Photo courtesy of Anoma Wijewardene

The people will not be robbed of their fundamental right

to choose their leaders, and to discard them when they fail

to lead,when they steal, when they ruin their charge. Extra-


ordinary times require extraordinary actions. These priests

and teachers, chemists and tuk tuk drivers, these nurses

and doctors, clerks and poets, these garment workers


and lawyers, these people of the people’s movement built

their village, with first aid tents and libraries and kitchens

on the nation’s maidan, Galle Face Green. They are facing


the buildings of the state and reminding all of us that no individual

or family owns those buildings, that they are the property

of the people, and the vast majority of the people


are united in saying no. No to corruption. No to family

rule, to old think and elite control. We need a way out

of the labyrinth. Our future begins in that village:


local, participatory, grass roots. Let us listen

to conversations there, embrace the opportunities

they provide to move out of the morass,


to rebuild the country on the legitimate

foundation, the only one worth the protest–

the will of the people, all of the people.