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Letters—Profit amid Sri Lanka devastation

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Issue 2758
Fishermans livelihoods are under threat in Sri Lanka
Fisherman’s livelihoods are under threat in Sri Lanka (Pic: Rameez Sadikot/ Flickr)

My home land of Sri Lanka is being despoiled by people who put money first. A chemical-laden cargo ship sank off the coast near the city of Colombo last week.

It had been on fire for almost two weeks. There are terrible amounts of environmental pollution with plastic pellets washed up on crucial tourism beaches all the time.

The damage will devastate fish stocks. Huge numbers of people in the fishing industry could lose their jobs.

It breaks my heart to see it. And it was also completely avoidable.

The fire was caused by a nitric acid leak which the crew had been aware of since 11 May. Yes, for a long time before the fire.

X-Press Shipping—the company that owns the vessel—said the crew had been aware of the leak. But they were not allowed by both Qatar and India to leave the ship in their ports before the fire broke out.

Why weren’t emergency safety measures taken? And what was the Sri Lankan government doing allowing this ship to come near?

This was a very big ship and an obvious hazard. It was nearly 200 metres long and carrying 1,486 containers. As well as the nitric acid, the cargo included other chemicals.

Obviously the prize of landing the cargo took precedence over the environment and the lives of ordinary people.

Thishala Algama

West London

Rishi Sunak acts for wealthiest in society

Chancellor Rishi Sunak gets a very easy ride. He’s seen as someone who is more “one of us”.

It’s rubbish. His family is richer than the queen.

His wife, Akshata Murthy, has shares in a firm that are worth around £450 million.

She is the daughter of one of the richest men in India—billionaire N R Narayana Murthy—who co-founded technology giant Infosys.

And she is directly involved with many other companies.

They include a Mayfair outfitter that supplies tailcoats worn by pupils at Eton College.

Such holdings have not been fully declared by Sunak. But the ministerial code says he ought to declare the interests of his close family.

He says he has a “blind trust” which means he has no right to intervene in the assets’ handling.

But he knows what went into it. He’s one of the super-wealthy working for the super‑wealthy.

Kaye Wilson

South London

We opposed JCB’s backing for Israel

Nearly 70 campaigners from Derby and Nottingham Palestine Solidarity Campaigns (PSC) and local people from a Pakistani heritage held a lively protest at JCB’s international headquarters last week.

The headquarters of this local “family”’ firm is set in beautifully landscaped grounds with a lake full of baby ducks—idyllic.

Meanwhile, in the Occupied Territories of Palestine, JCB bulldozers and diggers are tearing down Palestinian homes and destroying the infrastructure.

JCB’s equipment is used for building illegal settlements and putting up roadblocks and checkpoints. They are part of the oppression of the Palestinian people. On the back of two big Freedom for Palestine protests in Derby, community leaders, young people and Derby PSC organised to take our anger to JCB.

We demanded the firm stops helping the Israeli State to occupy Palestinian land and terrorise the Palestinian people.

The protest was a mixture of young and old it was angry and loud.

It was great to see groups and communities coming together and Derby SWP was proud to be part of it.

Sue Arguile


‘Wuhan lab’ theory is a lie

your article on the “Wuhan lab” theory of Covid-19’s origins was far too even-handed. (Socialist Worker, 2 June).

You acknowledge the interests of the US state in promulgating this idea. But then you say it might be true.

There is a very long list of how imperialism puts out lies to justify wars and to demonise rivals.

Say it straight—the virus did not come from a Chinese lab. It is a result of the capitalist system that the US defends.

Andy Gallagher


How to beat state violence?

Socialist worker repeatedly says that the way to change society is through protests and strikes.

But in both Myanmar and Colombia we have seen heroic levels of resistance that are being crushed by the rulers of those countries.

Don’t we need to rethink how it is possible to defeat such ruthless states?

Mary Burns

On Facebook

Bosses fear union power

You report that the number of workers in trade unions has risen (Socialist Worker, 2 June).

There are more members in trade unions than in political parties. The power of workers is unity in the workplace. The bosses fear organised resistance. It’s why bosses and the Tories collaborate to wage class war against the workers.

Resist and fight, organise and unite.

Lambski Garbett

On Facebook

America is two continents

I like the front cover of Socialist Worker last week. But on the page you say “Why America backs Israel”.

I think it should be United States or United States of America because America is two continents.

Reg Dunderole

by email

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