29 November, 2022

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Legacy Of Today’s Youth: Galleface Should Be Renamed As ‘Freedom Square’

By Vishwamithra

“Love, friendship and respect do not unite people as much as a common hatred for something.” ~ Anton Chekhov

The sunset is brightening the horizon; a painted sky is glistening with the twilight’s riot of colors: crimson and orange. This dusk’s spectacle never ceases to enthrall many a being tired and weary at the end of another day. From dawn to dusk, one sea of heads, representing all walks of life, has come from the four corners of the island to mingle and show solidarity with those who suffer the insufferable hardships imposed by a collapsing economy and rotting body politic. Dominated by the day’s youth, children of tender age and elders who could hardly walk without a walking stick or aid make up this curious mix of human community whose only wish is a contented life with limited means, yet enriched with unreachable dreams for their next generation, the cavalcade of wishful thinkers and practical-thinking youngsters show no fatigue or exhaustion.

A thoroughfare that was once a racecourse where the horses belonging to yesteryear’s turf clubs, ran their races to entice the gambling addicts and for the ego-elongation of the ladies of the day to display their latest fashions; decadent practices of the elite of the colonial era never stopped to satisfy a curious newspaper reporter of the era. After the races ended for good and fashion shows were relocated to the grand lobbies of five star hotels, the Galleface Green became a location for the fitness-crazy who wanted to stay fit and healthy; they walked and ran from the eye-pleasing Galleface Hotel up to the Lighthouse, another landmark that enchants the probing eyes of many tourists.

Opposite the great Indian Ocean is situated the magnificent old parliament building, one uniquely colonial structure which has been converted into the office of the Executive President. Each morning with the sunrise on its back, the roaring waves seem to pay their reverential worship to the massive pillars of the old parliament building. In between the Indian Ocean’s shores and the old parliament building, is another spectacle emerging from the seas: Colombo Port City, a concrete jungle protruding to disturb the placidity and the serene beauty of the arena. A crude Chinese anomaly on a indigenous Sri Lankan canvas, a painting that might well be an eyesore to some, yet to another, especially the government-political kind, a treasure trove from which only ill-gotten wealth could be readily dug out.

Nonetheless, all that flowery descriptions of the present backdrop come to naught in the domineering manifestation of the country’s youth. Their demand for the total dissolution of the status quo, its irritating doorkeepers, the current set of parliamentarians, and introduce a people-friendly constitution whose chapters and verses are more akin to real human values and multifaceted rights and privileges bestowed on the people rather than on a finite set of corrupt politicians and bureaucracy.

In 1948, they say that Ceylon gained Independence from the British colonial powers. Was it so or what really did occur was the transfer of power switch from the British Civil service to the local elite who could not relate to the true demands and wants of an indigenous people who never had their places in the sun under the British powers. The relative prosperity basically shared by a few in Colombo and other big town centers in Ceylon, was never a reality for the poor living in the remote villages in the land. It was not so in the Deep South, not in the hill-country and never so for our brethren in the North.

All the frustrations, letdowns and loss of hope were first perceived by the population at large as temporary hiccups, a minor discomfort more akin to birth pangs of a new nation rather than wrongful and idiotic principles and policies engineered, adopted and followed by the local elites. For a few members of this new elite who happened to rule the country, the voting population was merely a cushy vehicle to propel the leaders from their confortable drawing room chairs, first to parliamentary seats and later to the cozy chairs in the Cabinet of Ministers.

Freedom, independence, sovereignty and rights were just words whose real meanings the ruling classes themselves either did not know or never cared to understand. When our closest neighbor India had to engage in a fierce and brutal Free India struggle, the Senanayakes, Bandaranaikes and Kotelawalas sat in their divans, enjoyed their whiskeys or played snooker or billiards in the exclusive clubs in Colombo and won the so-called freedom struggle without shedding a drop of blood. The after-effects of such a placid struggle not only imposed certain inherent characteristics on our ruling elites, they also stymied the enthusiasm of the ruled class.

Given this cruel context of placidity and lazy approach to achieving the end-goals, our masses accepted the half-truths and outright falsehoods uttered by our own politicians as the gospel. Despite many crises enveloping the nation at crucial times, the generation born during and soon after Independence did not have either the perceptive powers or the need to be more acutely aware of the global and local sociopolitical conditions to respond to these crises in a more belligerent and decisive manner. What took place in 1971 and 1987-1989 periods were political skirmishes engineered by a cell-centered organization which did not understand the nuances of a real revolutionary struggle.

But what is appearing today on the Galleface Green is totally different. Its character and the players and its spontaneity are a combination of social forces entirely born after the failure of these insurrection-oriented plots against democratically elected governments. When the queues for gas, petrol, diesel and milk-food began lengthening, when the demand for elementary medicines such as Panadol exceeded the supply, the limits of their patience crossed the threshold.

What was once commenced as a protest against the rising costs of living and scarcity of gas and other household essentials the struggle graduated to another level of political agitation. They want the ruling Rajapaksas out of power and now they demand that, especially after witnessing the farcical display of infertile parliamentary performance by all our parliamentarians, all two hundred and twenty five (225) gone, for good.

That is an appalling indictment not only on these good for nothing members of the House of Parliament, it is one on the total system, it is a telling blow to our constitutional rule of governance. What in fact is shaping up today on the Galleface Green is the birth of our second ‘Freedom/Independence Struggle’. We won Independence in 1948 from the British Raj. Now our youth demand freedom from our local indigenous Raj. The only difference between the two powers is that the British Raj ruled in accordance with a given set of rules and constitutional constraints whereas the current rulers are unspeakably corrupt, exceedingly self-centered and prohibitively incompetent.

More than three weeks have gone by and not a single political party has spelt out their plans as to how Sri Lanka could get out of this economic rut. No political Party is willing to tell the whole truth. Sajith is thundering about his a Premadasa era, an era which is thoroughly forgettable; AKD is as elusive as he possibly can be when asked what his plans are. The rest of the jokers who are on the field do not deserve any mention in this column. The only legislator who happens to speak something worthy of reading is M A Sumanthiran, the member of the Tamil National Alliance. But he too is fast becoming irrelevant.

In the midst of this chaotic political background, the protesters are staying not only relevant, they are shaping to become stronger with each passing day. The barometer is gaining relevance and intensity. Their show on the Galleface Green on May Day celebrations were the best while the other mainstream political parties made their valiant efforts to show their own respective powers. But the youth gathered on the Green.

They have closed the doors for the President of the country. Gotabaya can no longer attend to his work from inside his own office. The youth have taken over the entrance to his office. Prime Minister too is being subjected to embarrassing humility and the protesters are driving him to his own bunker at the Temple Trees. The other Rajapaksas too have vanished, at least for the time being, from the scene. While our own youth are fighting a second Freedom War on that charmingly scenic Green, the so-called gatekeepers, politicians, of the nation are hallucinating about remaining in power or gaining power. In fact, gatekeeper is too subtle a term; they are more or less the janitors of a battered people. At the end, they all will be unserviceable machinery, irrelevant and will end up as undusted relics of our history.

Only those whose crowns are beaten, bodies are bathed in sweat and stomachs empty will ironically stand to fly our flag. Against a headwind blowing inshore from the Indian Ocean, the masses within whose unadorned chests remain a reservoir of patriotism, would not mind even a whirlwind blowing them to the ground; for them the dust they taste of their own motherland is sweeter than the nauseating aroma of ill-gotten wealth of the politicos that gets blown away by that same sea breeze. In the meantime, the Galleface Green which should be more aptly called ‘Freedom Square’ is readying itself for its evening chores. To quote Tagore: ‘Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action –Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake’.

*The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com    

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Latest comments

  • 26
    2

    “In 1948, they say that Ceylon gained Independence from the British colonial powers.”
    The powers transferred to few families who served for British colonial powers that are influenced by the powerful Buddhist Fundamentalists. Those who shed blood and sweat to develop this country lost their independence completely and now suffering for their food, medicine, and shelter. It is now in the hands of the people to get back their independence from those suck the blood from the people.

    • 16
      2

      Thanks to Indians, we too gained so called independence from the British. But what was writtine in SINHALA literiture is similar to that of Mahawansa. Mahawansa according to many lacks so much information about srilanken buddhism. Any monks to allow ruin this country is also connected with the script. I see more criminals hidden behind the robes than without. Child molesters and chandis are reported to be common in many temples across the country. They enter monkhood because their parents are not able to feed them.
      .
      Again about us being colonised -Looking back, if colonisation continued, srilanka would not have become another Greece for sure. By the time, colonial masters left the island, it is believed enough of fund reserves were saved for the fture of the country.

      • 6
        13

        First protest in Galle face in the same spot was staged by Tamil satyagrahis in 1956, which was the forerunner to Ealam struggle.Therefore this legacy of Tamil youths should be recognized and Galle face should be renamed as “Ealam square”.

        • 7
          7

          Who is the Pied Piper behind these mysterious ‘Anonymously’ organized on Social Media? Staged Protest by Colombo kids and youth who are having a Party after hiding under their beds with Covid-19 masks in the two years?
          Why did these “Protestors” manipulated by the mysterious Pied Piper not protest in the past 2 YEARS against the Covid hoax and economically devastating Lockdowns and Militarized forced injections-when Sri Lanka was being looted through Digital Colonialism? My guess is Uncle Sam’s intel agencies were behind both the Covid-19 lockdown show that now the annomously organize Staged Protests with the Usual NGO entertainers?!
          Wishwa, Have you heard of Francis Haughen, the Face Book Whistle blower who exposed how Social media is gamed and was used in Myanmar and Ethiopia? It was also used in the Arab Spring and Colour Revolutions to destabilize the Mid-East and do American Regime Change operations in Eastern Europe.. Wake up Dude!

          • 3
            4

            D
            Many of your warnings are real. But that cannot let you get harsh on past apathy of the protesters.
            There are mostly sincere. Even where they are naive they respond their real frustrations.
            They may not be well informed on issues that concern democracy and social justice. It is a middle class imagining that it is the voice of the entire people.
            True, it can be manipulated and is being manipulated at least in part. Scolding people will do no good. There is need to awaken the protesters to reality.
            That is possible only by encouraging them to talk about key issues: roots of the economic crisis; consumerism; social justice; national question; the fallacy of parliamentary democracy; corruption at various levels; the role of the underworld in state affairs– not each of them, at least a few of them.
            *
            You cannot convert people who are meditating on campaign slogans. But there are others who can think independently.
            Speak a language that they understand.

      • 5
        2

        soman

        Where are you?

        As recently as in March you typed
        “There is no way , ABSOLUTELY NO WAY, 0f punishing the Sinhalese without Tamils facing a deadlier reaction.”
        soma / March 1, 2022

        It appears that nobody else is punishing the people but their own supposed saviour is busy purifying them.

        Seriously soman what is happening to you, Eagle Eye, Dayan, Wimal, Lester, Udaya, Gota, Ravi Perera the Sinhala speaking Demela ……………….. ?

        Soman
        Where is HLD M?
        Man is missing. Is he alright?
        The last of his typing that I could access is
        Bad news: Vellalars are back in Jaffna
        He typed this on or before 6 February, 2022.
        Have you heard anything from him since?

        I am worried about him because people are dying without food or waiting in the queues.
        Any chance he is in Sri Lanka?
        Please convey my best regards if you happen to see him.

        In case if he is still in Sri Lanka will you help him with his chores.
        At his age he will find it difficult carrying cylinders, waiting in the queue, … because he has to carry loads of s**t in his head.

    • 14
      1

      Vishwamithra

      “Legacy Of Today’s Youth: Galleface Should Be Renamed As ‘Freedom Square’”

      It is too soon to celebrate.
      As you write Gota’s goons are preparing themselves for an assault on the protesters.
      We do not know how this protest will end.
      Perhaps another Mullivaaikkal but it is in the South.

      Please note Gota is a psychopath.
      He prefers his ego and his little willi to guide him through difficult times, therefore he would not hesitate to use American strategy of “shock and awe” (technically known as rapid dominance) using overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force. Today the police has already tested the ground.

      • 6
        2

        Worry not Gota is not going to hurt the Sinhala Buddhist. That’s his people.
        ri Lanka’s latest president Gotabaya Rajapaksa vowed to lead the government based on “Buddhist philosophy” and paid tribute to his Sinhalese voters, as he took up the office of president in an overtly religious Buddhist ceremony in Anuradhapura.
        “The Sinhalese, being the majority of this country voted for me en masse because they believe that I would prioritize national security concerns of this country,” he said. “I knew that I could win with only the votes of the Sinhala majority.
        Dressed in all white and flanked by Buddhist monks, Rajapaksa had chosen to make the Ruwanmelisaya Buddhist stupa at Anuradhapura the site of his swearing in ceremony. Sinhala legend claims the stupa was built by Dutugemunu, a Sinhala king that defeated the Tamil king Ellalalan in battle and ruled over the whole island under a single kingdom.

        • 7
          2

          Bert

          “Sinhala legend claims the stupa was built by Dutugemunu, a Sinhala king that defeated the Tamil king Ellalalan in battle ……..”

          Where did you find Dutugemunu was called a Sinhala king?
          Please cite evidence.
          He was another local Chandiya (thug) or and a bully, like Vellupillai Praba, nothing more nothing less. Then of course over a period of time people tended to attach various legends to these characters.

        • 4
          2

          Bert, 2300 years ago, there were no people called Sinhalese or a language called Sinhala. They only came into existence around 7AD. At that time Buddhism had recently arrived on the island and the local population who converted to Buddhism were still speaking the old language or dialects. Identifying themselves as Naga or Yakka. Dravidian tribes, that spoke either proper Tamil or local semi Tamil Dravidian dialect called Elu, which together with proper Tamil were the foundation from which Old Sinhalese or Hela evolved. [Elu( Tamil)+ Prakrit( Pali) = Hela]. Duta Gamini’s mother belonged to a prominent Buddhist Naga family from Kelaniya. His father’s name or title was Kakkai Vanna Theesan or Kaavan Thessan. Meaning Black Theesan ( crow coloured) or the King or protector ( Kaavan or Kaavalan in Tamil) Theesan. Thessan Prakritized to Tissa was a very common Tamil name during this era, as evidenced by the Keeladi excavations in Tamil Nadu South India. They may have been Buddhists but they were definitely not Sinhalese, as there was no Sinhalese language or people existing at that time. They were southern Dravidian Tamil Naga Buddhists.

          • 5
            2

            These converted Southern Dravidian Tamil Naga and Yakka Buddhists later evolved as Sinhalese, whilst the Naga living in the north and east remained as Tamil, even the Buddhist ones. This war was between the old order, the established Hindu rulers, chieftains ruling Anuradhapura and the still largely Hindu population living there, and the new order the newly converted Buddhist kings, leaders, and chieftains largely living in the south. For supremacy. That these newly converted Buddhists later evolved as Sinhalese with a new language is another story but they did not exist at that time. They were still Tamil or semi Tamil speaking Naga, Yakka and others.

    • 11
      5

      A
      Can you elaborate a little on the ” few families” to whom powers were transferred.
      *
      “Those who shed blood and sweat to develop this country lost their independence completely”
      They lost their citizenship I would say 74 years ago.
      Would disagree if I say that the leaders of Tamils and Muslims also did their fair bit to disenfranchise them?

      • 9
        2

        SJ,
        Since the so called Independence, these are the families govern this island:Senanayaka Family, SWRD Family, Jeyawardena Family and Rajapaksa Family.
        I won’t disagree with you but they are not equally important as the main Sinhalese parties.

        • 3
          4

          Read the question carefully.
          It is based on what you said:
          “The powers transferred to few families who served for British colonial powers that are influenced by the powerful Buddhist Fundamentalists.”
          *
          It helps to measure your words before spilling them in public.

          • 4
            1

            “It helps to measure your words before spilling them in public.”
            Who measures what?

      • 6
        3

        “Would disagree if I say that the leaders of Tamils and Muslims also did their fair bit to disenfranchise them? “
        Uluthal Oodukali is doing what kind if things with Deva,Vasanthi, or in Royal’s Translation department, UOJ, CT? Anything inferior than the Tamil & Muslim Ministers’? It seems there is shortage for everything in Lankawe. But only person possing “Amuthasurapi” is Deva! Never drying out that badu! Just “Go Home Savam!” “Go Home Savam!” …………………………………………..!

        • 3
          3

          “Would disagree if I say that the leaders of Tamils and Muslims also did their fair bit to disenfranchise them?”
          There is one pathetic dissenting voice above.

          • 6
            3

            There is one pathetic dissenting voice above
            While learning Communism & spending the remaining time on Kokku Suduthal, you missed counting on math. Math is not mapping dear friend. Otherwise why would you dream a whole world is trailing behind on your teaching of Stalinism, Devaism, Maoism? Your head is carrying too long , too much weight; put something down so that it can feel a little bit lighter. Come on Silly Sally cuckoo !

    • 7
      2

      old codger

      Where are you?

      Australian TV (abc) Investigates Money Laundering by Namal Baby and his next door neighbour Nimal:

      Watch from 31 minutes to the end. https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/profiting-from-the-pandemic:-how-aspen-medical/13863582
      Profiting from the pandemic
      Posted Mon 2 May 2022 Commission paid to Namal for Matale Hospital project.

      • 7
        0

        Native, it’s not shocking but disgusting.. AD , apparently revealed more today involving Namal , Yoshitha and Basil. Nadesan is the middle man for most of their offshore accounts. Namal , had the audacity to say he received 60 million but gave it to Rugby Union. Peanuts for charity.

    • 5
      1

      Slaves love their shackles.
      Remember that those few families are the choice of most ordinary people. People like to be subjected to somebody who has a big mustache and a big belly. This slavery is called “proud history”.

  • 14
    4

    Vishwa, the real Viyathgama seems to be in Galleface Green. What was thought to be impossible in 75 years of Lanka’s history, is achieved in just over a month time. The Rajapaksa’s govt is paralyzed and brought to standstill by nonviolent peaceful protest. This alone is an achievement in the history of Silly Lanka. The grandiose intellectuals of past, obviously seems to have difficulty digesting the success of youth. Hence they keep asking what is here after ? who is next ?? there is no one other than the current 225 + 1 ?? These PSEUDO intellectuals never showed this much of concern during two decades of Rajapaksa economy , but kept assuring or enabling by their silence, “everything was good and nothing to worry” , until just a few days ago.

  • 11
    3

    No! No! No!!!!! Visvamithra! Please do not advocate the changing of the name — soon it may be all we have left to pass down to posterity of what was once an even greater GREEN.
    Yes. I can hear a thousand voices building to a crescendo:
    “We want Freedom Square! We want Freedom Square!!”
    And I do understand that.
    But some of us, a minority, perhaps — well, vocally, anyway — have been fighting against Port City from the time we learnt about it. An even smaller minority have warned against the loss of something very special about Galle Face Green: the sweeping, 180 degree view, embrace of the Indian Ocean.
    >2

    • 4
      2

      What is a little patch of grass?

      The whole country should be named Singapore II ……. or Singapore East.

      Everyone wants the country to be another Singapore ……… so, why not start with the name?

      That should at least get us half way there! :))

  • 7
    0

    2
    In a letter (9/2/15) to the press I explained why I was against PC & said that one reason “is something I have not seen expressed anywhere, not even by environmentalists whom I would have hoped were sensitive to this issue. I protest against the loss to the people of this country, & especially Colombo dwellers whose environment is being increasingly invaded in so many ways, of the very special view of the sea one has from Galle Face Green. We dont just look out to sea there but we have the sea to North, West & South of us and this has a very subtle spiritual (psychic?) effect on us. The whole sweep of the sea as we stand/walk on the edge of the Green is one of the great pleasures of ‘going to Galle Face’, even though we may not be conscious of it.”

    • 5
      2

      Manel
      There is a lot more lost by the mushrooming of skyrise buildings all over, especially close to the coast.
      Why did not anyone object? And why would anyone not?
      Much has been lost since the open economic policy. I doubt if the Port City robs the Galle Face green of anything significant compared to what was already lost.
      My objection to the port city was more fundamental. But that objection related to the direction in which the country was towed since 1978.

      • 1
        0

        SJ
        I was only responding here to Vishwramithra’s proposal re the Green — that took me long enough. I cant be brief anymore!
        Long before Yahapalanaya I wrote: “I am opposed to it (PC) for at least two reasons. One, that it seems to be an infringement of national sovereignty, where we are handing over the possession of a large part of our coastal water/land to a major power in the region. And who knows what this could mean in the future if India and China become antagonistic to each other?”

        If you start me off on high-rise buildings & other matters of the built environment, I’ll never know where to stop. Before I got caught up with civil & political rights in this country I was concerned about the built environment. Walked the streets of Fort, Pettah, Hulftsdorp, Kochchikade, etc., every Sunday, photographing, noting, talking to people there, etc. Premadasa had begun demolishing buildings like the old Employment Exchange, & G only knows what was to come up there. In ’78/79 I had illustrated articles in the press calling for a conservation policy. (One of these was picked up & reproduced in the ICOMOS journal MONUMENTUM.
        >2

        • 3
          0

          2
          In fact, I am EXTREMELY unhappy about all the high rise buildings. Have been for years. I hoped that seeing the impact of them elsewhere we might avoid going down the same path.
          Some years after settling down we built a small, house, on 10 perches in Dehiwela — architect Anjalendran’s first house after graduation. We kept the 3 trees & coffee bush on the site & the rooms were around an open courtyard. Almost no glass — lattice doors. Very basic. We moved in before it was finished, in 3 months, before even the clay floor tiles came from Galle. People flocked to visit it.

          But unknown to us, an antique-dealer had his workshop opposite & the sound of electric lathes, saws, drills, turning out antiques (!) drove us away — but not before causing the nerve damage that led to my deafness. The dealer made a packet & now operates from Bullers & Duplcn Roads. His best customers were foreign diplomats. The “loss of antiquities” (real ones) was also something I became concerned about & wrote about in the press and the Tribune.
          >3

          • 2
            0

            3
            In time we moved to a flat in Colombo — yes, a baby high-rise, 8 storeys. At the time, the only one around us. But we have watched them come up, one by one, taller & taller. And now I look out at the surviving green area & pray that, too, doesnt disappear — the tops of trees down Bullers Rd, from the Army HQ twds the Planetarium.

            I hadnt been to Galle Face area for 2 or 3 years & on the 14th I was shocked to see that awful row of high-rise buildings including Shangri-La. They just bore down upon us. I couldnt bear to look that way. And I wanted to write something then & there. HOW could the UDA let that green site be looted like that! Was that in Gota’s hands then?

            But there is so much vying for attention in this country, & everyone has different ideas about what is important. Like when I decried the treatment of Dr Shafi, Dr Gnana asked “what about the Tamils?” I think, perhaps, I’ll retire altogether from CT & put what little energy I have left into finishing long overdue writing.

            • 3
              1

              “Like when I decried the treatment of Dr Shafi, Dr Gnana asked “what about the Tamils?” I think, perhaps, I’ll retire altogether from CT & put what little energy I have left into finishing long overdue writing.”

              Please don’t stop writing, Manel – you have many fans on CT.
              Thanks.

        • 1
          0

          Manel
          You drew attention to just one item in your comment.
          My observation was in that context.
          Had you placed that in the context that you refer to (just two sentences would have sufficed), my comment would not be here as it will have been redundant.

  • 3
    0

    3
    It is the wrenching away from all of us of this very special experience that I wish to cry out against. I am angry that a few politicians, with other interests — in their pockets — and the possibility of flying regularly about the world where they savour the pleasures they are taking away from us, less privileged, more earthbound creatures — have worked up this scheme without consulting us, we who brought them to power to be our servants. And I am utterly disappointed that the new government only now (!) realizes that it cannot undo what the previous one undertook. What are your promises worth?”
    Three years later, responding to environmentalist Ranil Senanayake (CT 18/2/15) I reiterated my concern: “If the city comes up, then the wonderful open sea view will also disappear from the steps of the Presidential Secretariat…all that will be seen then are masses of high rise buildings. How awful.”
    >4

  • 5
    0

    4
    I hadn’t visited Galle Face for 2/3 years, & when I finally got here on the 14th the evening crowd blocked out the sea view anyway. It was only on the 27th when I took books for GotaGoGoma library in the afternoon, & few people were around, that I saw the impact of the still low-rise buildings along the edge of the unwelcome city. Yes, the view from the Presidential Secretariat has already disappeared. And the intolerable hemming-in of the ocean on the N & NW has begun to shut down the memory of what was once there. Let us not reduce it even further by changing the name of the Green.

    And let us try to keep the Green as GREEN as possible – which a change of name might slowly enable the erosion of.

    Is there some other way of commemorating Freedom Square – a new statue to replace SWRD, whose presence throws us back to some of the roots of the present crisis & conflicts that have beset this country? There must be a more relevant place for him to preside over.

    • 4
      0

      “Is there some other way of commemorating Freedom Square – a new statue to replace SWRD, whose presence throws us back to some of the roots of the present crisis & conflicts that have beset this country? There must be a more relevant place for him to preside over.”
      *
      Manel, should not all statues of politicians who indulged in parochial politics be eliminated altogether rather than tucked away somewhere. Then there are other statues like that of a Dharmapala to think about…
      Where will all of this take us?
      *
      There is some way to go beyond some of our idle dreams– in the fashion of “If I were a rich man” (from “Fiddler on the Roof”)
      Let us make sure that the upsurge leads to freedom and not a semblance of freedom that is secretly hijacked by another cynical group.

    • 2
      3

      Dear Manel,
      .
      Good to see you asserting what you see as the truth; your perspective. Feeling no need to disown so much about your beloved H.; not hiding all that from us – and denying yourself memories of happy days.
      .
      Now, I hope that you will understand the reality that I was trying to tell you about myself, below this unlikely article:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/chelvanayakams-124th-birthday-the-need-to-honour-him-with-transparent-cms-administration/
      .
      Let’s not be obsessed with avenging what we once suffered; but unless we learn from that past, we will continue to blunder in the future. The issues may not be as real for you as those in Colombo, but surely, Bandarawela is closer than Palestine and Ethiopia. I’m not denying greater suffering there. For Lankans, the cheating in Uva seems more real, and you’ve travelled so close to the Kollupitiya school, where also we must stop the cheating, by 2024, at least.
      .
      You will realise that I have understood your grumbles here:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/on-political-appointments-to-universities/
      .
      See what a pass affairs have come to:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-bishop-cms-fiddle-while-st-johns-college-jaffna-burns/
      .
      Jaffna and Bandarawela; it’s the same story. In Lanka, let the cheats no longer prosper.
      .

      Panini Edirisinhe

      • 4
        0

        For god’s sake, S-M, please stop trying to RECRUIT me!
        I’ve enough concerns already to cope with — & I dont pick them on the basis of having “travelled so close” to them, either. If that were the basis for caring about something then I got off on the wrong foot years ago when I joined the Vietnam marches & blood campaigns in the ‘60s.
        Why don’t you turn your attention to some of the others on CT? There must be a few Christians among them – or at least people who have travelled even closer to wotever school you’re concerned with &, by yr reckoning, are obliged to make its concerns their own.
        .
        Re your: “You will realise that I have understood your grumbles here”: well, I’m afraid you have MISunderstood me. I was NOT grumbling, only reporting; & actually played down the nature & extent of that particular encounter.
        .
        As for your “Let’s not be obsessed with avenging what we once suffered,”
        to whom are you appealing here? In respect of what?
        I, certainly, am not obsessed with any such negative feelings.
        Where were such displayed in my post?

        • 3
          0

          And, in the light of the subject that brought Vishwamithra to write to us here, please, S-M, let me have the FREEDOM to choose my own concerns.

        • 0
          0

          “For god’s sake, S-M, please stop trying to RECRUIT me!”

          Manel,

          You should consider yourself lucky! ………. You’re the next best thing to his fave Palki, who won’t give him the time of day.

          For the moment he has given me a reprieve: aren’t I lucky? :)))


          It’ll be a pity if all these geriatric perverts chase you away from the forum.

          Native, where are you? Speak up before it’s too late.

    • 0
      0

      I must apologise for regularly mispelling GotaGoGama. Let me blame my mobile.

  • 5
    2

    RAJAPAKSAS Will never runaway and handover powers to others as they have tasted the power AND TASTED POWER AND LASTED IN POWER BY TASTING THE BLOOD OF OPPONENTS FOR A LONG TIME.THIS SITUATION WILL NEVER CHANGE WITHOUT RAJAPAKSAS TASTING SOME MORE BLOOD.-JAYAWEWA

  • 5
    2

    Galle Face is a noble cause but ineffective against the Regime. Protesters must march straight to parliament and physically remove GR & MR. There are some risks…go pain, no gain. French and Russian revolutions were the real noble things that did the world a favor. The chances of the military attacking the protesters in this Lankan case is probably zero.

    • 2
      6

      ramona therese fernando,
      People who make hue and cry about saving democracy by removing Rajapakshes are advocating thuggery.
      Even GR and MR removed physically from Parliament, still Gotabhaya Rajapakshe is the President and Mahinda Rajapakshe the Prime Minister in this country. This country has a Constitution that tells how to remove the President or the Prime Minister. Thugs cannot do that as you suggest.

      “Protesters must march straight to parliament and physically remove GR & MR.”

      • 3
        0

        EE,

        Suffering people have the democratic right to remove a corrupt prez and pm if they won’t go. No clause in the comstitution? It is a wrong democratic constitution and the people have the right to change it with new clauses. It should say that if the country goes into monetary depression, and if it is entirely, or for most part due to the policies of the incumbents, they should resign. It is already implied in the present constitution anyway. Since they wont move, they should be removed.

        • 3
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          Suffering people are not thugs. The Russian revolution was mot thuggery. The French revolution too was a noble cause that changed the world for the better.

        • 1
          2

          ramona therese fernando,
          Make sure that you do not send ‘Buriyani’ eating jeppos to pull out GR and MR.

          • 0
            0

            EE,…why, what’s wrong with them?….they too are going to start suffering soon.

    • 2
      0

      “Protesters must march straight to parliament and physically remove GR & MR.”
      RTF, what have you got against the protest campaign?

      • 0
        0

        SJ,

        Doesn’t seem to be working.

    • 0
      0

      Ramona, can we tell them to do this unless we join them?
      Or are you ready to?

      • 2
        0

        Manuel,

        Oh yes we all should. I certainly would be in the frontlines. Enough dancing around Galle Face. GF has served its time.

        • 0
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          Manel*….(it’s my phone)

          A small group of patriots who can be unlawfully arrested or attacked shouldn’t do this. Instead, a large crowd, several miles long (like the May Day protesters), lead by religious persons like Buddhist priests or leaders like AKD or Sajith, should lead the way. They should remove any barricades or walk over them, and go to where GR and MR are and extract them. Armed personal won’t dare attack the protesters then. GR and MR should be permanently exiled.

          • 0
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            led*

    • 0
      0

      RTF,

      If you remove GR & MR and replaced by another set of rascals, it is what happens in any democratic elections-regime change and GR and MR will come back much more vicious and revengeful.

      Then it is only half the work done. It is like a merry-go –round.

      In a revolution like French and Russian the entire old set up is destroyed and replaced by a new progressive system.

      What we need is a revolution !

      • 0
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        srikrish,

        The other rogues are still better than the incumbent ones. Best is the JVP-NPP. They are not rogues. Incumbents should be exiled.

    • 0
      0

      …no pain, no gain.*

  • 3
    0

    Love,friendship and respect do not unite people as much as a common hatred for something.
    Anton Chekov.
    Vishwamithra opens the innings with the aforesaid Chekov.statement.

    This something is the Rajapaksa family.
    It is an irony that this has united the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim communities at least to a certain extent.
    Lets give the Galle Face Green FREEDOM to remain with the present nomenclature.
    The Indian Ocean and the Galle face green go hand in hand……….
    No wonder young ones go hand in hand to reflect that mood………….

    • 3
      3

      Very fine suggestion by Vishvamitra. Let the resurgent generation of the country adopt it as from April 2022, for official acceptance soon after change of regime.

  • 11
    2

    The Galle Face Green evokes memories by its sheer name. It kindles emotions. Let us not erase them.
    .
    It was 1956. Our physics teacher, who is an epitome of promptness and punctuality, was late to class. That has never happened before.
    Normally, the absence of a teacher would be cause for jubilation. But, not that day. The class remained silent. Pensive and concerned.
    Time was ticking. Fear and worry engulfed our mood. A feeling of prayer took root.
    Walks in the teacher, with about 5 minutes left for the period to end.
    ‘அடிச்சுப் போட்டாங்கடா!’, (They have assaulted us), were his words, as he entered
    .
    I, who knew no politics, was initiated into politics for life, that very moment.

  • 8
    0

    Yes, let there be freedom from the shackles of the marauding parasitic political class that are even as we write, planning how to dismantle the resistance and restore the status quo of parasitic exploitation. Make no mistake; it is not just the Poxes who are against the uprising at the Freedom Green. Look at the old, haggard faces of the political scum being interviewed as they leave one meeting or another, plotting against the people of Sri Lanka. They are all against the freedom struggle. Yes, a sweeping erasure of the whole 225 is a must.

    • 8
      0

      LP
      No war is not peace.
      No Gota + 225 is not democracy or freedom.
      Do we have any idea of what the ‘freedom’ to come will be like? It it not time to think about it?

  • 5
    0

    Too early and premature to do that.
    Let them first achieve their objectives.
    I am bit nervous as Rajapkasas are not going to surrender easily. There is a lot in stake for them and their political cronies, business cronies, Military cronies and Sangha cronies plus all the swindled money, all the murders the genocide etc.
    They are not going to give up the immunity/ military protection afforded to them by virtue of the positions they hold
    They may resort to engineer violence to quell this protest militaily with lots of blood shed and lives lost.
    Hope it wont come to that.o
    But this time its different the riot police was chased away from #GottaGoGama.
    The high command decided to retrieve.
    Gana Akka is driving this with her astrological hum bug

  • 0
    4

    if we are renaming it let’s be accurate and call it the freedom to be a donkey square. or Suicide square.

    • 5
      0

      In that case we need to name it after you. What is your good name ????

  • 4
    4

    Maybe it is more appropriate to rename Galle Face Green, as “China Friendship Green” in recognition of the new colonial rulers of sinhala land.

    OR

    “Hindustan Friendship Green: considering the billions received it aid in the last few months from Hindustan for the deprived and starving sinhalas

  • 4
    4

    Latest news $750 million USD Hindustan aid used to by iron and steel instead of essentials from, Hindustan!!

    To build more barricades? to keep people IN or OUT! or in new prisons!!?? to protect the RAKSHApakese!!

  • 6
    2

    Reports say that the yonger RAKSHApakse Namal is also a financial advisor consultant working in a Dubai Firm. I am sure that this Namal RAKSHApakse’s skills in looting the sinhala national treasury and sinhala land will be valued by all corrupt persons in sinhala land and other countries

  • 4
    12

    Nandikadal should be named ‘Freedom Square’ not Galle Face. That is the place where hundreds of ‘Ranaviruwo’ sacrificed their lives to bring freedom to people in this country from Tamil terrorists who massacred people in this country for three decades.

  • 4
    1

    There is a talk that the Old King is buggering off a second time with one leg slipper. We don’t know how strong Foxy Ranil’s hand is this time. But when the man comes home with only one leg slipper a second time, the Old Beauty Queen is going to beat the chest & sing Opari, “Why did you do this to me, Appe Maharajenee, why did you do this to me? You have left me alone to go to prison! Why did you choose me to go alone first!”!
    Load the murderous Old Beauty on the I(C)RC’s defender and unload in Welikada Hotel of Lohan Ratwatte.
    Jayawewa!

  • 4
    1

    What Poetry! Poetry in verse takes us from Chekhov to Tagore and gradually wakes us up to reality in the ‘Aragalapitiya,’ reminding us of when India was still under the oppressive control of the British in 1930. At this time, Indians were prohibited from making or selling salt (a staple in the Indian diet) under the Salt Act and were instead forced to buy it at high prices from the British. Mohandas Gandhi decided to march with about a dozen people to the coast to make sea salt, which he figured would be a nonviolent way to defy the British and release India from their control by breaking the law. Tens of thousands of people ended up joining his march, and under Gandhi’s guidance, India was able to break free from British rule in1947. Does that also mean that the growing thousands gathering at the ‘Aragalapitiya’ foretells the end of an era of family rule, making the way for governance by the people? Sadly, it may be the beginning of the process, but it will need a much-determined effort to erase the culture of decadent politics we have been fed in the last seven decades!

    • 2
      0

      “Poetry in verse takes us from Chekhov…”
      I have known Chekhov to be among the world’s most outstanding playwrights and short-story writers.
      Chekhov’s poetry? That is exciting. Can you find us a few of his poems please?
      *
      Poetry in verse? That is interesting too.

      • 0
        0

        :)

  • 4
    8

    Oh come on Vishwa, lets drop the protest Romance?!
    Who is the Pied Piper behind these mysterious ‘Anonymously’ organized on social media Staged Protest by Colombo kids and youth who are having a Party after hiding under their beds with Covid-19 masks in the two years?
    Why did these “Protetors” manipulated by the mysterious Pied Piper not protest in the past 2 YEARS against the Covid hoax and lockdowns, – when Sri Lanka was being looted through Digital Colonialism? because they were fed fear psychosis and Covid-19 Fairy Tales on the same Social Media platforms controlled by Uncle Sam’s intel agencie that now annomously organize Staged Protests with the Usual NGO entertainers?!

    • 1
      0

      Dinuk
      Have you been there?
      At various times of the day?
      Really observed what is going on?

    • 2
      0

      D
      The pied piper here is a team with an agenda. When the media emperor organization tries to carry any campaign on its shoulder, there is something serious to worry about.
      But let it not devalue the protest. Most of it is genuine anger and there is a strong component of spontaneity.
      They should be alerted and made to raise pertinent questions among themselves, starting with ‘What next?’.

    • 1
      3

      Who is it ? Sorry Im not fully in touch

    • 4
      0

      Romantic protest? Honestly to me it looks real and existential
      Even if idealist why shoot it with cynicism ?
      Do we have to condone such corruption and listen to pokies ?

      Yes I have been to Galle face and they are not just “Colombo kids”. Oh Please get real
      Young fathers and mothers from villages with no milk for their kids.
      The protests from minorities were given smart names till they exploded
      and in case anyone thinks its was a victory, think again !
      When it came to the majority we label it with conspiracy theories and delude ourselves
      History shows that if this goes away another one will repeat what you deflect so cleverly !
      What goes away is people and of course a nations dignity
      My friend where are you having it so good ?
      Pied pipers are from ideologies east and west but funnily the ones who accuse NGOS the most are snugly in uncle Sam’s own land—and tell us to live with beggars pride !!
      I dont give a damnn what NGOS do , they are not the nations leaders .
      It is the hypocrisy questioned today, as they reject shallow stories they are told.
      Be honest it is world press freedom day.

  • 1
    1

    Anura saying Buddha’s one golden statue is missing. Just sitting and watching the great deeds of the Peacock palace thieves and melting by their warm hearts. What a great pleasure for him to watch these graceful deeds!

  • 8
    1

    Last time I was there, it looked Galle Face Brown and it was more rectangle than square. We could suggest changing the shape a little and making Freedom Ellipse, just to be in line with our “Land like no other”.
    On a less serious note, I am uncomfortable to see Buddhist monks and other links to Gods in these protests. Vast majority of the monks demonstrably distanced themselves from the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, far more than the common man. Politicians trying to please the robed ones has been one of the causes of much of Sri Lanka’s problems.

  • 7
    1

    Just in case anyone is curious ..…within the last 10 days as I was at the gate a old woman asked me for food.I had no food and tried money,but her need was immediate.

    As I waited in the Petrol que a young up country Tamil boy looked at me sad and faintishly.Asked he said he had some money but had emptied his purse for his mother’s treatment at cancer hospital he had a vegetable garden in N’eliya for a living.

    Another friend was crying out for help for her mother’s medicine.She had money but no way of getting it

    When sometimes I took a UBER in Colombo the drivers spoke of how they had to stay the night at que to earn their daily wages. I just felt guilty to give them a small fare and did what I could….he said he had no time to protest but wanted to go.

    None of this sounds romantic to me

  • 8
    1

    May be freedom from Chingkallams but not for the Thamizh. A good and realistic article from the BBC
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/the-divisions-behind-sri-lankas-united-protests/ar-AAWTApQ?ocid=uxbndlbing

  • 4
    0

    Let the Galle Face Green be as it is. No need to change it’s name. There are many statues around the old Parliament. Each statue should have a board describing their contributions to the advancement/ downward trend of our motherland.MR S W R D B will certainly remembered for his Sinhala only policy and breaking of B-C pact that led to unnecessary expenditure /destruction of our motherland. It is sad that we still haven’t had a Statesman in our country. We will be better off if Buddhist monks remain in their TEMPLES and preach peace as well as meditate for the country’s advancement.We don’t want the thuggish behaviour from them.

  • 5
    1

    EE
    Nandikadal is Sri Lanka’s AUSCHWITZ where indiscriminate killings of innocent Tamils took place. Guilty people is still evading justice.

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