The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) in Sri Lanka are holding a public meeting in Colombo on February 13 to defend the party and its members in Jaffna against the government’s anti-democratic measures. The SEP is the Sri Lankan section of the International Committee of the Fourth International.
An SEP public meeting scheduled in Jaffna on January 29 was blocked by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The meeting was part of the party’s campaign for the unconditional release of all political prisoners. The MoD directed the management of Weerasingham Hall—the SEP’s venue—not to allow meetings by opposition parties and those supporting “separatism.” Three days previously, the military had illegally detained and questioned two SEP members in Jaffna and later organised a physical attack on them.
The insinuation that the SEP supports “separatism” is completely false. The SEP and its forerunner, the Revolutionary Communist League, have a long record of principled struggle against the anti-Tamil communal war waged by successive Colombo governments, while opposing the separatist program of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The SEP fights for unification of Sinhala and Tamil workers on the basis of an international socialist program.
The Sri Lankan government is nervous about developing disenchantment in the north, as well as social unrest in the south among workers, youth and the poor. President Mahinda Rajapakse is facing mounting economic uncertainty as a result of the ongoing global capitalist crisis. The military’s actions against the SEP are part of a broader attack on the democratic rights of working people and indicate the government’s fear of the SEP’s fight for socialist unification of the Tamil and Sinhalese working class.
The SEP calls upon workers, youth and intellectuals to attend its meeting and to support the fight to defend its political rights.
Venue: Public Library Auditorium, Colombo.
Date and Time: Monday February 13, 4.00 p.m.
Main speaker: Wije Dias, SEP General Secretary.