Sri Lankan SEP to hold May Day meeting in Colombo

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is holding a public meeting on May 1 in Colombo to mark the international workers day. The unity of the working class around the world is today a matter of urgent practical necessity in order to combat the looming dangers of imperialist war and the deepening assault on democratic rights and living standards.

The reaction of US imperialism to its historic decline is to resort to military might to stamp its domination over the resource-rich Middle East and Central Asia. Despite setbacks in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush administration is recklessly preparing another criminal adventure against Iran. These wars are setting the stage for broader and more devastating conflicts with Washington’s European and Asian rivals.

At the same time, workers in every country confront a never-ending assault on jobs, living conditions and democratic rights. In the Indian state of West Bengal, the Stalinist Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led government unleashed police against farmers protesting the seizure of their land by multinationals, killing 14. In Pakistan, the military strongman General Pervez Musharraf is using anti-democratic methods to crush opposition to deteriorating living standards and his support for the fraudulent US “war on terror”.

In Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapakse has reignited the island’s devastating war. More than 4,000 people have been killed and 300,000 made homeless over the past year. To suppress opposition to the deeply unpopular war and its economic burdens, the government and the military are turning to police-state methods: intimidation of the media, arbitrary detention without trial and the use of death squads to kill or “disappear” hundreds of people.

Mankind faces stark alternatives: socialism or barbarism. We call on workers, intellectuals and particularly young people to attend our meeting to discuss the socialist perspective urgently needed to build an independent movement of workers around the world against war and social inequality.

Date and Time: May 1, 3 p.m.

Venue: New Town Hall, Colombo.