nationalism, pp.102-03, 1998).

Introduction
A revolutionary mood gripped Sri Lankan youth in the mid-1960s, particularly our universities.  There were half a dozen or so revolutionary groups that had sprung up but the movement later known as the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), led by elusive and charismatic Rohana Wijeweera was unmistakably in the ascendant. It was the most successful, serious and determined organization amongst Sinhalese youth.

Their bases at universities were very active and they publicly argued in support of the oncoming revolution. It was more of a moral persuasion than political, either you were going be a part of the revolution or against it….

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