Following a dispute between the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) and Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union (CBEU) over the allocation of the Hyde Park grounds to organise May Day rallies, the Colombo Fort Magistrate today issued an order preventing the JTUA from entering or organising May Day related activities at the Hyde Park grounds and the streets in the vicinity from 6am - 10pm tomorrow.
Magistrate Thilina Gamage made this order as a measure of ensuring public peace in the area, on a request made by the Slave Island police to have an appropriate order issued over a dispute for the venue between the JTUA and the CBEU. Police told Court that the situation could lead to a disturbance of public peace in the area.
The Court was informed that both the CBEU and the JTUA had requested permission from the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) to organise their May Day rallies in the Hyde Park ground in Colombo 02.
The Counsel who appeared for the CBEU tendered the written documents to prove that they had had booked the grounds first and made payment to the CMC. Accordingly, the Counsel requested the Court that the CBEU be allowed to organise the rally at the grounds. The JTUA failed to submit written documents to prove that they took steps to book the grounds and subsequently informed Court that they did not make any payment to the CMC.
While giving permission to the CBEU to organise its May Day rally at the Hyde Park grounds, the Magistrate issued an order preventing the JTUA from entering and organising the May Day rally within the grounds and on the streets of Union Place, Vauxhall Street and Darley Road. The Magistrate observed that if anyone violated the Court order, he or she could be charged for Contempt of Court. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)