May Day rallies across Sri Lanka today

Several political parties and trade unions will today celebrate International Workers’ Day, marking the occasion with rallies and processions in towns across the country after the government decided to postpone the country’s May Day celebrations to May 7 due to the Vesak Week. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s (SLFP) May Day rally themed ‘Promoting Reconciliation and Inter-Communal Harmony’ will be held at Chenkalady, Batticaloa today under the auspices of SLFP Leader President Maithripala Sirisena.

According to party Vice President, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, the SLFP rally this year would be the initial step of uniting all factions of the party holding dissenting views and heralding a new era for the SLFP. The Minister said the 16 SLFP MPs who recently quit the Government have also pledged to participate in the rally.

Meanwhile the May Day rally of the Joint Opposition (JO) will take place in the Southern province as their rally will be held at the Samanala grounds in Galle today, led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa with the participation of all other constituent parties.The JO says the rally will be used as a platform to protest against the Government’s moves to sell national resources, rising inflation and political victimisation.

Meanwhile, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will hold its second May Day rally for the year in Colombo today. The party had earlier held a rally on May 1 in Jaffna in defiance of the government’s decision to postpone International Workers’ Day celebrations. The May Day procession of the party will commence, led by its party leaders, from Campbell Park at 1.00 p.m. going on to gather at the BRC ground for its rally.

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) will also be holding a May Day rally which will commence from the Colombo Public Library at 9.00 a.m. today. It’s party members will gather at the Colombo New Town Hall where Anagarika Dharmapala and Trade unionist E.A. Gunasinghe will be commemorated.

The United National Party (UNP) held its May Day rally yesterday (6) morning at the Sugathadasa indoor stadium under the patronage of its leader, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The rally was held on the theme ‘New life for a matured leadership’ with the attendance of UNP Ministers, parliamentarians and party members. The party did not be hold a May Day procession this year.