Life, in the Valley of the Wolves
Armed police on Wolfendhal Lane, in Hulftsdorp. October 2022.

• 35mm • f/2.8 • 1/2000 • ISO160 • R6 & RF 35/1.8 courtesy Canon/Metropolitan.


Forbidden Ground

Special Task Force policemen look on as protestors stroll unrestricted through the grounds of Temple Trees, the official residence of the prime minister of Sri Lanka, once one of the most heavily guarded and fortified spots in Colombo. 9th July 2022. Forced, by the weight of public protest, to resign in May, Mahinda Rajapakase had fled earlier that day.

• 18mm • f/3.5 • 1/100 • ISO800 •

Divided by the State, United by Need
Protestors offer bottles of water to the policemen barricading them out of Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Finance, at Galle Face, Colombo. 9th April 2022. The country’s economic crisis has hit the middle and working classes hard, and demonstrations across the country are calling for the resignation of President Gotabhaya Rajapakse and his entire cabinet, accused of corruption, ineptitude, and nepotism. On top of rampant inflation and widespread shortages of electricity, cooking gas, and fuel, the debt-ridden government has struggled in recent months to pay the salaries of its police and armed forces.

Caught on the Wrong Side
A Sri Lankan riot policeman’s mind seems to wander as he holds a barricade against protestors attempting to enter the Ministry of Finance at Galle Face Colombo. 9th April 2022. Perhaps he is thinking of his own family back home, suffering without electricity, cooking gas, and fuel, and struggling amidst widespread food shortages. A crippling energy crisis has the country on its knees, created by a foreign currency shortage that has been blamed on government corruption and ineptitude. Nationwide protests calling for the resignation of President Gotabhaya Rajapakse and his cabinet peaked in a massive demonstration on Saturday that is thought to have numbered as many as a million protestors.

Keeping Out the Extremists
A young family tries to negotiate, to no avail, their way through a police barricade leading to Colombo’s Independence Square, a popular venue for protests in the city. President Gotabhaya Rajapakse, faced with widespread public protests demanding his government’s resignation over mismanagement and corruption, called the protestors extremists, and reacted with a 36-hour curfew across the weekend, and a social media block, hoping to discourage further visible dissent. Both tactics failed; unable to gather in Colombo City, large protests continued in the suburbs, through the evening and into Sunday night, while the widespread use of virtual private networks (VPNs) circumvented the state’s blockade of Facebook and Whatsapp. Sri Lanka, 3rd April 2022.
Armed troops of the paramilitary Special Task Force (STF) man a barricade blocking access to Colombo’s Independence Square. Sri Lanka, 3rd March 2022.
A Special Task Force (STF) police officer refuses to let me past barricades blocking Colombo’s Independence Square. Sri Lanka, 3rd March 2022.

Policeman, St Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade, Colombo #2

Policeman, St Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade, Sri Lanka #2 by Son of the Morning Light on
A policeman walks away from the bomb-damaged St Anthony’s Shrine in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. Sri Lanka, April 26th 2019 (licensed to Polaris Images).
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Easter Sunday Shock

St Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade, Sri Lanka #5 by Son of the Morning Light on
Sri Lankan police and Navy guard the bomb-damaged St Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade, close to the Colombo Port. The church’s glass doors, open on Easter Sunday morning, remain intact, but the semicircular lunettes over them have been blown out by the shock of the suicide bombing that killed over a hundred worshippers. The attack — along with five others across Colombo and Sri Lanka — killed more than 250 people and wounded over 500, and has been attributed to the ISIS-affiliated Islamic extremist group, National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ), a small local outfit barely known before the Easter Sunday massacre. Colombo, Sri Lanka. 26th April 2019 (licensed to Polaris Images).

The Soft Arm of the Law

Heavy but seemingly benign police presence at the Pro-Democracy Rally in Colombo, Sri Lanka. October 2018.
Continue reading “The Soft Arm of the Law”

“Ralahamita Lace?”

Lace Vendor, Maharagama, Sri Lanka by Son of the Morning Light on
Maharagama textile bazaar, Sri Lanka. April 2018.