Sri Lanka's radical Marxists stage massive rally

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 May 2001, 19:55 GMT]
More than hundred and fifty thousand members and supporters of the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna, Sri Lanka's radical Marxist party, took part in a massive May Day rally Tuesday in Colombo.

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Photo:TamilNet. (Please click on the image for larger photo)
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Photo:TamilNet.
Thousands clad in red marched along the Galle Road, the main artery of the city, to the Burgher Recreation Club grounds in Havelock Town where leaders of the party and representatives of communist groups in other parts of the world addressed the rally, which began early afternoon around 1 p.m. Mr. Lal Kantha, the leader of the party's powerful trade union arm, the Socialist Workers Congress, presided. The JVP (People's Liberation Front) May Day march and rally Tuesday demonstrates its rapidly growing political power and influence in Sri Lanka, analysts said.

The JVP failed to capture power in two bloody insurrections in 1971 and 1988-89. The party remains committed to its Marxist revolutionary ideals.

Though virtually decimated by the Sri Lankan security forces in 1990, the party began gradually re-emerging since 1994. Today it has ten MP's in Parliament and is counted as a powerful third force in Sri Lankan politics today. The JVP's trade unions dominate most of the island's industry now.


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Meanwhile, the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) held a May Day march and rally in Vavuniya Tuesday afternoon. More than 1500 took part in the organisation's May Day procession amid tight security by the Police.

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A section of the marchers (left) and an auto rickshaw on a bullock cart to protest against restrictions on fuel in the northern border town.

 

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