Janatha Aragalaya (the People’s Struggle) in Sri Lanka


  • A. R. M. Imtiyaz


On July 9, 2022, angry citizens, while protesting economic mismanagement, stormed
the Sri Lanka’s President palace in Colombo. On July 13, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa
escaped to the neighboring island nation of the Maldives and flew into Singapore from
the Maldives on July 14 evening, after fleeing Sri Lanka amid a deepening crisis and
widespread protests there. The primary objective of this paper is to provide some
initial thoughts to the factors that led to the Aragalaya (struggle) and thus this article
attempts to understand the major sources that gave birth to Janatha Aragalaya,
commonly named by Sri Lankans as the GotaGoHome protest movement, significance of
the movement and some suggestions to build democratic and peaceful Sri Lanka. The
article first provides some primary information about the island’s demographics and
socio-economic conditions. It then discusses the causes that gave birth to the protest
movement. This section also attempts to provide some thoughts to understand why the
state and its institutions such as security forces did not use violence against the
movement. For the preparation of the article, the author conducted interviews with Sri
Lankans who took part in the Aragalaya. Conversations were held in Tamil, Sinhala, and
English speakers throughout the protests from April 12 to July 17 via WhatsApp and
Facebook messengers.



How to Cite

A. R. M. Imtiyaz. (2023). Janatha Aragalaya (the People’s Struggle) in Sri Lanka. ASIAN Journal of International Peace & Security (AJIPS), 6(4), 65 - 79. Retrieved from http://ajips.fairlips.org/index.php/ajips/article/view/2022-vol-6-issue-4-janatha-aragalaya-the-peoples-struggle-in-sri