Sri Lankan SEP to hold online meeting on how to fight President Rajapakse’s state of emergency

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Sri Lanka will hold an online public meeting to discuss the necessary program to fight the Sri Lankan president’s new repressive emergency laws.

The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 10, via Zoom and live-streamed through the party’s Facebook page.

The emergency regulations were proclaimed by President Gotabhaya Rajapakse at the end of August and rushed through the parliament, with the support of the majority of the ruling party, along with very limited criticism from the opposition parties.

Although the government claimed the law was “to ensure public security and well-being, and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community,” its actual target is the working class and the rural poor, who are entering into struggles against the government’s attacks on their social and democratic rights.

The Rajapakse government is facing an unprecedented economic crisis and is forcing workers and the poor to bear the full burden of this crisis. Yesterday, the government lifted coronavirus-related limited travel restrictions and health care policies, in line with the demands of big business. Its concern is to send everyone back to work in the interests of profit generation.

Public anger is rising over the criminal mishandling of the pandemic. The Rajapakse regime has repeatedly ignored the advice of health experts and has failed to strengthen the public health system as case numbers and deaths from the highly infectious Delta variant continue to mount.

Government schoolteachers, who have been on strike for three months over their salary demands. They are joined by health workers nationally who have taken strike action involving tens of thousands for better working conditions, pandemic safety measures, and allowances.

Workers throughout the island confront the urgent need to build an independent and united movement to defend and advance their struggles. Every trade union, however, has worked to cover up the real danger of the new emergency laws, which are aimed at preventing such a unified movement.

In this context, the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) has issued a statement entitled “Oppose Sri Lankan president’s repressive state of emergency” and is intervening in the working class, among the youth and other oppressed sections to build awareness about the dangers posed by the new regulations. Workers must be mobilised on the basis of a socialist perspective, which will be discussed at the forthcoming SEP meeting.

We urge workers, students, youth, intellectuals and World Socialist Web Site readers to attend the meeting and participate in this important discussion.

Date: Sunday, October 10
Time: 4 P.M.
Please register for the meeting here.