The New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party upholds Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought as its theoretical guide and recognises the class contradiction as the fundamental contradiction and the national question as the current main contradiction in the Sri Lankan society. It identifies the New Democratic Revolution as its immediate goal which it endeavours to achieve by applying the mass political line based on class struggle against imperialism and regional hegemony as well as forces of chauvinism and local reaction.

The New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party is a true successor to the Marxist Leninist tradition of the Ceylon Communist Party, founded in 1943. Marxist Leninists led by Comrade N Sanmugathasan defended Marxist Leninist theory and practice and split in 1964 with the revisionists who took the parliamentary line. The New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party itself was founded in 1978 under the leadership of Comrade K A Subramianiam, Founder General Secretary of the Party, following debates on the stand on major national issues. The Party, initially founded as the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (Left) changed its name to the New-Democratic Party at its Second National Congress in 1991, and adopted its present name at its Fifth All Sri Lanka Congress in 2010, in consideration of the earlier name being now used by several bourgeois political parties and the need for the name to reflect more correctly the ideology of the Party.