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May Day: UNP oppose government's decision to prohibit rallies

Commenting on the government's decision to ban all May Day rallies and processions, the general secretary of the United National Party (UNP) Palitha Range Bandara said that the working people of this country should not be deprived of their rights.

Addressing a media briefing held at Sirikotha yesterday (21), Range Bandara said the UNP did not agree to the Army Commander’s request made to all political parties at a meeting convened on Tuesday (20) not to hold May Day celebrations.

Although it was decided to hold the UNP May Day celebrations at Hyde Park, the celebrations will instead be held at the Sirikotha party headquarters in compliance with the health regulations due to the Covid epidemic, the General Secretary said.

A decision has been taken to suspend all May Day programs following a meeting with political party representatives at the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO).

Head of the NOCPCO, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said representatives of all political parties unanimously agreed with the decision not to hold all May Day celebrations.

Meanwhile, Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP Sunil Handunnetti said the JVP does not agree with the decision taken by the NOCPCO to stop the May Day rallies.

Handunnetti said the government is trying to prevent others from holding May Day rallies as the government is not capable of holding such a May rally due to the current political crisis in the ruling coalition. At present many parties representing the government are unable to decide which platform they will take, he said.

“We see this as a decision taken due to the political crisis and the economic crisis faced by the government rather than a decision taken due to health reasons. Therefore, as a party, we express our complete opposition to the decision not to hold the May Day, putting forward health reasons,” Handunneththi said.

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