The media has focused on the fleeing Rajapakses, gate crashing of official residences and torching one or two but not much on the internal maths of the agitation. Reports suggest that the movement is not monolithic and many forces including the hard Left are behind this.
Activist middle class may have been the TV face of the crowd but the muscle has largely come from a party called the Front Line Socialist Party (FLSP). It’s a splinter e- of the ultra-Left and ultra-Sinhala nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which had itself mounted two armed revolts against the government in the past, comes in.
India media "India Narrative" says, "that FLSP has been a key player in giving political direction to what had started at Colombo’s Galle Face as spontaneous protests against a virtual economic meltdown."
“Extreme measures by the government to promote organic farming had already hit farm production, which plummeted. As in the case of Tahrir square in Egypt during the Arab Spring, the Galle Face became the sanctum sanctorum and the ground-zero of a popular uprising.”
India-China factor ?
Indian media has now begun to write on the issue more because some fear the crowd is really in the FLSP hands and that this party is largely funded by China. This means the Chinese wanted the Rajapakses to go, a group once China’s darling and they succeeded. And China remaining such a big player in Sri Lanka means, one rules only if one has good equations with Beijing. If China is still calling the shots India will feel threatened.
India has intervened in Sri Lanka several times beginning from the Tamil insurgency days and doesn’t have a great track record. Rahul Gandhi’s assassination was a factor behind this nor very popular.
The recent round of speculation on invasion gained clout with the remarks made by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy who tweeted on May 10 that the Indian Army must be sent to “restore Constitutional sanity”. Swamy has been fringed for a while and had advised invading Maldives as well as Bangladesh before. He is not taken very seriously but he does say what is in many political hearts and can’t reach the lips. Like a policy level Nupur Sharma of sorts. Both the Government and the BJP were quick to deny such statements.
A nervous Sri Lanka ruling class ?
Public feelings against the random crowds acting at will has now started to create unease and JVP memories are also a factor. The extreme left position of FLSP also has been a factor in getting MPs to recognize that greater internal chaos awaits them if they don’t act quickly. The lawyers, businessmen and professional bodies have spoken on behalf of law and order and the election date is being taken seriously. But it’s also possible that deal making with the FLSP may be on some cards. Meanwhile, many have spoken of the “invasion threats” as an impetus to start elections seriously.
FLSP through the Inter University Students' Federation (IUSF) -- a confederation of around 70 students' unions, has great influence on Sri Lankan agitation politics. They basically forced the Rajapakse hand through hard agitation. Trade Unions have also supported the FLSP in general making them a major factor in Sri Lanka .
Its extreme views probably rules it out of any immediate future coalition role, but it’s on the street, has clout and intends to continue making prolonged unrest in the future a real fear for Sri Lanka