The UNP and the SLFP serve liquor to their members to make the May Day a tamasha on the road and insult the May Day says the General Secretary of the JVP Comrade Tilvin Silva.
He said this at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP today (26th). The Information Secretary of the party Parliamentarian Corade Vijitha Herath was also present.
Speaking further Corade Tilvin Silva said, “The May Day this time is important to the working masses in this country as well as for the JVP. At the moment the government and the society are confronted with economic, cultural and social crisis. As such, the country and the people expect a change at this moment. It is a moment that needs a change in the administration. The JVP has organized the May rally this time with the intention of rallying people’s forces for such a change. This time the JVP has organized two May rallies. One would be held as usual in Colombo and the other will be held in Jaffna. The rally to be held in Colombo will be held under the theme “Red May Rally to Build People’s Power for Economic Development, Social Justice & National Unity” and will be held at BRC Grounds. The demonstration will commence from S. de S. Jayasinghe Grounds at 12.00 noon. The May Day Rally in Jaffna will be held at Mutraveli Grounds in Jaffna on 30th April at 3.00 p.m. The demonstration will commence from Jaffna Railway Station at 1.00 p.m.
Fishermen’s and farmers’ organizations, university dons, artistes and several civil organizations are expected to join the rally and the rally will be held under the theme “Socialism for National Unity’.
Today, a main issue is distorting the International Workers’ Day by certain political parties and using it for their petty interests and for election projects. These parties distort the May Day, violates its principles. It is an insult on the working masses. The same political parties that exploit working masses have made it a tamasha. The UNP gets its members to wear green and the SLFP members are made to wear blue, supply them liquor and get them to dance on the streets. They wear t-shirts and caps with ministers’ and organizer s’ names to distort the May Day. Only symbols of the working masses should be displayed on the May Day. The leaders who represented the working masses should be remembered. We call upon the downtrodden masses not to contribute to distort the true meaning of the International Workers’ Day.
May Day is not just another day. The Valentine’s Day could be commemorated without any party differences. It is the same with the ‘Mothers’ Day. However, May Day doesn’t belong to everybody. It belongs to the working masses and the political parties and organizations that struggle to win rights of the working masses.
The May Day was created with the demonstrations and agitations that arose with the development of the capitalist system in the 1880s.
Workers had to work in factories for 12 to 14 hours. They did not have time to spend their lives properly. Workers took to the streets against these conditions. They demanded an eight hour working day. On 1st May, 1886 40,000 workers took to the streets and held a demonstration. The police attacked the workers. About 9 workers were killed. Several others were arrested. They were tried on false accusations and were hanged. May Day is held to commemorate the workers’ leaders who shed their blood to win an eight hour working day. The colour of the May Day is Red. On 1st May, 1886 workers took to the streets holding high the white flag, the symbol of peace. The police shot at the workers and the white flags of the workers were soaked in red blood of the workers. The colour of the May Day is the colour of the blood shed by the workers. The likes of Ranil try to make it green while the likes of Maithri want to make it blue.
Some say May Day doesn’t belong to political parties. It is not a complete truth. Capitalist political parties have no right to commemorate the May Day. However, the left movement has a right. It is the Communist parties in the world that took the initiative to name the May Day. It is the 2nd International of Communist Parties that was held in 1889 that decided to commemorate the May Day from 1st May, 1890. Hence, it is not a day that belongs to the capitalist class.
Today the UNP talks of commemorating the May Day. The SLFP has been divided into two and talks of holding the May Day at two places. People are asked to wear green. Others are asked to wear blue. The parties that grab rights of the working masses are attempting to commemorate the May Day. How could the government that attempts to slash and abolish workers’ pension commemorate May Day? How could the previous government that gambled with EPF funds of the 6 million private sector employees and the present government that used EPF funds for bond scams commemorate the International Workers’ Day? How could the government that is dumb when workers in the estate sector ask for a Rs.1000 daily wage commemorate the May Day? Working masses are attacked when they agitate for their rights, assaulted and sacked. How could such a government commemorate the May Day? Aren’t the UNP and the SLFP ashamed to commemorate the May Day?
Due to the moves of this government agitations and protests increased. Instead of finding solutions for agitations the government is trying to impose laws to suppress agitations and protests. They are trying to name a date and places to agitate and protest. The government is attempting to suppress agitations as it cannot confront agitations and protests. The government that attempts to deny the right of the working masses to agitate and demonstrate trying to commemorate the May Day is outrageous.The May Day is not a day of a tamasha to consume liquor and dance on the streets. May Day should be saved from political parties that make it a tamasha. The attempt to distort the objectives of the May Day should be defeated.
This May Day is special for the JVP as well as the people in this country. There is a socio-economic-political crisis in the country. The government has not been able to protect rights of the people. The production sources of the country that bring income have been broken down. Tea, rubber and coconut do not bring income as we were taught at school. The expenditure has increased but the income has gone down. The country has been trapped in a debt trap that several generations would not be able to repay. The debt mountain is larger than the Meethotamulla garbage dump. Meethotamulla garbage dump collapsed on the heads of Meethotamulla people. The debt mountain is above the heads of 20 million people. It is the same people who amassed the garbage dump who amassed the debt mountain as well. However, it is the people in this country who are being harassed due to the garbage dump and the debt trap. The government’s solution to save itself from the debt trap is selling Hambanthota Harbour, handing over 15,000 acres of land to foreign companies, give India the very valuable oil tank farm at Trincomalee, selling graphite mines and selling whatever valuable resources of the country. This bankrupt economy cannot go forward further.
Our country needs an alternative economic system. For that a new government must be formed. This government wastes money of our country. Money is wasted for ministers’ vehicles, buildings and ceremonies. Hence, a better economic system should be established in the country. This is why we selected our theme. The country that doesn’t have any economic development should have a system that brings economic development. Our country that doesn’t have social justice should have social justice. Also, national unity should be established. For that people’s forces should be made ready. A massive people’s power should be developed.
The JVP May Day is not a day where intoxicated people dance on the streets with photographs of ministers and electoral organizers. It is the JVP that commemorates May Day with the most disciplined, organized and the most colourful manner. This time too we are commemorating the May Day in the same manner. We are going to commemorate this May Day with a massive crowd unprecedented in the history of May Days in our country. The biggest trade union in the country consisting of trade unions in the state, private and estate sectors, the biggest farmers’ organization, the organizations of fisher folk, youths, students, women will join our May rally. Also, a most number of international Communist organizations will join the JVP May rally. Representatives of Communist parties in Cuba, India, UK and representatives of left movements in Europe would join JVP May rally this time. Also, we have taken measures to give the May demonstration a new appearance.
We make an open invitation to all downtrodden masses, youths, women, students, artistes, journalists and all those who struggle against injustice to come to BRC Grounds. We invite them to join forces that could change this country.
As usual the governing parties are attempting to come up with various dialogue when the May Day approaches. Discarding the objectives of the May Day they are trying to draw the attention of the masses in a bid to consolidate their power. Hence, it is essential to draw the attention of the masses to the real objectives of the May Day. We, of the JVP, join the working masses in Sri Lanka as well as the whole world to commemorate May Day.”
Responding to questions raised by journalists Comrade Tilvin Silva said, “This government can never solve issues of the people. This is why they are trying to suppress people’s agitations, That’s why they come up with various laws, a date and a place to agitate and push agitations and protests to a corner. When the UNP confronts crises, people like Sarath Fonseka are used to see whether they could come out of it. We warn this government. Don’t try to cure diarrhea with loin clothes. If they try to stop agitations a new agitation will have to be carried out to win the right to agitate. The people and the JVP would not withdraw from agitating just because the government tries to suppress them. In 1977 when the UNP came to power its party members, municipality employees were given weapons to attack agitators and protesters. This government has neither the right nor the strength to do such acts now. This is an impotent government. Also, this government should remember the mandate it received. This government was given power to have good governance. If it tries to suppress masses it would learn a lesson like the previous government did.
We have cleaned the grounds where our May demonstration commences and where the rally is held before the collapse of the Meethotamulla garbage dump. When the JVP ruled the Tissa Pradeshiya Sabha a project to recycle garbage was carried out. Farmers were given fertilizer at low prices. Such projects are good for the whole country. However, we should be given power to commence such projects. We cannot remove garbage when others are in power. For, we would have to remove government’s filth. Garbage that has been made a tragedy could be made a valuable resource. We cannot intervene in this issue when the government is not interested. What the government does is to dump garbage from one place to another to evade the issue. Whether the people like it or not it is the reality. The people must decide whether they live with garbage or remove garbage and the rotten government with it.”
Comrade Vijitha Herath talking about the simultaneously telecast TV programme on SAITM said, “During Mahinda Rajapaksa regime TV channels were pressurized to carry out the point of view of the government. This government repeats what Rajapaksa regime did. Those who participated – Rajitha, Kiriella, Grero and the Chairman of the UGC are all SAITM fans that participated in the programme. They used journalists in several media institutions to tell their partiality to the country. This government, like Mahinda did then, is pressurizing media institutions. One journalist suggested that it would have been better if government representatives who oppose SAITM too participated in the programme. If it happened people could have known the views of both sides without any bias. This ‘yahapalana’ government has no respect for media ethics. It interferes in the media directly. The JVP condemns these interventions. Organizations that are against the SAITM too should get an opportunity to express their views.”