The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) in Sri Lanka will hold a public meeting in Colombo on December 8 as a part of their campaign for the release of all political prisoners held by the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse. The campaign is an integral part of the broader struggle for the defence of the democratic rights of the working class and oppressed masses from the attacks of the government.
About 11,000 Tamils were detained as “terrorist suspects” following the end of the communal war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009. Despite the lifting of the country’s state of emergency earlier this year, more than 6,000 are still being held without charge or trial.
The entire Colombo political establishment is complicit in this gross breach of democratic rights. The opposition parties—the United National Party (UNP) and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)—fully backed the government’s war and the detentions. Likewise the bourgeois Tamil parties, like the Tamil National Alliance, have accepted the legitimacy of the detention, appealing only for the government to “charge them or release them.”
The SEP consistently opposed the war from the outset and intransigently defended the democratic rights of the Tamil people. It is the only party that has condemned the detentions and demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners. The defence of basic democratic rights is inseparably bound up with the independent mobilisation of workers, and behind them the rural masses, against the capitalist system and for the establishment of a workers’ and peasants’ government committed to socialist policies.
The SEP and ISSE urges workers, youths, intellectuals and World Socialist Web Site readers to attend our meeting and actively support our campaign.
Venue: Public Library Auditorium, Colombo
Date and Time: December 8, 4 p.m.
Main speaker: Wije Dias, SEP General Secretary