David North, chairman of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site, was warmly welcomed by the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka, on his arrival at Colombo airport on Thursday morning. North is visiting Sri Lanka to address public meetings organised by the SEP to mark the 80th anniversary of the Fourth International and the 50th anniversary of the SEP.
North was publicly welcomed at Katunayake International Airport in Colombo by a strong delegation of SEP members led by General Secretary Wije Dias. They displayed a banner reading “Welcome David North, chairman of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site.” Dias put a garland of flowers on North.
Video reporters from the government-owned TV channel Rupavahini and the privately-owned Derana covered North’s arrival. A Rupavahini journalist interviewed North and Dias on the purpose and significance of the SEP’s forthcoming public meetings.
North said: “I have come to lecture on the history of the Fourth International. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Fourth International by Leon Trotsky. This is an anniversary of great historical significance internationally and also in Sri Lanka.
“I’m sure many people know that Trotskyism has played an immense role in the political development of the working class in Sri Lanka. The workers of Sri Lanka have a proud history of struggle for socialism, so I’m very pleased to speak here and to address workers, students and socially-committed intellectuals. And I hope that my lectures will be well received.”
Dias explained that David North was invited by the Socialist Equality Party to give two public lectures—one in Peradeniya University, at the Arts Theatre at 4.30 p.m. on October 3, and the other in the Colombo New Town Hall at 3 p.m. on October 7.
“It is very significant that we are discussing the historical issues involved in the class struggle not only in Sri Lanka but in the region and throughout the world,” Dias said.
“We are living amid very heightened class tensions. The working class and youth throughout the world need a revolutionary perspective. This is why the SEP in Sri Lanka has organised these public lectures and provided the opportunity for an international comrade, who has represented the world Trotskyist movement for more than four decades and who is an authority on the fight for a world revolutionary perspective based on the theory of Permanent Revolution, to speak here.”
Dias told the media that North is “a renowned writer on the history of the world Trotskyist movement and known especially for his involvement in explaining this history to a new generation of the international working class and the youth.”
Rupavahini broadcast a video clip of North’s arrival in its news bulletin on Thursday afternoon.
Meeting venues, dates and times:
October 3, 4.30 p.m. – Arts Theatre, University of Peradeniya,
October 7, 3.00 p.m. – New Town Hall, Green Path, Colombo