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May day and Independence day

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The first of May, observed as a holiday at various times in various ways. The American Federation of Labor named named first of May, 1856, as the date on which intensive agitation for the eight hour day would being.

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									MAY DAY (1ST OF MAY)
The first of May, observed as a holiday at various times in various ways. The American Federation of
Labor named named first of May, 1856, as the date on which intensive agitation for the eight hour day
would being.

This established May Day as a Labor holiday, widely observed by strikes, demonstrations, parades,
speeches, and other activities. Violent clashes with the police often incurred. The International
Workingman’s Congress in Paris in 1889, urged world wide demonstrations for the 8 hour day on the
following first of May.

This identified May Day as an international Labor holiday. The Russian Revolution of 1917 gave
renewed impetus to annual celebration of May Day in Russia and other communist dominated
countries.

The Ceylon Labor Party founded in 1931 under the leadership of A.E. Gunasinghe was one of the
earliest of parties. It was he who organized the Labor day in Ceylon. Now it is accepted world wide as
International Labor Day.

INDEPENDENCE DAY
After 443 years of European rule Sri Lanka gained Independence on February 4th 1948. Ceylon as it
was known was crown colony under the British from 1896. it was a concerted effort of our hard
working heroes that we obtained Independence. India gained her independence in 1947. This was an
added incentive to the Ceylonese.

It has to be remembered that in the 19th century. Britain was at the height of her power. She was known
as The Empire Where The Sun Never Set. Most of the present day super powers powers were under the
British.

Imperialism had a set back by the end of the Second World War. There were rallying cries of
Nationalism and the threat of the dreaded Communism Britain had to face facts. The so called colonies
had a lever to use, that was the war. They would help but immediately after that they needed their
Independence. Ceylon also followed suit. We had an educated class of people who were well able to
stand up against the British Government.

In 1947 the British Government announced that it was granting independence to India. D.S.
Senanayake made it clear to the British that, in the changed situation Ceylon should obtain nothing less
than Dominion status within the Commonwealth of Nations.

The power to amend the constitution was vested in atwo third majority of the House of Representatives
and the Governor was replaced by a Governor General who was to exercise powers on the advice of the
Prim Minister. Ties with Britain were maintained by the defense and external affairs agreements signed
in 1947 which enabled the British to use airfields and Trincomalee harbor.

As mentioned at the beginning Ceylon became an independent country on Fourth February 1948. it was
hailed by all the Ceylonese. We now had A country, A flag, A national anthem.

								
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