Chairman and Members of the Commission:

A representative of one social class is addressing the representatives of another social class. That is what is happening here. A representative of the exploited and oppressed proletariat is addressing the representatives of the exploiting and oppressing class. We should not forget that the living reality which transpires here is a struggle for the fulfilment and class interests of two opposed social classes. Although I have been designated the ‘thirteenth suspect’ by this Commission in the present inquiry, the Chairman himself has stated that I am the chief suspect. That being so it will be necessary right at the beginning to tell you who I, the thirteenth suspect, am. I am a Marxist-Leninist. I am a modern Bolshevik. I am a proletarian revolutionary. Marxism-Leninism is a clear doctrine. In no way is a Marxist-Leninist a conspirator. I, a Bolshevik, am in no way a terrorist. As a proletarian revolutionary, however, I must emphatically state that I am committed to the overthrow of the prevailing capitalist system and its replacement by a socialist system.

To disown capitalism which has turned grey, reactionary and obsolete in the course of human social development, to say that this system must be replaced with the new socialist system of production which has come to the fore as befitting the latest and noblest historical stage in the course of the development of human society, and to act accordingly, is in no way a conspiratorial act. I am not a conspirator in the context of the development of history. I am no conspirator in the context of the development of society and humanity.

Honourable Members of the Commission: May I make one request to begin with? I have been subjected to every possible indignity and harassment at the hands of the ruling class and have been for several years the target of numerous defamations, slurs and slanders, mudslinging and character assassination—and all this without any protection from the law. The only request that I make of you, is to respect my right to express my innocence freely and without any let or hindrance. The ruling clique of capitalists will gag me for a long period, if not for all time. In these circumstances I do not wish to blame myself for not saying all that I have to say before you now. I beseech that I be not gagged.

This suspect, who is making use of his right to state the facts that will prove his innocence, does not intend under any circumstances to refrain from saying what he has to say. This capitalist institution has been used against me in a somewhat heavy way. I am not surprised. I know that the ruling class sets up its institutions to serve the needs of capitalism. Pleading my case before this Commission could be considered a futile exercize if it simply provided a legal cover for the unscrupulous and arbitrary decisions, and the disgraceful course of action, on which you have embarked. But I intend to explain the historical process which led to the most furious, the most barbarous and the most widespread human slaughter that has taken place in the recent history of our country.

Honourable Members of the Commission: ‘The noblest, the most valuable, the greatest and supreme treasure that a man has is his life. He lives only once. He should spend that life in such a way that at his dying moment he will have no cause for regret, repentance, shock or sorrow; in such a way that he could really be happy in the thought of having sacrificed his life advancing the development, the liberation and the victory of mankind—the people of the whole world.’ This is a Soviet writer’s interpretation of life. I agree with this aspiration and do not wish to have any reason for sorrow should the capitalist ruling clique cut short my life in the prime of my youth.

I have no regrets whatsoever about my life and the fate in store for me. I hope to tell you everything concerning the history of the April incidents, without any qualms about possible reprisals against my person. The charges made against us are grave. We have been charged with the breach of Sections 114 and 115 of the Penal Code. According to the writ issued to you by the then Governor-General, and also according to the indictment served on us, the period at issue is that between the beginning of 1968 and the end of 1971. It is said that during this period we ‘conspired against the Queen’s government’. It is said that during this period we conspired criminally to overthrow the Government of Ceylon. It is said that we have ‘waged war against the Queen’ or have abetted such acts. Similarly, the opening submissions of the State Prosecutor have attempted to show that the birth of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna was in itself tantamount to a conspiracy. What we actually said and did during this period is the crux of the matter; accordingly my own views and conceptions are as much the subject of inquiry as anything else.