The Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) will hold a public meeting in Jaffna, the capital of the war-torn northern province, to commemorate Velupillai Sarawanaperumal, a longstanding SEP member, who died on April 14 from chronic lung disease. His untimely death at the age of just 56 was a great loss to the international Trotskyist movement.
Sarawanaperumal, affectionately known to comrades and friends as “Papa”, joined the Revolutionary Communist League (RCL), the SEP’s forerunner, in 1975 and remained deeply committed to socialist internationalism throughout the subsequent 30 years. In often difficult political and personal circumstances, he opposed all forms of nationalism and chauvinism and sought to unite workers—Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim—around their common class interests.
Sarawanaperumal’s life of principled political struggle holds important lessons for workers and young people searching for a way out of the terrible morass of communal politics created by the Sri Lankan bourgeoisie. The current political crisis of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance highlights the incapacity of any section of the ruling class to find any progressive solution to the country’s brutal 20-year civil war.
The SEP invites WSWS readers, party supporters, friends and colleagues to attend the Jaffna meeting to pay tribute to a veteran Trotskyist and to discuss the political significance of the principles for which he tenaciously fought.
Date and time: Sunday May 29, 2.30 p.m.
Venue: M.P.C.S. Auditorium, KKS Road, Jaffna