Watchdog Protest Tracker

This dataset contains information regarding 623 protests and 51 conflicts aggregated by the Watchdog Team (https://watchdog.team) between 30/03/2022 and 19/05/2022.

protestsconflicteconomic crisis
Created At
Last Updated

About Dataset

This dataset contains information regarding 623 protests and 51 conflicts aggregated by the Watchdog Team (https://watchdog.team) between 30/03/2022 and 19/05/2022.

About Data collection methodology

When Team Watchdog started tracking protests happening around the country on 1st April, 2022 (see Incident report: The Mirihana Protest, a timeline), our objective was merely to keep a record of locations for fact-checking purposes. However, as the protests began to grow in numbers and locations, we decided to recruit the help of our audiences who were out protesting.

This data was then added into a google spreadsheet and then parsed through piece-by-piece, starting with identifying the location of the protest through the process of geo-tagging. The protests are then tagged by size - small, medium, large - and we then note the organising party, be it the local populace, trade unions, students or anyone else.

Our intention with the protest tracker was to map public discourse around GotaGoHome protests and it's spread around Sri Lanka. The May 9th attacks (see The SLPP Attack On GotaGoGama: a Timeline and The Attack on GotaGoGama: The Aftermath), marked a significant point in the protests, as well as the retaliatory attacks against MPs (see conflict tag under filters on the protest tracker visualisation).

However, the situation in the country since was such that there have been as many, if not more, protests around the need for essentials and basic needs than there were for GotaGoHome protests.

As such, we ceased tracking GotaGoHome protests on 9th May 2022.

Description of the data

β”œβ”€β”€ README.md
β”œβ”€β”€ conflict.geojson
└── protests.geojson

The data is divided into two geojson files.

conflict.geojson tracks 51 retaliatory attacks against MPs as a result of the May 9th Attacks on GotaGoGama.

      "type": "Feature",
      "properties": {
        "id": "5",
        "links": ["https://twitter.com/viralvdoz/status/1523775465022181377"],
        "location": "Mahinda Rajapaksa's Ancestral Home in Medamulana, Walawwa",
        "date": "2022-05-09T00:00:00.000+00:00",
        "epoch": 1652054400,
        "damage": ["residence"],
        "accurate": true
      "geometry": { "type": "Point", "coordinates": [80.7690184, 6.1790679, 0] }

protests.geojson tracks 623 protests aggregated between 30/03/2022 to 19/05/2022.

      "type": "Feature",
      "properties": {
        "id": "266",
        "links": [
        "location": "Matara*",
        "date": "2022-04-17T00:00:00.000+00:00",
        "epoch": 1650153600,
        "size": "small",
        "sizeValue": 1,
        "accurate": false
      "geometry": {
        "type": "Point",
        "coordinates": [80.54707038771714, 5.9491919543585166, 0]

Note: Some records in the protests.geojson dataset will have an asterisks in the value under the location key. This was used by the contributors to signify that there was insufficient information to approximate the location of the protest and instead, an approximate location to ~1km

Other Resources


Collected and sythesized by Watchdog


This is a public project. Feel free to use for journalism / discussion / research. Kindly credit and backlink to watchdog.team, that'll be appreciated. If you’re using someone’s photos or video, credit them (either by embedding their stuff directly in your website or by listing manually).

This project is licensed under the Apache License 2.0 - see https://tldrlegal.com/license/apache-license-2.0-(apache-2.0) for more information.


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