Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/472/2023
Defend socialists under attack
THE SOCIALIST Party is stepping up its campaign to defend socialists and other activists of the cross-party United People's Movement (UPM) in Sri Lanka from government-sponsored sectarian attacks.
On 9 January UPM members including Siritunga Jayasuriya, general secretary of the United Socialist Party (the Socialist Party's counterpart in Sri Lanka) and UPM secretary, narrowly escaped with their lives when 150 armed thugs led by a government deputy minister - Marvin da Silva - attacked a public rally in the capital, Colombo.
The rally, called under the slogans: 'No to the brutal [civil] war' and, 'Against repression and poverty', was in response to escalating military clashes between Sinhala state forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and against the state and extra-parliamentary attacks on Tamils and those who defend them and fight for democratic rights.
Siri told the socialist: "We think the problems of the Tamil-speaking people can only be solved on the basis of defending them and their right to self-determination. But we cannot expect this to be solved by the capitalist class.
"There cannot be a long-lasting solution within the capitalist system. The issue can only be resolved under the working class' leadership.
"At the same time we're campaigning for a 'temporary agreement' so the working class is able to find a way out of the present national polarisation. We want to mobilise the class struggle on social issues to end divisions between the communities.
"We're the only party offering a united struggle of all working class and poor people in Sri Lanka - Tamils, Muslims and Sinhala."
LOBBIES AND pickets of Sri Lankan embassies in Europe will take place.
A campaign solidarity letter is circulating endorsed by 77 prominent trade unionists and left-wing politicians including Tommy Sheridan MSP, Rosemary Byrne MSP, Jeremy Dear NUJ general secretary, John McDonnell MP, Alan Simpson MP and Dai Davies MP.
Trade unionists, etc., who also want to endorse it should send their name, trade union and any position held to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copies of a leaflet, model resolutions for student unions and trade unions, etc, can be found on www.socialistworld.net or phone Greg on 020 8988 8768.
In The Socialist 1 February 2007:
Socialist Party news and analysis
War and terrorism
International socialist news and analysis