The Sri Lankan government of President Maithripala Sirisena—brought to office in the presidential election on January 8 as the result of a US-sponsored regime-change operation—faces a worsening political crisis. The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Sri Lanka are holding public meetings throughout the country to discuss the unstable political situation and its underlining international geo-political and economic causes.
Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have shifted the country’s foreign policy orientation away from Beijing and toward Washington, which was hostile to former President Mahinda Rajapakse’s close ties with China. Now, amid intensified US military preparations against China over the South China Sea, Washington is aggressively working to more closely integrate Colombo into its strategic plans against Beijing.
Contrary to the pseudo-left groups, which lined up behind Sirisena’s presidential campaign, the government has not restored democratic rights or improved the living conditions of the masses. Moreover, sharp divisions have broken out between the main factions of the capitalist class, between Wickremesinghe’s ruling United National Party (UNP) and the opposition Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and its allies.
Behind the bitter rifts in the ruling elites is their fear of the deepening economic breakdown and, above all, the socially explosive conditions that have erupted in struggles by various sections of the working class. The ruling class as a whole aims to impose brutal austerity measures on working people, in line with the dictates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The SEP/IYSSE meetings will explain the need for the independent political intervention of the working class in this severe crisis of bourgeois rule, and outline the international socialist perspective that must guide it. We urge workers, youth, intellectuals and our readers to attend the meetings and participate in this crucial political discussion.
Colombo Public Library Auditorium
Wednesday, June 17, at 4 p.m.
Ambalangoda Town Hall
Sunday, June 28, at 4 p.m.
Chilaw Shirely Corea Hall
Tuesday, June 30, at 4 p.m.
Details of further meetings will be notified later.