Video: Joseph Kishore, national secretary of the SEP (US), welcomed on arrival in Sri Lanka

Leading members of the SEP (Sri Lanka) greet SEP (US) National Secretary Joseph Kishore, December 6, 2023

A delegation of Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) warmly welcomed the National Secretary of the SEP (US), Joseph Kishore, at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo in the early hours of Wednesday. Kishore will address two meetings, in Colombo and Peradeniya, entitled “Leon Trotsky and the Struggle for Socialism in the 21st Century,” commemorating the centenary of Trotskyism.

The delegation, led by SEP (Sri Lanka) General Secretary Deepal Jayasekara, held a brief public reception at the arrival lobby of the airport, in which leading SEP and IYSSE members took part. They displayed a banner reading “Welcome Joseph Kishore National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (US),” while Jayasekara welcomed him with a bouquet of flowers.

SEP (US) National Secretary Joseph Kishore arrives in Sri Lanka, speaks on significance of Trotskyist anniversary meetings.

Kishore was interviewed by a reporter from the WSWS. He noted that the history of the Trotskyist movement in the US and in Sri Lanka are intimately interconnected in the history of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).

“It’s a great honor to come and meet with comrades who have played such a long and distinguished role in the history of the ICFI,” Kishore said, adding, “The leaders of the Sri Lankan movement are justly honored throughout the International Committee.”

Kishore specifically paid tribute to the late general secretaries of the SEP in Sri Lanka, Keerthi Balasuriya, who died 36 years ago this month, and Wije Dias, who passed away on July 27, 2022.

In relation to the themes of the upcoming meetings, Kishore explained, “We are passing through a period of really explosive crisis... The attention of the world has been focused on Gaza, and the genocide is escalating. They have now resumed bombing after the so-called pause, killing hundreds a day, with the full support of the United States.”

Kishore went on to elaborate, “These meetings are marking the centenary of the Trotskyist movement, of the founding of the Left Opposition in October 1923 by Leon Trotsky. We have had meetings throughout the world addressed by comrade David North, the chairman of the SEP (US) and the chairman of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site.”

He noted that this year is also the 70th anniversary of the founding of the ICFI on the basis of the Open Letter of James P. Cannon. “The history of the Trotskyist movement is the history of the socialist movement. It has such a profound impact on the politics of Sri Lanka in particular, both heroic and also the betrayals.”

Kishore concluded, “You cannot understand the history of the 20th century without understanding the history of the Trotskyist movement. And you cannot understand what is happening now without understanding that history.”

Dates and Venues:

December 7 at 3 p.m.
Hall No. 86, Department of Political Science,
University of Peradeniya

December 10 at 3 p.m.
New Town Hall, Colombo