Lipton Circus in Colombo is a frequent staging area for the theatrics of political demonstrations. Perhaps one of the few things we Sri Lankans are consistently good at.
Colombo has very few public spaces such as Times or Tiananmen square. As you can see from the google earth screen shot in this post, the circus is a round about (traffic circle) at the convergence of a bunch of major roads. Any large public gathering here is a traffic disruption of some sort. But that’s democracy for you and we are proud of our democratic freedoms.
There are quite a few well written and photographed posts in the Lankanospere about the Circus and its goings on. Here a few of the better ones:
- The court jester has an interesting post on historical backdrop of Lipton Circus.
- Dinidu De Alwis, has a post covering a political demonstration that took place at Lipton Circus
Photo dude Geeshan has a similar offering.
- The janitor of the Sri Lankan blogosphere offers a micro detail of one of the regulars – the internet famous moustache of Sub Inspector Ratnayake.
Most of the political protests staged here have no effect. Their main purpose if cathartic. A place to for the serfs to work off frustration, a tool for political groups to make their respective herds feel relavent.
At a more personal level, the circus is where Mrs.C traditionally runs out of fuel during the evening commute. Typically its raining, and she doesn’t have any cash with her. I get a running commentary on the mobile in my role as hapless audience to a voice only drama. Thankfully her damsel in distress act ropes in enough people to push her to a petrol shed (which accepts her cheques).