Following the death of Mao Zedong and the take-over in China by Deng Xiaoping, the party strongly denounced the new line of the Chinese leadership. The party regrouped internationally amongst those who reaffirmed Maoism, and was one of the signatories of the founding declaration of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement.
The strength of the party did however decline, and it suffered several splits. In 1991 a conference was held which reconstructed it as 'Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist)'. Shanmugathasan led the party until his death in 1993.