Photograph by Marisa de Silva

Father Jeewantha Peiris, Mahanama Thero, Joseph Stalin,

from diverse denominations and political persuasions,

are Aragalaya heroes, who called the bluff of the emperor,


leading to his flight, and now the family of that

accused terminator is fighting back, its hands deep

in the intelligence services, in the Police, the Army,


the Department of Emigration and Immigration,

and in Parliament where a once boisterous mustachioed

face has been replaced by a dour foot soldier


in the prime minister’s seat. As for the President,

he is calling protest leaders fascists, but distinguishing

between lawbreakers and peaceful protesters,


while arranging for a legal takeover of the public

park known as Galle Face Green. Nobody is fooled.

Fundamental rights petitions are being filed.


Human rights groups are pronouncing their dismay,

and the foreign minister of a most powerful country

and friend is speaking about expanding democratic


space and preserving the rule of law.You are an island

administration and no man is indeed an island. Stop

the harassment, repression and arbitrary arrests. You


cannot break what you have already broken. Step

back from the edge of Gotagogama Village,

of Galle Face Green, of democratic space. Step back now.