The following statement was sent to the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) by the Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee in Sri Lanka, an independent organisation formed by brutally exploited tea plantation workers to lead their fight for decent wages and conditions.
Their solidarity with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks is a model for workers around the world. In the fight for its social rights, the working class internationally will also uphold and fight for the democratic right to freedom of speech and defend the publishers and journalists who resist the ruling class and provide truthful and accurate information.
We, the Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee in Sri Lanka, would like to express our full support for, and send our greetings to, the demonstrations organised by the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) in Sydney on March 3, and in Melbourne on March 10, to demand the freedom of Julian Assange, who played a main role in exposing the crimes of US imperialism and other imperialist and capitalist oppressors.
We consider this courageous journalist and publisher to be a champion of the fight against the suppression of freedom of speech by the corporate media.
We have noted the important support gathering for these rallies, from individuals and organisations which are keen to defend democratic rights. We raised the demand for the freedom of Julian Assange at the picket line we organised on February 17 in Hatton, which is the central town of the tea plantations in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is a country where the government waged a communal war for close to 30 years, suppressing the basic democratic rights of the people. Though the war ended in 2009, the attacks on the democratic rights of workers, youth and poor people are continuing and increasing.
In our struggle we have experienced how the government works hand-in-glove with the plantation managements and trade unions to suppress information and right to know the truth. The government serves the huge profits of the corporate plantation owners, while suppressing our demand for a living wage.
Freeing Julian Assange is our struggle. We call for it to become the struggle of workers all over the world.
Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee
March 1, 2019