Former Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader and General Secretary of the People’s Servants Party, Somawansa Amarasinghe passed away at the age of 73 yesterday.
He passed away at his Rajagiriya residence, according to the JVP. He rebuilt the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna after almost all of its top leaders were eliminated in 1989/1990. He continued to be the leader until his retirement in February 2014.
Late Somawansa’s father was John Amarasinghe who worked in the Police and the Irrigation Department. His mother was a housewife. Somawansa was the youngest in a family of four. Amerasinghe was born at Payagala Kalutara and was an old boy of the Kalutara Vidyalaya.He had joined the JVP in 1969 and was involved in the 1971 JVP insurgency. Later he was arrested and detained at Galle, Welikada and Jaffna prisons. Somawansa Amarasinghe who rose in rank within the party rapidly later went on to become a politburo member.
In the late 1980s during the JVP’s second insurgency, Somawansa was said to have played a key role, mainly related to party propaganda.
In the end it was only Amarasinghe out of all Politburo members who survived.
He fled the country and led the party in exile for over ten years. Amerasinghe returned to the country in 2004 and continued to lead the party until he handed over the reins to the incumbent JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake in February 2014.
After leaving the JVP Amarasinghe formed the Janatha Sevaka Pakshaya (JSP) People’s Servant Party.