The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Sri Lanka will hold a meeting in Jaffna to commemorate Wije Dias, the former general secretary of the SEP. The event will be at 3.30 p.m. on Thursday August 31, at Weerasingham Hall in Jaffna city.
Comrade Wije died last year, aged 80, from sudden heart failure on the morning of July 28.
An International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) statement explained last year: “Wije was an implacable protagonist of the socialist internationalist program of Permanent Revolution and fighter for the political independence of the working class. He was unyielding in his defense of Marxist and Trotskyist principles because he had witnessed the catastrophic consequences—in the form of political disorientation, reaction and tragic loss of life—that result from their abandonment and betrayal.”
Commemorating Comrade Wije in Jaffna, the main city in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province that was torn by three decades of communal war, is significant. The SEP has a proud history of waging an intransigent political fight for the unity of the working class on the basis of socialist internationalism against both the Sinhala chauvinism of successive Colombo governments and the Tamil separatism of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Wije was elected general secretary of the Revolutionary Communist League (RCL), the predecessor of the SEP, following the untimely death of RCL General Secretary Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya on December 18, 1987. He was general secretary for over 35 years, leading the party during Colombo’s civil war, and its bloody suppression of radicalised Sinhala youth in the south of the island.
Wije is popular and widely known among workers and youth in the North, having addressed public meetings and lectures in Jaffna and the nearby islets of Kyats and Karainagar.
We urge workers, youth, students, WSWS readers and all those seeking an alternative to Tamil nationalism and the Colombo government’s oppressive rule to attend the meeting that will discuss the essential political lessons of Wije Dias’ life.
Date and time: Thursday, August 31, at 3.30 p.m.
Venue: Weerasingham Hall, Jaffna