10 July, 2020

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On Rajapaksa Practice: If You Cannot Win Them Over, Buy Them!

By Tariq A. Al Maeena –

Tariq A. Al-Maeena

Tariq A. Al-Maeena

It has been industry practice in many countries for authorities to curry favors from news personalities.  Such a practice becomes more evident when their institutions are under fire and they need all the good press they can cultivate.  But a few independent news publications and individuals do stand out and do not fall for the financial windfalls doled out in exchange for good print.

One such publication is the Sri Lankan Colombo Telegraph whose motto says, “In journalism truth is a process.”  The news website which gets blocked from time to time for its critical and hard-hitting expose of corruption in the Sri Lankan government now highlights how Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is currying favors through a novel scheme of providing key media players and personalities with interest free loans.

Leaked files in possession of the Colombo Telegraph “show that the Rajapaksa regime has granted 547 journalists and media workers a Rupees 1,200,000 ($9,200) of interest free government loans from a state bank to purchase car or van, where the interest will be paid by the Treasury using taxpayer money.”

The Colombo Telegraph charges that “journalists from virtually every mainstream media in the country with the exception of the Sunday Times newspaper have accepted laptops and car loans or both from the Rajapaksa regime.”

Among the news persons were BBC journalists assigned to its Sinhala section.  The Colombo Telegraph’s exposures about “the serious conflict of interest issues and violations of standard journalistic ethics” compelled the BBC World Service to rule that “some of its Sinhala Section journalists have breached journalistic ethics and violated the BBC’s code of conduct by applying for interest free vehicle loans offered by the Sri Lankan Government.” The BBC has also stated that the staff in breach of the code would be sent for retraining.

But the BBC journalists who were pulled up apparently did not get the correct message from London headquarters.  Those who were granted the loan never withdrew their applications, according to the Colombo Telegraph. “They can go to the recommended bank and get the loan anytime” secretary to the Media Ministry Charitha Herath told the news site.

The news has not gone down well with many Sri Lankans alarmed at the course their current President is charting for their country.  Besides charges of systematic genocide that the Tamils have suffered or claim that they continue to suffer, a terrorist group of Buddhists calling themselves the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) have been focusing their crosshairs on the other minorities in the country including Christians and Muslims.

From the burning and pillaging of churches and mosques to an obvious lack of government determination to stamp out the terrorist BBS group, Sri Lankans today face an uncertain future as the country brims below the surface and could explode at any time.

Rosie Dimanno of the Toronto Star speaks of such assaults on places of worship and businesses of minorities. Such attacks are “incited in large measure by xenophobic rhetoric from Sinhala Buddhist extremists aligned with two fringe groups – Sinhala Ravaya (Sinhalese Roar) and Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force).” A few Buddhist monks were arrested at the time of the attack but released not long after. “Others saw it …as more evidence of how bigoted clerics operate with impunity from law enforcement and a government that values the endorsement of politicized monks.”

Rajapaksa’s modus operandi of buying favors from those who decline to report on such atrocities is not missed by the few credible and honest journalists who refuse to be bought.  And even citizens are not so forgiving.  As one commented, “Every month the government shamelessly takes close to 30 percent of my pay as taxes and a further percent in the name of EPF. Yet all I get is higher electricity bills and ever increasing CoL and the middle finger! These scribes get laptops and loans for free. Truly the wonder of Asia.”

The president’s generosity toward the news media to color over news events has not swayed foreign agencies from demanding the truth about the charges of genocide and war crimes committed by Rajapaksa’s government.  The Tamil Guardian reports that “Britain’s Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire once again reiterated that unless allegations of war crimes have ‘credible, transparent and independent investigations’ taking place by March, then Britain will push for an international investigation to begin.”

The Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) has also demanded a UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka asking for an independent international investigation into the genocide perpetrated against the Tamil nation, starting from Sri Lanka’s independence to the present day, and investigation into missing people.  They also demanded an interim administration in the Tamil homeland to ensure protection and compensation for all victims and witnesses, a recognition of the Tamil nation’s right to self-determination and complete demilitarization of their provinces.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is resorting to a practice that has served many leaders well over the decades.  But there are always the few honest exceptions who are not swayed by the glitter of gold and bring home the truth to their readers.  The Colombo Telegraph has demonstrated time and again that it belongs to this exclusive club of truthful and unbiased news reporting.

Now shouldn’t the New York Times and the BBC follow suit?

The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena – This article appeared in the Saudi Gazette on January 21, 2014

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Latest comments

  • 12
    14

    …and if they can’t be bought, they can be beheaded! As Mr Tariq A. Al Maeena hails from a part of the world that it is the epitomy of democracy, anti-neopotism and media freedom, he mus be truly shocked at the goings on, in SL.

    • 12
      5

      Classic Mahawamse Bestiality Culture therefore you are unable to address the issue that the author depicts about the democracy of the miracle of Asia.

      • 13
        1

        If at all the dawn of Miracle of Asia will rise from the North and East of the Island.

        The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between the way people vote and how Politicians act on their behalf.

        People’s Power is an illusion in the secular world. The real power is vested with the Multinational Corporations that control the lives of the 99% of the world’s population. Profit over Poverty.

        • 2
          2

          Well said. The curren spat between Managala and the Rajamahendran’s are classic example.

      • 1
        1

        Yep, that’s definitely me! despicable me!

    • 5
      15

      Now even the bloody Arabs are telling us how to run our country!

      • 12
        3

        Better listen to that Arab telling you what to do and get a kick start if not Modi from India will tell you how to run the country.

        Arab or a Japanese, anyone can see what comical idiotic goon and his family is running rather ruining this country.
        People rather pinheads like you are an immence contribution to bring catostrophic outcome to the entire nation.
        Better to get rid of donkeys like you first then the jarapaksas will fall like nine pins automatically.

        • 1
          2

          I didn’t say he was wrong!

      • 4
        1

        Let us judge by the sense of the words; not by his kind.

      • 3
        1

        Teller – he’s not telling us “how to run our country”, but he IS commenting on the abysmal state of affairs under the current regime.

    • 3
      3

      Touche!!! Cannot fault this comment by Bedrock Barney.

    • 10
      1

      Can’t argue with what you write, as it is all true. At the same time what Mr Ali says about Rajapaksa is also true.

    • 10
      1

      Despite the fact that the goings on from the parts of the world Mr Maeena hails from is not the ideal, to say the least, it is heartening to know that there are journalists like Mr Maeena hailing from the same parts who are aware of journalistic ethics and who know what good governance is.

    • 2
      7

      Yep. Rajapassa is bad. We know that.

      Yet, Tariq A. Al Maeena must prove his democratic credentials first by taking a few equally daring shots at corrupt rulers of Arabia.

      He will be beheaded at once.

      Attacking the corrupt dictator of our flawed democracy seems a bit fake otherwise.

      Cheers!

      • 10
        2

        Just because the righter is from an autocratic country, cant he put up his views? We are a democratic country so he is talking about the current so called rulers atrocities.
        In Saudi Arabia no one is starving, there is no poverty, 12 years old gals dont commit suicide for a pair of shoes. In fact student are paid an allowance to study abroad by the Saudi regime.
        As a jouanlist he is writing facts and expresses his views. Just because he is an Arab he shouldnt do that, is it?

        This is what exactly Sangili Panikkilage Wimalasena alias Wimal Weerawanse and Nandasena Gotabaya does as when they get a chance to speak about the Western/Indian pressure to fool and mislead the villege crowd.
        It doesnt matter who says as long as he/she talks facts.

  • 1
    5

    enna thambi .

    cant read da ?

  • 3
    11

    I am not convinced that this particular article is not “sponsored” by the DIE-ARSE-PORA !

    References to Toronto newspapers and a deviation to the BBS with a misleading headline, leaves me wondering.

    • 7
      1

      Can you put forward a counter argument? If you cannot, there is no point in smeering the author is it?

  • 4
    13

    Tariq is a funny guy. To him the LTTE was the “representative military unit” of Tamils but the BBS are terrorists. Oh these naughty Buddhist terrorists, throwing bricks at buildings and shouting at people! They should try to be more like your boys and cut people’s heads off or emulate the Tamil Hindu kitty cats with a few bus bombings LOL

    • 8
      1

      Exactly, but then the kitty cats never dressed in saffron robes and supposedly expressed Maitri, Karuna, Mudita, and Upeksha did they LOL and the kitty cats didn’t have any triple blessing either to impart. See below how on of the triply blessed ones imparted his blessing to a young child in London.

      From Shyamon Jayasinghe 21st Jan on CT

      Didn’t we see how some religious folk worshipped the London Sangha Nayake just before the latter was cast into jail for sexually abusing a child? The court heard the minor say how the monk had dragged her to the inner sanctum of the temple and penetrated her with one painful force ‘like the shaft of a knife’ right in the presence of the Buddha image

      Kind regards,
      OTC

      • 2
        6

        No no, the Tamil Hindu kitty cats just cowered behind palmyrah trees, penetrated and traumatised 100s of young children and sent them off to blow themselves up LOL

        • 5
          2

          yes, but then again they were terrorists, are you saying the young child penetrating triply blessed ones are ALSO terrorists?

          • 1
            3

            The band of Tamil Hindu kitty cats who practised child abuse and murder as a matter of policy certainly aren’t terrorists compared to the brick throwing BBS LOL. I see logic is your strong point LOL

        • 3
          1

          More than 30 Rohingya Muslims were killed in attacks by Buddhists last week in Burma’s Rakhine state, the BBC has been told.

          Nothing more to say….

  • 6
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 5
      0

      It seems this guy only knows a few words in English that are not acceptable to the CT QA team! It is about time he learns more words!

  • 3
    1

    In Sri Lanka politics is a business and political parties are companies. Some political parties run ethical business and some exploit opportunities. Company Boards always monitor customer satisfaction and review and revise corporate plans with different vision and mission statements and formulate new business strategies. Some companies care customers more but most care the share holders. Some are family owned companies and those are run based on the vision and mission of the most influential member of the family.

    There are party workers and party members. Party workers campaign or conduct road shows for promoting business for the party/company. Party members or shareholders are qualified to apply for employment in the company and those who aspire to become employees, have to face public interviews, which are conducted periodically at local, provincial and national levels.

    The Interview Board comprises the public who virtually become the customers of the company elected to run the business. The company which is favoured by the customers appoints managing director, general managers, additional general managers, deputy general managers, regional managers and managers for local outlets. High performers find their value increasing and so is the value of high performers in competing companies.

    High performers are always in demand and it is natural in business world to offer high prices for high performers in competing companies or to buy competing companies.

  • 0
    1

    Please do not worry about the political leadership of Srilanka or for that matter of any South Asian countries. Look at your own political system and how do Arab leaders rule over people. Can not you see that your so called leaders treat people like slaves. Some of them are lifetime leaders? Some of them are real dictators in every sense. Shame on you to speak on others rather than see what’s in your house? Since historical times you have inherited a political system that no human being accept in modern time. I could write more on this but I reckoned you got the point.

  • 0
    2

    Please do not worry about the political leadership of Srilanka or for that matter of any South Asian countries. Look at your own political system and how do Arab leaders rule over people. Can not you see that your so called leaders treat people like slaves. Some of them are lifetime leaders? Some of them are real dictators in every sense. Shame on you to speak on others rather than see what’s in your house? Since historical times you have inherited a political system that no human being accept in modern time. I could write more on this but I reckoned you got the point.
    Please do not worry about the political leadership of Srilanka or for that matter of any South Asian countries. Look at your own political system and how do Arab leaders rule over people. Can not you see that your so called leaders treat people like slaves. Some of them are lifetime leaders? Some of them are real dictators in every sense. Shame on you to speak on others rather than see what’s in your house? Since historical times you have inherited a political system that no human being accept in modern time. I could write more on this but I reckoned you got the point.

  • 1
    11

    Please do not worry about the political leadership of Srilanka or for that matter of any South Asian countries. Look at your own political system and how do Arab leaders rule over people. Can not you see that your so called leaders treat people like slaves. Some of them are lifetime leaders? Some of them are real dictators in every sense. Shame on you to speak on others rather than see what’s in your house? Since historical times you have inherited a political system that no human being accept in modern time. I could write more on this but I reckoned you got the point.

  • 12
    2

    Tariq A. Al Maeena ,

    You have exposed the Sri Lankan regime’s complicity in manipulating the news media in Sri Lanka and the BBC Sinhala service to distort news items in the regime’s favor.

    There are also several media in India the regime has similarly bought over, many so called respectable ones.

    It is well known now the Sri Lankan regime has bribed 14 Conservative MPs from the British parliament with all paid trips to Sri Lanka: This was discovered and stopped by David Cameron himself.

    These actions show the the regime is trying to cover up grave crimes committed and still being committed.

    All honest journalists must bring these matters out to the world awareness.

    • 2
      4

      hahaha
      LTTE goons always bribe any one. How is your Adele Balasingam lives there with all luxuries with out any work?

      • 3
        1

        Hello Siva,

        So what do you think other Ltte goons like Karuna, Pillaiyan, KP, Daya are doing? Aren’t they living with all luxuries without any work?

        :-)

        • 1
          1

          They are give works to do. Don’t you know?

      • 1
        1

        Sivananthan you Muslim:

        Man if you hadn’t spied for Sinhala Army the LTTE wouldn’t have driven you out of Kolumbuthurai. I can understand you languishing in a Ghetto in Canada and always involved in LTTE bashing whatever the topic of conversation but that is Human Nature. By the way how is Shankar give my regards to him.

        • 2
          0

          “By the way how is Shankar give my regards to him.”

          I thought you said that shankar and sivananthan are the same bloke writing under different names.If that is so now why are you asking siva how is shankar.BTW you get to borella junc and take the bus down cotta road to go to “ankota” without going to the beach everyday and looking out for the tamilnadu army in vain.

          • 1
            0

            Shankar you Muslim,

            Man if you hadn’t spied for the Sinhala Army LTTE wouldn’t have driven you out from Kolumbuthuarai.

            • 1
              0

              When you keep on saying the same thing,you become boring like fukushima and his 10000 tamil widows.Become innovative and make every comment count.

        • 1
          0

          You are a VVT low caste criminal smuggler. Shutup and go for your traditional fishing!

  • 2
    11

    What a joker…

    Iraq . Libya, and Syria, once prosperous countries which didn’t have beggars are now totally wrecked.

    Over two thousand die in Iraq from suicide attacks each year..

    Libya is ruled by not one but 8 different war lords.

    Wonder how they mete out justice to their opponents and the opposition journs…

    3 Million Syrians are desperate refugees.

    Syrian FM.s in his interview to the Arab and Western Journos at the new summit explains well, how Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabaia fucked them up big time , using their HR champions in the West.

    Shouldn’t this learned Journo go back to his ancestral land and help his fellow Muslims to get out of their misery rater than trying to curry favour with the anti Srilanka Diaspora.

    Ask the PM of Iceland if you need an independent opinion of post Nanthikadal Lanka from a Westerner other than the Diaspora mates.

    May Allah bless you !!!!!

    • 10
      3

      What’s your point in dragging the Arabian peninsula? It’s not going to solve the issues the resplendent Island faces. Grow up and find ways and means to seek a better form of governance.

      • 1
        5

        Because you always pray at the direction of Arabia.

        • 1
          1

          Sivananthan you Muslim: Man if you hadn’t spied for Sinhala Army the LTTE wouldn’t have driven you out of Kolumbuthurai. I can understand you languishing in a Ghetto in Canada and always involved in LTTE bashing whatever the topic of conversation but that is Human Nature.

    • 0
      2

      yes… Syria may be in a turmoil.. but who are the reason? the so called WEST and advocates of demo-crazy… They help” Reformists” by supplying ARMS, which may be a crime IF supplied by others to ” freedom Fighter’s” who wage war against INVADERS and OCCUPIERS….

      World was some what in peace until the US and its NATO allies bombed the hell out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan now helping the “Moderates” in Algeria, Libya, Egypt,Sudan etc BUT wont help the Majority in BAHRAIN…

      US is the root to all Evil thats happening around the globe, pretty soon they will reap what they sow….. the clock is ticking…

  • 4
    1

    What’s the difference between the Mafia and the Government? Size.

    The word “Mafia” itself is a blanket term used to describe a type of organized crime syndicate, which “primarily practices protection racketeering, the use of violent intimidation to manipulate local economic activity, especially illicit trade; secondary activities may be practised such as drug-trafficking, loan-sharking and fraud.”

    Does that sound like “your” elected democratic government?

    Now the question that we face today is that: In the light of the fact that the oppressed people of the world are rising up against that oppression; the question is: How will the struggle for justice be waged? As we move to make justice a reality on the international scale. It seems that there are two possible answers to this question. One is to use the all prevalent method of physical violence, while it is true that the oppressed throughout history has sought to achieve justice through violence and we all know the danger of this method. It seems to create many more social problems than it solves and it seems this method is ultimately futile. If people succumbs to the temptation of using violence in his struggle for justice, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate life of bitterness, and the chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos and the second is to seek peace through every peaceful means available. That is to discard that does not work and apply a system of self governance in our personal life such as ‘The Shariah’

  • 1
    7

    what a bloody loser

    • 6
      0

      Boy, you got the message at last it seems!

    • 1
      0

      WHY THIS KOLAVERI KOLAVERI DI.

  • 4
    4

    Over a hundred Muslims die in bomb blasts in Muslim countries.

    No one seems to care. And no end in sight to these killings. Arabic countries are one Muslim widowland.

    • 2
      4

      Then only the Muslims can have five wives and numerous concubines in their harems.

      • 1
        0

        Sivananthan you Muslim: Man if you hadn’t spied for Sinhala Army the LTTE wouldn’t have driven you out of Kolumbuthurai. I can understand you languishing in a Ghetto in Canada and always involved in LTTE bashing whatever the topic of conversation but that is Human Nature.

  • 4
    4

    Homosexuality is a crime in SL.

    • 4
      2

      Hope this Mangala affair does something to make it legal. There is nothing wrong with homosexuality. It has been there for ages and even married men practice it even though they dare not admit it for fear or persecution and discrimination. Even most muslim men are secretly in love with boys and conceal their feelings through fear. This is a denial of fundamental human rights you fat fat fukushima. Now get that straight.

    • 1
      1

      Love has no barriers. No caste, no creed, no religion. And homosexual love is no different. And of course, most muslim men may be married twice over, but homosexual love is intrinsically woven into their psyche though they make a desperate attempt to conceal it for religious repercussions. It is now time to repeal maedieval religious laws steeped in bigotry and hatred. Mangala has done nothing wrong. Even religion promises boys as white as pearl at Heavens door to true believers.

  • 3
    4

    Muslims never follow any democracy. Their islam asks to kill non-musims simply. Raping non-muslim women is a service to islam.

    Muslims always behind money and women. Muslims never talk about peace or environment.

    Bribe is always a part islamic life in Colombo.

    Mahinda Rajapakse follows the old Hindu traditaional CHANAKYA way of tackling enemies. SAMA(peace), DHANA(Giving),BETHA(differeing), and DANDA(punishment) are the old ways of dealing with enemies. He did the same to LTTE and won the war.

    • 1
      2

      Sivananthan you Muslim: Man if you hadn’t spied for Sinhala Army the LTTE wouldn’t have driven you out of Kolumbuthurai. I can understand you languishing in a Ghetto in Canada and always involved in LTTE bashing whatever the topic of conversation but that is Human Nature.

  • 4
    0

    Rajapakses have been buying UNP MPs with newly created ministries and expanding the cabinet into a Jumbo cabinet. But the Rajapakses are careful enough to hold on to the decision-making of the ministries and give away oly the material perks for the cross-overs.

    • 3
      1

      It’s just a business as the Professional has explained in detail above.

    • 1
      1

      Mahinda accommodate all the different sections of the society and it cannot be wrong in a democracy!

  • 3
    2

    Ado!

    Does’nt matter who wrote the article – Don’t shoot the messenger.

    UNDERSTAND THE MESSAGE! Idiots!

    No wonder the Rajapakses find it so easy to steal and pillage, if some of the commentors are representative of Sri Lankan attitudes.

  • 0
    0

    Proud to see my comment on the original CT article had been referred by Mr. Ali. :-)

    • 0
      3

      Really shows his desperation doesn’t it LOL

      • 1
        0

        who is desperate? last I saw the presidential sec is in Geneva pleading with Pillai

        I think Off the Cuff has dealt with your nonsensical replies above

        • 0
          0

          Yes dealt with them so well you had to change your name and try to pat yourself on the back LOL

  • 0
    1

    in your country you cut head or end point.do not buy unless you get so call blood money for murder.what kind of human right you have in your country.just look by mirror.

  • 0
    0

    a lot of Hot Air and bruhaha about nothing.
    This is all democracy the bane of our eastern nations.
    Lets get back to our good old kingdoms and kings
    as you lot are not fit to handle democracy

  • 2
    0

    Tarique,

    The problem we have in Sinhala Lanka today is the Lethal Combination of a Born Racist combining his Greed for both Power & Money using Thugs to enforce Law and Order sending fear through the spines of anyone who stands up to him either with the Might of his pen ( Lasantha) or using Freedom of Expression. But King Mahintha enjoys the adulation of his Subjects and has embarked on a Programme of Ethnic Cleansing which they tried for thousand of years but failed.
    This why he set about bribing any one and every one to hide his crime and complete Colonisation by using delaying Tactics.
    I am sure you are no stranger to this as happened in the West Bank where the Israelis have put enough Settlements to justify the presence of the Army.
    MR allocated £100 Million of Nations money and the people whom he tried to bribe fall in to two Categories.

    1) Politicians of the Western Countries who are subject to checks and balances and that is why Liam Fox got caught and paid the Price. Recently MR wasted 100 million Rs to buy American Senators but they have refused to back him after taking the money ( Wasted).
    2) Then you have the scavengers the Indian Politicians who will simply accept anything you give them from Cheap Lunch to a Necklace.

    But by divine intervention America has now served notice on King Mahintha and has demanded the following with the threat that failure to comply will result in Sanctions and plunge the Nation into Starvation. Britain under Cameron has joined forces with the Mighty America who together account for 60% of Trade with Sinhala Lanka which gives the readers the enormity of the problems facing the Nation.

    1) Complete withdrawal of the Sinhala Army
    2) Devolution of Land and Police Powers.
    3) Full stop to Sinhalese Settlements.
    4) Removal of High Security Zones.

    So the Tamil Culture which has survived the test of times Continues for another 1000 years.
    But now we have the herculean task of Bringing King Mahintha to books and Punish him for his Crimes against Humanity to send a Signal to future despots that Crime never pays.

    • 1
      0

      A very good summary of true state of affairs in Sri Lanka.
      Stop the continued subjugation of Sri Lankan Tamil speaking citizens.
      Give their lands and livelihoods back.
      Give them the sense that they belong to Sri Lanka.
      Stop the Army running hotels etc.
      Stop taking money from Tamils and putting them on boats to Australua—- thereby reduce the number of Tamils in SL.
      Give them posts in Police,Army,Navy & airforce.
      Listen to the new Chief Minister of NPC– an educated gentleman and isn’t a Godfather!

    • 1
      0

      You are a criminal smuggler and what is the problems you have in Sri lanka?

      You bark something that is not related to your VVT smuggler criminals.

  • 0
    0

    The Politicians/Judges/ Journalists/Police have been compromised by their integrity. They no longer work for the public but to have a comfortable living at the expense of the Tax payer.

  • 1
    0

    I readily share the compliments the writer offers Colombo Telegraph.
    Sri Lanka is not entirely lost in honesty and honour. There are many
    young like Uvindu, Tissaranee G keeping the fair name of fair comment
    and freedom of expression alive in a mafia-like dangerous environment.
    Smiling assassins eventually get exposed despite their congenital shenanigans at the top. Sri Lanka will soon be liberated to all the positive features of her peaceful and plural society it has been known for centuries.

    May strength and good-luck enable Colombo Telegraph to carry on with its splendid work and continue to gain a larger readership.

    R. Varathan

    • 3
      0

      It is surprising that nobody – including some of the most wittiest and agile CT commentators – got it. Tariq A. Al-Maeena is engaging in political satire. It’s mock praise making fun of CT’s self-advertisement and self-righteousness.

      Didn’t you guys catch the not too subtle hint left by the sportive Bedouin at the end that he is being ironical:

      “The Colombo Telegraph has demonstrated time and again that it belongs to this exclusive club of truthful and unbiased news reporting. Now shouldn’t the New York Times and the BBC follow suit?”

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