So many cops,so much style
I think the current protest against the UN has government support. Why? Look at these two photographs. The one above is from the ongoing protest against the UN Panel on the Sri Lankan war. The protesters are literally hanging propaganda on the police barricades. Then look at the photo below. This is from a planned student protest on Ward Place. There were literally hundreds of cops, they secured the entire street and sent buses of cops to break up the protesters en route. If the government wanted to they could have secured the UN compound they didn’t. One thing they have dispatched equally, however, is the most awesome mustache in the Police force, also below.
So few cops, so little hair
The UN compound is in a secured area. The Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa lives down the street. That road had actually be completely closed for years, I only found out that it was open for thru traffic from the protests. This, incidentally, is awesome.
Ward Place is a public road. ODEL is on one side and it’s surrounded by homes and hospitals. Yet for that student protest they shut the whole thing down and stopped the protest entirely. I should note that students have staged sit-ins in front of the University Grants Commission before, but under the wary eye of the cops.
The cops in front of the UN were a bit less than wary. On Ward Place they were an occupying army. On Bullers Road they were a ceremonial force. Just a few, basically lounging while protesters spray painted cameras, tried to break and enter and hung posters from the barricades. The National Freedom Front has decorated the Thumulla junction with its flags. They brought a lorry into the area to unload various material. It was fully organized and fully OK with the cops.
Is this good or bad? Dunno. But I do think this protest against the UN is government sanctioned and supported.
PS: why have I been updating so little, because I’ve been updating three or four times a day on the Sunday Leader website, where this post too will be syndicated.