The Message of His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, on International Workers’ Day, 1 May 2020

1 May 2020

I wish to make use of this occasion of the International Workers’ Day to salute and pay my respect to the working masses who are making boundless sacrifices in the face of challenges before the nation caused by COVID – 19 outbreak.

Many were the challenges we faced and overcame throughout history. In each such instance, working class in the country is the segment that was directly affected and at the forefront.  History has proven their resilience and commitment, which, indeed is a great credit to the working class. It is certain that we will win the battle against COVID – 19 as we had conquered all the difficulties in the past, hand in hand with the working class.

International Workers’ Day is an opportunity to showcase the unity, strength, and revolutionary spirit of working people to the world. The global working community has lost the opportunity to celebrate May Day this time due to the global pandemic. Nevertheless, I am confident that their determination to create a better and just society will remain the same.

Our government, despite difficult circumstances, did not disrupt the daily life of the working people. We not allow any room for such a situation to occur. Similarly, we will take steps to secure the daily livelihood of the workforce by ensuring the functioning of the production and service sectors while mitigating the effects of the epidemic.   

Last year the working class of our country had to forego May Day celebrations due to the Easter Sunday carnage. Even though we have ended that inhumaneness, due to unexpected world epidemic situation, this time too, May Day celebrations and processions will not be held.  This decision was taken according to the guidelines prescribed by the health authorities. Nevertheless, we should pursue the struggle to achieve just rights. May the aspirations of this International Workers' Day may further enhance the courage for the collective efforts of rebuilding the Sri Lankan nation and the economy of the country.

I salute the Sri Lankan working class.

 

April 30, 2020                                         

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

President of Sri Lanka

 

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