Article from the November 2005 issue of the Socialist
newspaper of the Socialist Party, Irish section of the CWI
Sri Lankan presidential election -
CWI offers socialist alternative
THE UNITED Socialist Party (CWI, Sri Lanka) is contesting the presidential election with the help of some left groups and radical trade unions. It is putting forward comrade Siritunga Jayasuriya, who is fighting on a socialist programme to defend the rights of all working class and oppressed people of this country.
The presidential elections in Sri Lanka take place against increasing hardship for the workers and poor in the aftermath of the Tsunami disaster last year. Only 13.5% of the aid sent to Sri Lanka has been spent and of the 50,000 people who were made homeless as a result of the disaster, only 1,000 have been re-housed. According to the Auditor-General very few of those families have received the promised monthly aid of 5,000 rupees (around Û40), while the prices of foodstuffs and fuel has skyrocketed.
The two main parties who are standing in the election, the United National Party and the SLFP/JVP alliance, offer no alternative to the working people of Sri Lanka except a continuation of pro-capitalist and pro-imperialist policies and communalism. They have also failed to bring an end to the civil war that has dogged the country for the past twenty years.
Since the Tsunami disaster members of the USP (CWI) have been campaigning amongst those affected by the disaster demanding that the aid that was donated be brought under their democratic control and used for relief operations such as a programme of house building.
The USP is the only party standing in these elections that stands for the right of the Tamil speaking minority to self-determination. In fact the election material that we have produced is the only one produced in both Tamil and Sinhalese. We are also linking the struggle for an end to the oppression of the Tamils to opposition to a capitalist system that has shown its true face in the past year in this region.
Update: 18 November 2005
United Socialist Party (cwi) comes third in presidential election
The comrades fought an excellent campaign.
Here is a report by Clare Doyle, of the CWI.