May 02, Colombo: Political observers of Sri Lanka have focused their attention on the lackluster May Day rally of the major opposition United National Party (UNP) in contrast to the grandiose rally of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA).
The state-run Sinhala newspaper The Dinamina reported that mere 1,500 people participated in the UNP May Day rally held this year in the hill country city of Bandarawela on Sunday morning under the patronage of party leader Ranil Wickremasinghe.
The rally that started at 10 am was ended by 12:40 pm just after the party leader Ranil Wickremasinghe addressed the rally, the report said.
Many senior party leaders including UNP Deputy Leaders Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa were notable absentees in the party May Day rally as they were participating in the special ceremony organized to commemorate the 18th death anniversary of late President Ranasinghe Premadasa in Colombo.
Reportedly efforts by the organizers of the Premadasa commemoration to change the time of the May Day rally to hold it in the afternoon have been failed and senior leaders who have opted to participate in the commemoration did not have enough time to travel to Bandarawela for the May Day rally.