Take A Stand For Injustice: Mervyn’s Goon’s March Going On Right Now
By Visakha Tillekeratne –
In order to show our solidarity as right thinking citizens of Sri Lanka (not anti Rajapaksa but pro good governance citizens by the way) and to protect the tragic situation that the judiciary is in today, a friend and I took to the streets of Hultsdorpf around 10.40 am to join in with the lawyers at the People’s March, to take a stand for Justice. We were dressed in black and white to show our solidarity that this is indeed, a black and white issue. Of course as a result we were easily identifiable as those supporting the cause. Could not get near the meeting organized by lawyers, but got first hand experience of government goon squads.
As we attempted to get past the roundabout opposite the Supreme Court, a group of thugs who could be identified as drug addicts and drunkards, lured to the area with a bottle of arrack and packet of lunch, intimated us with poles and stepped threateningly towards both of us and the persons standing by who were also intimated. The language used wasmild at first and obscene to the extreme towards the end of the dialogue. These loyalists of the government shouted saying we are Sri Lankans and who are you? It was a good opportunity to stand our ground and to say we too are Sri Lankans, but for a righteous Sri Lanka. Looking at their faces, these men would stop at nothing, and the violence that one sees is real and horrendous.
Later on several of these violent demonstrators were identified as residents of Kelaniya and Mervyn loyalists, who are released all over the country when the state requires intimidation of its citizens. These incidents are quite frequent today, as is well known.
We moved on near the Bo Tree outside the courts and were standing by near some kiosks to ask a lawyer to accompany us into the demonstration, when all hell broke loose and the intimidators started running towards a group of supporters of the lawyers, using filth and brandishing their instruments of terror. The building we stepped into was also attacked and the glass broken. All this happened while the Police were standing by, passively.
It was extremely heartening to be part of this experience and to realize the dangers and vulnerabilities of being Sri Lankan. It also strengthens one’s resolve to bring about what is right, through peaceful and intelligent actions that are strategic and long lasting.
One cannot help but think of the prudent and timely direction, given by Dr Deepika Udugama, academic of repute and human rights activist, at a seminar, on the 8th of January – Sanvada, organized to make the youth of Sri Lanka aware of the current crisis with regard to the impeachment. Dr Udugama was quick to point out that people’s sovereignty reigns supreme, and to give vent to that power of sovereignty, it is the middle class and professionals who should and can give leadership to positive and peaceful change, as the poor and marginalized have too many problems of their own to be concerned about such matters and are deliberately denied the right kind of information to act. This is true for Sri Lanka, unlike India where the poor do come out on the streets against injustice and have vibrant protests. Of course the Indian government does not intimidate its people and it is a healthy democracy.
So fellow citizens of the middle class, you will have to come out of your introspection and comfortable existence to make a change. Save the country for the next generation, to say our forefathers have safeguarded not only the land and assets, but values, principles and the rule of law.
See the pictures here;