The travel ban imposed on Mahinda Rajapaksa and a motley group of his supporters by the Fort Magistrate following an application by the Attorney-General suffices to buttress the widely circulating opinion that “Temple Trees” was where the rabblerousing originated last Monday, leaving a bloody and indelible mark on a peaceful protest movement.
It was from there that the instigators allowed the frenzy to build before the mob was let loose on several hundreds of non-violent protesters who did nothing more aggressive than urge the prime minister to resign and demand that police apply the law equally. You know like the “one law” that Mahinda’s younger brother Gotabaya promised when he appointed another rabble rouser to oversee the drafting of the “One country, one law” he pledged to introduce.
At another time at another place, standing by the body of the slain Caesar, his faithful friend Mark Antony said “Cry ‘Havoc’ and let slip the dogs of war”. The dogs of war that slid out of Temple Trees, unlike those envisaged by Antony, might have been armed only with rods, poles and other ‘weaponry’ but they were enough to wreak mayhem in a kilometre or so stretch of road and wound the unarmed and non-violent while the forces of law stood by like silent sentinels.