I was out of Colombo when the storm broke, in Bentota with Nick for the last few days of his holiday. We were cushioned therefore from the worst of it, and only knew what was happening when we heard people talking at the table next to us during dinner on the Sunday.
Those were days in which getting telephone calls was not easy, but I managed to call home and found that the house was full of Tamil friends who had sought refuge there. I was told I might as well stay away, for convenience, and I did, for three days more, in increasing alarm.
There was no curfew in Bentota, and we were able to walk around, which allowed me to see truckloads of thugs moving to the Western Province in the next day or two. They seemed to have no difficulty in crossing the bridge into an area supposedly under curfew.
Nick was worried too, and anxious to see whether he should go back to England immediately, so we finally caught a bus on the Thursday morning. There was chaos at home, with people sleeping everywhere, but my parents as usual remained calm, and managed to feed everyone.
Colombo seemed to have settled by then, and that evening JR finally appeared on television to address the nation. The Tamil friends who were staying at home gathered round the television anxiously, but they were rudely disappointed. JR in essence blamed the Tamils for what had occurred, claimed he had been weak in not dealing more firmly with terrorism, and announced the introduction of yet another constitutional amendment, one which seemed designed principally to drive democratic Tamil politicians out of Parliament.