Sri Lankan SEP to hold first election rally online on June 28

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka will hold its first online public meeting for the 2020 Parliamentary election, live streamed on Facebook at 3 p.m. local time on Sunday, June 28. The election, which has been postponed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is scheduled to be held on August 5.

SEP is fielding 43 candidates to contest three districts—the capital, Colombo, the central plantation area of Nuwara Eliya and war-ravaged Jaffna in the island’s north.

Amid an acute political crisis, President Gotabhaya Rajapakse and his Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) have declared that they will campaign for a two-thirds majority in the parliament to establish a “strong and stable” government. The aim is to change the constitution to entrench what amounts to a presidential dictatorship to crush working class opposition that has deepened with the global pandemic.

Opposition parties including the United National Party (UNP), the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) do not have any fundamental differences with the president’s anti-democratic agenda. The bourgeois Tamil National Alliance has even offered “conditional support” for the president.

The pseudo-left Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) is contesting the election with the right-wing UNP. In the name of defending democratic rights, other fake left groups such as the United Socialist Party and the Frontline Socialist Party are also seeking a coalition with capitalist parties to block any independent movement of the working class.

The SEP is the only party in this election fighting to mobilise the working class against worsening social inequality, the threat of dictatorship and imperialist war, on the basis of the program of socialist internationalism.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and accelerated the deep crisis of the global capitalist system, placing revolutionary struggles on the agenda. The crucial task is to build the SEP and the International Committee of the Fourth International as the necessary revolutionary leadership.

The speakers at the SEP’s online meeting will include General Secretary Wije Dias and leading candidates. We urge workers, youths, intellectuals and WSWS readers to participate in this vital discussion.