On 31 March 2022 a public protest occurred in the vicinity of the home of the Sri Lankan president Gotabhaya Rajapakse. The protest marked frustration at the shortages of essential commodities (gas, medicines, fuel) and the gruelling ten-to-13-hour power cuts imposed by a cash-strapped government with insufficient dollars to pay for imported fuel. The protestors also sought answers as to why certain neighbourhoods (such as Mirihana, where the president lived) continued to enjoy uninterrupted power.
We the undersigned individuals from academia, the professions, the corporate sector, the clergy, and civil society organisations, join all those citizens and groups in condemning the abduction, arrest, detention without due process, and other acts of abusive Presidential and State authority committed against persons who participated in the Aragalaya Peoples’ Movement. We condemn the acts of violence that occurred during this time. However, we reject the narrative that the Aragalaya was responsible for the violence and that it has been transformed into a “fascist,” “anarchist,” “terrorist,” group, that has destroyed State and private property, and is determined to destabilise our country.