Large Colombo audience hears David North’s lecture on the history of the Fourth International
9 October 2018
A three-hundred strong audience gathered at the New Town Hall in Colombo on Sunday to hear a lecture delivered by David North, the Chairman of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site. The lecture’s theme was “The Lessons of History and the Contemporary Struggle for Socialism.”
North, who is also chairperson of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in the US, was in the country at the invitation of the SEP (Sri Lanka). Four days earlier, on October 3, he delivered a lecture on the same theme at Peradeniya University in Kandy, which also drew enthusiastic support.
These two events were part of a series of lectures being organised by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) around the world, to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Fourth International by Leon Trotsky in 1938. The Colombo meeting also celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Sri Lankan SEP.
In response to a vigorous campaign waged by the membership of the SEP and its youth movement, the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, the meeting was attended by many workers, students and socially conscious intellectuals, from several parts of the island. Significantly, a large contingent of SEP and IYSSE members and supporters travelled 250 miles, from the war-ravaged north of the island, to attend the Colombo event.
Wije Dias, the General Secretary of the Sri Lankan SEP, chaired the meeting. He noted that the 80th anniversary of the FI was taking place at a critical turning point in the international class struggle: “On the one hand,” Dias declared, “the major imperialist powers are driving towards…