Condolences on the death of Comrade Senthil from the Socialist Equality Party of Germany

The following condolences were sent by the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (the Socialist Equality Party of Germany) on the death of Raveenthiranathan Senthil Ravee. Comrade Senthil, a member of the International Committee based in London, was killed in a car accident in Britain on February 28.

On behalf of the entire membership of the German Socialist Equality Party allow me to extend my deepest sympathy and condolences on the tragic death of our warmly loved comrade Raveenthiranathan Senthilravee (Senthil).

We were all utterly shocked to hear of Senthil’s death. At this painful and harrowing time our thoughts are with his wife and children. They have lost an outstanding father and husband and the International Committee has lost an important member, who played a prominent role in the work of our European sections.

What characterised Senthil from an early age was his idealism and readiness to sacrifice his own well-being for those less fortunate. As the son of teachers in the plantation areas of Sri Lanka, Senthil was moved by the appalling exploitation of the plantation workers and motivated to become politically active at the age of just 15.

Trapped for many years within the restrictive orbit of Tamil nationalism, Senthil quickly responded to an international perspective upon meeting members of the International Committee in Paris at the start of 1992. He rapidly assimilated the perspectives of the IC and the history of the Trotskyist movement against Stalinism and every form of nationalism.

From that time onwards he was at the forefront of every intervention by the party amongst both the Tamil community in Paris and the activities of the French working class and in 2000 he played a leading role in the launching of the Tamil web site, which has played such a decisive role in bonding together the European, Indian and Sri Lankan working class.

Here in Germany we recall the many occasions on which Senthil took part in schools and meetings here. He was soft spoken and a good listener with a keen interest in culture—in particular South Indian cinema. At the same time we noted the seriousness and determination with which he approached every aspect of his life and his political work. We will sorely miss him.

Only 38 years old, he was in the prime of life and at a stage where he could have brought all the lessons and experience of his early adulthood to further enrich the lives of his family, friends and the work of our international party. His life was all too short but he fought for a party and a cause which will survive us all. Senthil’s name will always be remembered and cherished by the International Committee and new generations of revolutionary fighters.

With my deepest condolences, and fondest greetings to his wife and children.

Ulrich Rippert, on behalf of the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit