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How music rocked Sri Lanka's ruling class

After years underground, independent bands are wielding more political influence

Colombo-based Sinhalese hard rock group Skitzo SL often performed at protest gatherings in the lead-up to the Rajapaksa clan's ouster. (Courtesy of Skitzo SL)

COLOMBO -- Standing on makeshift stages in a city park, groups of musicians banging electric guitars drove adoring crowds into a limb-shaking frenzy. They were also helping to make a revolution.

From March, Sri Lanka was rocked by largely peaceful protests against what people saw as the increasingly corrupt and authoritarian regime of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, his brother, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and key officials linked to the Rajapaksa family and its successors.

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