‘A’ (Aragalaya) Day in Sri Lanka. – By Dr Harold Gunatillake

‘A’ (Aragalaya) Day in Sri Lanka. – By Dr Harold Gunatillake

Dr Harold Gunatillake

Website: www.Doctorharold.com

Transcript:

9th July 2022 becomes an epoch-making day in the history of Sri Lanka since getting Independence in 1948 from the British. This video should be preserved in your archives for posterity, as this sort of unique organized event may not be visible in the future in a developing world. Even despite shortages of essential items such as petrol, gas, and food, on the brink of starvation, the youth joined to protest against the governing body, mainly focusing on President Gotabaya and prime minister Ranil Wickremasinghe who had no mandate from the people, and was successful through protestation to get rid of them, who brought this country to bankruptcy, over months climaxing success on this day the 9th July. This video reveals a glimpse of the struggle the ‘Aragala’ or struggle group shows to achieve
that end.

Please watch the sequence of events. People from all parts of the island assembled in Galle Face Green, called’ Gota Go Gama ‘in the morning of the A day, and marched along Chatham street towards the President’s house. Due to the petrol shortage, they came by public transport like the jam-packed trains and cycling.

Thousands of protesters stormed the president’s official fortified residence. With all the barricading of the roads and receiving tear gas at various spots on the streets, suffering with blurry painful eyes, they forced through the gates of the President’s residence and entered the premises.

Riot police could be seen using water cannons and tear gas to try to disperse the crowd. Throughout the day, soldiers and police could not hold back a crowd of chanting protesters demanding Rajapaksa’s resignation and blaming him for the country’s worst economic crisis in seven decades.

The protesters walked into President’s office before marching towards the President’s residence. At least 39 people, including two police officers, have been injured in the protests. Protesters later broke into the Prime Minister’s private residence and set it on fire, Mr Wickremesinghe’s office said.

Neither Rajajapaksa nor Wickremesinghe was in their residences when the buildings were attacked.

Sri Lanka: president agrees to resign amid unrest and step down on 13th July Beleaguered Gotabaya Rajapaksa says he will step down on 13 July, following mayhem in Colombo.

President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has agreed to resign after a dramatic day during which protesters stormed his house and offices, and the prime minister’s home was set on fire. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena says he has been informed that he will resign from the presidency on the 13th.

The decisions taken at the party leaders’ meeting held on Sunday have been officially communicated to the President by the Speaker through a letter. The president’s decision news triggered celebratory fireworks eruption in parts of Colombo. In a late-night message conveyed through the parliamentary speaker, Mahinda Yapa, the beleaguered president said he would step down from power on 13 July to “ensure a peaceful transition of power”.

It was a historic victory for the protesters who have been calling for him to resign for months. On Saturday, they gathered on the streets of Colombo in tens of thousands as the country continues to struggle through its worst economic crisis since independence. Earlier, prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, had told a meeting of party leaders that he too would resign as soon as a new all-party government was formed.

In extraordinary scenes on Saturday, protesters broke through police barriers and charged into the president’s official residence. Images and witness accounts showed people flooding up the grand staircase of the colonial-era building, with chants calling for the president to go. As protesters poured into the bedrooms and kitchen and rifled through the president’s possessions, many took full advantage of the president’s luxury amenities which had been denied to them in recent weeks due to rampant food and fuel shortages. Protesters were seen cooking curries in the kitchen, lying down on beds and sofas, lifting weights, jogging in his private gym, and jumping into the outdoor pool.

The president was not at home, having fled to a naval ship the night before, under military protection, and remained in hiding as Saturday’s events unfolded. After the protesters entered the presidential palace, a group of university students found Rs. 17.8 million in the closet of the room where President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was said to be staying.

The university students took steps to take that money into their custody and hand it over to the officer named Nisheda Fernando, Senior Superintendent of Police of the Special Task Force, who was guarding the Presidential Palace then. He did not accept the amount there and informed the Chief Inspector of Police, Mr Sagara Liyanage.

The Bar Association condemns the burning of the Prime Minister’s house

The Bar Association condemns the damage done to Mr Ranil Wickramasinghe’s house, including the burning of his property. The association points out that such actions will cause significant damage to the economy and people of Sri Lanka.

The association requests not to do such acts or allow others to do such criminal acts.

IMF hopes for a resolution of Sri Lanka

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it is hoping for a resolution to Sri Lanka’s political turmoil that will allow a resumption of talks for a bailout package after a violent day of protests.

An official said that Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would resign on Wednesday after thousands of protesters stormed his official residence and secretariat on Saturday. Protesters also set fire to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s private residence.

“We hope for a resolution of the current situation that will allow for the resumption of our dialogue on an IMF supported program,” the IMF said in a statement.

I hope this video presentation of the climax of Aragalaya Day, called the A Day, on the 9th of July, provided a glimpse of the events that took place during that epochmaking event.

Stay safe until we meet again.

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