The State, knocked down in the early rounds of Aragalaya, is back,

sparring and dodging and delivering upper cuts again as if nothing


has happened, as if the struggle is a distant memory. So here come

the secret services in plain clothes knocking on doors of the tuk tuk


driver who had a moment of delirious pleasure sitting in the former

president’s armchair. And here is the Criminal Investigation Department


taking away the man who counted millions of rupees in a presidential

suitcase before delivering it to the police for safekeeping. Now, that man


is marked, charged, taught a lesson. And so it goes. Then further up

the protest chain, the secretary general of the teachers union, he too,


captured in the dragnet for having called for a protest on a day when

protests were not allowed. And so throughout the island people are going


to bed afraid and angry that they might get visited for their bold

entrances into the presidential quarters, the Family secretariat,


the Rajapaksa Temple Trees, and any other monument to the pre-

Aragalaya, business as usual, I take my ten percent. The inventor


of the phrase, by the way, is still too on the island creating a brief

lift in the hope quotient that the striking back of the Empire is not


complete, that Aragalaya Force will resist, that we will not forget,

not only recent events, but 1958 and 1983 and 2019 and all other


sad years of our democratic breakdown, our arriving at the gates

of hell, without food or petrol or medicine but the miracle


on the Green, not only the Pope speaking there in 2015

but now, the tent city, the light in the darkness,


the Aragalaya Residences, made by the people,

with the people, and for the future of the people.