Sri Lankan artists, translators and workers endorse international campaign to defend Julian Assange

By our correspondents
25 June 2018

Kingsley Gunathillake, a visual arts lecturer at the Aesthetics University of Colombo, issued a statement supporting the Julian Assange defence campaign. Gunathillake, who is also a painter and sculptor, has held 15 exhibitions and participated in about 30 group exhibitions in various countries.

Kingsley Gunathillake

During the last several decades, imperialist countries, including the United States, have launched wars in different parts of the world that intensified and continue to this day. By exposing these conspiracies, Assange has sacrificed a lot and done a great service.

His free right to make these political exposures is being greatly violated. Assange is not just a single person, but for me is a symbol of our own struggle. What happens to Assange today will impact on others tomorrow.

His plight is a great warning and a dangerous situation. It is an attempt to prevent journalists and photographers from doing their rightful duty. What would happen if those journalists with the highest ability to carry out political exposures were strangled?

All the accusations made against Assange are false. First, the authorities threw accusation of rape against the WikiLeaks editor, but later they were forced to withdraw that accusation. This was nothing but a destructive witch hunt.

The Ecuador and British governments are partners in this attack. Here lies real terrorism: It is state terrorism and aimed at terrorising the world’s population.

I wholeheartedly support the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) campaign to free Julian Assange. I urge all artists in Sri Lanka to participate in this campaign. Assange should be freed.

Prominent translator Sepala Wijesekera joined those speaking out against the persecution of Assange. Wijesekera has translated about 25 classical books into Sinhala, including some of the writings of Leon Trotsky and Rosa Luxemburg.

Sepala Wijesekera

I denounce the confinement of Julian Assange with utter contempt, and strongly demand that he be released and allowed to enter his home country, Australia.

By June 19, Julian Assange was confined to Ecuador’s embassy in London for six years. He has committed no crime for this six-year confinement. Rather, he, who has been involved in a determined struggle for the basic democratic of freedom of expression, has boldly revealed secrets about the brutal war operations launched by American imperialism worldwide, associated war crimes, and the mass frauds and corruption of the bourgeoisie.

A question is raised here before us: Who are the real criminals? The imperialists, who are waging war around the world, or Assange, who revealed those crimes and staked his own life?

No section of the bourgeois ruling class around the world has the capacity of maintaining democratic rights. Dictatorial rulers everywhere are taking measures to suppress workers and the oppressed masses coming into struggles to defend their democratic rights. The assault on Assange raises the question: Under what type of rule can these rights be defended and established?

The answer is rapidly becoming clear. Today the defence of basic democratic rights is inseparably bound up with the struggle of the working class to achieve state power. That task can be only be realised by the fight for an international revolutionary movement. Therefore, the struggle to free Assange is a part of the same fight we all face. That is why I express my wholehearted support for the worldwide campaign launched by the ICFI and its sections, including the SEP in Sri Lanka, to force the British government to free Assange immediately and unconditionally. I also urge all genuine intellectuals, writers and artists to join this fight.

Chandan Jagath, a government health employee, endorsed the ICFI campaign in defence of Assange. He made the following statement.

Chandana Jagath

By exposing the imperialist war secrets through WikiLeaks, Julian Assange has revealed the true nature of the current world political system. By seeking to hide behind national security, the imperialists have hypocritically violated human rights.

Assange’s brave revelations have benefited all of humankind. By this uncovering, all of us have been convinced that this system’s cruelty and inability to prevent it has risen to unprecedented levels. These truths provide evidence that humanity can no longer continue with this bloody decomposing system.

The ICFI has fought to protect Assange’s human rights from the outset and I really value their unconditional support to him and for freedom of expression of people everywhere in the world. I am always with you in this endeavour and call workers of the world to unite against the imperialist war criminals.

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