Sri Lankan Socialist Equality Party to hold election meetings at Kolonnawa and Masakeliya

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) will hold two open-air public meetings as part of its intervention in the local government election scheduled for March 9. The first will be held in Kolonnawa, near the capital Colombo, on Friday, February 24. The other will be at Maskeliya, in the central plantation district, on Sunday, February 26.

The SEP is fielding 53 candidates for three local government bodies—the Kolonnawa Urban Council in Colombo, the Maskeliya Pradeshiya Sabha in the Nuwara Eliya district of the central plantations, and the Karainagar Pradeshiya in Jaffna, where it held a meeting last Sunday.

The election is being held eight months after the powerful April–July mass uprising involving millions of workers and poor against then President Gotabhaya Rajapakse, and his government’s attack on social conditions and democratic rights. Rajapakse fled the country and his government collapsed. The widely discredited Ranil Wickremesinghe was able to become president because of the betrayal of this movement by the trade unions, backed by pseudo-left groups.

Wickremesinghe’s government is ruthlessly intensifying International Monetary Fund-dictated austerity measures and attacks on democratic rights, including attempts to stop the local government election by not releasing the required funds.

The SEP fought for the independent mobilisation of the working class against the government during the mass strikes and protests, calling for the establishment of action committees of workers and the rural masses. We also called for the building of a Democratic and Socialist Congress of Workers and Rural Masses, based on delegates of these action committees, to pave the way for a workers’ and peasants’ government that would implement socialist policies.

There is no solution to the worsening social disaster and the suppression of democratic rights within the framework of capitalism. Our party’s struggle has been powerfully vindicated. It is urgent to rally support for a genuine socialist program and the building of a revolutionary party. 

Integral to this program is the fight to build an international movement of the working class against imperialist war based on socialist policies. The US and European powers are intensifying their war against Russia in Ukraine, posing the danger of a conflict between nuclear armed nations that would develop into a global conflagration and threaten the very existence of mankind.

The main opposition parliamentary parties—the Samagi Jana Balawegaya and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna-led National People’s Power—are seeking to exploit rising popular anger against the Wickremesinghe government. These parties, however, have no fundamental differences with the government’s economic policies and will implement the IMF’s demands no less ruthlessly if they come to power.

We invite workers, young people and all residents to attend our meetings and participate in the discussion on our program.

Kolonnawa public meeting
Kolonnawa Junction, in front of the clock tower
Friday, February 24, at 3 p.m.  

Maskeliya public meeting
Maskeliya bus stand
Sunday, February 26, at 2 p.m.