SEP public lecture in Colombo:

New ruling coalition and the civil war in Sri Lanka

9 November 2006

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka is holding a public lecture in Colombo on the political implications for the working class of the unprecedented alliance formed between the country’s two major establishment parties—the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the opposition United National Party (UNP).

The SLFP-UNP agreement takes place amid a grave political crisis for the ruling elites produced by the country’s escalating civil war. Since coming to power last November, President Mahinda Rajapakse, for all his posturing as “a man of peace”, has effectively destroyed the 2002 ceasefire with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by launching a series of military offensives.

The UNP and SLFP, which have been bitter rivals for over 50 years, have joined forces to prosecute the war and to impose the corporate agenda of market reform. Inevitably it will be working people—Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim—who will be forced to carry the burden. The intensifying war has not only claimed hundreds of lives and displaced more than 200,000, but is producing a deepening assault on democratic rights and living standards.

The lecture will place the formation of the UNP-SLFP alliance in its historic context and outline an international socialist perspective for the working class to defend its interests. The lecturer will be Wije Dias, SEP General Secretary and member of the WSWS International Editorial Board.

Date and time:
November 14 at 4 p.m.

Venue:
Public Library Auditorium, Colombo