The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Sri Lanka are holding an online public meeting, entitled “Oppose US–NATO war drive and the Russian invasion of Ukraine!” at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, via Zoom. It will be live-streamed on the party’s Facebook page.
The US and its NATO allies have intensified their war drive against Russia, exploiting the Russian invasion of Ukraine as the pretext and deploying thousands more troops to the Eastern European countries near the Russian border. They have also armed Ukraine to the teeth to fight the Russian military. These preparations are for full-scale military conflict against Russia, which could lead to World War III and the use of nuclear weapons, putting the lives of millions in danger.
After provoking the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US and European powers have created increasingly explosive conditions for its expansion with the imposition of severe sanctions that have thrown Russia’s financial system into turmoil.
The February 24 statement of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) opposes the Russian military intervention in Ukraine as it divides the working class, but insists that the central responsibility for the war rests with Washington and its allies. US imperialism is seeking to reassert its global dominance against potential rivals by military means.
This is the driving force behind the numerous and unending series of wars launched by the US over the past 25 years including military interventions in Iraq, Somalia, Serbia, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. The current war drive against Russia has been brought forward by the immense and deepening economic, political and social crisis in the US intensified by COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden administration is attempting to channel internal tensions at home outward, through the medium of war.
The escalating conflict in Ukraine has exacerbated geopolitical tensions globally, including in South Asia. The Narendra Modi government in India is attempting to balance between New Delhi’s strategic partnership with Washington and its historic defence ties with Moscow. This balancing act is becoming increasingly impossible amid Washington’s rising pressure on India to line up with the US–NATO war drive.
Although the Sri Lankan government has declared it “takes no sides” in the Ukraine war, it is also under heavy pressure to line with the US and, in particular, to break its relations with Beijing. None of these manoeuvres with prevent India, Sri Lanka and other countries from being dragged into the maelstrom of a nuclear war.
The only way to prevent the eruption of such a war is to build an international anti-war movement of the working class based on socialist internationalism. Only the ICFI and its sections have placed the fight for this global perspective at the centre of their political work.
The SEP/IYSSE public meeting on March 20 is in order to advance this struggle in Sri Lanka and in the South Indian region. We urge workers, students, youth, intellectuals and WSWS readers to participate in this crucial political event.