Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake in his May Day message said May Day should not be politicised.
`Today is May Day, and it is with great pleasure that I express my greetings and salute the workers of the nation.
It is they who contribute most to nation building and to development. It is also they who bear the heaviest of life`s burdens. Appreciating their labours and saluting them should not be confined to May Day alone.
It is the responsibility and the duty of the State to honour their contribution and to safeguard their rights.
Our Government has always done so. It is my belief that May Day the day dedicated to the workers of the world, should not be politicised.
Sadly, this is what has happened over the years. Political parties have come to use this day as a platform for political sloganeering.
Our Governments have done much for the advancement of workers` rights.
And the working population can look back with satisfaction to what they have won. But much more has to be done to make life easier for the workers of the nation. The challenges are many.
It is my fervent hope that this year`s May Day will be free from petty political conflicts, free from violence, and be dedicated to the true cause of a better tomorrow for the worker.`