PROTESTORS MADE SRI LANKAN HERO, A ZERO
As per my experience based discovery, when we live by our truth, we can never fail ourselves. Others may mark us wrong but ultimately we are driven by our own truth. Some of that truth is discovered through current theories and laws. The rest is that which we call karma.
The role of the media, is primarily to report ‘what happened’ and secondarily to share its own truth. One of my readers who identifies with the latter, forwarded an email headed ‘Protesters and the Law’. Attached to it was the unedited version of the article ‘Aragalaya’s Fundamental Right farce: When lawyers distort facts’ at https://www.sundaytimes.lk/220911/sunday-times-2/aragalayas-fundamental-right-farce-when-lawyers-distort-facts-494666.html
The author is H.R.H. Amarasinghe, Convenor, Citizens Collective for Law and Order.
It was fulfilling because much of it was already covered by me, as I experienced what happened. It felt good to know that there were others who also had the courage to publish the truth.
As per the published article:
1. [Presidential Secretariat
This building was occupied forcibly by Protestors from July 9 when they broke through the barricades erected by the police and gained entry after Gotabaya Rajapaksa had left the country. They also entered the President’s House, Temple Trees and the Prime Minister’s Office, overpowering the Police guarding these state buildings.]
Transparency of outcomes is essential in Democratic Protests, as it confirms courage needed to oppose. If the above is factual, and the ‘gained entry after Gotabaya Rajapaksa had left the country’ that delay confirms ‘fear’ of the then President. If there was no desire, there would be no fear. Hence one is entitled to conclude that the Protestors lacked Governance power to Oppose.
[The original protest site was the Galle Face Green which was where peaceful protestors had gathered. However, after July 9, protestors had taken over the Presidential Secretariat even though the objective of their protest #Gotagohome had been achieved.]
The above confirms that the original protestors did not express their truth or that others with Political interests had hijacked the Protests. A protestor has to be self-governing and hence identify with the stated outcome when achieved.
[These locations were distinct and separate from each other due to the widely differing nature of the sites and the purposes they were used for. The Galle Face Green could be considered a public space often used to stage peaceful protests. The Bandaranaike statue and the Presidential Secretariat were on the opposite side of the Green across Galle Road next to each other. Anyone attempting to lump these three locations together and create the impression that it was one site is guilty of a gross misrepresentation of fact designed to deliberately mislead the public.
APPLICATION OF THE LAW TO THE FACTS
[ Galle Face Green
The original site where the Aragalaya started and was considered the designated protest site was not attacked by the security forces. In fact, video footage is available of Police asking those occupying the Presidential Secretariat to move to the Galle Face Green as occupying the Secretariat was an offence. The two major independent news channels, Derana and Hiru, while giving extensive coverage to this event refer to the Presidential Secretariat being cleared of occupants. There is no mention of protestors on the green being attacked.
However, references have been made consistently and continuously by lawyers and civil rights activists to peaceful protestors being attacked or the protest site on the Galle Face Green being attacked. The Galle Face Green was the only site where protestors could have been considered peaceful and references to peaceful protestors being attacked were designed to deliberately create the impression that it was those on the green who were evicted and therefore there had been a violation of their Fundamental Rights.]
[On July 10, the leaders of Aragalaya protestors held a press conference where they stated their intention of occupying the Presidential and Prime Ministerial Offices and residences until the President, the Prime Minister and the entire Government resigned. …….. IUSF convener Wasantha Mudalige announced his intention to take over the parliament building.]If this is a fact then to my mind, the arrest of this Protestor was lawful.
[Bhavani Fonseka Human Rights lawyer:
(i) “And what happened in the early hours of the morning was extremely worrying with violence targeting peaceful protestors”
This is a deliberate falsehood. Is it her position that forcibly entering and occupying the office of the Head of State is considered a peaceful protest in law?]
(ii) [“This is an indicator of what this government is going to do in terms of repression and the threat to basic rights and rule of law in Sri Lanka.”
Another lie was calculated to discredit the government of Sri Lanka. ]
7. Centre for Policy Alternatives:
(i) [Addressing a letter to the Attorney General the CPA states as follows:“Based on media reports hundreds of military personnel and police blocked the access roads to Galle Face Green shortly after midnight on 21st July 2021 preventing the public from entering the area. Following this the military and police armed with riot gear attacked the protest site.” The protest site on Galle Face Green was not attacked. Video footage is available showing police calling out to protestors to move from the Presidential Secretariat to the Galle Face Green.]
(ii) “Assaulting peaceful protestors”The forcible entry to and occupation of the office of a Head of State can never be deemed a peaceful protest in accordance with the universally accepted definition of what constitutes a peaceful protest.
(iii) “Dismantling the tents.”The list of tents given by Aragalaya leaders were all in the area of the Bandaranaike statue and covered by the Court Order issued on 20th July. Refusal to obey the Court order resulted in the dismantling of the tents.
(iv) “Video footage shows unarmed protestors being assaulted by the police.” Video footage also shows heated confrontations with the Police by Protestors defying the Police leading to their evacuation. Any citizen taking part in a riot would be aware that the Police would use riot gear. There were no serious injuries and this is pure exaggeration to gain sympathy.]
Ultimately, Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was brought to power by the People, is now a zero. If Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa realises that it was also his own use of war victory, which was extended to Politics that brought him down exponentially, through his own negative karma in the war against Tamils’ it would be a great heritage for the future generations at global level.
Closure is essential towards this. It is also a lesson for LTTE supporters who invoke the past in which LTTE also abandoned the laws of war. When we take benefits from that war, without taking ownership, we bring the war standards in civilian life also. Thus we invoke the lawlessness in that war, in our daily life.
Had it been limited to the LTTE, and the war against them only, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa would not have taken oaths at Ruwanwelisaya which, like the Silk Road is a heritage. When heritages are disturbed for profit purposes, they bring with them the old liabilities at exponential value. Hence the collapse.