SEP to hold public meeting in Colombo on Sri Lankan political crisis

19 August 2005

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, August 23 to warn of the grave dangers of a return to civil war and the establishment of autocratic rule, and to advance a socialist alternative.

The prolonged political crisis in Sri Lanka has been highlighted by the recent assassination of foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. Whoever killed the minister, his murder is now being exploited to agitate for a return to war and to bolster the powers of the state. The government, with the backing of virtually every party, has imposed a state of emergency that will inevitably be used to trample on the democratic and social rights of ordinary working people—Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim alike.

Parliamentary rule in Sri Lanka has reached an historic impasse. The ruling elites are incapable of agreeing on the means to distribute much needed aid to the victims of the December 26 tsunami, let alone a deal to end the country’s 20-year civil war. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) quit the government in June and joined other chauvinist organisations in denouncing the aid agreement with the LTTE as a betrayal of the country. Since then Colombo has been awash with rumours, intrigue and infighting as the various factions of the ruling establishment compete for the levers of power. All agree, however, on the imposition of emergency rule: in other words, that the democratic rights of the vast majority must be curtailed.

Throughout the 55 years since independence, the ruling class has proven unable to resolve any of the burning problems facing the masses. Only the working class can offer a progressive solution to the pressing issues of the day: an end to the war; genuine democratic rights and decent living standards. To carry out these tasks, workers need to absorb the historical lessons of past struggles in Sri Lanka and internationally, and to build their own independent political movement based on an internationalist and socialist perspective.

We warmly invite our supporters and WSWS readers to attend our meeting.

Venue: Public Library Auditorium, Colombo 7
Time: 4.30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23