Thursday, 1 May 2003  
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Rallies around the island to mark May Day

by Ariyaratne Ganegoda

Political parties, trade unions and workers' organisations have made arrangements to celebrate May Day on a grand scale around the island today.

The main events will be held in Colombo, Kandy, Hatton, Nuwara Eliya and Vavuniya.

The ruling United National Front (UNF) May Day event will be held this morning at Town Hall grounds, Colombo under the theme 'Srama Upahara' (Tribute to Labour) sans a rally and a procession under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. A mega musical show featuring Indian stars will be held at the Open Air Theatre of the Vihara Maha Devi Park. Cultural shows and exhibitions will be held at the John de Silva Memorial Theatre and the Public Library Auditorium.

The People's Alliance (PA) returns to its usual venue - Campbell Park - for this year's May Day as well. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga will be the main speaker at the public rally scheduled to start at 4 p.m. The procession will commence from the Kotte Sports Complex at 1 p.m.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has also stuck to its usual venue - BRC grounds, Havelock Town, where the procession beginning from the Dehiwela S. de. S. Jayasinghe Grounds is expected to arrive at 4 p.m.

The alliance of Left Parties will hold their May Day rally at the Goonesinghepura Price Park, Pettah. Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne (New Left Front), Vasudeva Nanayakkara (Democratic Left Front) and representatives of the NSSP Alternative Group are expected to address the gathering at 3 p.m.

Hyde Park, Colombo will be the venue of the Ceylon Mercantile Union (CMU) rally at 2 p.m. The procession will start from the CMU Headquarters, Kollupitiya at 1 pm and reach Hyde Park via Slave Island.

The United Socialist Party's Labour Day meeting will be held at Grandpass at 4 p.m. The Sri Lanka Progressive Front (SLPF) will have its rally at the YMCA, Colombo. SLPF Secretary Ariya Bulegoda will address the participants at 10.30 a.m. The Golden Eagle Group's annual May Day get-together will take place at the Golden Eagle premises under the patronage of its Chairman D.C. Abeywardane at 11 a.m.

Slave Island's Stanley Jansz Grounds will be the venue for the May Day event organised by the Christian Workers' Brotherhood. The procession will begin from the Polwatte Church, Kollupitiya.

'Guru Medura' behind People's Bank Headquarters, Colombo at 10 a.m. July Strikers will hold their May Day meeting in front of the Fort Railway Station at 9 a.m.

The May Day meeting of the Ceylon Labour Union and the commemoration of the 112th birth anniversary of labour leader A. E. Goonesinghe will be held near the A. E. Goonesinghe statue at Goonesinghepura, Pettah at 7.30 a.m. Minister Mohammed Mahroof, Mayor Prasanna Gunawardane and Municipal Councillor Vijitha Kadiragonna will attend the ceremony.

The National Development Front will hold its May Day rally at the D. S. Senanayake Memorial Library Auditorium, Kandy at 1 p.m.

The Upcountry people's Front (UPF) Labour Day event takes place in Hatton at 2 p.m under the patronage of UPF leader Minister P. Chandrasekaran.

The Ceylon Workers Congress May Day Rally takes place at Nuwara Eliya at 10 a.m. Minister Arumugam Thondaman will be the main speaker.

The Tamil National Alliance May Day rally is due to take place in Vavuniya. LTTE representatives are also expected to participate in this rally.

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