The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) are holding a public meeting on October 14 in Colombo to discuss the implications of a US-initiated resolution on Sri Lanka recently passed by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Washington is engaged in a reactionary conspiracy with the Colombo government to cover up the Sri Lankan military’s atrocities during the island’s 26-year communal conflict.
The US backed the former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and ignored the military’s war crimes, up until the final months of the conflict in 2009. Only then did Washington begin to hypocritically raise “human rights” as a means of pressuring Rajapakse to end his government’s ties with Beijing.
This year, the US turned to “regime change” in Colombo, backing the ousting of Rajapakse by Maithripala Sirisena in January’s presidential election. Sirisena’s government has rapidly shifted foreign policy away from Beijing and toward Washington, and the UNHRC resolution is its reward.
The US has dropped its previous demand for an international human rights inquiry. The new resolution allows the Sri Lankan government to conduct its own domestic investigation, which will exonerate most, if not all, of those involved in war crimes. UN reports estimate that tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed, just in the final phase of the war.
This is another graphic demonstration of US imperialism’s cynical use of “human rights” as the pretext for diplomatic intrigues and criminal wars to advance its own geo-political interests. The Sri Lankan government has hailed the UNHRC resolution as a “huge victory for the country.” In fact, the government is lining up behind US war plans, creating huge dangers for working people in Sri Lanka and internationally.
The SEP/IYSSE meeting will discuss these vital political issues and the program of international socialism necessary to fight the growing risk of imperialist war. We urge workers, youth and students to attend and take part in the discussion.
Venue: Public Library Auditorium, Colombo.
Date and time: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 4.00 p.m.