1 December, 2020

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa – O Tempora O Mores

By Frederica Jansz

Frederica Jansz

There is no difference or should be none between human beings. But, is that a reality in Sri Lanka? No. Certainly not. The most recent incident where Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Defense Secretary lost his temper and used foul language brought home some truths about human behaviour, at least from some sections of our people.
The language and tone of the delivery evoked a huge outcry from journalists across the civilized world. The international press and electronic media were aghast and responded immediately. Just like humans and even animals who help each other to face, for example, a harsh winter. But, the local media true to form remained mum.  Why? We would leave that to you readers to come to your own judgment.
At the expense of quoting Thomas Niemoller ad nauseum, fellow journalists consider those words; “And then they came for me…”.  It could and will be you next. That is certain. Your silence is telling.
That the occupant of high public office in our land could utter such foul, lewd and disgusting words: indeed the language of the gutter – speaks volumes on the depths to which Sri Lanka has sunk.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa may have or did indeed play a pivotal role in winning the war for which we all remain grateful – this however does not give him the prerogative to believe that we remain subjugated – mere serfs – who continue to live in a land where he reigns as Lord of the Manor.
It is indeed unbecoming and disgraceful of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a public servant, to have uttered the threats he did against this newspaper, and today we wish to reiterate our position which we did during his hysterical ranting that The Sunday Leader will not be cowed by them.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa more than any other public servant has paid lip service to the building of a decent society in Sri Lanka. It is all the more shocking then, that he should conduct himself in such a low manner.
Given the office he holds, we have no doubt it is well within his power to do us harm, whether or not through the abuse of the state machinery that lies at his disposal. We have therefore no choice but to give his threats the widest possible publicity in the hope that this will persuade him to desist from the course of action he may contemplate, to eliminate the Editor of this newspaper or do physical harm.
Rajapaksa knows better than anyone that The Sunday Leader has consistently been critical of consecutive regimes not for partisan reasons but to uphold the democratic values essential to our society.  Yet, none of his predecessors have ever stooped to the level he has.
When we contacted him last week it was purely to ascertain if he was aware that the management at SriLankan Airlines had taken a decision to change a wide bodied A340 scheduled to fly to Zurich on Friday July 13, to a smaller A330,  in order to accommodate a pilot who he himself admitted “is a close friend”, to bring down a puppy dog for him from Zurich.  The change in aircraft would have resulted in 56 passengers having to be off-loaded costing the state owned airline hundreds of thousands of rupees.
He was called by The Sunday Leader not with any intention to defame him or otherwise but merely to clarify what we had been told by sources within SriLankan Airlines.  Instead, of responding with civility he resorted to abuse using foul language and threats.
Our second telephone call to him on Friday July 6, was to tell him that we had since decided not to carry this story following a telephone conversation we were told that had taken place between a confidante to the President and himself.  Rajapaksa had maintained he knew nothing of a flight schedule change and would “fly the dog down on another airline” if this was indeed the case.  The reason for the second telephone call was to tell him that The Sunday Leader would not carry the story but it was NOT because he had threatened its Editor the previous evening.
He however, again turned abusive and used the most foul, lewd and disgusting language, going so far as to say ninety percent of the people in Sri Lanka wanted the Editor of this newspaper dead.
Chilling words indeed, given that it is only a mere three years since its previous Editor was murdered in broad daylight and his killers continue to roam free.       He further accused us of accepting “monies” from the US Ambassador, NGOs and Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu – Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives.  Rajapaksa should know better than anyone that The Sunday Leader is not one to be swayed by third parties. Indeed, when there is news that is in the national interest, be assured that nothing will prevent The Sunday Leader from publishing it. We urge Gotabaya Rajapaksa, even now, to respect the office he holds, and to conduct himself with the dignity and decorum the people of Sri Lanka have a right to expect of him. It does not become his brother the President nor him that he should threaten journalists or indeed, plot violence against them.

The Sunday Leader Editorial

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Latest comments

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    Yes, a public servant should address the public as ” I am, Sir, Your obedient servant”

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      Yes AMT, Public Servants should address the Public accordingly as you have mentioned. Unfortunately these are Public Serpents, who should be got rid off.

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      Fredrika, first be of good courage! You have a clear cut case to sue Gota the white van goon for incitement to hatred and hate speech and hold him accountable for his violent SPEECH ACTS. Gota the white van goon likes to claim he is a patriot, when in fact he is a defilement to Lanka.
      Sociologists speak of speech Acts; because speaking is symbolic action and saying that people will kill Fredrica is in fact an invitation to and an incitement of hatred and violence. Please file a case against the goon!
      This violent goon who likes to talk about his “patriotism” and wrap himself in the Buddhist flag is an insult to patriotism and Buddhism. True patriots and Buddhists should send him to the Hague for a war crimes trial.

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    I deplore the disgusting words that Gota has used. But there is too much of shadowy things happenening between the Rajapaksas and the Sunday Leader to give unqualified support to the editor. At best, she appears to have the character of a typical bull in a china shop!No insult intended and no jokes invited on the ‘bull’ bit either!

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    Gota cannot forget his fifteen years in a Los Angeles petrol shed as a pump jockey and is still disturbed.

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    I wish this happened to another journalist or editor or for that matter any other person except the famous Fredrica Jansz. Since her fame is in the category of “twisting facts”, “creating stories out of thin air”, “writing some bull s**t to sell her paper regardless of whether it is true or not”.

    Unfortunately this is like the wolf wolf story where the truth may be rejected due to the person saying it :( I dont know abt the 90% trying to kill you, but Madame 100% of all Sri Lankans have more credibility than your self.

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      Frederica Janz is a journalist with huge ego and always goes extra mile to create controversy … She can not categoriesd as a responsible journalist given the fact that she endangered so many lives in heady days of LTTE terror … I quote from Malinda S article here … “When the Athurugiriya safe house used by the Sri Lanka Army Military Intelligence Corps was exposed on January 2, 2002, she quickly moved into action. Although the then Commander of the Army clearly stating that the military intelligence team in question was engaged in covert operations and the Director of Military Intelligence confirming the fact, she went right ahead and exposed all the members engaged in the operations. Neither those ‘exposed’ nor their families whined and screamed that their lives were in danger.  They did not seek protection in Western embassies.  The LTTE hit squads eliminated almost all of them.  Now that’s the outcome of ‘responsible journalism’ I suppose.  Frankly, it is sickening…”

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        Bruno Umbato:
        Your quoting that purveyor of venom and dishonesty (and EMPLOYEE of the Rajapaksa family at The Nation), Malinda Seneviratne, says it all!

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      Chris De Alwis:
      If you are trying to demonstrate your “intelligence,” all I can say is that you’ve failed as would any dolt parading as some kind of “genius.”

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        Anti-Boru, I agree with you that these individuals as Chandra Gunawardene, Chris De Alwis and Bruno Umbato are all apologists of the MR regime. Their slip is showing in their attempt to white wash the excesses committed without condemning the wrong that has been done.

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/

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    Rob sofa, write very good, have a meaning, have opinions, good article!!!!!!!

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    She says that Sunday Leader is not one to be swayed by third parties. What blatant gibberish. Did not they accept millions to undertake political campaign at the behest on the UNP during the last presidential elections?….what dignity is she talking about?

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    Life is equal and one. dare to care?

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