YAMU has a continuing interest in telling you how, precisely, you’re screwed. As a quick summary, please avoid the Colombo streets tomorrow – May 1st, 2014. The only exception is if you’re walking, in which case watching and photographing the rallies can be fun. Someone usually dresses up in amude (loincloth) to protest something. Pants?
Avoid everything. There are 20 rallies in Colombo this year and resistance is futile. Yes there may be open areas on this map, but we’re only going by the information that’s been published. There could be and probably will be processions everywhere.
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Most rallies are timed to start at 12 PM and end around 3 PM, but the traffic problems are effectively all day.
The main rally is by the SLFP, otherwise known as your government. They’ll march from Nelum Pokuna at noon reaching Campbell Park (near Lady Ridgeway) around three.
Note that there are other rallies around Hyde Park and the National Library, so consider the center of town effectively off limits from 12-5. Realistically, all day.
Blocking up the Colpetty Galle Road as much as possible, the CMEU (a mercantile and other union) will march up and down between Galle Face and Liberty Plaza.
This means that the five star hotels will effectively be cut off, caught in a pincer move between the trade unions on the west and the SLFP on the east.
The JVP rally (which usually has the best floats and costumes) proceeds from Dehiwala down Saranankarra Road (at least it did last year) and up Havelock Road to the BRC Grounds (near Park Road).
The Communists are proceeding from Kirulapone up to Nugegoda (near the train station). We have their route marked as along High Level Road but we’re not sure. They could take the back way, but protests are not usually so considerate.
Finally (for our purposes in Colombo) Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic Party will proceed from in front of the HSBC building in Rajagiriya to near Parliament in Battaramulla.
So no Good Market. The Good Market is on and apparently traffic won’t be an issue.
The UNP has retreated to Ampara to hold their event. The TNA will be in Jaffna.
After Avurudu and Easter, the secular workers demand their Spring Festival, hence May Day. In Colombo this means that trade unions and political parties take over the streets and prevent anyone from working. It is highly advised that you avoid the roads on this day. If you’re on foot, however, the parades and floats can be quite fun to observe.