May 11, 2022

Read this article in English | සිංහල | தமிழ்

A record of what happened on the 9th of May, 2022, told with images, video and the occasional map.


Analysis by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne and Nisal Periyapperuma Translated by Nishadi Gunatilake With major contributions from all of Team Watchdog and our readers on #AttackOnGGG.

A few things to note

This is part one of a duo of articles. This explores the events leading up to the attack on GotaGoGama on the 9th of May, 2022. Part two, the aftermath, explores the events that immediately followed the attack.

Take time as a rough measure (plus or minus 5 minutes) unless we indicate it very precisely.

Names marked in red are people scheduled to appear on our dossiers project as a direct result of today’s events. When ready, this line of text and the red names will be updated with links to each dossier.

Regarding names: we generally believe in the right to privacy. We also believe that right ends when you publicly attack someone, or when you’re a public official involved in infringing the right of Sri Lankan citizens (such as the right to protest peacefully). Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Let’s begin. Click the arrows behind each header to unfold the section.

Before 10:00 AM: The Pro-Mahinda Protest Behind Temple Trees

10:00 AM+: The Call to Battle at Temple Trees

12:00 PM+: Attack on MainaGoGama

12:30 PM+: The March Towards Galle Face Roundabout

12:43 PM+: The Police Let the Mob Through at Galle Face

The Attack on GotaGoGama

In conclusion

<aside> 📎 We’d like to thank everyone whose footage and work went into this piece: the journalists at NewsFirst, Derana, NewsWire, EconomyNext (thank you for the camera timestamps!),, and everyone who recorded, tagged us, and otherwise participated in finding this information out on Twitter at #AttackonGGG. The rapid-fire documentation of the event was critical to this work, and the public id’ing of politicians helped immensely.

We’ve downloaded and re-uploaded quite a few videos here. The intention was not to detract from credit or pass this off as purely our own work, but to present our readers with a single login-free experience, since this footage was gathered from across Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and WhatsApp.

We’ve done our best to name the sources of the content we’ve used - some footage remains unattributable, owing to us being unable to verify who originally generated it. In every instance, we’ve cross-verified footage across multiple sources; we chose to present to you the clearest of them. As always, don’t take our word for it: check out the evidence presented and verify whether the timeline is accurate.

For a stunningly clear set of images from the site, we recommend following Dinuka Liyanawatte on Instagram.