Aragalaya protesters yesterday (10) announced they have unanimously decided to vacate Galle Face, wrapping up five months of occupation.
Attorney-at-Law Manoj Nanayakkara informed that protesters have reached a collective decision to vacate the Galle Face protest site. He said they had reached a unanimous decision to end the more than five-month-long protests in Galle Face, warning that further repression by the Government would only serve to increase the protesters’ strength. He, however, insisted that withdrawing from Galle Face does not mean that the protest or ‘Aragalaya’ is over. He said at a media briefing from Galle Face yesterday (10), that protesters leaving the area does not mean the end of the struggle, adding that they hope to continue the protests in towns and regionally.
“Galle Face became the focal point of protests for the entire country, and they will continue to fight for system change. The suppression of protesters has increased significantly today, and protests will intensify as a result of such efforts. The Government will be unable to put a stop to such protests,” he said.
Speaking further, he highlighted that they believe the Aragalaya has expanded into villages and that they are prepared to summon the public if injustice occurs.
Actor Jagath Manuwarna, who also took part in the protest, said if people believe President Ranil Wickremesinghe will take steps to address the country’s problems, they will give it some time.
“We will see how things go for a while. How will he deal with the issues? The crowd is small because people believe Wickremesinghe is doing well. This is only a pause, not a complete stop. We are waiting to see if our Aragalaya’s expectations will be met or not. One goal is for this regime, this government, including President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who protects Rajapaksa, to be deposed. That the Government be disbanded. That is the Aragalaya’s hope,” he said.
By Thameenah Razeek