By Dayan Jayatilleka –
I was shocked to see on the 6:55pm Hiru News on Tuesday Oct 29th 2019 (yesterday) a media briefing by a few MPs described as Catholic MPs of the SLPP, in which one of them, notably Arundika Fernando, accused me of conspiring with Minister Mangala Samaraweera and someone named Thusitha Halloluwe to engage in false propaganda which implicates Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the Easter Sunday terror bombings. Not a shred of proof is presented for this accusation. The accusation itself is totally false in every single aspect. I am not engaged in any effort with anyone to implicate any Presidential candidate in the Easter Sunday massacres. Like most others, especially Catholics, I eagerly await the appointment of a High-powered Independent Commission to investigate all aspects of that atrocity and the backgrounds and motivations of all those who may be involved, be they individuals or agencies, domestic and/or foreign. I have not had any contacts or communication with Minister Samaraweera for at least 15 years. As for the other gentleman named, I am afraid I don’t know who he is.
I was also shocked to see a video (named Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, Anuradhapura) of a speech by Dr. Channa Jayasumana, the gentlemen who went on television triggering the Islamophobic panic concerning Dr Shafi, repeating the same accusation about me concerning a plot to accuse Gotabaya Rajapaksa of the Easter attacks. Apart from the anti-Shafi campaign regarding ‘fallopian tubes’, Dr. Jayasumana is also known for his ultranationalist propaganda performances in Geneva.
I was also horrified to see a video of Dr Wickremabhu Karunaratne of the opposing political camp, alleging that as a key “pundit” and “advisor” of the Rajapaksa camp “for ten years”, it was significant that Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka had now expressed suspicions about Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s supposed complicity in the Easter attacks. Manusha Nanayakkara of the same camp has repeated this on ‘Vaada Pitiya’. This too is the same dastardly disinformation.
The sole sliver of a fact behind all this is that having watched the revelations regarding the Islamophobic campaign and elections made on TV by former Army Commander Mahes Senanayake, and seen in passing a post on my Facebook wall on the chain of events involving the Easter massacre, the Islamophic campaign on television and the issue of the candidacy, I had shared it on my FB without any comment, let alone endorsement or approval. I share many posts which appear on my FB wall but if I agree with the sentiments, I say so. In this case I did not—and desisted from any comment whatsoever. If for instance I share a post with a quote from the movie ‘Joker’ or a ‘Game of Thrones’ character, it does not mean the quote is attributable to me, or that I share or approve of the sentiments. However, that re-post which bore the source of the original post, was then turned into a prominent fake news story on LankaCNews which falsely attributed to me the view that Gotabaya Rajapaksa was responsible for the Easter attacks! I immediately posted a rebuttal in red, which said ‘Fake News Alert’.