The Socialist May Day conducted by the United Socialist Party was held in Colombo successfully. Comrades and friends of the USP from all over the country came to Orugodawaththa, a Colombo suburb, to participate in the parade and marched to Grandpass in Colombo Central for the rally which started at 4 pm.
Sirithunga Jayasuriya, General Secretary of the USP, addressed the meeting saying that ‘red became the colour of the working class not on their own choice; it was thrust upon them by the brutal state machinery by shedding the blood of workers in Chicago in 1896.’
Former President Mahinda Rajapakshe is trying to come to power again by clinging on to communalism. Intoxicated with power, he is going to temples daily to deceive innocent rural people. While the present government is boasting about the 19th amendment to the Constitution, a small step, a lot has to be done to ensure democratic freedoms of the people. ‘Only through socialist change of society can we achieve real democracy and freedom,’ Siritunga emphasized.
Srinath Perera , editor of the RATHU THARUWA (Red Star) newspaper of the USP, said that workers all over the world are in revolt now. Workers and other oppressed people the world over are fighting injustice, exploitation, and repression. Even at this moment workers and youth, black and white alike, in Baltimore in the US are on the streets fighting against the killing of black youth by white policemen. They are our comrades, brothers and sisters.
“The USP has fought for the rights of Tamils and Muslims relentlessly, even in the face of threats to the lives of its members. We will continue to do so until true democratic rights and national aspirations of these people are established,” he concluded.
The women’s wing leader of the USP, Dhammika de Silva, explained the predicament of women workers.
“Working women in Sri Lanka are highly oppressed. The Sri Lankan economy is on the shoulders of women workers. Women in the garment industry, in the estate plantation sector, and migrant women workers in the Middle East are the foreign exchange earners for the country. A semi – slave situation exists in all these three sectors. Therefore it is important to fight for the rights of these women workers and draw them on to the main stream of the workers struggle,” Dhammika concluded.