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Urgent action needed
ON 16 January, Socialist Party members and others joined a protest at the Sri Lankan High Commission in London. They were angry over the violent attack on 9 January by armed thugs on organisers of a public anti-war rally in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. A journalist who was severely beaten by the attackers said a Sri Lankan junior government minister Mervyn Silva was leading the attack.
The anti-war rally, organised by the newly formed United People's Movement (UPM - a political group representing a wide range of political parties and organisations) had to be abandoned after the attack.
The convenor of the UPM is SIRITUNGA JAYSURIYA (Siri), who is also secretary of the United Socialist Party (CWI Sri Lanka - the sister organisation of the Socialist Party in England and Wales) and chair of the Civil Monitoring Committee, set up to investigate and campaign against abductions and killings of members of Sri Lanka's Tamil-speaking minority.
Siri and some UPM associates escaped with their lives when over 150 armed thugs raided the place where the public rally was due to be held. The rally organisers expected thousands to turn up to launch a movement against the escalating civil war in the country.
Prominent Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim politicians were due to speak at the rally, in response to escalating military clashes between the Sinhala state forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and against state and extra-parliamentary harassment of Tamil-speaking people and of those who defend them and fight for workers' and human rights.
Protest at this attack and demand that President Rajapakse takes immediate action to stop all threats to the safety and lives of anti-war activists, to halt attacks on democratic freedoms, human rights and the rights of oppressed minorities and also take action against deputy minister Mervyn da Silva for his actions on 9 January.
In The Socialist 18 January 2007:
War and terrorism
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news