Church, Temple, and that Old Red Line
Anglican and Roman Catholic nuns calling for Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapakse and his government to step down, protest against the backdrop of the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapakse Theatre, a stark reminder of the wasteful policies of a regime that has brought the country to economic ruin. Colombo, April 2022.

• 18mm • f/3.5 • 1/800 • ISO800 •

Continue reading “Church, Temple, and that Old Red Line”

Where were You, Dad, When We Sent the Tyrants Home?
Protestors atop the barricades at the Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat, at Galle face, Colombo, call for President Gotabhaya Rajapakse and his government to resign; accused of corruption and ineptitude that has created the worst economic crisis in the country’s modern history. The Galle Face demonstration, which began on 9th April 2022, is now in its fourth week, dubbed ‘Gotagogama’, after the protestors’ primary demand — “Gota, Go Home!” The protests have seen Sri Lankans turn out in hundreds of thousands, mostly middle and working classes, of all ages and ethnicities, united in suffering, and a hope of turning things around before it’s too late. An acute shortage of foreign exchange reserves has seen Sri Lanka unable to import essential fuel, causing widespread electricity cuts, some as long as thirteen hours a day, and forcing millions to stand in interminably long queues for petrol, diesel, and cooking gas. President Gotabhaya Rajapakse and his Prime Minister, and older brother, Mahinda Rajapakse, have refused to resign in spite of the protests, prolonging the crisis. Vital medicines and essential supplies are running out, and the government has already indicated that it will default on its $51 billion foreign debt repayments due in June. With the country on the verge of bankruptcy, any recovery depends on a prompt replacement of the current administration, as the protestors are demanding.

• 170mm • f/5.6 • 1/250 • ISO100 •

Understand the Bus Stand
Young protestors on Galle Face Green, in Colombo, call for the resignation of Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapakse and his cabinet, accusing the government of ineptitude, corruption, and nepotism. 9th April 2022. The government, led by President Rajapakse and his powerfully placed brothers, have failed to gauge the man on the street (and at the bus stand); overestimating the country’s middle and working classes’ willingness to weather a crippling foreign exchange and energy crisis that has seen people suffer rampant inflation and long powercuts, as well as critical shortages of cooking gas, fuel, food, and medicine. Protests that began spontaneously and sporadically in March have grown steadily, culminating in a massive protest in downtown Colombo, that has claimed as many as a million protestors. After futile cabinet reshuffles and opposition posturing in parliament, the legislature went into recession for the traditional Sinhalese and Tamil new year holidays. The protestors, however, have vowed to stay, turning what was planned as a 24-hour protest into something set to go on through this holiday week.