May Day In Sri Lanka
- Workers Are Pawns In The Hands Of Politicians
Our pictorial today showcases in a nutshell what May Day in Sri Lanka has become. It is nothing but a senseless political exercise as workers on meagre salaries are exploited by politicians on the one holiday in the calendar year dedicated to them. This year too, all of the marches and programmes were organised by political parties who enticed workers from Sri Lanka’s lower income strata with a ‘buth’ packet and free access to alcohol to participate in what was merely a show for egocentric politicians. The exception being the commemorative programme to remember the death anniversary of the late President R. Premadasa.
Pictures by Thusitha Kumara, Asoka Fernando and Rajini Rajendran
1st May 2012
“The Sunday Leader”,
24, Katukurunduwatte Road,
May Day Observance in Jaffna
I was surprised to find that the UNP held a May Day rally in Jaffna in alliance with the Tamil National Alliance. May Day (May 1st) is observed in Sri Lanka as a ‘Political Party Day’ to project the strength of various political parties, exhibiting the disunity of the workers and their naiveté in going after political party patronage, sacrificing the dignity of the day dedicated to workers at the feet of political sycophancy.
However, what is obnoxious is the UNP aligning with the Tamil National Alliance which is a racial organisation when the working class transcends racialism and communalism. The UNP by doing so has gone against the very principle meant to be followed on May Day, dedicated to the workers. Of course, the UNP aligning with the TNA for political purposes is understandable but not to observe May Day.
Apart from that, what is significant is the UNP’s ability to spread the disease of disunity it is suffering from to the TNA too, perhaps another feather in the UNP leader’s hat.
Upali S. Jayasekera