I have a proposal to all those who drive in Sri Lanka. It’s a protest of sorts against a menace that has killed a few, left some severely injured, damaged vehicles and property, and angered even those who don’t drive.
I’m writing about the army and police convoys that clear the streets for ministers, who seem to be in a great hurry to get to their meetings or tea-parties for all we know.
This is something I’ve done and I think if every single driver in Sri Lanka does the same, we might actually be able to rid the roads of these baneful convoys. The roads are public spaces, we shouldn’t be forced off it for some minister who has no qualms about putting our lives at risk.
I’ve been driven frothing mad by these convoys, and I think it’s time we showed the government we aren’t going to be pushed around any more. Articles in the newspapers, news reports and deaths have had no no effect on them, so it’s time we take some action.
The protest is simple. Don’t move.
While driving along a not-so-main-road on a lazy Sunday morning, I heard the deafening honking of the police convoy behind me. I figured that was it. Why should I move for these morons? If the minister is late, he should, like everyone else, leave earlier for whatever function/meeting their heading for. If it’s that their life is at risk (which is a ridiculous excuse) why should we care, considering they don’t give a damn about others on the road?
So I just cruised at 35-40km (within our sad speed limit). Sure, the convoy continued to honk angrily, but what could they do? Run over my car? Shoot me?
I’m part of the public, I’m on public property and I’m abiding by all the road rules. If they hurt me, they will be held responsible. Sure that doesn’t go a long way in Sri Lanka. But just imagine if ALL the traffic refused to be pushed around? There’s nothing they can do about it, and eventually they’re going to have to stop being the greatest menace on our roads.
This could be our little movement! Not exactly Tienanmen Square or the Egyptian revolution. But if we’ve got at least a modicum of democracy left we should make use of it; instead of being such an acquiescent nation.