Prasad Welikumbura speaking at Socialism 2022, photo Paul Mattsson
Prasad Welikumbura speaking at Socialism 2022, photo Paul Mattsson

Henry Hilder, Southampton Socialist Students

Prasad Welikumbura, a leader of the mass revolt in Sri Lanka, met with us in Southampton Socialist Students on 30 November for an insightful talk about taking part in the mass movement.

I did not know much about Sri Lanka’s situation, but Prasad explained how the movement formed – largely among students and workers – and how it came into confrontation with the police and other attempts by the government to suppress the uprising.

Prasad also explained how the movement’s lack of planned organisation meant that the successes it had achieved, such as toppling its authoritarian and oppressive regime, were only short-term accomplishments.

The country’s current economic crisis means little to no access to healthcare, widespread malnourishment, and serious inflation. And acting with harsh aggression and damaging people’s human rights have been the government’s priority.

Prasad’s words were inspirational, informative and compelling. After Prasad’s talk, we discussed how to incorporate his experience of a mass movement into fighting back against a failing government and inflation here too. There is discontent among students and workers.

I’ve only been in Socialist Students less than a semester. But each week I learn a lot about the different national crises and faults of capitalism, often unreported in the mainstream media

As a student struggling with simple things – such as affording food, and the overhanging dread of student debt and rent – it is reassuring to be a part of the movement that aims to remove these issues from the lives of ordinary people.

  • Committee for a Workers’ International – fighting for a socialist world
  • Read more about the mass movement in Sri Lanka at