It is April once again we commemore the April Heroes who participated in the heroic uprising of April 1971.Forty Nine years have passed since those heroic men and women (many of whom embraced martyrdom) took up arms to resist the repression unleashed upon the revolutionary movement which reflected through Janata Vimukti Peramuna (JVP) by Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike regime comprised of the bourgeois Sri Lanka Freedom Party(SLFP), the Lanka Sama Samaja Party(LSSP) which professed to be a Trotskyite party, and pro-Moscow Communist Party (CP).
The JVP was born in 1965 opposing to the opportunistic, class collaborationist politics of the old left parties some of which had entered into united fronts with the two main bourgeois parties namely the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the United National Party (UNP).The founders of the JVP led by Comrade Rohana Wijeweera who had sided with China fraction in the ideological dispute with the soviet Union and had joined the Maoist pro Peking Communist Party had later broken away and formed JVP which was intended to be the forerunner of the revolutionary party of the proletariat.At inception the JVP stressed the need for the ideological struggle which it sought to accomplish by conducting political classes for the masses. More attention was focused in the early stages of educating and organizing the oppressed rural masses, urban proletarians and the state workers.
The JVP which was increased its public presence by 1970 was labelled as the ‘ Che Guevarist Movement’ by then regime led by UNP which prepared the ground work for repression by spreading conspiracy theories and began the actual repression of the organization by arresting a member including the leader Comrade Rohana Wijeweera. However, the JVP had a little breathing space with the change power to the SLFP, LSSP and CP United Front government (which received conditional support from the JVP) at the general elections held in early 1970, which it utilized to address the masses through well attended public rallies beginning with its maiden rally held at Hyde Park Colombo on 10th August. The JVP was at the time putting forward a number of demands to the government including Nationalization of estates, land reforms and fulfillment of election promises.
The United front government which was deviating from its election promises was coming under increasing criticism from the JVP was fearful of increasing popularity and strength of the latter and followed the example set by the previous UNP regime to set up the background for oppression.
April heroes did not stand with the purported coalition whereas they realized the danger behind the popular politics of the regime before all others. They had chosen a new path to topple the system. They woke up early. The government with the assistance of the so called left parties namely communist party and LSSP manipulated the socialism creating long queues while the leaders spending luxuries life styles. The April heroes were compelled to fight against the deceptive reforms of the regime and to build up real socialism as well. The heroic movement brought the slogan in to surface ‘ our aspiration is just county,reasonable society and free human’.As a result of state terrorism unleashed against them there was no any other option to carry out arm struggle against the regime and the system.
Comrade Wijeweera upraised his heroic voice stating that ‘though we woke up early the doesn’t rise. However our early wake will be a benefit when sun rises. Throughout the history the people who woke up early had faced severe consequences as they were the real impediment to the uncouth capitalist system. Rather than annually commemorating the April uprising follow the path of the April heroes is the challenge before us.