Sri Lanka’s English language newspaper “The Island” gained a following for its strong anti-terrorist position during the war years. However, its recent obsession with Maithripala Sirisena is cause for serious concern regarding the objectivity and democratic credentials of its editorial board.
The first sign of their weak journalistic ethics could be seen back in 2015.
When Sirisena had illegally appointed a new cabinet and prime minister from the minority UNP, The Island adamantly protested that a new general election was not needed. The only possible reason they would not want an election was because they must have been worried that patriotic forces could win a majority and derail the foreign-backed coup that happened in January 2015.
Furthering this anti-national agenda, the editors appear to inhabit a strange alternate reality in which Sirisena is some kind of political mastermind. They often write about Sirisena as if he has the ability, knowledge and inner driving force required to be a leader.
In the above, The Island disproves their own claims about Sirisena’s intellect. In one sentence they write that Sirisena “…did not duck any questions,” and in the very next sentence, they report his response to a question about cross-overs as “…he simply said there were two views on the subject.” Isn’t this the very definition of ducking a question?
In any case, the facts of Sirsena’s political career, his rise to power, and his track record as president stand in stark contrast to this false image.
Sirisena spent 40 years in the shadows of the SLFP. His attitudes and actions are not based on any real principles, but rather originate from whatever position is most popular with the company he keeps at any given moment.
He started off as a Maoist, then was a center-left SLFPer, and then became president backed by an unholy alliance of anti-national Tamil terrorists, Marxists, and neoliberals.
Sirisena spent his days in the SLFP as an open-mouthed fool, smiling and nodding at whoever was in power. It was because of Sirisena’s idiotic personality that Mahinda Rajapaksa kept Sirisena as SLFP chairman for over a decade.
The only thing Sirisena excels at is greed for power and envy of Mahinda. When he saw a chance, he swiftly betrayed his long-time colleague, without even the decency displayed by Fonseka to tell Mahinda to his face of his intentions. He betrayed his party and his president at the drop of a hat.
During the election campaign of 2015, Sirisena’s proximity to Mahinda gave legitimacy to the many allegations that were levelled against Rajapaksa and his family.
“I was there, I saw it, so listen carefully and believe me when I say that the Rajapaksa regime is corrupt, that the Rajapaksas steal and attack and commit other crimes too!” he bellowed on the UNP stages.
Thus he perpetuated a campaign of FakeNews and false allegations concocted in in Colombo’s shadowy NGO dens in order to topple the family which had saved Sri Lanka from the world’s most ruthless terrorist organization, and the family which enacted the fastest development program in national history.
Since his election, Sirisena’s presidency has been nothing more than subserviently wagging his tail whenever his new master Ranil (the conduit for the foreign neo-colonialists and local terrorists) told him to. All he has done for the past 3.5 years is pay back those who brought him to power by doing every single anti-democratic, anti-Sinhala, anti-Buddhist thing they want, and then lie about it when anyone asked.
“I only just read about it in the papers!” he says when the latest anti-Sinhala action is revealed, no doubt grinning from ear to ear once the cameras are turned off, thinking how smartly he just tricked the Sri Lankan people once again.
While The Island’s nutty editors might have been convinced by this charade, the local government election results show that the vast majority of citizens weren’t going to take any of this.
Sirisena presided over the arrests of war heroes, the incarceration of patriotic politicians, the farcical witch hunt of the Rajapaksa family members, the world’s worst Central Bank robbery, and the absolutely treasonous new Constitution.
Speaking of the Central Bank Bond Scam, not only did Sirisena simply preside over it, he actively took part in the cover up of the first bond scam that happened in 2015. He dissolved parliament in order to prevent the details being exposed.
Seeing the rising “Bring Back Mahinda” tide of the 2015 general election, he abused his power to fool the SLFP voters, saying that he would never appoint Mahinda prime minister, no matter how many seats the SLFP got. It was disgusting for him to do this, especially after official campaigning had ended, when the Mahinda camp could not point out that he was lying through his teeth. It is the MP who commands the most support who becomes PM, not who the president wants.
After the general election, when Sirisena yet again subverted the democratic process by changing the SLFP National List nominations after switching the party’s general secretary, The Island was popping corks and celebrating the genius of Sirisena.
Sirisena also authorized the disenfranchisement of the Sri Lankan population through the illegal delays of elections since 2015 simply because he and the UNP were expecting to lose. Now he has committed the next treachery by appointing and activating the “Office of Missing Persons” – the first step of a kangaroo fake “war crimes” trial in Sri Lanka which has been demanded by his foreign sponsors.
All the while, The Island writes crazy editorials spreading fake news about the Rajapaksas’ so-called “corruption” which has to this day not been proven despite the entire state apparatus being harnessed to try and find even one rupee that Mahinda had allegedly misappropriated.
The Island heaps all kinds of condemnation and ridicule on the SLPP, calling them thieves and rogues, and even saying that the likes of Wimal and Gammanpila have no hope of electoral success if not for being in the UPFA.
When the results of local government polls disproved that theory, The Island continued Sirisena propaganda by saying that despite the SLPP’s recent victory, the masses don’t believe the SLPP are innocent of past allegations.
What a load of rubbish! The SLPP got such a massive mandate precisely because the people have finally wised up to the falsehoods that were spread about Mahinda and the SLPP during the 2010-2015 period. And in reality all the crooks, thieves, thugs and robbers are being actively protected by none other than Sirisena himself.
Instead of condemning the recent politically motivated attack on the protesting farmers at Rajanganaya, and the equally politically motivated arrest of their leader – for it is well known that the farmers of Sirisena’s home province are now SLPP voters – The Island has decided to repaint the issue as one about mere water supply.
The reason the protest is of significance is not just because of water problems, but also because of how the high-handed and dicatatorial Sirisena regime treats protesting citizens, while freeing and paying money to the families of dead terrorists.
Rather than address this, they instead deflect the issue as a simple infrastructure problem, and lo and behold, advise us to take lessons from the Sinhala terrorist JVP. So the editors mock the SLPP and praise the JVP! The very same JVP who helped bring about the disastrous Ranil-Sirisena regime of bank robbers and terror backers.
The Island is an absolute disgrace. It spews nothing but fake news. It is now working against the will of the people, and is tarnishing the democratic choice of Sri Lankan citizens. All good thinking citizens should immediately boycott this cheap rag.