JVP Defends wearing badges to show party identity

Jan 18 (IL) JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said that if not for the JVP volunteer relief force that came into action soon after the tsunami disaster providing relief measures in affected areas with the security forces, the government would have come under more criticism and condemnation. He said this at a meeting held to mark the inauguration of the second phase of the volunteer relief force in Ampara district with the handing over the welfare centres maintained by the JVP volunteer forces to the government officials.

" If we did not rush to provide relief assistance and rehabilitation work from December 27 soon after the tsunami disaster took place, criticism and blame to the government would have been manifold. Such criticism was softened as most of the public including the District Secretaries and other public sector employees saw our service as part of the government work," Mr. Amarasinghe added.

Referring to hard-hitting reports appearing in leading newspapers criticizing the activities of the JVP, Mr. Amarasinghe said there was no need to get discouraged by such media reports as none of the civilians in the affected areas where the JVP volunteer force was active, blame them or made a complaint against them .

Defending the wearing of the JVP badge and responding to criticism made by some elements and a section of the media, he said " Some ask this peculiar question as to why the JVP's volunteer force work under its party name and having party's logo on their dress. We are an organization and any organization when involving in some activity work under their own identity. Why didn't anyone complain that the Red Cross Society is working under their organization's logo and wearing their badge. They could also be told not to wear such things in a disaster like this. When more than ten thousand are involved in relief work through out the country how can we coordinate with each other if we do not have a separate identity" .

He also queried as to how the country could over come the massive challenges placed before them following the tsunami disaster when some responsible persons act in such a narrow minded way.

The JVP leader also praised President Chandrika Kumaratunge for not allowing the UN Secretary General Koffi Annan to visit the LTTE controlled areas