World Labor Day – May 1st

World Labor Day 1st of may  This is the 136th World Labor Day. World Labor Day began in 1886 with strikes and demonstrations from New York to San Francisco. Central to the struggle was the demand for eight hours of service. The main center of this wave of struggle was the city of Chicago. May Day celebrations in Sri Lanka began in 1933. E. who was working as a teacher at that time. it.

The first May Day celebrating  have been  at the Price Park Grounds. Outer Fort under the patronage of Mr. Gunasinghe. Its theme having  Let’s be pro-government. Colonial government officials have also been inviting  for this. The second May Day rally in Sri Lanka in 1934  organized by the Marxist Association. This is known as May Day, the first time that a left-wing socialist ideology has been expressed.

The theme of the May Day rally held at Price Park in Pettah was ‘National Freedom – Equal Pay’. The keynote speaker was Dr. S.A. Mr. Wickramasinghe. We inquired from Mr.. Sudasinghe, Deputy General Secretary of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka. about the experiences and difficulties gained during the May Day rallies in Sri Lanka. This is his comment


On May 1, 1885, about 40,000 workers took to the streets in a peaceful protest. The parade lasted for three days. Attempts by children to demolish McCawwick’s factory in Chicago led to clashes between more strikers and those who came to suppress it. As the situation escalated on May 3, police opened fire on the strikers. Also Six are killing  and at least 50 were injured. The white banners displaying  at the rally have been  stain red with the blood shed by the workers. After this incident, the color red was chosen as the workers’ strike. That wave of fighting continued unabated.

The 1886 working class movement have regarding  as a pillar of victory. Also According to the Second Communist International Law of 1887, May Day, or World Labor Day, is still celebrating  as International Workers’ Cooperation Day. May Day 1987 is  a very important May Day rally for us. Mr. Jayewardene banned the May Day celebrations that year. The Communist Party of Sri Lanka, the Lanka Mahajana Party and the Lanka Sama Samaja Party held a meeting in front of the office of the Sama Samaja Party. The party leaders addressed the gathering.


At that moment there was a clash between the police and the crowd. There was a police assault. Despite the police protest a May Day rally was held that day. We held a demonstration and a meeting when the May Day demonstrations were banned in violation of the law. I also participated in it. It was a successful May Day. Celebrating May Day despite all obstacles is a great victory for the Left parties. We held the meeting while protecting the dignity of those parties.

The difference between then and now

May Day parades In fact, May Day rallies are held without first understanding the purpose of the May Day celebrations. so much Many are celebrating May Day today to help their party win elections. Today’s May rallies are being held for their own narrow political advantage. Many political parties today celebrate May Day outside the theme of the working class as well as international workers’ solidarity. Now each political party celebrates May Day using the colors of each party. For example, the UNP celebrates May Day in green. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party celebrates in blue. Other similar parties celebrate the same.

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