The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is holding series of public lectures in several Sri Lankan cities, beginning in Colombo, to mark its fiftieth anniversary. The Sri Lankan section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) was founded as the Revolutionary Communist League (RCL) at a conference held in Colombo on June 16–17, 1968 and became the SEP in 1996, in line with other ICFI sections.
The significance of the half-century struggle for Trotskyism in Sri Lanka manifests itself in the context of today’s emerging mass struggles of working class, students and rural masses, not only in Sri Lanka but throughout South Asia and globally. These social eruptions are fueled by the deepening crisis of global capitalism and the drive by the imperialist powers, led by the US, toward a catastrophic third world war.
The RCL’s struggle for Trotskyism developed against the backdrop of the betrayal of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), which claimed to be a Trotskyist party, in entering a coalition government with the capitalist Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in 1964. The LSSP’s betrayal was prepared by the Pabloite liquidationist tendency that had emerged within the Fourth International in early 1950s.
The work of the ICFI, which had been formed in 1953 to fight Pabloism, led to the formation of the RCL. The political history of the RCL/SEP has involved a protracted and uncompromising fight for the independent political mobilisation of the working class on international socialist perspective against all sections of the bourgeoisie and for the leadership of the oppressed masses.
The political lessons of the RCL/SEP’s half-century of struggle are crucial for the preparation of the working class for the revolutionary struggles that lie ahead. We urge workers, students, professionals, youth and others who want to fight the capitalist system and its political agents to attend the lectures and participate in this vital discussion.
Lecture topics, dates and venues
1. A half-century of principled struggle for Trotskyism
2. The foundation of the Revolutionary Communist League
3. The struggle for international socialism against racialist war and separatism
4. The fight for a socialist republic against bourgeois governments
5. The struggle for international socialism against petty-bourgeois nationalism
Colombo Public Library Auditorium Lobby
Friday, June 22 at 4 p.m.
Thursday, July 12 at 4 p.m.
Thursday, August 2 at 4 p.m.
Thursday, August 16 at 4 p.m.
Thursday, August 30 at 4 p.m.
Galle Municipal Sports Pavilion
Sunday, June 24 at 3 p.m.
Sunday, July 8 at 3 p.m.
Sunday, August 5 at 3 p.m.
Sunday, August 26 at 3 p.m.
Sunday, September 9 at 3 p.m.
Kandy Janamadura Hall (near the Goods Shed bus stand)
Tuesday, July 3 at 4 p.m.
The dates and venues for further meetings in Kandy and other areas will be announced shortly.