The New Democratic Party was founded in 1978 as the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (Left). It adopted its present name at its Second National Congress in 1991, and is a true successor to the Marxist Leninist tradition of the Ceylon Communist Party, founded in 1943. Following the split of 1964 with the revisionists, who took the parliamentary line, the late Comrade N Sanmugathasan led the Marxist Leninists in defending Marxist Leninist theory and practice. The NDP was founded in 1978 under the leadership of Comrade K A Subramianiam, Founder General Secretary of the NDP, following debates on the stand on major national issues.
The NDP upholds Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought as its guide. It recognizes the national question as the main contradiction in the Sri Lankan society and has persevered in relentless struggle for social justice against imperialism and regional hegemony as well as forces of chauvinism and local reaction.