Rally for Unity: Standing up for an inclusive Sri Lanka

Groundviews strongly endorsed a rally held in Colombo on Sunday to reaffirm the fact that Sri Lanka is not only a Sinhala-Buddhist country. As the movement’s Facebook event page noted, this non-partisan, non-violent awareness raising rally aims to empower the silent majority of moderate Sri Lankans to stand up for an inclusive Sri Lanka.

At its peak, Groundviews was told the rally had around 500 walking from point to point.

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In the lead up to the rally, the organisers produced and released a number of videos in support of the rally and the larger movement behind it. All the videos can be viewed here, and interestingly, they feature high-profile individuals and MPs with the Government, those who have represented and defended the Government diplomatically in the past, a World Cup winning doyen of cricket, a well known actor, a senior member of the UNP and senior members of the Buddhist clergy.

Groundviews archived all the tweets from Sunday, and leading up to the rally, under the hashtag #rallyforunity. At the time of writing, the archive had over 1,500 entries, including retweets. Search through the complete archive by clicking here or the image below.

Interact visually with the entries in the archive by clicking here or on the data visualisation below.

Photos from the rally can be seen below, taken by Anushan Selvarajah.

Because of the high-profile nature of the turnout, Police didn’t breakup the gathering brutishly as they did in the recent past with a smaller vigil held on similar grounds. And yet, as expected, the pro-Bodu Bala Sena elements were around, and distributed leaflets towards the beginning of the rally, noting that it was “an international conspiracy”. The leaflets were printed to look as if they were from the organisers.

For higher resolution images, click here.

Groundviews was sent photographs of the individuals who were distributing this leaflet, before they were rounded up and sent packing.

Groundviews live tweeted the event, and also retweeted updates from those at the rally. A full list of these tweets follow. Click here to view it in a much larger, and easier to read format.