Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena declared that International Workers’ Day, commonly marked as May Day, will now be shifted from May 1st to May 7th, after pressure from various Buddhist lobby groups.
The decision was made as May 1st coincides with the Buddhist festival of Vesak. Mr Sirisena announced the decision on his Twitter and told Heads of Media institutions this morning that political rallies and processions are not to be held on that date.
The move comes despite the Ceylon Teachers Union stating that it was “a total disregard for the rights of the workers and their trade unions”.
“This disturbing decision comes in the wake of anti- Muslim violence in Central Sri Lanka where the government has not taken any effective steps against the extreme Buddhist monks who were seeing inciting violence against ethnic minorities," it added.