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Tuesday May 11th, 2021
Health

Sri Lanka opposition May Day events to go virtual

May Day rally in 2015 – Image credit: IDWF/Flickr

ECONOMYNEXT – Two of Sri Lanka’s opposition political parties have planned virtual events to celebrate May Day tomorrow, with the raging COVID-19 epidemic putting the brakes on physical rallies a second year running.

The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramau (SLPP) has notably decided to forego May Day celebrations this year, according to a spokesman.

Main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) spokesman Erananda Hettiarachchi said party leader and opposition leader Sajith Premadasa along with the General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara and leaders of SJB affiliated trade unions will address their members and supporters live on Facebook tomorrow from 11am onwards.

National People’s Power (NPP) MP Vijitha Herath said the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will hold their May Day celebration as a virtual event from 10am onwards with the participation of JVP Leader and NPP parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake, other party members and trade union representatives.

Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 task force said on April 20 that all major political parties had consented to cancelling May Day events once again, as COVID-19 cases started to spike in the wake of the Sinhala & Tamil New Year holidays.

Related: JVP accuses govt of using COVID-19 as excuse to cancel May Day rallies

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), meanwhile, held their May Day event this morning with only the SLFP trade union leaders participating. The union leaders presented 21 proposals at the event to be presented to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

According to SLFP Workers’ Union GenLeslie Devendra, who spoke at the event, the proposals include increasing the salary of state sector employees and a stop to privatising of essential government services. (Colombo/Apr30/2021)

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