All Saints Church, Galle Fort, Sri Lanka


Situated within the Galle Fort, which was declared as a "WORLD HERITAGE SITE" in 1988 by UNESCO


The day All Saints Church, Galle Fort, became a House of Refuge for the Oppressed - July 9, 1981
Nearly 500 victims of the July 1980 strike assembled at Galle Town Hall on July 9, 1981, to participate in a Satyagraha organised under the auspices of the Manawa Dayakarmeenge Sangvidhanaya (MDS) led by a group of Buddhist and Christian clergy to register their protest against the government's determined stand to punish thousands of workers by keeping them indefinitely out of their jobs and thus throwing them and their dependents in to a state of utter despair.
 
When the Satyagraha was about to commence, the Police informed the organisers that they had received orders from higher authorities to disperse the assembly and prevailed upon them to leave the Town Hall premises.

It was then decide to shift the site of the Satyagraha to the Ramparts. And when the crowd came close to the Ramparts, the entrance to the Fort was barricaded and the Police used tear gas and began to assault the
crowd with batons. Among those who were wounded in the baton charge were Buddhist and Christian clergy who were with the people.

As a last resort, the leaders of the MDS decided at the suggestion of the Vicar of All Saints Church and the Rural Dean, Galle, who were among the organisers, to ask the dispersed crowd to gather at the All Saints Church, Galle Fort. The clergy and the strike victims sat on the lawn of the Church
compound from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm and peacefully participated in the Satyagraha with no further intimidation.

In any history of All Saints Church, Galle Fort, reference has to be made to this particular incident. Since All Saints Church was dedicated on February 21, 1871, this was undoubtedly the day that it came to be identified in the most intimate was with the ordinary masses engaged in a struggle for their human rights and justice.
 

Web Page Designed, Implemented & Hosted by Mann IT          © All Saints Church, Galle Fort, Sri Lanka