No More Street Cred
Protestors in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, demand the reinstatement of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his United National Party government, in October 2018.

• 200mm • f/5.6 • 1/400 • ISO200 • 600D & EF-S18-200/3.5-5.6 • polariser •

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Burning Rage
“Aragalayata jayawewa! Aragalayata jayawewa! Aragalayata jayawewa” Thousands of protestors chant ‘victory to the struggle’ as, behind them, the residence of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is burned to the ground. Colombo, 9th July 2022. A divisive figure in the country’s political arena, Wickremesinghe stepped into the premiership for a controversial fifth term in May this year, his United National Party holding just a single seat in Parliament (his own, and that too not by election, but through the National List), striding into the breach left by his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapakse, who had himself resigned after nationwide protests. Sri Lanka is suffering the worst economic disaster in recorded history, much of it blamed on corruption and ineptitude within the ruling Rajapakse family that had, until recently, held the offices of president, prime minister, and several powerful cabinet ministries within the clan. Wickremesinghe’s lunge into the PM post has been seen as opportunism by many of the protestors, who also see him as a barrier to the vanquishing of the hated Rajapakse family from Sri Lankan politics. Months of protests that began in April have succeeded in forcing the resignations of all but President Gotabhaya Rajapakse, and yesterday’s protests, which saw hundreds of thousands flock to the capital in spite of acute fuel shortages (many having walked from distant towns), were aimed at ousting both Rajapakse and Wickremesinghe. After an exhilarating day in which protestors overran the official residences of President’s House and Temple Trees, in downtown Colombo, in what was seen as a good natured party atmosphere (protestors took a dip in the president’s swimming pool, cooked in his kitchen, and picnicked on the lawn), Gotabhaya Rajapakse indicated that he was willing to step down. But the mood turned ugly at sunset. Wickremesinghe refused to resign, and made a bid for the presidency, a post that has long thwarted him. Outraged crowds besieging the Prime Minister’s private residence on 5th Lane were met with tea gas and water cannons; some were beaten by the police, as were journalists covering the demonstration. As darkness fell, thousands more protestors arrived.
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One Year on: the Faces of Protest #2

Pro-Democracy Rally, Colombo, Sri Lanka #17 by Son of the Morning Light on
A pro-democracy protestor outside Temple Trees, the Colombo residence of Sri Lanka’s deposed prime minister. 30th October 2018.
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Have You Forgotten, Prime Minister?

Pro-Democracy Rally, Colombo, Sri Lanka #16 by Son of the Morning Light on
A Muslim resident of Colombo during the first pro-democracy rally at Liberty Circus, on 30th October 2018.
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Betrayed by the Leaders We Defended

Jampettah Street, Kochchikade, Colombo, Sri Lanka #2 by Son of the Morning Light on
Residents of Jampettah Street in Kochchikade remain in shock five days after the devastating Easter Sunday suicide bombing killed over a hundred worshippers in St Anthony’s Shrine. Kochchikade, close to Colombo’s port, was once the constituency of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who, from October to December 2018, faced a constitutional coup triggered by President Maithripala Sirisena who sacked Wickremesinghe and his entire cabinet on October 26th and appointed opposition leader and former president Mahinda Rajapakse in his place (licensed to Polaris Images).
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A Step Back towards Democracy

Looking Northeast towards Hulftsdorp by Son of the Morning Light on
The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, shot from the 230m-high Lotus Tower. Colombo, Sri Lanka. March 2018.
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The Protest of a Tired People

Pro-Democracy Rally, Colombo, Sri Lanka #14 by Son of the Morning Light on
More than a month of protests, Parliamentary action, and Supreme Court rulings, have failed so far to remove the Mahinda Rajapakse government which took power in a political coup triggered by President Maithripala Sirisena. On October 26th, the president sacked the democratically elected prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and his entire cabinet, and appointed opposition MP, and former president, Mahinda Rajapakse as PM. Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Give Me What I Voted For

Give Me Democracy by Son of the Morning Light on
Pro-democracy protests in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. October 2018.
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A Month of Anarchy

A Month of Anarchy by Son of the Morning Light on
Pro-democracy protestors in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. October 2018.
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Still No Relief on the Horizon

No Relief in on the Horizon by Son of the Morning Light on
Unlike the fresh pineapple being sold to pro-democracy protestors marching on Temple Trees, the residence of Sri Lanka’s sacked prime minister, there appears to be no relief to the constitutional crisis in the country. Almost a month after President Maithripala Sirisena triggered a coup by firing his prime minister and cabinet, and appointing a new government, the parties remain deadlocked with the coup government refusing to step down in spite of not having a parliamentary majority, and Sirisena refusing to reinstate Ranil Wickremesinghe, the legitimate PM. For four consecutive days, last week, members of the coup government attempted to physically attack the speaker of parliament and prevent him passing a no-confidence motion against Mahinda Rajapakse, the coup PM.