Sri Lanka: SEP public meeting to launch election campaign

7 September 2009

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) will hold a public meeting in the coastal town of Ambalangoda to launch its campaign for the Southern Provincial Council elections. The party is standing a slate of 26 candidates for the Galle district.

The SEP is running in the election to campaign for an end to the military occupation of the North and East, the defence of democratic rights and a socialist program to end social inequality. The party is warning that the end of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will not bring peace and prosperity but a renewed assault on the social position of the working class and rural poor.

Working people in the South of the island have already paid a heavy price for the government’s criminal war. Young people forced to join the army by economic necessity were used as cannon fodder. The government’s contempt for the masses was exposed by its response to the devastating 2004 tsunami. Thousands of victims are still without proper homes.

Facing a deep economic crisis, President Mahinda Rajapakse has announced a new “economic war” to offload the burden onto working people. He will not hesitate to use the police state measures developed during the war to suppress any opposition. That is the significance of the government’s illegal detention of 280,000 Tamil civilians.

Workers and youth can only defend their basic rights by mobilising on the basis of an alternative socialist perspective. The SEP calls for the unity of working class—Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim—to fight for a workers’ and farmers’ government in opposition to the Rajapakse regime and all parties of the ruling class.

We invite workers, young people and intellectuals to attend our public meeting to discuss these vital political issues.

Venue: Fisheries Meeting Hall, Ambalangoda

Time: 4 p.m., Thursday September 10, 2009