Has Aljazeera become a tool of the West – Sri Lanka the latest victim
Posted on November 8th, 2018

Al Jazeera is no stranger to controversy. It has been accused of siding with the western lobby in toppling the Libyan leader, it has been criticized over unfair coverage in Syria, links to US forced Al Jazeera’s English director to resign in 2011, while another reporter was accused of links to Al Qaeda, in 2012 its own correspondents resigned objecting over Al Jazeera paying $50,000 to smuggle phones & satellite equipment to Syria’s ‘rebels’. Iraq too accused Al Jazeera of sectarian bias in 2013 & the same year Egypt arrested some Al Jazeera reporters too while even India banned Al Jazeera for 5 telecasts over repeatedly relaying disputed maps of India. Therefore, in its reporting of Sri Lanka, the question of bias by Al Jazeera is nothing new or unexpected. On 31st October 2018 Al Jazeera invites 3 Sri Lankans to answer their question Is Sri Lanka on the path to dictatorship?”. When viewers are presented 3 controversial characters viewers are unlikely to derive at a proper assessment of the situation. Let us therefore take the sentiments expressed by these viewers & facilitated by Al Jazeera so that post-interview the readers can conclude how mainstream media manipulates people’s opinion.

The Inside Story presented by Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan who says ‘the political crisis in Sri Lanka is spiraling out of control’ – on what basis is he coming to such a conclusion? and what are the examples to justify this statement? Nothing. Just blabber something & air it on prime time & it takes its own course. He goes on to say ‘Parliament has been warned of a bloodbath’ – again who is giving these ‘warnings’ we are into the 12th day after the change-over & no such bloodbath has occurred. However, there has been 1 death and that death is as a result of one of the former Prime Minister’s Minister ordering his security to shoot resulting in the death inside the Ceylon Petroleum Compound.

What is the ‘democracy’ Al Jazeera may term for a Prime Minister who is removed & replaced & the new appointment is also gazette but the sacked PM refuses to leave the official residence & has been staying put for the past 12 days and not only that Temple Trees the official residence of the Prime Minister has been turned into a UNP family fun house. Oh but no one will say anything against such.

Al Jazeera selects 3 controversial panelists Jehan Perera of the Church funded National Peace Council, Alan Keenan of the regime change expert International Crisis Group & Dilantha Withanage of the Bodu Bala Senawa – Jehan Perera does not represent the majority opinion or even the minority opinion. But he does represent the opinion of the NGOs & the Church which funds him. He is one of the best speakers & writers who have a prepared dictionary of ‘democratic’ words & phrases which get circulated. We can predict his sentences before he even says it!

Jehan Perera says the sacking of Ranil & appointment of Mahinda ‘goes against democratic norms’ reasoning that it took place ‘without prior’ warning. Oh yes, President tells Prime Minister ‘I’am going to sack you’ and the Prime Minister will say ‘OK, please go ahead’ – and this is the same PM who is refusing to evacuate Temple Trees even after his official sacking! JehanP also speaks of ‘prior processes’ Al Jazeera may like to ask him where was the prior process when Ranil was appointed PM in 2015 without removing the sitting PM and when Ranil had only 46  MPs – was this democratic?. In the removal of Ranil as PM in 2018 there was a gazette notification sacking him & a gazette notification appointing Mahinda Rajapakse as PM. Al Jazeera readers please take note.

Jehan Perera also finds fault with the President ‘proroguing Parliament’ according to Jehan Perera ‘people are talking about it at home & on the streets’ but he makes no mention of the crackers that were lit or the statement made by Gangarama Thero who said everyone slept peacefully that night including himself. Jehan Perera admits that there has been tensions between Maithripala & Wickremasinghe but both were not racists” or ‘hard nationalists’ but he says that the President has gone ‘outside the democratic process’ accusing him of shutting down the Parliament which according to him sets a bad ‘precedent for the transfer of power’. He goes on to say this is the first time a prime minister has been unseated – which is factually incorrect as Chandrika Bandaranaike by sacking 3 MPs in Ranil’s government virtually nullified Ranil’s term as PM in 2003. This Jehan Perera who bemoans Ranil has a parliamentary majority in 2018 did not make the same cry against ‘democratic process’ being violated when Ranil did not have any parliamentary majority when he was made PM in 2015 (UNP had just 46MPs) Basically Jehan Perera is accusing he present government of taking a ‘shortcut’ and creating a ‘dangerous’ situation for Sri Lanka. A lot of people who had been misusing, abusing & manipulating the system enjoying free state perks & privileges are the one’s who are actually worried because the change is affecting a lifestyle they are unlikely to loose. The vomiting of democratic slogans is just a cover to hide their personal anxieties that can’t be said publicly.

The question posed to Dilantha Withanage of the Bodu Bala Sena was whether the 26th October 2018 sacking of PM Ranil expected or was it a complete surprise. He says that the BBS leader predicted that such an eventuality would happen in 2015 explaining that both ousted PM & President were culturally, politicially & socially poles apart. Dilantha also goes on to say that the other panelists are speaking of democracy only when their people are in trouble which reiterates the anxiety factor. He says that the issue is such that people are fed up with the entire system.

Disagreeing with Dilanthe’s position on reconciliation Jehan Perera mentioned that entire north east voted against Rajapakse he faulted Rajapakse for not removing military, not giving land, not giving compensation and that everyone was excited into ‘shell call – country going to be divided, LTTE is going to return’ but when arms are emerging, when LTTE cadres are returning don’t the people have a right to be worried & demand the state take precautions?

He boasts about the achievements of the Ranil administration – He speaks of office of reparation to compensate war victims. He says 80% of lands has returned to Tamils. Military is mostly in barracks. He boasts that the Ranil government has done all of that. But he doesn’t answer the question that the tax payers ask – why should they fund compensation for LTTE when LTTE should be held accountable for the victims of LTTE first.

Dilantha also pointed out that unlike in other countries where people come to the streets if a situation similar to Sri Lanka occurred, that did not happen in Sri Lanka. An interesting point he brought out is that the UNP leadership had to ask UNP supporters to attend the rally & it was nothing that the people had organized. He also pointed out that hardly 10,000 attended though the expectation was 100,000. Jehan Perea jumped in to defend this by claiming that the psyche of the people in Sri Lanka is likely to be different to other countries.

Dilantha also added that Ranil’s government had failed in its reconciliation efforts. He stressed that when there is no reconciliation between the Prime Minister & President of Sri Lanka while ministers of Ranil’s government are fighting amongst each other. Reconciliation he said was just subject to songs & slogans. What is also interesting is that while the former accusation was against ‘Rajapakse family’ the change resulted in ‘Wickremasinghe clan’ & accused them of trying to ‘run the government without looking into the people’s voice’. He goes on to point out that in 2002 MPs were bought over for Rs.20m but now that price tag for cross overs is Rs.300m. People are worried about agriculture, education, health – Ranil Wickremasinghe’s govrnment was not worried about these, he said.

People aren’t supporting Ranil’s government because of systematic structural failure’ was his final conclusion.

Alan Keenan who is no stranger to controversy in Sri Lanka & everyone is requested to first read Malinda Seneviratne’s article A Lullaby For Alan Keenan” https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/a-lullaby-for-alan-keenan/ which clearly exposes who Alan Keenan is.

Keenan agrees that a ‘dangerous precedent’ has been set. He also takes the same route of blabbering words that make no sense ‘civil war with the Tamil tigers’ excuse us but can you ask him to please explain this statement! This constitutional expert says that the present action is ‘not allowed by the constitution’ can he first explain what that violation is with clauses! He says that the proroguing of parliament was to give enough time for Mahinda Rajapakse to ‘cajole, buy, influence, to promise perks’ who are currently aligned to PM” Wickremasinghe to join Rajapakse’s side. He goes on an harangue about ‘democratic norms’ and we have to wonder what type of democratic norms are taking place bombing Yemen & leaving children in hunger & starvation. Keenan goes on to say how a government goes is important’, he uses the interview to build an environment of fear by freely using empty rhetoric ‘history of Rajapakse rule was brutal for Tamils and Muslims’ and his response to Dilantha’s statement that no one came out to protest against Ranil’s sacking is that ‘people are not on the streets, because they are afraid of the Rajapkase’s’ and he claims that fear is says is because people were picked up on the streets and disappeared and never to return” wonder where he was in the 1980s and 1990s when this was exactly what the UNP government & the JVP were doing and unlike the nameless ‘thousands’ that Keenan claims to be missing under Rajapakse, there are names to every person that went missing never to return under UNP-JVP terror period. Al Jazeera readers please note this & please also search & read on the terror period of the 1980s & 1990s under UNP-JVP first.

When the opportunity to speak was returned to Dilantha he stressed that countries were now trying to manipulate the situation, he stressed that there was international support to defeat Mahinda Rajapakse in 2015 and he made a very good statement that the plan was only to defeat Rajapakse & had no future plan or program to develop the country. He corrects the notion of both Jehan & Keenan to say that it was during Ranil’s leadership that clashes between minorities escalated and before he could elaborate on the Kandy incident fabricated by the UNP the presenter cut short his speech.

JehanP exposing his ignorance claims that there is a big competition for international presence in Sri Lanka & that Sri Lanka has to be mindful of India’s security concerns & that China’s unlimited loans have created white elephants including an airport in the middle of a bird sanctuary totally displaying his ignorance that the Port-Airport & Industrial zone was to function together & uplift the development of the country. According to JehanP Ranil had no choice but to sell Hambantota port to China because of these loans. And there are people to believe this stuff without questioning what about the excessive loans that Ranil’s government has taken since coming to power & how much the sale has actually reduced the loan component.

Al Jazeera is not the only media channel trying to manipulate sentiments of international viewers against Sri Lanka & towards the person they will should rule Sri Lanka. When a country is sovereign & independent it is the people who decide what they want – not foreign governments & certainly not foreign media or NGOs funded by foreign governments.

Anyone without a basic background of the panelists & what they have been up to over the years, will actually accept the sentiments they are expressing. Today’s media is trying to drill perceptions into people without presenting them with both sides & allow people to decide who they think is right or wrong & what actions should be taken in the best interest of the country & the citizens not to fulfil agendas of the international players or the locals working for them.

Shenali D Waduge

https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2018/10/sri-lanka-path-dictatorship-181031200908154.html

Anyone further interested to find out the real & genuine situation in Sri Lanka is encouraged to answer these simple questions

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2018/11/07/sri-lanka-political-situation-let-us-ask-ourselves-some-questions/

10 Responses to “Has Aljazeera become a tool of the West – Sri Lanka the latest victim”

  1. Christie Says:

    Al Jazeera is almost run by Indian Parasites when it comes news about our country. It got nothing to do with the West. There are more Indians in Kuwait than the Locals. The Indian Parasites treat the Bedouins like Dalits.

  2. Nimal Says:

    I am a great fan of this channel and I doubt the Saudis, Gulf states and Egypt and even US likes them. It will be sad that that Doha had not been friendly towards Syria but have close links with Iran and Turkey for it’s own protection. Saudis and the gulf states and Egypt don’t get on with Doha as Aljazeera seem to expose their medieval culture and their violations of human rights. I truly worry for that country, hope presence of Russia, Turkey and Iran will give them some comfort.
    Gaddafi’s demise was created by the Egyptians with the help from the Western countries.Algarzeera must be regretting by going against Gaddafi who did so much for his people and Africa and did not prop up the $ with his oil money.

  3. Randeniyage Says:

    @Christie
    You are wrong this time. It is owned by Qatar not Kuwait. Even in Doha you may be right in saying more Indian nationals than natives, but Indians there are simply workers and few restaurant owners only. They have absolutely no political power.
    Thank you for continual reminding us of Indian involvements , but don’t loose your credibility and hence the true danger of Indians you always remind us.

  4. Nihal Perera Says:

    Aljazeera may be owned by Qatar, but its managed by Brits and Canadians.

    Its views are pro-Western and very much anti-Sri Lankan, especially towards Rajapaksa. It’s also anti-Chinese, and anti-Russian. But very soft on pro-Western totalitarian states in the Middle East.

    Like many pro-Western media, Aljazeera cannot, and should not be trusted to give a balance coverage, especially on Sri Lanka.

  5. Nimal Says:

    Nihal
    I am glad that it is run by Brits and Canadians and even Pro Western. Western countries that every one wants to come and live because of their culture and lifestyle that is the envy of the world.One must be honest to accept this.Qatar is hated by it’s neighbours who are violators of human rights and cruel to our people who go there to work. Have you been to Qatar?I have one of my best burgher friends who use to manage some business outlets at the airport and few our Sri Lankan politicians and friends have met him. He always maintained that Qatar is the best Middle East country to live and work where just like in UK the government is fair to the people who come to work. This means they follow the values of the Western countries, countries that most likely people to go and live.So with their values that are in line with the western countries will surly will oppose the Chinese(who are playing dirty in the third world),even the Rajapaksas who are trying to get to power by any means,Russians for doing underhand things with poisonous chemicals in other countries. They will highlight the wrongs that we know and is avoided in the western countries. So nothing wrong in the western countries and that’s why the Rajapaksas and we have investments and homes in the western countries and can you blame us?Algerzeera is despised by the wicked regimes in the gulf and other third grade countries for exposing the wickedness and corruption of the third world. One such regime is Egypt who has locked up one of it’s reporters. By the way I am trying to be a true patriot and avoid dirty politicians in the country of my birth.

  6. Christie Says:

    Thanks Randeniyage.

    Al Jazeera is owned by Quarter. Kuwait and some other countries in the Middle East banned Al Jazeera from time to time.

    There are lots of Indian Professionals working in the middle East. Engineers and Doctors and Technicians. Hardly any Indian Hindu domestic workers in the Middle East.

  7. Christie Says:

    Thanks Randeniyage. You are right.

  8. Nihal Perera Says:

    “I am glad that it is run by Brits and Canadians and even Pro Western. Western countries that every one wants to come and live because of their culture and lifestyle that is the envy of the world.”

    Nimal,

    I am NOT criticizing Western culture & lifestyle. Far from it. My beef is the hypocrisy of the Western politics and its biased media. I am sick and tired of how West is trying to preach their hypocrisy of HR’s, democracy, rule of law, good governance to countries like SL, while these same crusaders look the other way when their totalitarian allies like Saudi Arabia, (or Israel…) commit unspeakable HRs violations in the ME.

    The Western alliance of NATO lead by US, UK, etc., have committed monumental level of HRs’ violations and atrocities in countries like Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, etc., much more than either Russia or China. And these are the same hypocritical European and American alliance preaching us the BS of HR’s, democracy, rule of law, etc…? Is this honest?

    If you want to be honest, then you need to open your eyes and see the truth and reality. Just because you admire culture and lifestyle of the West, that doesn’t mean you should be blind to the hypocrisy, injustice, and bias of the West and its media towards countries like SL. The moral values of the West goes out of the window when they see the economic opportunities. That’s why when Chinese leader visits UK he gets royal treatments, even gets to ride the royal chariot with Queen..! If this is NOT hypocrisy I don’t know what it is..?

    You cannot be honest when you are biased, and intentionally ignore the facts.

  9. Randeniyage Says:

    @Christie
    No domestic workers , yes TRUE. But a hell of a lot Indian coolies , in millions some giving their lives in construction sites. Whether Indian or not it is the poor who suffer.

  10. Nimal Says:

    Nihal
    I am not blind to their hypocrisy and double standards and when ever I meet their leaders I mingle with I can only express my displeasure in them intervening in other countries to spread democracy and freedom which is BS.I was sad that likes of Gaddafi and Sadaam were killed and they were about to deal with Assad of Syria and here too we gave our displeasure and also the reason why UK and EU is not happy to join US to attack Iran but to trade with them.
    They all have to sell arms to balance the budgets and what’s happening in Saudi may be a turning point.
    I very much agree with the lifestyles in the Western countries and I want them back in our country. Our hypocrites and cruel politicians in SL are hoodwinking the people with the main religion, culture and history which has no relevance this day and age. People are no fools and one day they will see the light but it will be too late for us to get our country back as there will be nothing left when every thing is looted by all our politicians. For the sake of the well being of our planet there will be future interventions, regardless of sovereignty of a country,soveringty only safeguard the wrong doers but not the innocent people and no one could stop this tide, the same tide that swept us in 1815.Not even the US president could escape scrutiny of rule of law.

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