Anonymous Mouse – Nathasha Edirisooriya & Followers of Fool’s Paradise
Posted on May 29th, 2023

Shenali D Waduge

An unidentified petition from overseas by one Anonymous Mouse” claims there is a violation of fundamental rights of a comedian by the name of Nathasha Edirisooriya”. There are grave errors in this petition that need to be pointed out as well as a string of other connections that question the agenda behind the surge in anti-Buddhist attacks & the ultimate goal of the attacks & those that fund it.

Nathasha E was arrested on 27 May 2023 but she was also immediately released on bail. Which means she is not under arrest.

She was not arrested in the middle of the night for making statements – she was arrested before taking the flight. Her comedy show was not statements” but a well-scripted mockery of Buddha. There is nothing ‘perceived’ it was clear to all.

If the International ICCPR of 2007 is controversial, the Anonymous Mouse must take it up with the architects of the ICCPR.

To gain momentum for the argument, the usual need to plug the oft drummed themes are once again plucked out opposing voices” ethnic minorities” racial, religious hatred”. It works all the time.

Thankfully, Anonymous Mouse did mention religious hatred because that was exactly what Nathasha Edirisooriya & her sponsors were attempting to do.

It is poignant to ask to whose attention this Anonymous Mouse is drawing this petition. It is news to the people of Sri Lanka that the ICCPR has been created to protect Sri Lanka’s dominant faith.

In case Anonymous Mouse maybe unaware there is no carte blanche to fundamental rights. It firstly stems from duties & it is restricted by the statute of limit – one’s fundamental rights stops where one oversteps the fundamental rights of another. This is what she has violated. Her rights stops the moment she infringes upon the fundamental rights of others. Freedom of expression is not unrestricted, unlimited or exclusive. Why don’t Anonymous Mouse or Nathasha go to a Muslim nation & try to express opinions, ideas and beliefs without fear of persecution or censorship to understand the limits in a language they can digest. 

The day Nathasha or any other makes comedies about other religious leaders in the same manner she did about Buddha – we can see how those like Anonymous Mouse will come forward to defend her with petitions.

If Nathasha’s creativity & artistic expression is restricted to mocking Buddha, the world’s greatest teacher, there is little more to say.

There is nothing to advocate for release – she was immediately sent on bail and don’t you worry, part of the plot would have also considered a legal panel kept ready to argue her case too. If anyone breaks the law, the statute of law must be applied. What does Anonymous Mouse mean by engage relevant Sri Lankan authorities” – is this another way of meaning ‘influencing’ them, now isn’t that interesting?

We do agree that an investigation is necessary – this entails to look at all the funding that is flowing to numerous youth who are suddenly put on social media or on stages & tasked to attack the majority community in Sri Lanka. We do see a well-laid out pattern to this & finding the sources that fund them would be a good exposure to who pays for their ‘creativity’.

Anonymous Mouse next pulls out the other rabbit & these are the bevy of actors & actresses from the diplomatic missions who are the next line reinforcements to prevent the government authorities taking action as per the book & this is part 2 of the ‘engage’ scenario being suggested.

It is really amusing that Anonymous Mouse should say we stand ready to support” when no one even knows who this Anonymous Mouse is. Perhaps as a starter, identify yourself first. We presume Anonymous Mouse is not a Sri Lankan from the manner this petition has been written.

Obviously, this Mouse is unaware of what Nathasha Edirisooriya said to even understand the ulterior motive behind her ‘creativity’. Highly unlikely is that this Mouse even knows an iota about Buddha or Buddhism to comprehend why the sentiments of Buddhists have been hurt. In such a situation, how biased is this petition? How can anyone write a petition without knowing exactly why people are questioning Nathasha Edirisooriya’s creativity”.

Let’s park the petition & move on to other more interesting matters.

A post on twitter by one Anthony Swan claims the Comedy Central that featured Nathasha Edirisooriya is a sister channel owned by SL Vlog. Other channels hosted by SL Vlog include I am Abhisheka, SLVLog POD talks, SLVlog Tamil, SLVLog Europe & SLVLog clips. By its own admission SLVlog is funded by USAID/IREX. The owner of SLVlog is Manju Nissanka who also runs Singularity Sri Lanka. All are peas in a pod. They all work as a team though attached to different entities & initiatives carried out separately. While one group attacks Buddhism, another promotes politics, media personnel, civil society etc. Overall their goal is one & the same. The goal & the modus operandi are dangerous. Thus the creativity” freedom of expression” that Anonymous Mouse is referring to comes nicely wrapped in millions & millions of rupees specifically to target Buddhism & all that is linked to Buddhism (the Sinhala Buddhists/the Maha Sangha/the Armed Forces & Police/civil society & organizations etc). Oh yes these attacks are done anonymous too. 

May be an image of 15 people, people smiling and text

IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board) is funded by the US Govt & partners with Development Gateway for IT. In April 2023, USAID & IREX launched the MoJo Lanka Academy (mobile journalism) which is linked with another USAID/IREX project called MEND (Media Empowerment for  a Democratic Sri Lanka) MEND has been operating in Sri Lanka since 2017. Donors to IREX include the George Soros Open Society Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation & the Ford Foundation to name a few. Nikita Samaratunga is the Deputy Chief of Party for USAID/MEND program.

Ishan Jayasooriya’s facebook post gives some more food for thought.

He asks who are the SLVlog gang & points out that Nathasha is simply a puppet in a bigger scheme of things. SLVlog channel was started by Dhashana Handungoda. He took onboard Abhisheka Fernando, the daughter of his cameraman. When the channel was gaining popularity, a person made an offer that he could not refuse & one Manju bought SLVlog & Bruno was made head of the Channel & its office was located at Access Tower & millions was spent on sophisticated equipment said to be over Rs.250m. Who is Manju & who are his political alliances in particular with Godahewa? why would he pay so much for a youtube channel? Manju arrived from US. USAID provided zoom training for SLVlog. Manju & Bruno began recruiting more people while Abhisheka is the unofficial boss. Nathasha is one such recruit. So too is Hasalaka Thushara. The recruited needed to have one thing to be recruited – hatred for Buddhism. No wonder they call themselves Fool’s Paradise”.

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