Sri Lankan Socialist Equality Party rejects appeal to participate in “all-party” talks

This article was originally posted on Twitter.

The Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka has firmly rejected a direct appeal from the leader of the official opposition party, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), to join in talks aimed at reaching an “all-party agreement” to salvage capitalist rule.

The Sri Lankan section of the International Committee of the Fourth International has bluntly told the SJB that Wije Dias, chairman of the Socialist Equality Party, will under no circumstances engage in talks with the political parties of the ruling class.

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Rejecting the invitation, SEP leader Deepal Jayasekera writes that the crisis won’t be solved by “fixing a new face to this bourgeois state machinery with an ‘all-party government’ as proposed by the SJB or a ‘unity government’ proposed by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).”

Exposing the real aims of the “all-party talks,” Comrade Jayasekera writes:

Like the government of President Rajapakse and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, any capitalist government that will replace it will implement the austerity agenda of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Also, that government will use all the existing repressive tools of the state machine to suppress the workers, youth and other toilers who will join the struggles against those attacks.

Comrade Jayasekera’s letter notes that the SJB is well aware of the fact that the middle-class pseudo-left parties [like the Nava Sama Samaja Party and United Socialist Party] are discredited by their long record of opportunist collaboration with bourgeois governments.

“That is why you have turned to the SEP, which has been waging a principled struggle based on policies of international socialism in the working class for more than half a century.” But the SEP will not provide a left cover for the capitalist parties.

“Rejecting your invitation,” the letter states, “we are advancing a program of action for the working class to mobilize its social power and implement its own solution to the immense social and economic crisis—one that puts human needs before investors’ profit.”

Comrade Jayasekera concludes his letter to the SJB with a firm declaration of Trotskyist principles:

The SEP, once again rejecting your invitation with contempt, is fighting to build the mass revolutionary party that can provide the leadership and international socialist perspective to the popular uprising in Sri Lanka.

In this fight, the SEP sees the working class in Sri Lanka and internationally as the only social force that can end the imperialist war, COVID-19 pandemic and social misery.

Comrade Jayasekera’s letter has been distributed by the thousands to demonstrators in Colombo who have stormed the presidential palace demanding the removal of the president.