A historical day was marked on 9 July in Sri Lanka, when the masses decisively entered the pages of history. People from all around the country descended on the capital city Colombo to register their voices loud and clear. People came, and came, and they kept coming.
9 July was chosen by protest leaders as a day to get rid of the infamous president Gotabaya Rajapaksa (nicknamed Gota). The mass movement that erupted following the cost-of-living crisis came to its head on 9 May – the day when prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was forced to resign. He organised an attack on the protesters before he left office. This whip of counterrevolution had sparked the first eruption of anger – over 100 houses of members of parliament were burned down. The establishment reacted to this and co-opted the former prime minister and the right-wing United National Party (UNP) leader to fill the palace of Mahinda.
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