Sri Lankan students discuss upcoming anniversary meetings on the history of the Trotskyist movement
2 October 2018
The campaign for public meetings in Sri Lanka this week celebrating 80 years since the founding of the Fourth International (FI) and the 50th anniversary of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is winning important support from students and academics.
David North, Chairman of the World Socialist Web Site’s International Editorial Board and of the SEP (US), will address meetings on October 3, at the University of Peradeniya in Kandy, and October 7 at Colombo’s New Town Hall.
The events are being held amid ongoing university student protests against inadequate facilities and the privatisation of education.
On September 12, thousands of Aesthetic University students in Colombo demonstrated to demand that government expenditure on education be lifted to 6 percent of GDP, and that compulsory exams for students who do not maintain an 80 percent attendance rate be abolished. As students step up their agitation, the Sri Lankan government is planning repressive measures against the demonstrators.
University students in Kandy and Colombo spoke with SEP campaigners about the mounting financial difficulties they face, their concerns about unemployment and their support for the forthcoming SEP meetings.
Senuri and Samanthi, two science students from the University of Peradeniya, spoke about the rising cost of living.
“It’s expensive buying meals from the university canteens,” Senuri said. “Even though they are cheap we have to spend about 200 rupees [$US1.18] per day for meals. To travel [once a week to our parents’ home] costs 500 rupees and lots of money is needed to get study…