‘GotaGoGama’ protestors reinforce ‘MainaGoGama’

  • 500-1,000 protestors march from Galle Face to Temple Trees
  • Support due to police interference in protest

By Buddhika Samaraweera

A large number of protestors who are engaged in the protest zone named “GotaGoGama” at Galle Face Green demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the Government, joined the protest zone named “MainaGoGama” in front of Temple Trees, carrying canopies and tents on their shoulders yesterday (1).

Between 500-1,000 protesters marched from Galle Face Green to the road opposite Temple Trees in the afternoon, carrying the canopies and tents in which they would be staying. By last evening, the crowd outside Temple Trees, which had been modest since last morning, had swelled considerably.

One of the protestors in “GotaGoGama” told The Morning that he and his fellow protestors had joined the “MainaGoGama” protest as the latter protest needs to be strengthened in the face of Police pressure at the time. However, he said that the protest at Galle Face Green would continue with the same vigour.

The Police attempted to remove several temporary constructions, including a stage, that had been set up by the protestors on the road in front of Temple Trees in the early hours of last morning. A heated situation arose between the protestors and the Police due to these actions, and the protestors had thereafter decided to occupy one lane of the Galle Road to express their anger at the Government.

Protestors have been demanding the resignation of Premier Rajapaksa in the face of the current crisis, with “MainaGoGama”, which was recently established in front of Temple Trees, the official residence of the Premier, serving as its base. Over the past few days the Police have parked buses to block the pavement outside Temple Trees, and played pirith at a loud volume to drown out the chants of the protestors.

There have been protests throughout the country demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna-led Government, particularly over the past month. The protestors are still protesting at Galle Face Green, blocking the main entrance to the Presidential Secretariat. Sanitary facilities, temporary hospitals, and library facilities have also been established at the protest site now known as “GotaGoGama”.