United Socialist Party (Sri Lanka)

United Socialist Party
එක්සත් සමාජවාදි පකෂය
ஐக்கிய சோசலிச கட்சி
General Secretary Siritunga Jayasuriya[1]
Founded 1989
Headquarters 53/6, E. D. Dabare Mawatha, Narahenpita, Colombo 05
Newspaper Rathutharuwa / Sentharakai
(Red Star)
Ideology Marxism
Political position Far-left
International affiliation Committee for a Workers' International
Colours Red
Election symbol

The United Socialist Party (Sinhalese: එක්සත් සමාජවාදි පකෂය, Eksath Samajavadi Pakshaya, Tamil: ஐக்கிய சோசலிச கட்சி, Aikkiy soōcialica Kaṭci) is a Trotskyist political party in Sri Lanka. It is affiliated to the Committee for a Workers' International.


The USP traces its history back to the main opposition left group in the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, the Vama Samasamaja. This group were introduced to what was to become the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) in the 1970s.[2] The Vama Samasamaja became the Nava Sama Samaja Party when it separated from the LSSP in December 1977 following a number of expulsions from the LSSP starting in 1972.

The NSSP was a section of the CWI from its foundation until it left in 1989. Disagreements on areas of theory and policy (such as the analysis of Stalinism) with the CWI eventually led to a split.[3] One disagreement was over the leaders of the NSSP deciding to support the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, which led to the deployment of the Indian Peace Keeping Force, in a document issued on 12 February 1988.[4] After 1989 the NSSP became a section of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International, while those still supporting the CWI became the USP.

Political positions

Sri Lankan Civil War

The USP criticised the Indian government for providing military support to the Sri Lankan government whose armed forces were conducting a campaign against opposition in the north of the country.[5] The party opposed the Rajapaksa government's militarist solution to the country's civil war, holding the position that military victory in the Tamil-dominated areas will not solve the national question, with ill feeling and further violence likely as a result. USP General Secretary, Siritunga Jayasuriya, is also quoted as saying that the government's military operation was a “war not against LTTE cadre, but against the Tamil people.”[6]


In the Sri Lankan presidential election, 2005, its candidate, Siritunga Jayasuriya, came third with 35,425 votes(0.36%).[7][8]

In the 2006 council elections, the USP won 710 votes (2.37%) in Eheliyagoda Pradeseheeya Sabha (Ratnapura District), winning a seat in the council.[9][10]


  1. EPRLF calls for re-merger of north and east, Daily Mirror, 21 July 2014.
  2. Trotskyism and Reformism Today, marxist.net. Retrieved 17 August 2007.
  3. Taaffe, P. (2004) A Socialist World Is Possible, London: CWI Publications pg.75
  4. Moorthy, M. "A lost opportunity for Left in Sri Lanka", Militant International Review, Number 39 Spring 1989.
  5. India should stop all military aid to Sri Lanka, JESA, 19 February 2009.
  6. India should pressure Sri Lanka for a political solution, The Hindu, 22 October 2008.
  7. United Socialist Party (cwi) comes third in presidential election, socialistworld.net, 18 November 2005.
  8. Presidential Election 2005 : Dawn of a new era, Sunday Observer, 24 January 2010.
  9. United Socialist Party (CWI) wins council seat, socialistworld.net, 31 March 2006.
  10. Elections and the menace of war, socialistworld.net, 29 May 2006.
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