On Monday 9 May, dramatic events rocked Sri Lanka. After months of economic turmoil, and weeks of mass mobilisations on the streets, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa made a desperate gamble to establish order and save his own political skin. But his brutal crackdown backfired in dramatic style. By nightfall, Mahinda was hiding in a naval base, whilst dozens of MPs’ residences were in flames. By the end of the day, eight people were dead including one MP and two police officers, and the hospitals were flooded with the injured.