On the 30th May, 2011 in Katunayake, Sri Lanka, the police used live ammunition against a group of workers. As a result one young worker (22 years old) has died and about 200 have been injured. This incident has shocked the society and there is public debate on this issue. In this lecture the background to this incident and its implications are discussed. The history of the workers movement and how it was suppressed is also discussed in the background of the general strike of 1980 which was crushed by sacking 40 workers. Behind all this is the constitutional history of the country after the 1978 constitution which placed the executive president above the law.