Photo courtesy of Daily FT


When Gota ran away we raised arms and shouted gratitude
to God, to fate, to a possible return from the nightmare but


his fleeing did not prevent the heart attack of the man from
Pusellawa standing in line for two days and nights to fill


a canister with petrol. He is gone now forever, one of
at least seventeen dead over the last three months according


to one lugubrious study. A young man jumped the line to get
petrol so he could take his wife in labor to the hospital. He was killed


by enraged fellow citizens. The future baby will not see his dad,
the wife, her husband gone too forever. These are stories of fuel


lines on the island. They are the chorus of the tragedy. They say,
do not forget the reason for Aragalaya, for the people’s revolt: not


only to get rid of the corrupt ruling family but to solve the urgent need
for kerosene and petrol, for food and medicine, to eliminate the queue.