Sri Lanka celebrates first May Day after end of civil war

11:08, May 02, 2010      

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Sri Lanka's political parties celebrated their first May Day after ending the three-decade war against Tamil Tiger rebels on Saturday.

The ruling party United People's Freedom Alliance held its May Day meeting with the participation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the capital Colombo.

Rajapaksa, who returned from Bhutan after attending the 16th SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Summit, called the working class to join the government to develop the country.

He also called the opposition to work with him to fulfill the aspirations of the people.

"Let's forget all differences and get together now to develop the country. The opposition must not oppose every thing that the government does for the sake of opposing. We can overcome any external threat when we are united," he said.

The main opposition party the United National Party participated in religious ceremonies when the leftist party People Liberation Front and other opposition political parties held their May Day processions and meetings in Colombo and suburbs.

The Democratic National Alliance led by former Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka held its first May Day rally in the capital, too.

Compared to May Day rallies and meeting in previous years, the post-war May Day celebrations by the opposition parties were low- keyed this time.

The rallies and meetings have been held under tight security for the last 30 years as the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) suicide bombers had targeted the rallies to inflict mass bloodshed.

In May 1, 1993, Sri Lanka's President Ranasinghe Premadasa was assassinated by a LTTE suicide bomber when he was participating in a May Day rally.

Source: Xinhua


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