Sri Lankan SEP to mark 25th anniversary of Keerthi Balasuriya’s death

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) in Sri Lanka will hold a public meeting in Colombo on February 10 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of Keerthi Balasuriya. Representatives of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) will address the meeting along with speakers from the SEP, the Sri Lankan section of the ICFI.

Comrade Keerthi, general secretary of the Revolutionary Communist League (RCL), the SEP’s forerunner, and a leader of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), died on December 18, 1987. He dedicated his entire adult life to the struggle to build the ICFI, as the revolutionary leadership of the international working class.

At just 19, Keerthi was elected general secretary of the RCL at its founding congress in 1968 because he had emerged as the firmest representative of socialist internationalism among the youth who had been won to the ICFI. Keerthi and his comrades, with the theoretical and political guidance of the ICFI, were grappling with the complex political issues resulting from the great betrayal of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), which, claiming to be Trotskyist, had entered into a coalition with the bourgeois Sri Lanka Freedom Party in 1964.

Keerthi never wavered from his firm belief that the working class was the sole revolutionary force in bourgeois society and indefatigably fought for its political independence from all sections and agencies of the bourgeoisie.

The assimilation of the lessons of Keerthi’s life and principled struggle for socialist internationalism is vital for all those today who are seeking an alternative to the crisis-ridden global capitalist system, which offers only war and social barbarism. We invite workers, youth and intellectuals, including our supporters and WSWS readers, to attend the memorial meeting to discuss Keerthi’s immense political and theoretical contribution to the struggle for socialist internationalism and its significance for the struggles of workers and the oppressed masses today.

Time: 3.00 p.m. Sunday, February 10

Venue: New Town Hall, Green Path, Colombo 7