At these middle class peace rallies I never know if 15 people are going to show up or what. I’m happy to say that the Rally For Unity this weekend saw about 500 people turn out. The rally was also well coordinated with the Police, MinDef, Municipal Council, everything. Unlike the farce outside BBS headquarters, this rally was a stand for something rather than just standing against some extremists, letting them define the conversation. There was a good swath of people and ethnicities and languages at this thing, standing for a Sri Lanka composed of the same.
A respectable amount of politicians and religious leaders turned out.
What was the rally for? Well, for me it was basically not being a dick and holding the country together so we can have peace and prosperity for all. I think the stated aims were showing that there are people who stand against hate and for unity. I think one of the bigger accomplishments here was that it showed that people who do stand for peace can organize something without embarrassing ourselves. There was a good turnout, everything proceeded on time, the cops were helpful rather than slapping people, it ended positively, peacefully and well.
I’d keep supporting this sort of action even if last weekend’s event was a fail, but it wasn’t. I’d say it was a success.