Against police repression in Sri Lanka
The Fourth International condemns the repression and violence committed on June 8 in central Colombo during a protest organized by the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP). People had wanted to gather in front of the US embassy to protest the killing of George Floyd and show solidarity with the anti-racist protests. They were brutally attacked and dozens were arrested. Among the arrested were 53 activists of the Frontline Socialist Party as well as dozens of others. When people protested this repression, dozens more were arrested. The police attacked with brutal violence and several persons were hospitalized.
This repression needs to be seen in the wider context of increasingly authoritarian behaviour of the Sri Lankan government. The present government is attempting to curtail worker’s rights and democratic freedoms. It has promised its supporters in the capitalist class that it will be able to maintain ‘law and order’, even while it privatizes public property and destroys social services in education and healthcare. Repression such as on June 8 is part of this capitalist ‘law and order’ that aims to break popular protest. We can expect more repression as the global social and economic crisis as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic deepens. This makes it all the more important for left-wing and progressive forces to continue to mobilize, build social resistance and strengthen international solidarity.
The Fourth International stands with the democratic and progressive movements in Sri Lanka. We express our solidarity with activists targeted by police repression and demand that all charges be dropped.
Executive Bureau of the Fourth International
18 June 2020