Socialist Equality Party (SEP) political committee member W.A. Sunil was able to speak briefly at Chaminda Lakshan’s funeral meeting. The 40-year-old father of two was shot dead on April 19 by the police who opened fire on unarmed people in Rambukkana protesting over delays in petrol deliveries, and sharp price increases in petrol and diesel announced the previous day.
Condemning the police murder, Sunil said it was not an accident, but a well-planned act and that the government of President Gotabhaya Rajapakse was responsible.
“This murder took place while the working class and tens of thousands of people are protesting in the streets against food, fuel and gas price hikes and shortages of goods. This murder occurred while the government is engaged in discussions with the International Monetary Fund in the name of overcoming the crisis.
“The IMF is telling the government, we will provide you with loans, we will help you, but you should be committed to our conditions: that state enterprises must be privatised, interest rates must be increased, and welfare programs must be slashed. Furthermore, political stability must be ensured in the country.
“What they mean by political stability is that the protests against the government must be stopped. By shooting down brother Lakshan the government has demonstrated that it is ready to implement the conditions of the IMF and imperialist finance capital by brutal methods.
“The masses in the streets are against the entire political establishment. They demand the president must resign. They demand that the 225 members of the parliament should be sacked. They are against all the political parties of the establishment. They are seeking an alternative. They should be provided with the socialist alternative.”
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