I drove past Temple Trees this morning at sunrise, a few minutes after the first SMS from a major news service proclaimed Mahinda Rajapaksa would step down as President.

I couldn’t believe it. I just hugged a close friend in the passenger seat and I think we both teared up – not knowing how else to fully realise the enormity of change upon us, without the violence we were expecting. Someday I will pen what I felt on that drive, in front of Temple Trees. Suffice to say that I don’t see Groundviews going away anytime soon. Our work, to remind the President elect Maithripala Sirisena that promises made must also be promises kept, will not end.

I’ve listened to will.i.am’s It’s A New Day several times today, risking disappointment to hope – more than I have since 2005 – that it is indeed a new day, for all Sri Lankans.

  • Burning_Issue

    Dear Sanjana,

    I too share your elation; this change is well overdue and I did not expect it to happen all of a sudden! The Rajapaskas are history because they were devoid of political vision and common decency. Let’s hope that the new leader or leaders will steer the country towards a just path. Sri Lanka must be built on the strength of diversity and secularism. I hope you and the rest of the civil societies will keep up the pressure on the promises made.

  • Dev

    Sorry to be such a pessimist but I am just thinking of 20 years ago…CBK…promises of abolishing the presidency in 6 months..end to “dooshanaya” and “beeshanaya” , freedom of the press…etc

    Fast forward 2004 and see what RSF had to say:


    Ironically, CBK in the end of was convicted of abusing the executive powers vested in her in the water’s edge case….the very power she promised to abolish in 6 months (in writing I believe to the JVP).

    Well, for now, let us celebrate that one tyrant is gone.
    if nothing else, we get some breathing space for any future battles that might come our way.

  • Jayalath

    This is a beginning of new round of crisis rather than end to the crisis ,which we experienced since 77 .new faces , new crises , which can be conspicuously seen over the the voting basis of Sirisena .

  • Jayalath

    Yes, we can see the results already that cabinet was promised to 25 and now is expecting to rise to 30 ,so one promise is already broken down . Also number of political revenge has taken placed within 24 hours which was yelled by Ranil would not happen .i hope this government would last for 100 days .

  • Mitt

    I remember listening to election results in Jaffna back in 1977. People set off fire crackers when the SLFP led by Mrs. Sirimavo Dias B. was driven out of power after holding on for seven years through emergency powers. There was hope in JR and people felt liberated. Then we slipped back to the same old same old, and a little worse.

    Hope this one doesn’t turn that way.