May 01, Colombo: Sri Lanka today celebrated the first International Labor Day (May Day) since the end of the three-decade long war last year in a grand scale with pageantry.
The ruling United People's Freedom Alliance held its May Day rally at Town Hall under theme "Power to the Workplace, Dynamism to the Factory, Peace to the Motherland" with the participation of the President, Prime Minister, government ministers and union leaders.
The main opposition United National Party opted to hold religious activities instead of a political rally to mark the May Day this year. The activities had been held at the Piliyandala Dharma Shastroda Piriven Viharaya.
The Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) held its May Day rally at the Campbell Park in Borella under the patronage of its leader Somawansa Amarasinghe.
The Ceylon Workers Congress representing the upcountry plantation Tamil workers held its May Day rally in Thalawakelle while Socialist People's Front comprising five leftist political parties held its May Day rally at the Athulathmudali grounds in Kirulapone.
The association of workers in the free trade zone factories held its May Day rally at P.D. Sirisena grounds in Maligawatta.
Police Media Spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody said the police have implemented a special security programme for the May Day. The police had added more officers to the streets to maintain law and order and direct the traffic.
Police spokesman said 11 rallies and 6 processions had been scheduled to be held in Colombo.
May Day celebrations in previous years had been low key due to the threats of LTTE terrorist attacks. In 1993 a LTTE suicide bomber attacked the then government's May Day processions in Colombo killing the former President Ranasinghe Premadasa and 23 others.