July 14, 1943: Sri Lankan communist Rohana Wijeweera born.
Starting in 1960, he studied at the Peoples’ Friendship University in Moscow in medical school, but did not graduate as political activity took precedent. During his years in the Soviet Union, Rohana learned Russian. During vacations he traveled in the Soviet Union, where he worked on a farm in Moldova. In 1963 he took a sabbatical for illness and returned to Sri Lanka.
On May 15, 1965, Rohana Wijeweera founded the Marxist political party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the People’s Liberation Front, Sri Lanka. In 1971 they attempted to seize power. The revolution failed and Rohana Wijeweera was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.
After his sentencing, he uttered his famous speech with the words: “We can by killed, but our voices cannot be stifled,” reminiscent of Fidel Castro’s speech “History will Absolve Me.” His life imprisonment was replaced by a 20-year term, and in 1977 he was granted amnesty when an opposition political party came to power. He led a second rebellion in 1987-1989. In November 1989, he was shot dead after being taken prisoner by the Sri Lankan army.
Via Communist World