International Committee of the Fourth International
Fourth International Vol. 15 No. 1 (March 1988)

Speeches at the Funeral of Keerthi Balasuriya

Wije Dias, RCL Central Committee Member

It need not be said that the demise of Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya is an immense loss both to the RCL and the ICFI. Above all, he was a leader who fought for the world socialist revolution. Comrade Keerthi and the RCL cannot be separated from each other in any way. He fought with the single aim of building the RCL as a section of the International Committee.

In a sense, the history of the RCL is the history of Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya. He entered politics while still a college student, in the university entrance class at the end of 1965. It is reported that he was an extremely bright student at the college.

In the period prior to 1964, the working class of this country had the ability as a living force to take the working class children under its wing and train them as revolutionaries. Comrade Keerthi was one of this category of youth, but he did not decide to stay at this objective level. He understood the decisive role that the Trotskyist party, the party of the socialist revolution, had to play in the working class movement. That made him join the International Committee of the Fourth International.

The fact that Comrade Keerthi at the young age of 18 years old had to shoulder the responsibility of being the general secretary of the RCL at its founding conference was an expression of the level of treachery of the great betrayal of the LSSP in 1964.

In a situation where they had destroyed one generation of revolutionaries, comrades of the new generation such as Keerthi had to rise to the task of assuming the central responsibility of the construction of the revolutionary party.

It was possible to fight against the disorientation among the youth resulting from the treacherous betrayals of the LSSP-CP leaders in 1969-70 only because the RCL and Comrade Keerthi were bound to the ICFI.

The series of articles entitled “The Politics and Class Nature of the JVP” published in the Kamkaru Puvath in the second half of 1970, criticizing the JVP’s politics at a time they were disorienting youth, has gone down in history as a classic in Marxist writing.

Comrade Keerthi, at the head of the RCL, took the leadership in defending every fundamental democratic right threatened by the blows from the LSSP-CP leaders, who had entered the coalition, and their bourgeois masters.

It is not an accident that the RCL branch of the Government Press, built by Comrade Keerthi himself selling the party newspaper, managed to make the trade union at the government press the first trade union to oppose the Sinhala racist constitution of 1972.

The RCL led by Comrade Keerthi placed itself at the head of the struggles to defend free education under attack by the coalition government, to free political prisoners and against layoffs.

Here we are not introducing politics with some difficulty. Comrade Keerthi’s life was one which was intensely bound up with the fate of the working class here and in the entire world. One can talk of his life only by talking of the history of the class struggle.

What was proven when the LSSP was driven out of the coalition in 1975 and the coalition started to crack was the correctness of the RCL’s perspective which had been advanced with such foresight.

The coalition was politically unreal; it was born out of the betrayal of the working class. The working class will, if given a correct revolutionary leadership, realize its potential to overthrow the capitalist class.

The Revolutionary Communist League’s struggle after the UNP’s return to power in 1977 was sharply aimed at asserting the political independence of the working class and the mobilization of the oppressed masses around the working class to drive out the UNP government. This was most decisively brought up when the UNP government started to crush the national rights of the Tamil nation with its racist war.

As the LSSP, CP and the centrist parties were wallowing in the UNP-SLFP racist muck, Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya, along with the RCL, fought with all his might to place the working class at the head of the Tamil nation’s struggle for self-determination.

Comrade Keerthi’s life, so closely tied to the history of the working class movement, was a glorious life. There was only one “fault” that his enemies could point out in his spotless character, and that was the fact that he did not give even a hair’s breath of concession to opportunism. He attacked opportunism relentlessly with an amazing consistency.

As his closest collaborators, we knew how much he hated those who were preparing to sell themselves to the capitalists and their agents. He established himself firmly on these solid principles and joined hands with the comrades of the ICFI and the Workers League of the USA to fight against the renegades who attempted to give tether to opportunism in the ICFI.

Not only did he take up a courageous struggle to rejuvenate internationalism against the betrayal and opportunism of the renegades, but also he lived with the greatest revolutionary optimism up to his last moment.

Our request to the members of the RCL, the YS and those who have not yet joined us is that they should fashion their lives after that of Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya. He was a fighter who dedicated his entire life to the dictatorship of the proletariat and the world revolution.

That is why it was proud, noble and glorious. It is an aim one does not regret adopting. We call upon everyone to dedicate themselves to this cause as we now stand before the body of Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya.

David North, national secretary of the Workers League

Comrades of the central committee of the Revolutionary Communist League, comrades who have come today to honor the life of Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya, and Comrade Vilani, his courageous lifelong companion:

Today, we are gathered in front of the coffin of one of our greatest comrades. And though we are here, not one of us really wants to believe that this has happened. We wish that this was somehow just a bad dream from which we would awake, and that Comrade Keerthi would once again be by our side, leading us in the struggle for the world socialist revolution. But we know that we must accept the fact that Comrade Keerthi has been taken from us. At the age of 39, his death has come far too early. And on this occasion, I wish to publicly accuse the renegades of the Workers Revolutionary Party—Healy, Banda and Slaughter, in particular—for contributing to his premature death.

Utterly indifferent to the difficult conditions under which Comrade Keerthi and the members of the Revolutionary Communist League struggled, and totally hostile to his revolutionary principles, these traitors sought to isolate and discredit and even destroy the Revolutionary Communist League. And they especially subjected Comrade Keerthi to the foulest abuse. There is no doubt that the conditions that they sought to create had an effect on his physical constitution.

But while they could perhaps weaken his heart, they could not break his revolutionary spirit. And ultimately it was Comrade Keerthi and the leadership of the International Committee who decisively defeated the renegades.

To understand what we have lost in the death of Comrade Keerthi, we must comprehend what we have gained through his life. Comrade Keerthi’s entire life was devoted to solving that gigantic historical problem that was first defined by Trotsky: the crisis of revolutionary proletarian leadership.

And from the day he entered revolutionary politics until the day he died, his entire life was bound up with overcoming the historical implications of two great betrayals—that is, the betrayal of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party in Sri Lanka and the betrayal of the Socialist Workers Party in the United States.

These two sections of the Trotskyist movement, which had played such important roles in the development of the Fourth International after the death of Trotsky, had by 1963-64 repudiated all the basic principles upon which the Fourth International had been built. They had abandoned the perspective of international social revolution and had adapted themselves to all the most reactionary pressures exerted upon the working class movement. Losing confidence in the revolutionary role of the working class, they chose to forget that the only path to socialism is through the world revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The LSSP entered the coalition government with Madame Bandaranaike, and the SWP reunified with the Pabloites and accepted that forces such as Castro and other petty-bourgeois leaders could be a substitute for the working class and its revolutionary party.

In the face of this historic betrayal by the LSSP, which had a deep demoralizing effect upon the working class movement in Sri Lanka, those who formed the Revolutionary Communist League, with Comrade Keerthi in the lead, repudiated the LSSP’s bankrupt perspective.

Comrade Keerthi was profoundly convinced of the scientific validity of the perspective for which Trotsky had fought. While the petty-bourgeois radicals were impressed by the “successes” of Mao Tse-tung, Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro, Comrade Keerthi insisted that the political orientation of Marxists had to be to the proletariat as the sole consistently revolutionary force on the planet.

He was completely indifferent to the immediate pressures which he and his comrades confronted. He would not bend to prevailing moods, and insisted that this fight for the perspective of Trotskyism had to be carried into the working class no matter how great the difficulties.

And while he repudiated any form of capitulation to petty-bourgeois radicalism and Stalinism, Keerthi also refused to accept the lie that bourgeois nationalism had somehow triumphed over imperialism in the post-World War II period.

He had nothing but contempt for the national lackeys of imperialism, and Keerthi refused to participate in the shameful glorification of the various states that had been set up after the Second World War. For Comrade Keerthi, these bastard states were synonymous with racism and oppression. He profoundly believed in what Comrade Trotsky had taught—that the solution of the democratic tasks confronting the backward countries could only be realized on the basis of the proletarian revolution.

To fight for that perspective, he took up the struggle to build a section of the International Committee in Ceylon and to renew and reforge the continuity of Trotskyism in this country.

Therefore, it is no accident that within the International Committee, it was Comrade Keerthi who raised the first criticisms of the opportunist line of the Workers Revolutionary Party. Despite his youth, in 1971 he came out against Michael Banda’s defense of the Indian Army’s invasion of Bangladesh. These criticisms were suppressed by Healy, Banda and Slaughter. In the years that followed, they worked systematically to punish the Revolutionary Communist League for having dared to make those criticisms. When one studies the record of their actions against the Revolutionary Communist League and Comrade Keerthi, one does not know where opportunism ends and provocation begins.

But these opportunists and British chauvinists could not drive Comrade Keerthi out of the International Committee. In 1985, upon learning for the first time of political criticisms of the Workers Revolutionary Party which had been made by the Workers League, he immediately declared his support.

Those who worked with Comrade Keerthi over the last two years would all agree, without any equivocation, that his contribution to the struggle was absolutely decisive. During the last two years, between October 1985 and November 1987, he traveled to Europe no less than seven times to participate in meetings of the International Committee.

He participated in the drafting of documents which total hundreds of pages. He was tireless in the work he carried out. And despite all the immense pressures he confronted arising from the extremely tense situation here in Sri Lanka, Keerthi was profoundly concerned about the development of the International Committee in all the countries where it had sections. He was no less preoccupied with the problems confronting the American, German, British and Australian proletariat than he was with the problems of the working class in this country.

He devoted countless hours to the discussion of the perspectives of International Committee sections in all these countries, because Keerthi was convinced that the fate of the working class in each country is interconnected. He understood, in the most scientific sense of the word, that the struggles of the working class are international. In this age of world economy and multinational production, the struggles of the working class in all countries must be guided by a single international strategy.

Thus, the thoughts of Comrade Keerthi embraced, in this sense, the entire globe. In fact, the day before he died, he was making arrangements to travel to the United States this coming March to collaborate with the Workers League in the drafting of an international perspective.

But that is not to be. We have lost Comrade Keerthi’s physical presence. But we can state today that Comrade Keerthi lives in all of us. Everyone who can rise to the level of a historical perspective must realize that even today at this funeral, we are supremely conscious that in Comrade Keerthi’s life and work, we have been prepared for future struggles.

In the period immediately ahead, the workers, not only in Asia but throughout the world, will read and study the writings of Comrade Keerthi. And we are confident that it will not be the Mao Tse-tungs, Ho Chi Minhs and Castros that will be the teachers of the youth. Rather, it will be from Keerthi Balasuriya, the Revolutionary Communist League and the International Committee that the advanced elements among the workers and youth will learn their revolutionary lessons.

In the life of Comrade Keerthi, the International Committee created a leader of great historical significance. Comrade Keerthi, as an individual, cannot be replaced. But the movement he built lives on and will become a revolutionary beacon for millions in the coming period.

Long live the memory of Keerthi Balasuriya!

Long live the Revolutionary Communist League!

Long live the International Committee of the Fourth International!

Saman Gunadasa, YS national secretary and RCL Central Committee member

Comrade Keerthi led a life which was an exemplary lesson for all youth. He entered revolutionary politics when he was still a schoolboy and then he assumed the highest responsibility that a youth could be called upon to shoulder.

He made the highest commitment that could be decided upon by any modern man—that was to participate actively in the world revolutionary movement. Until his last moment, he never wavered from this task to which he had dedicated himself. His life of political struggle, spanning more than two decades, flowed on like a revolutionary stream.

Without exaggerating even a little, we can say he followed the same path as Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. At the same time, we can realize today that he will continue to live like a colossus in the impending world revolutionary struggles.

In Comrade Keerthi’s life, every single moment was dedicated to the world revolution. He exerted enormous effort to study it in every aspect. The day to day problems with which he struggled were those of the world revolution. Embodied in his life was everything that a revolutionary could learn. Every moment that we spent with him was for us a moment of education.

Comrade Keerthi’s life was one whole continuous struggle against the capitalist class and its agents, the Stalinists, the reformists, and the revisionists. His whole life energy and every single heartbeat was directed towards this goal. His heart stopped and he collapsed in the midst of that struggle, and in this way, he departed from us as a fighter.

He spoke to youth on countless occasions, and wrote articles he addressed to the youth. He spared no pain to make the youth grasp the revolutionary role of the working class.

As far back as 1970, Comrade Keerthi launched a principled and unrelenting struggle against petty-bourgeois activism, so destructive of the youth, and didn’t let up until his last moment. His work The Politics and the Class Nature of the JVP, which he wrote 17 years ago, is one of the most important revolutionary works studied by us even today.

The life career of Comrade Keerthi and the wealth of documents that he produced will be an encyclopedia for future revolutionary generations. In his honor, we once more dedicate ourselves to continue the struggle which he carried on for mankind’s socialist future.

Aravindan, Jaffna representative and RCL Central Committee member

Aravindan addressed the gathering in Tamil

The loss of Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya’s life at a point when the working class is particularly in need of leadership is of grave consequence. It is a loss not only to the RCL, but also to the ICFI.

When Comrade Keerthi was being taken to the hospital after falling gravely ill at the party center, it was in my lap that he was breathing his last. If we look carefully at what he did in the last one hour and forty minutes of his life, from 9 AM to 10:45 AM on December 18, we can better understand the essence of his life. As soon as he came to the office in the morning, he had a discussion with the comrade who went to intervene in the strike at Hayley’s at Chilaw. He was very angry at a certain failing of one of our comrades in regard to this strike.

Then he discussed what should be done in regard to the problem of a comrade whose parents had been taken hostage by the police demanding his arrest. Then he took a seat and told me that he had to complete an international document which had to be posted that day. He wanted an additional typewriter and he sent for another typewriter. About 15 minutes after this, he complained of a chest pain, but was in no hurry for treatment. He was expecting the arrival of a senior comrade to accompany him to the hospital.

We knew Comrade Keerthi. Once he started something, he would not stop until he had finished. He did not tolerate any delays. I had been a pupil of Comrade Keerthi for 11 years. He had never complained of any illness in any of the committee meetings. He never missed any committee meetings if he was in Sri Lanka.

Therefore, I never thought that his trouble was serious at this time. He was at his desk writing an article when he fell off his chair a few minutes later. Until his last moment, he was working for the international working class to whose cause he had dedicated his life.

Comrade Keerthi did not confine himself to the national sphere. He was waging a struggle against the revisionists who were trying to revise Marxism. He was fighting to develop the international proletarian standpoint against the Healy, Banda and Slaughter renegade clique in Britain who supported the intervention of the Indian Army in Bangladesh against the Bangladesh liberation struggle in 1971.

These renegades had suppressed the documents he had produced against their position from 1971 up until 1985. We were able to see this only when these documents were brought out in the course of the struggle against these renegades, together with the members of the ICFI and Comrade David North of the Workers League in the USA.

When the Indian invasion was carried out with the intention of suppressing the Bangladesh liberation struggle, the revisionists joined hands with the Stalinists to defend the Indian bourgeoisie.

Comrade Keerthi’s struggle against the revisionists who tried to cover up the Indian invasion of Bangladesh in 1971 anticipated the struggle faced by the Tamils against Indian intervention in 1985. Both these struggles are the continuity of the struggles of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky.

The struggle waged by Comrade Keerthi against the renegades of the WRP takes on a living significance today.

The Indian forces have invaded the Northern and Eastern provinces as a sequel to the IndoLanka Accord. The Stalinists, centrists and the Sama Samajists have supported this as something that secures the rights of the Tamil people.

Comrades know that the Indian troops have brought upon Jaffna destruction surpassing all that the Sri Lankan forces carried out in the space of four savage years. The Revolutionary Communist League alone managed to stand against this, as a result of the struggle waged by Comrade Keerthi in the International Committee against the renegades, even as all the organizations of the Tamil liberation struggle, including the LTTE, capitulated to the accord.

Despite our small number, the comrades of the RCL campaigned in all parts of the country against the accord and for the withdrawal of the Indian troops from the North and East of the island. When the Indian government started the food drop operation prior to the invasion, we explained its real meaning to the people and distributed a Tamil translation of Comrade Keerthi’s document on Bangladesh among the people of Jaffna.

But all the other leaders were singing praises to the Indian government. The TULF leaders, such as Amirthalingam and Chandrahasan, called for the intervention of the Indian Army. The RCL, and the RCL alone, declared that the Indian troops were being brought in to destroy the Tamil liberation struggle.

The workers who did the composing of our articles on Bangladesh now tell us that although they did not believe in what we had been saying, our correctness is now proved. We have been fully vindicated on this question. Not only are the Indian forces killing the liberation fighters and massacring the population, they are also destroying the cultural heritage of the Tamil people.

Once again, let me emphasize here that Comrade Keerthi died at the point where 20 years of his political struggle was beginning to coincide with that of the working class. Doubtless our enemies will be rejoicing his death, but the struggle will be carried forward by the comrades he trained, along with the comrades of the International Committee of the Fourth International.

K. Ratnayake, editor of Kamkaru Mavatha and RCL Central Committee member

Comrades, you are gathered today with the Revolutionary Communist League to pay last respects to a Trotskyist leader who fought for the victory of the proletarian revolution. The physical existence of Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya, the general secretary of the RCL, section of the ICFI, came to an end with his demise at about 11:10 AM on December 18, 1987. But he does continue to exist with us.

This is being proved by your participation with us to pay last respects to him. Similarly, comrades, he is alive in the international proletariat. Just as Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky continue to exist in the millions of the proletariat that repeatedly assail the citadel of capitalism, Keerthi Balasuriya, a disciple of them, too will continue to exist. Millions of workers perceive him in their struggles.

This is because he fought for Marxist theory, perspective and practical organization necessary to lead the working class consciously to power with the aim of winning the socialist revolution.

This theoretical contribution of Keerthi Balasuriya, which was made with the participation of the other leading comrades of the ICFI—and this is not an exaggeration—will lead the revolution in the subcontinental area in which we live to its victorious conclusion.

Comrades, in Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya, we had a genuinely proletarian internationalist. The treacherous LSSP leaders carried out the great betrayal of 1964, wallowing in the Pabloite revisionist cesspool, abandoning the fundamental principles of Trotskyism, clinging onto the hindquarters of the bourgeoisie under the pretext of building socialism in one country.

Comrade Keerthi was raised to the international struggle by the opposition of the most class-conscious workers and the struggle by the ICFI. What he understood most clearly and what he tried to explain to the working class is that the roots of the LSSP’s betrayal lay in nationalist putrefaction.

The depth of the nationalist degeneration and its deadly implications were shown not only by the bloody massacres and the assault on basic democratic rights carried out by these traitors, who had entered the coalition of 1970, but also by the participation of the LSSP-CP leaders with the Indian and Sri Lankan bourgeoisie in the sanguinary invasion of the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. This is proof of what Comrade Keerthi pointed out in regard to the nature of nationalism.

Comrade Keerthi joined with us in the struggle of the ICFI, especially against the revisionist betrayal of 1963-64. This was a struggle for classical Marxism and in defense of Trotskyism. After joining this struggle, Comrade Keerthi soon rose to its leadership and nothing could turn him away from that task.

When in 1971, petty-bourgeois radicalism raised its head in the form of the JVP, he took the lead in educating the youth in the class nature of this menace and trained them as revolutionary cadre.

In the same period, when the Naxalite movement developed in India, he did not view it as an Indian problem. He raised his theoretical weapons against this Maoist petty-bourgeois movement.

In the course of the Bangladesh liberation struggle of 1971, Comrade Keerthi stood up to the tendency that had emerged in the British Workers Revolutionary Party which capitulated to the national bourgeoisie. He led the RCL against them. He launched a struggle to expose the so-called progressive mask of the Indian bourgeoisie and fought for the independent role of the working class of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Internationalism was his very life. Every fiber of his being was tempered by it. Internationalism was not an abstract principle for him. It flowed from the international character of the working class in our epoch.

Comrade Keerthi had an unshakable faith in the historic role of the working class. He was merciless against those who tried to revise the historical materialist conception that “the emancipation of the working class is the task of the working class itself. Petty-bourgeois forces cannot fight for socialism. These forces in fact attempt to subvert the revolutionary role of the working class.”

Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya came forward hand in hand with the other leaders of the International Committee to defeat the Healy-Banda-Slaughter leadership of the British Workers Revolutionary Party, the renegades who attempted to destroy the ICFI and drown it in the cesspool of petty-bourgeois radicalism.

In fact, he died when he was in the midst of this struggle to free the working class from the pressure of the bourgeoisie as represented by these renegades, who came forward to betray the proletariat and defend imperialism, precisely at the start of a new stage of the class struggle.

At the present moment, the boom which the capitalist class had built up on the basis of the betrayals of Stalinism and reformism has been smashed and the contradictions of capitalism are breaking out.

The counterrevolutionary accord which the Sri Lankan bourgeoisie has entered into against the Tamil liberation struggle and the proletarian revolution is an indication of the crisis of the bourgeoisie of the region.

Comrade Keerthi died at this juncture of the class struggle. He was waging this struggle hand in hand with the comrades of the RCL and the ICFI. He was preparing a perspective for the working class to take power internationally and especially in the Indian subcontinent.

The premature death of this steadfast revolutionary is an immeasurable loss to the ICFI and the RCL.

Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya, we pledge here once again to carry forward the struggle for proletarian internationalism with the same unshakable faith that possessed you, and we promise that we shall overcome the void left by your untimely death.

N. Wickremasinghe, RCL Central Committee Member

Within the short time left this evening, let me state what Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya lived for and fought for.

Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya believed firmly that the only class capable of overthrowing the present capitalist system is the working class which sells its labor power, and fought to defend the role of the working class against every attempt to revise this conception.

He waged war against every opportunist and revisionist traitor placed inside the working class by the capitalist class, who finds that the bourgeois state alone is insufficient to prevent the working class from taking power. He fought to demonstrate that the working class is the only revolutionary class, against every political tendency that sought to maintain that the petty bourgeoisie is capable of overthrowing capitalism and that the national bourgeois leaders are capable of solving the problems of the oppressed masses. This was the source of his strength and this was what gave perspective to his politics.

Comrade Balasuriya stood for the perspective advanced by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, that the working class is capable of overthrowing capitalism only under the leadership of a consciously organized revolutionary party as a section of the world party of socialist revolution.

The treacherous leaders of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party who betrayed this perspective joined the coalition government of the bourgeois SLFP in 1964. This was a historic betrayal. Many opposed this at the time, but Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya and his comrades alone took up the fight to analyze the real meaning of this betrayal to the very end, to understand its consequences, and to take the lessons to the working class so that the working class could rise once more.

Comrade Keerthi was engaged in the task of building the world party of proletarian socialism, continuing the traditions of Marxism, which always warned the working class not to place any trust at all in the capitalist class and to treat the petty-bourgeois agents as counterrevolutionary enemies.

Based on these policies, it was not at all difficult for Comrade Keerthi and us to conclude in 1971 that the Indian Army’s intervention in Bangladesh was done in the interests of imperialism. He opposed the Indian bourgeois armies entering Bangladesh, just as he opposed the entry of the LSSP into a coalition with the bourgeois SLFP.

The correctness of this historic stand is clearly vindicated today when we see the despicable, venal repression that is being carried out against the Tamils in the North and East.

The RCL and the ICFI stated without any doubt that the Indian Army was coming to crush the Tamil nation’s liberation struggle and bring barbarism. We could do so because we had the absolute clarity that the national bourgeoisie was reactionary and that the working class would rise up against it as the force of the socialist revolution. We emphasized, against the petty-bourgeois leaderships of the liberation struggle, that the Indian bourgeoisie was not to be trusted.

Consistently, we campaigned for the withdrawal of the Sinhalese troops from the Tamil homeland.

In the last phase of his life, Comrade Keerthi played a historic role not only in the working class movement of Sri Lanka, but also internationally. Along with the comrades of the ICFI and Comrade David North, secretary of the Workers League of the USA, he conducted a decisive struggle against the renegades Healy, Banda and Slaughter, who tried to destroy the ICFI from within and defeated them decisively. He leaves us only after having established this victory within the international working class.

Twenty-one years of political life is not a relatively long time. But the contribution he made during this period has served to bring the world socialist revolution closer, more than by an even number of years. His unswerving advocacy of the fact that the working class alone is the revolutionary class of modern capitalist society has been confirmed by the manner in which the forces represented by Mao, Castro and Ho Chi Minh collaborate with imperialism today.

We were taught this historic lesson by Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya. We of the RCL were all his pupils in this. All of us have been at one time or another subjected to his sharp criticisms. A handful of subjectivist and individualist renegades went over to the camp of reaction, driven by spite for his legitimate criticisms.

Comrade Keerthi was irrevocably committed to the revolutionary mission of the proletariat. He demanded this dedication from all those with whom he came in touch in this struggle. In doing so, he tempered his comrades. His struggle, along with the rest of us in the RCL in the fight for the world revolution, the perspective of the permanent revolution, enabled us to fight alongside the comrades of the ICFI against the renegades.

We join hands to carry forward the world socialist revolution started by Lenin in October 1917 under the party which was built by him as a section of the ICFI, the world party of socialist revolution. We salute Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya.