The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) will hold a public meeting in Colombo on March 5 to open the party’s campaign for the April 8 parliamentary election. The SEP is standing a total of 58 candidates on slates in four districts—Colombo, Galle, Nuwara Eliya and Jaffna.
The SEP is warning that whichever parties win the election, the next government will launch a far-reaching offensive on the democratic rights and living standards of working people. Far from being immune from the debt crisis unfolding in Europe and around the world, Sri Lanka is particularly vulnerable. The IMF is insisting that the budget deficit be more than halved, which can only mean higher taxes and the slashing of social services and subsidies.
President Mahinda Rajapakse’s recent crackdown on opposition parties is in preparation for a confrontation with the working class. He has retained all the police state measures used during the conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for his “economic war” to build the nation. The opposition parties—the United National Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna—have no fundamental differences with the government. Like Rajapakse, they are committed to maintaining the capitalist order that produced the island’s horrific civil war and is now driving a devastating assault on the social position of the working class.
The SEP is standing in the election to mobilise working people to defend their basic rights on the basis of a socialist program. Our candidates are fighting for a workers’ and farmers’ government—a Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and Eelam—as part of the struggle for socialism in South Asia and internationally. We warmly invite workers, housewives, youth and intellectuals to attend our meeting and to participate in this important discussion.
Meeting venue: Public Library Auditorium, Colombo 7.
Date and time: Friday, March 5 at 4 p.m.