TUs, parties free to hold May Day meetings on alternative day
COLOMBO: Labour Relations and Manpower Minister Athauda Seneviratne
said the Government has no issue with political parties and trade Unions
who want to celebrate International Workers’ Day on an alternative day
to May 1, assuring all support to such parties and Trade Unions.
He said there had been some debate among political parties and Trade
Unions on the Government’s decision to shift the traditional May Day
events to April 30 on account of Vesak falling on May 1.
The Minister was speaking at a press conference held at the Labour
Ministry to announce the strides made by his Ministry in realising
promises made to the working class on May Day, 2006.
Referring to the May Day 2007 celebrations, Minister Seneviratne said
that the matter was discussed at length at the Labour Advisory Council
with representatives of trade unions.
“It was the opinion of most trade unions that it was inappropriate to
stage May Day demonstrations on an important day like Vesak full moon
day considering the country’s cultural back ground.
“Hence, most of the trade unions decided to hold the Labour Day
celebrations on a day other than May 1,” the Minister said.
However, some trade unions were insistent that the celebrations
should be held on May Day as usual. Thus it has been discussed whether
to hold the Labour Day Celebrations on April 28 or 29, the Minister
The Government has decided to extend state patronage towards May Day
by those interested irrespective of which dat day chose.
The Government has decided to hold its May Day Celebrations together
with its supporting political parties on April 30- at the Colombo
Municipal Ground from 3 pm.
It is evident that it would be a difficult task for the Government to
declare a May Day holiday considering the situation, he added.