17 June, 2024


Exposé: Godahewa Cooks Fake News To Boost Gota’s Image As Efficient Administrator During Pandemic

Most Sri Lankan mainstream media outlets buzzed with the news that Sri Lanka had been “ranked 9th” in the Global Response to Infectious Diseases, as the Gotabaya Rajapaksa Adminstration rushes to gear up for ‘operation normalcy’ in order to facilitate a parliamentary election during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nalaka Godahewa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Articles appeared in The Morning and Daily Mirror, claiming that “Sri Lanka Ranked 9th in Global Response to Infectious Diseases”.

The Morning newspaper owned by Derana CEO Dilith Jayaweera, and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s closest confidant claimed “Sri Lanka and its President Gotabaya Rajapaksa have been ranked 9th in the Global Response to Infectious Diseases (GRID) index.”

The Daily Mirror also cited the same “GRID” ranking on the front page of the newspaper. Neither of the publications made reference to the credibility of the index or what the data was based on.

Colombo Telegraph found that the source cited in those articles was the website www.cmawebline.org, which is the website of the Certified Management Accountants, Australia.

Former SEC Chairman who was indicted on financial misappropriation and money laundering charges and who is now a candidate on the SLPP nomination list Nalaka Godahewa is the President of the Sri Lanka Chapter of Certified Management Accountants, Australia.

Interestingly, Nalaka Godahewa is the President of its Sri Lanka chapter.

A simple Google search for GRID INDEX 2020 results in only two results in reference to COVID-19. One is a link to the website of the certified management accountants Australia. The second is to The Morning newspaper, owned by Jayaweera.

According to the CMA cites the website www.healthreviewglobal as the source of its information on Sri Lanka’s handling of the pandemic, a completely unknown organization. Colombo Telegraph conducted a brief investigation about the origins of the Health Review Global website cited by CMA to qualify Sri Lanka’s approach to tackling the crisis in the internet registry.

Image 1: Search of the internet registry reveals website www.healthreviewglobal.com on which CMA “GRID Index” is based was created on March 19, 2020Using this unsubstantiated and abstract information, for reasons it knows best, the Certified Management Accountants, Australia ranked Sri Lanka as 9th on its “global ranking” of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our investigation revealed that the website had been created on March 19, 2020. (See photo below).

Instead of doing the necessary background checks, the Sri Lankan media jumped on the so-called GRID ranking circulated by the Rajapaksa Government’s chief purveyors of fake news led by Godahewa and Jayaweera and told the Sri Lankan public that their country was ranked 9th in the world for handling the pandemic.

Image 2: Sri Lanka ranks #15 in the world of countries at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic (Source: Deep Knowledge Group)

In fact the London based think tank Deep Knowledge Group has ranked Sri Lanka #15 in the world in terms of COVID19 risk level.

The DKG also ranks Sri Lanka among the lowest in the list of safe countries in the Asia Pacific. (See image below)

Image 3: Sri Lanka ranks among the lowest of countries in the Asia Pacific region to be in during the COVID-19 pandemic (Source: Deep Knowledge Group)

Sri Lanka does not rank anywhere in the top 40 of the list of Top 40 COVID-19 SAFETY COUNTRIES RANKING published by Forbes.

Although highlighted in January and February this year by the opposition and civil society, the Government claimed that there was no risk posed to Sri Lanka, and went on to dissolve Parliament and call for early elections. The Government also commissioned its musical ambassador Iraj Weeraratne to create tourism promotion videos, thereby inviting the virus into an otherwise safe Sri Lanka.

Prominent ministers laughed at suggestions that elections be postponed, claiming that they wouldn’t postpone an election they are certain of winning.

The Government is keen to rush for early elections before its absolute mismanagement of the COVID-19 issue is highlighted in the media, most of which is presently well controlled by the Government.

Speaking on the basis of confidentiality to Colombo Telegraph, two senior government doctors said that, if mandatory quarantining has been efficiently carried out, and imposed earlier on, there would have been absolutely no spread of the virus within Sri Lanka. However it appears that the Government did not take these steps as it would then have prevented the Government from dissolving Parliament early, and proceedings with early elections.

Several doctors from several Government hospitals across the island, speaking on the basis of strict confidentiality fearing reprisals and victimization, also confirmed that many patients were dying of ‘COVID-like symptoms’, but were cremated without testing for COVID. They said that it was almost certain that these patients had contracted the virus, and should be considered as COVID-19 related deaths. If these were included, they said, the COVID-19 mortality rate would be many times higher than that reported by the Government.

Thus the creation of this FakeNews comes as the regime is determined to claim it is successfully handling the COVID-19 crisis, in the midst of obvious mismanagement of the crisis by the Government.

While frontline doctors and medical staff are risking their lives to deal with COVID-19, it is a further national disaster that the Government is suppressing, distorting, and fabricating information / data for petty political gain, thereby putting the lives of citizens generally, and frontline medical workers in particular, at further risk. (by Chamika Madiwake)

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Latest comments

  • 12

    Gamunu Aiya, what is there to bent ????? what ever comes out of China is already bent. Trust me I have nothing against China because almost every thing I use for my day to day living says “Made in China”. I just gave you the facts .Unless you mistook me for Lankan news media which is involved in spinning and distorting facts 24/7. Due to the fact majority Lankans are programmed to believe in such things as “either you are with us or against “. Aiya, for your information if at all USA initially had over estimated the numbers and not the other way, as you say. US initially warned the public of Millions getting infected more than 100,000 death, the spread to last until August and the economic impact to continue more than a year. Even the Chinese seems to not to believe their numbers, as you do.

    • 7

      “US initially warned the public of Millions getting infected more than 100,000 death, the spread to last until August and the economic impact to continue more than a year.”
      That is not data but wild speculation by Trump in a panic following the failure of the casual attitude during the early months.

  • 26

    What has Sri Lanka come to? Look at and every one who are so called specialists and advisors to the PM and the President, most of them, if not all of them, have been at one time or other either judged by a court of law to have violated the laws of the country and have been punished or have pending cases in the courts. Most of these cases are related to swindling public money. Does SL have only these crooks to advise our PM and the President, or are they created and fed by the PM (especially) and the President?

    Godahewa knows very well he cannot even contest an election and win, so he is coming through the back door -Pinata Seat into the Parliament. He is a pump and dump stock facilitator and now he is pumping Gota and how long will this last?

    I saw an article that Godahewa is the Chair of the Australian Accountants Association which designated Gota as a mega star. If so Godahewa must be having Australian citizenship. How can he ever enter the Parliament?

    Its extremely sad to see crooks, criminals, rapists and murderers are today in the management team of Sri Lanka.

    • 0

      “Most of these cases are related to swindling public money. Does SL have only these crooks to advise our PM and the President, or are they created and fed by the PM (especially) and the President?

      Were you born yesterday my dear ‘Buddhist’?”

      Have you not heard the phrase ‘Birds of a Feather’?. They both (Jarapassa President & the PM) are the top birds of the flock.

  • 11

    In this time of “National Awakening” on CIVID 19, I see a “Dark” side of Governing the country emerging in the “Guise” of claiming a “Success” story of facing a “Crisis” situation. Just look at the three major parties who claim “Success”. (1) The President and his “Inner Circle”. The President was a person “Charged” for “Misappropriation” of Public Funds, who escaped “conviction” by being elected to the present position. His Secretary is a “Convicted” person by Courts. His “Advisor” is a “Convicted” person, whose appeal against the punishment is pending and due to be taken up shortly. (2) The PM. There are very many “Presidential Commission Reports” that have been finalized but not yet made public. According to some reports, there are very many cases that “accused” him directly responsible and accountable for “misuse” of Public Property. His Secretary is slammed with court cases and still pending in courts. His “Advisor” is due to be made “accountable” and “answerable” for varying charges that have been highlighted by “Forensic Audit Reports” relating to Central Bank operations. (3) The “Head” of the Task Force appointed by the President to handle “Social Functions” related to CIVID 19, is a person “Charged” in courts for several cases relating to “Misuse” of Public Property. So consider the “Background” of this “TREE”. Added to this, (4) is the Secretary Defence, who in the official communication says: “Prompt intervention by the military, police and with the support of Intelligence Agencies avoided the spread of the virus”. No mention of the Health Services sector. Now the (5) is this the “Civil Society” groups affiliated to the President. These groups are handling the “Publicity” campaign and act as the prime “Opinion Shapers” role.

  • 13

    If anyone had organized to give false or fake news during the emergency situation must be punished. Will he be punished at least for previous transactions?

    • 10

      The present regime has Derana, and other propaganda media, to spread the fake news, like it’s trolls, and social media supporters, to spread the poison. What have they done in halting that fake news, when that Chathura guy was caught red handed on tape, working towards demonizing Muslims? Sweet nothing.
      Expect more demonizing of the opposition, they want to make sure they will win the elections by crooked means.

      • 3


        Has anything happened to BBC corespondent Ameen when he said Sri Lanka army is shooting & killing even children when Zaharan’s father & brothers exploding themselves with their children.

    • 6

      The guy Basil who has pending cases in courts for stealing and taking bribes is leading Pohottuwa election campaign and heading food distribution. If a foreigner cannot contest an election American Basil, can he be the organizer heading Pohottuwa campaign? Is this not a foreign involvement in SL politics. SJB please petition court.

    • 0

      That would be CT

  • 8

    The writing is mixing up reports based on three different criteria, just to challenge the good work of the Sri Lankan security forces.
    The reports are:
    (a) “Safety countries rankings” ( I do not agree that countries like South Korea, India etc are safer than (SL – safety is somewhat at risk, because India is our neighbor and if the Pandemic spreads rapidly there, then I can bet many from Soth India would try to get to SL, illegally)

    (b) “Risk Ranking” (again do not agree SL is worse than Indonesia etc)

    (C) “Global Response to Infectious Diseases” , where SL has been ranked 9th.

    So my friend, the best I can say for you is that you have not understood the 3 different objectives of these three reports.

    • 6

      What the fu.k are you talking about.

  • 2

    [Edited out] writing in capital letters are discouraged CT

  • 5

    The guy Basil who has pending cases in courts for stealing and taking bribes is leading Pohottuwa election campaign and heading food distribution. If a foreigner cannot contest an election American Basil, can he be the organizer heading Pohottuwa campaign? Is this not a foreign involvement in SL politics. SJB please petition court.

    • 6

      Buddhist@ there is huge dichotomy in lanken law when applying it in that country – between the Rajapakshe rascals and the normal people.
      That allows them to abuse the law on broad day light and again behave as if they are real buddhists that respect true teachings of buddha. People are easy targets for them to fool with – but for how long ? wait and see. As you clearly state – Basil is patta pal horek. We as sinhalas should be very shameful.

  • 5

    WISE people do not achieve their Aim in tis world nor taken anything to their Grave n hv no history
    Wise people at their fragile age perhaps the death is 100% any seconds by covid 19 death is 1% should walk in right path in seek of what good hv i served-to world been a king or poper ur just a human Regret Every Evil Action will Equally Returnable in views all Religion of Faith

  • 1

    SJ, it was initial estimation of CDC and Faucci,s team which Trump laughed at and ignored. In general, they do predict the worst scenario to warn policy makers so that they are prepared for the unexpected (same with floods, cyclone and other disasters). Unfortunately Trump being him self and his advisors/ twitter team ignored all the warnings. Even today Trump is egging the protesters who wants to come out of all restrictions. Trump alone does not represent the whole country. So what ever Trump said or did is not same as real official quotes. People listen to Trump, mostly in media and take that as US facts. Trump tweeted a day ago, saying Michigan, Virginia, Minnesota should be LIBERATED ??????, All he is trying to do is put those residents , who are protesting restrictions against their own Governors (who are mostly Democrats. ). This is what politicians regardless in US or Lanka do in an election year , for their own gains. These are REAL FACTS. The numbers I quoted were released in early March at a very stage of breakout in US, unfortunately all of which were initially ignored by Trump and is twitter team. And the numbers are not that far from real , soon the infected will cross a Million, death I believe is close to 40,000 . I need not say much about economic downturn and the impact may even last till end of 2021. I will give just one example, soon after these numbers were quoted a senator and close ally of Trump walked into the Senate with a “GAS MASK , to make fun at the report and show his disapproval. . You can read all these in official web site.

  • 0

    SJ, I admit not having FB, Twitter, Y-Tube or any social media account except for Whats App which I use for primarily to interact with family members, spread around the world or colleagues to share medical information. So I do not get ,refer or quote anything from above sources. . Anything else I refer to few official sites (time saving ) if not I talk to real people. Right now I am talking to few affected by Covid living in different parts of world and there by get to know their experiences as well ground reality. Fortunately I also have friends and colleagues who are in all levels of health care (one is currently working with WHO/World Bank, another HOD in Ivy League Medical School in US, many others are currently taking care and in direct contact with Covid patients ). So the above numbers I quoted are from official site, released in early March and not from social media or hearsay. Definitely not mine because only after reading it I understood the seriousness of it and warned my colleagues here in India. Especially my friend who owns the hospital, when I a proposed to demarcate some rooms for isolation , he too took it lightly then. Please do not judge everything as wild or fake unless until you are sure about it.If I got my infor from news paper (that too from Lanka) I sure will mention it when quoting. As long US is concerned there are official sites of Senate and Congress which provide information which again can be easily cross checked.

    • 0

      Chiv, what is happening in Michigan et al, is totally government overreach. I absolutely applaud the Michiganders for taking the government to task when their civil liberties are being completely trampled upon! Good for them I say! It does not matter if it was the republicans ,democrats, libertarians or extra terrestrials that cared, as long as somebody cared. We have to stop seeing each other through the constraints of identity politics and go back to the fundamentals. There is no scientific basis for the fear politics currently plaguing the world. As far the pandemic goes, it is all about flattening the curve so that the health care systems do not get overloaded (thereby maximizing effort on saving lives). Bottom line is, at the very least 60% – 70% of the population have to get exposed to the virus if herd immunity is to work. So you must let the healthy ones go out and get contaminated. They will eventually be the wall that protects the weak. There is no basis for draconian lock downs like that is happening in Sri Lanka. Only the sheep will tolerate such nonsense.

  • 1

    Even before the Parliamentary Election campaign could even kick start the Rajapaksa Fake News Corporation in Sri Lanka is trying to bluff the poor voters by trying to hood wink them by publishing bogus statistcs in today’s Sinhalese newspapers promoting themselves voted as one of the best and safest and risk free countries in the world in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic by rocketing by hook or by crook from number 15 in the list provided by the London based GRID Corporation printed in English to number 9 displacing Vietnam in 9th position with 268 cases 0 deaths. A country that fought a bigger war than Sri Lanka against foreign forces. Unlike Sri Lanka they didn’t fool around as a result their economy is booming and their tourism has flourished by leaps and bounds by at nearly four times as much as Sri Lanka at 2.5 million to Vietnam’s 8.5 million.. Also poor Nepal with a bigger population of 28.5 million to Sri lanka’s 23 million placed 16th below Sri Lanka with 31 cases and o deaths. deserved to be among the top 5 in the list After lying to the people of the country right along about the Corona virus statistics the Rajapaksa government hurriedly started printing posters in Sinhala boasting that they had almost topped the list overtaking many advanced nations like the US, UK, Italy, France etc before the voters will realize it was all fake news.

  • 3

    All about corona 210 Countries and Territories around the world have reported a total of 2,482,215 confirmed cases of the corona virus COVID-19 .

    srilanka positioned in positive cases as of today . 117, in less than 7 deaths srilanka positioned 107 virus easily spreads in countries where urban population more then 60% we are not in this category

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