The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka is holding a public meeting in Gampaha on Sunday July 20, to present the reports and conclusions of its Independent Workers Inquiry Committee (IWIC) into the water pollution in Weliweriya. The Gampaha meeting was organised after the SEP’s planned meeting on June 29 at Vila Gaya Reception Hall in Weliweriya was sabotaged by police. The police illegally ordered the hall owner to cancel the SEP booking for the meeting.
The SEP established the IWIC last November to investigate the pollution of groundwater supplies in Weliweriya by the Venigros Dipped Products Company. Our inquiry has exposed important facts about the pollution, the appalling working conditions in the Venigros plant, the army attack on villagers protesting against pollution last August 1, and the government’s role in defending the company.
The workers inquiry is an integral part of the SEP’s initiative to fight for an independent political mobilisation of the working class to defend the Weliweriya villagers and Venigros workers. In April, the IWIC decided to extend its work and investigate water and air pollution by Hanwella Rubber Products in Thunnana. The plant is also owned by Dipped Products.
Political developments in the past months have vindicated the necessity of this independent initiative. The police sabotage of the SEP’s public meeting has underscored the Rajapakse government’s fear that the IWIC will expose water and air pollution by Dipped Products, and the government’s efforts to protect the company’s profit interests.
We urge workers, youth, intellectuals, and particularly villagers in the Weliweriya and Thunnana areas, to attend our public meeting to discuss the reports and conclusions of the workers inquiry.
Please note the change of venue.
Date and time: Sunday, July 20, 2.00 p.m.
Venue: Gampaha Sanasa Hall (Court Road), Gampaha