Sri Lankan SEP/IYSSE to hold a May 4 demonstration in Gampaha

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Sri Lanka will hold a demonstration in Gampaha, northeast of Colombo. Its main slogans will be “Abolish the executive presidency,” “Defeat IMF austerity measures” and “Build workers’ action committees.” Gampaha District is the second most populous in Sri Lanka.

The demonstration will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4 outside the Gampaha Railway Station. It follows recent strong demonstrations organised by the SEP in Colombo, Hatton and Jaffna.

The ongoing mass anti-government protests across Sri Lanka over lengthy daily power cuts, as well as shortages and skyrocketing cost of essentials, such as fuel, medicine, and cooking gas, have shaken the Rajapakse government. This social crisis has devastated the lives of workers, youth, farmers, fishermen, self-employed and small-scale business holders. Chanting “Gota Go Home,” demonstrators are demanding that the president and his Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna government resign.

The popular anti-government uprising advanced to a new stage on April 28 when millions of workers across all sectors participated in a one-day general strike calling for the resignation of Rajapakse and his government. An island-wide hartal (a strike coupled with a general stoppage of work, including small businesses) has been scheduled for May 6.

Kandy hospital workers protest in April (WSWS Media) [Photo: WSWS]

The SEP supports the main demand of the popular protest movement—bringing down the Rajapakse government—but goes further in advancing an independent socialist perspective for the working class as the alternative to any future pro-IMF interim regime. This involves the mobilisation of the working class to overthrow capitalist rule and the establishment of a workers’ and peasants’ government based on socialist policies. The developing struggle of the Sri Lankan working class is part of the broader fight for socialism in South Asia and internationally.

The SEP/IYSSE urge all workers, youth, peasants and other oppressed layers to participate in the Gampaha demonstration and join the party to take forward this historic fight.