25 May, 2024

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Collusive Behavior Undermines Citizen Rights: Emerging Pseudo-Goebbels

By W. Vishnu Gupta

W. Vishnu Gupta

The authoritarian regimes do not fear the opposition political parties, especially when the opponents also benefit from the crooked policies, however such despotic governments fear free media. Principle of free speech is codified adequately in the Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulated by the United Nations in 1948. It clearly states:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.”

As a member of the United Nations and a signatory to the UN Human Rights conventions, the Sri Lankan government should acknowledge and make every effort to oblige and respect Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Unfortunately, GOSL since independence in1948 has never respected or followed the principles of freedom of speech, opinion, and expression of the citizens, the government has always flagrantly trampled these rights under various pretexts such as threat to national security or threat to peace and harmony. Despite the claims made by political elites and media houses controlled by their families and friends, Sri Lanka has never been a democratic country. Those who spoke for the rights of people are bribed, suppressed, mysteriously killed, or made to disappear. Many existing media houses and noisy local social media agents have become extensions of the vile political parties occupying the legislature, and they have done a pretty good job so far in keeping the corrupt politicians in power since 1948. The proof is in the pudding, current (225+1) is the proof, if citizens were well informed of the background of the political representatives and nepotistic altruism of many political families, there would not have been any alleged murderers, money-launderers, thieves, rapists, narcissists, drug peddlers, women of ill-reputes, and swindlers of all kinds in the parliament of Sri Lanka. The leading media houses, private and publicly owned have been the pied pipers of corrupt political elites of the country, the presidential and parliamentary election campaigns speak volumes, they were filled with misinformation and glorification of personnel friends chosen by the media king pins. The social media houses, especially the local youtubers are equally disgusting, a negligent bunch following yellow journalism that is based on sensationalism and crude exaggeration. Hence, it can be concluded the politicians and the corrupt media outlets have jointly killed the press freedom in Sri Lanka, these two parties have become real enemies of democracy in Sri Lanka. 

(225+1) and the leading media houses have collectively undermined democracy in the country, once a perceptive political analyst said in ‘Singlish’, ‘Coming color not very good, no? (Ena Paata Honda Naha ne?). Hence, it is important that people pay attention to the plans devised by the current regime to curtail press freedom. The objective of the proposal to establish Electronic Broadcasting Authority seems to be not different from a similar initiative launched by Nazis in Germany in 1934. Mr. Joseph Goebbels, Propaganda Minister of Hitler said when he introduced the so-called Schriftleitergesetz (Editor’s Law) in October 1933 – a law that fundamentally changed the work of journalists in Germany. 

I have the natural intention to be and to remain the warm-hearted protector of the German press.” Minister Joseph Goebbels 

The law became effective on January 1st, 1934, in Germany and anyone who worked for the media at that time was directly subordinate to the Ministry of Propaganda and was accountable to the Ministry, instead of to their publishers or the to their editors. 

Establishing an authority to control electronic broadcasting in Sri Lanka under the directions of President is no different from the Editor’s Law introduced by Hitler’s regime in 1934. The proposed authority is appointed by the president and therefore, it is susceptible to his dictums and wishes guided by the political needs and wants. Every media house willing to toe the line of the regime in power will be spared, in the case of existing Sri Lankan media houses particularly the TV stations, will not be affected because they are equally corrupt and have never stuck to the ethics of true journalism mainly due to intense rivalry based on direct links to political parties. Those who remained faithful to the values and ethical standards of journalism are a rarity. Already all TV, Newspaper outlets are fully active in providing very favorable propaganda platform to a set of emerging pseudo-Goebbels representing the government in power. 

It must be emphasized that free media is a vital component of a democratic society, it will help the people to make informed choices when they pick their president or their representatives in the parliament. Isn’t that hilarious when a politician with GCE O/L is introduced by the Sri Lanka media as an intellectual with a Ph.D. and fit to be the president. Or does it make sense to promote a convict as a minister or a member of the parliament. It is the task of free media to prevent these undesirable characters getting into the corridors of power in the country. Moreover, only free media can give the people the strait story on issues, policies, and events (such as Central Bank Bond Scam, Batalanda Torture Chambers, Disappearance of estimated $500 million tsunami aid, Failed agricultural policies, Sale of national assets, Lethargic judiciary system, and Dying public health system plagued by scandals and corrupt practices), as they not not under the influence of the government or president and his cronies. 

The other important task of free press is that of a watchdog. Watchdog of the people, it is not obligated to the government or to the president or working in fear of them, only free press can give the naked truth about politicians, government and others, corruption, patronage grand scale embezzlement. Regrettably, media houses in Sri Lanka seem to not understand the role of “watchdog” as they have colluded with different corrupt political entities. It is safer to assume many have failed to safeguard democracy, protect the ideals of those who valued free press and to be the watchdog of the people. 

The country needs truly independent media houses and social media devoid of yellow journalism to support the citizens’ aspirations, survival of the nation and to facilitate necessary mechanisms for much desired system change. Free media is the most feared institution in any country ruled by corrupt authoritarian regime. The governments led by despots want to retain power above all else, they are extremely incompetent, incredibly corrupt, and free media is the only threat to grip on power. The proposed authority will be stacked with the henchmen of the president, just like all other so-called independent commissions, the move is clearly intended to curtail the evolution of free media and the system change that the people demand. The despots do not desire a society where more people discuss about the reasons for the predicament faced by the nation, they fear the better-informed people, they do not expect people to become improved at making best decisions for the future. Until free media becomes a reality, pseudo-Goebbels and all pollical leaders aided by many existing media houses, will continue to swindle the nation, and deny democracy in Sri Lanka.   

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Latest comments

  • 4
    4

    Ohhh, but this is Ranil’s rationale:

    1. Central Bond Scam : Necessary evil for alternate-type investment – let’s make use of the LTTE investment portfolio!

    2. Batalanda Torture Chambers: Holy Inquisition again the Communists!

    3. Disappearance of estimated $500 million tsunami aid : Investments into off-shore accounts for far, far-off Vistas of Prosperity!

    4. Failed agricultural policies : Necessary conversion to Organic produce – No Pain ; No Gain!

    5. Sale of national assets – Our people don’t have the aptitude to handle intricate affairs & only way to show on the portfolio that we have foreign investors!

    6. Lethargic judiciary system – Big wigs in top ambassadorial positions- nothing else need be done!

    7. Dying public health system plagued by scandals and corrupt practices – The ushering in of the American Medical Insurance Commercial Enterprise!

    • 7
      0

      Rtf
      .
      Until recent years u were a diehard Rajapakse supporter. That is known to everyone us.
      .
      Don’t u know that so called “bondscam” was architected by MaRa and his wandibattaya Ajith Cabral? 😉🫣This was publicly revealed by polonnaruwa donkey as the former President. There are unbiased sl expats like me are awaiting the truth of this controversial/politically motivated issue. Rajapakses have fooled the nation again and again however srilanken press is highly biased on this from the day we hear about it.
      Besides, If bond scam was a real crime committed by Ranil/Maithreepala, would a law bound state of Singapore nature stay that dumb as it is ?????? Enforcement of law and order in Singapore is even stricter than in Europe 🇪🇺 🙄 so my question why on earth the world pays blind eye on it? ARJUN Mahendra is proved to have no blemishes in his CV until he took over to be CBSL governor in 2015. Please help us clarify this long lasting puzzle. Thank u

      • 3
        3

        LM,
        .
        You’ve written: “That is known to everyone us.”
        .
        Sorry; I didn’t know anything of the sort about Ramona. She never approved of the Rajapaksas, nor did I. It is Ranil who depends totally on them. She speaks her mind, even when it may not please us. We were all wanting Trump to lose the election in November 2020; she warned us that both were bad, in different ways. Now I realise that.
        .
        It is now becoming clearer by the day that you hate all brown Sri Lankan people. If they were poor, you liked it, and so approved of charity that would demean and humiliate them. All this may be part of your subconscious.
        .
        We want free and fair elections. We will not dictate how others must vote, but we declare our own preferences. We know our limitations, and the limitations of most of out voters. Democracy has certain weaknesses, but we can’t think of a better system.

        • 3
          0

          SM,
          “Sorry; I didn’t know anything of the sort about Ramona. She never approved of the Rajapaksas..”
          You are such an expert at putting your foot in your mouth. Here is what she wrote :

          NOVEMBER 13, 2018AUTHOR: RAMONA THERESE FERNANDO 58 COMMENTS
          The American Midterm Elections Vis-à-Vis The Sri Lankan Constitution

          “But now, a Neo-Lankan system has been born again. Rajapaksa is much toned down. He has sorely learned from the overreaching follies of his previous presidency. Sirisena will take the ultimate lead. He has shown true courage and shines as the great patriot of Sri Lanka. It is a truly a blessed event that has dawned upon us. We hope it will prevail”
          You read, you decide. I don’t hold RTF to any high standards of consistency, though. But she is rather more logical than you.

          • 2
            0

            Old Codger,

            Well, I did think at the time that Rajapaksa had toned down and was finally going to get down to business with Sirisena, and socially capitalize the local industry to the happiness and relief of the people. They scored big in the mid-terms and could have easily overidden all of Ranil’s ultra-capitalistic Singapore skyscraper policies. But what we got in the end was Gota on steroids! – i.e. ultra-feudal system of governance attempting to build skyscrapers the Singapore and Shanghai way by wheeling and dealing precious hard-earned Lankan money on the established global monetary orders, both mainstream and alternate.

        • 3
          0

          Sinhala_Man

          Unfortunately, some rush to “Kill the messenger”.

      • 3
        1

        Leeagemalli,

        Well, I’m sure Mahinda too was toying with the bond-scam idea a bit, with the large LTTE foreign accounts around (money of the hardworking-suffering-Tamil-Masses forced out of them for the Tiger terrorism). “If you can’t beat the global LTTE monetary scheme, then join them (even if we defeated them militarily),” was the Mahinda motto. But then it took Ranil to copy-cat them and actually do the deed.

        Yes, I agree I was a Rajapaksa supporter. But that was over 6 years ago. When I saw that the Rajapaksa feudalism was attempting to incorporate first-world Capitalism into its governing structure, I moved away from them in shameful realization. It was devoid of democratic capitalism which includes elements of socialism, that is most conducive for building up any capitalistic structure. Theirs’ was truly medieval feudal in nature, piggy-backing on modern global capitalism to save itself.

        Now Ranil thinks he has the know-it-all that the Rajapaksas did not have. He is now trying to do away with them and form his own UNP. That huge political infighting can only belong to Harry Potter novels, with dementors around. Nothing mature and dignified that is honorably due to our Lankan race drowning in debt! Hold all elections asap I say -parliamentary, provincial, presidential.

  • 0
    0

    Despite the claims made by political elites and media houses controlled by their families and friends, Sri Lanka has never been a democratic country.

    Ranil the president is in power is it with democratic rules. Some people say yes some says not with people vot that means it a disputed when is disputed it is for Collusive Behavior Undermines Citizen Rights It is bad policy to regulate democracy. Now those who voted him must be benifited or returns.

    • 2
      0

      “Pseudo-Goebbels”
      It sounds like a compliment.

      • 0
        0

        Is that why party placed a Hitler Candidate and you all voted for him.

    • 2
      1

      RBH59
      Please name a democratic country among the imperialists or among their Third World victims.

      • 1
        0

        Please name a democratic country among the imperialists or among their Third World victims. From which world map you are talking about. If it is you map, we cannot touch it, you wash it. If not, take an atlas, pick any country you like; Bring it here we talk about its democracy.

  • 2
    0

    ramona

    Thanks for the summary. I may add that the media has failed conveniently forgotten to uncover the master brain behind the Easter Sunday Massacre.

    • 0
      1

      Vipuli,

      Easter Sunday Massacre (Ranil’s rationale): Necessary Ignorance so Islamic-Terror-Funds could also be incorporated into offshore accounts that piggy-back on unaudited global exchange for the upholding of the feudal dynastical governance. 250 Catholics who sat garlanding Catholic saints and angels were the unfortunate victims. Now Ranil is trying to unravel and dive into those accounts for himself.

      • 0
        0

        Ramona,
        “Necessary Ignorance so Islamic-Terror-Funds could also be incorporated into offshore accounts that piggy-back on unaudited global exchange for the upholding of the feudal dynastical governance.”
        Wow!!
        I tried to get Google to translate that. My computer blew a fuse.

  • 3
    1

    SJ
    “Wannabe Goebbels” or “Goebbels in disguise” sounds much better. Unelected inner circle of RW with the help of Dealdasa are very active in promoting the proposed authority to control electronic media. One of these local wannabe Goebbels, claims that he wants to make Sri Lanka an another Singapore with the help of the proposed authority. What a joke, he has conveniently forgotten that there are no thieves and criminals in the the Parliament of Singapore compared to 225+1 undesirables or deviants in Sri Lanka

    • 1
      0

      v
      I was only amused by the term which meant false liar, the implication of which you can figure out.
      Trying to be very clever can be one’s outdoing.
      The man is a fake.

      • 0
        0

        SJ,
        A fake living on another planet:
        “if citizens were well informed of the background of the political representatives and nepotistic altruism of many political families, there would not have been any alleged murderers, money-launderers, thieves, rapists, narcissists, drug peddlers, women of ill-reputes, and swindlers of all kinds in the parliament of Sri Lanka.”
        I like the bit about “women of ill-repute”.

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