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Uprising of Sri Lanka – 2022 Sri Lankan Protests

Children standing on top of a car holding the Sri Lankan national flag and flowers at the 2022 Sri Lankan protests and uprising - Galle Face, Sri Lanka

The collective consciousness of Sri Lanka, perhaps due to a multitude of reasons, has led the entire nation to rise! However, can the political leadership of Sri Lanka comprehend and ‘read’ the ongoing #OccupyGalleFace, 2022 Sri Lankan protests ? Do they understand the context of this resistance?


A few days prior to beginning of the ‘Occupy Galleface’, 2022 Sri Lankan protests, a set of media releases were issued by all the major political parties of Sri Lanka warning people about the dangers and the possible detrimental effects of a ‘leaderless’ resistance.

No one cared! Things rolled on, and the resistance happened!

People stood in Mirihana, surrounding the president’s private residence!
They marched towards the Galle Face!
The resistance gathered momentum and literally became #OccupyGalleFace!
We stood in the belly of the resistance from the very beginning, and here is what we saw, observed, contemplated and constructed.

We believe that the genealogy of the structure of this ‘Resistance’ is different.
At times it lookes like a carnival, and at times the space is filled with hecklers.
Yet, compared to what we have seen in the past, the atmosphere is enduring; one may even call it ‘calm’


Filth is hardly used. Heckling is only for ridiculing the stupidity of the rulers.
Anger and rage, the two ‘expected’ components of any stereotypical resistance, are noticeably less or perhaps even missing.
On close scrutiny, it becomes clear as to how those two components, viz, anger and hatred towards the government, are creatively channelled towards a productive, targeted purpose that goes beyond sending one goon home!
It is a sight to behold, a phenomenon to ponder about!


The ‘old left’ and the ‘alternative left’ are still looking for the impoverished worker and the peasant within the resistance.
According to them, this is not a resistance of the people or the working class. The evidence of their ideological bewilderment is on display via WSWS, the initial JVP speeches and the other ‘left’ and supposed ‘leftist’ narratives about the resistance.

The manual assembly line worker, the farming labourer or the machine operator of the industrial age, who contributed more with their hands than with their heads, and was clueless about the economy, does not exist anymore.
The worker, on whom the entire genre of currently practiced political rhetoric is based, is dead and gone.
Yet, the machine and the narration driving the political epistemology of party politics is still fuelled by the ideas and the structure of justice built around the Industrial-age worker.


It is sad to notice how the archaic political parties of Sri Lanka fail to comprehend the segment of modern workers leading the Galleface resistance.

So is this ‘mob’ or the collective, really leaderless as the political archaic accuses it of?

What is driving them?

This ‘modern mob’ seems to be driven by a collective consciousness.
In a way, this is a modern thought mob. This collective, its behaviours and the emotional responses are governed by the collective perception of their reality, rather than by a political rhetoric of a single leader or a party.

This collective consciousness does not seem to be a construct of poverty, suffering or the class struggle. It is influenced by many phenomena, characters, fluctuations, and emotions that are controlled by a different set of beliefs and ideologies.
Zizek, Chomsky, Gladwell, Jung, Hariri as well as Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed and many more contribute to shaping this collective consciousness.

The bearers of this collective conciseness accept the contradictions as a part of the epistemological debate, and therefore, the existence.
To them, perhaps, none of the aforementioned are prophets, and therefore, they are not disciples.
Something in them makes them tolerate the opposing view. So this mob is not violent.

Each and every bearer of this collective consciousness has his or her own idea, dream, and the goals for their future. They are different in many ways, yet there are striking similarities that allow them to subscribe to this collective consciousness!

They all don’t read the same books or listen to the same people or music. Yet, the ebbs and flows of this collective conciseness are levelled, and a modern form of equity is achieved by the dissemination of information, ideas, knowledge and the consciousness itself, via modern connectivity, something which the older generations frown upon!

This modern mob does not accept leadership in a traditional political sense. They do not follow preachers or saviours, instead, they prefer to appoint leaders to steer their circumstances to the destinations they want.

These trends are truly post-modernistic.

Anyone who dreams of leading this mob needs to ‘live’ or learn to live within the cognitive space that governs the collective consciousness of this mob.

This mob does not care much about how smart someone is, instead, they want to find out how one can apply the tools at one’s disposal to get the things done.

They are task-oriented, and those tasks, once completed, have to take them towards their goals; and these goals are the goals of their thoughts, visions, aspirations and dreams.

This mob, can only be led by a truly modern leader, if at all!


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