Photo by Amalini De Sayrah


This is not only about sitting on the verandah with a scotch and a pig

in a blanket. This is not only about picking up the beat and dancing


the night away to Sea Cruise. This is not only about building a tent city

in front of tourist hotels and government seats of power. This is not only


about waking up on the Green and seeing reclaimed land of the Chinese

port city in the sold-off distance. This is not only about planning a jeep safari


to Yala. This is not only about taking the Yal Devi train to Jaffna to visit

the grave of your grandmother. This is not only about rising past tea estates


and Horton Plains to the cool-sweatered air of Nuwara Eliya. This is not

only about Mihintale steps or the reclining Buddha of Polonnaruwa


or the last wild leopards of Wilpattu. This is not only about elephants

roaming through thick forest on an island vanished forever. This is about


an elephant orphanage. This is about reclaimed land, second growth forest.

This is about fencing off the wild. This is about forgetting and trying


to remake the land according to old films, hunting books. This is about

saving what’s left for the people to be decided by the people. This is


about democracy, friends and enemies. This is about trying to make

a sustainable bet with every adult for every child. This is about


singing the anthem in all the languages. This is about settling

the books on all hate crimes, getting trials going for the first time.


This is about dreams making responsibilities. This is

about struggle, united, aragalaya for everybody.