29 September, 2022

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Sri Lanka: Typical Propaganda By A Corrupt Nefarious Regime!

By Lionel Bopage

Dr. Lionel Bopage

There is nothing new in the propaganda and psychological warfare activities that have been launched against protest movements and political opponents in Sri Lanka for demonising and isolating those movements from the ordinary people prior to suppressing them.

Given this unpalatable political fact, any analysis of the current situation in Sri Lanka has to start from the following factual positions.

1. The regime is corrupt, incompetent and devoid of political legitimacy. They are driven by personal and family agendas of embezzlement and aggrandisement, rather than based on a policy platform and a program of actions formulated in the interests of the country and its people.

2. The immediate root cause for the discontent in society and the opposition against the regime is the issue of the day to day survival of the people. The protests were initiated by social segments belonging to the urban and semi-urban middle class and lower middle class, but the protests appear to be gradually filtering through to other social segments.

3. Political crises that are in existence have created a polarisation between some groups within the ruling elite, but the Rajapaksas and the Wickremesinghes appear to be working hand in hand.

4. Whenever there is an internal crisis of this proportion, it is obvious that the powers that wish to exert their influence in the Indian ocean region will try to make maximum use of it.

5. So, the Chinese, the Americans and separately the Indians, who wish to expand the influence they already have in the region, will make use of these developments to satisfy their interests.

6. The problem is the governance system, and the unsustainable practices that generate the worsening socio-economic issues. These are created by the neo-liberalist policies and institutions developed based on the 1978 Constitution. This constitution allows one person to make all executive decisions, bypassing parliament. Notorious examples being the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which was pushed through parliament in a single day; and the recent fertiliser issue amongst countless other unaccountable decisions made by a single person.

7. The solution lies in abolishing the 20th amendment which provides extraordinary powers to the president. Also, in abolishing the executive presidency, and rescinding the 1978 constitution, replacing it with a new constitution, one that should be developed via a constitutional assembly elected by the people themselves and through participative mechanisms.

In a nutshell, if anyone does not wish to see external powers interfering in our internal affairs, then his or her main advocacy should be to demand the regime to address the socio-economic issues and political concerns that are currently affecting people’s lives and their futures. These issues have been created by the successive ruling regimes in doing everything possible for safeguarding their own interests and privileges.

So, we need to expose the true nature of the coverups the regime, its cohorts and collaborators are trying to make use of in order to deceive the masses once again.

There is and will continue to be a lot of propaganda that will attempt to link the spontaneous protests that have arisen in Sri Lanka as designs for ‘regime change’ sponsored or abetted by the west, in particular, the United States and its agencies. To brand any protests or agitations against a ruling regime as sponsored or abetted by its opponents overseas is also nothing new. Anyone leading political protests in Australia, the European Union, the UK or the USA can be branded as Chinese or Russian agents. Anyone politically protesting in Russia, China, Syria or Iran can be branded as sponsored or abetted by the west, notably the USA.

In the Indian Ocean, there are three powers attempting to get the upper hand. With the fall of the Soviet Union, Americans have become more brazen and China is becoming more assertive. India has been pro-Soviet for a very long time, and that linkage can be seen to continue to date to a certain extent between the current Indian regime and the Russian Federation. However, the Narendra Modi regime has been following the neo-liberal political and economic model that was commenced under the previous regimes led by the Indian Congress.

The nature of foreign policies of the Sri Lankan regimes successively established by the UNP and/or its coalitions have been openly pro-American and pro-west. Most of the regimes established by the SLFP and/or its coalitions have followed a more subtle approach. They usually followed a non-aligned foreign policy. Such policies have been either more pro-Soviet, pro-Russian or pro-Chinese and were covered under the banner of “non-alignment”, which was a design of the then Indonesian President Soekarno under his Pancasila ideology. These regimes had an underlying advantage.

They could manipulate the Soviet and Chinese camps and the US led western camp to dance according to the whims and fancies of the ruling elites of these “non-aligned” regimes. The typical examples were the Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the seventies. The ruling elite was able to “convince” the US led western camp that the political opponents were either KGB sponsored, or pro-Soviet or pro-Chinese. At the same time, they were able to “convince” the Chinese leadership that the very same political opponents were either KGB or CIA sponsored. Moreover, they were able to simultaneously convince the Soviet leaderships that the same political opponents were CIA sponsored. That is how Bangladesh and Sri Lanka’s ruling classes were able to get all three camps to support them at the same time, financially, materially and militarily to mercilessly crush and decimate their political opposition.

In Sri Lanka, those currently holding power at the top of the governance structure are US citizens or they can become so at any time they wish. When they came to power in 2019, they had the direct or indirect backing of the US agencies. The Sri Lankan regime has been able to play the same game that the previous regimes have been playing under the “non-alignment” banner, and make the US, Russian, Chinese and Indian regimes simultaneously dance to their corrupt and incompetent tunes.

During Indira Gandhi’s reign, India towed a strong pro-Soviet line. The J R Jayewardene regime in Sri Lanka at the same time followed a strongly pro-US line. That led to intensifying the ethnic conflict into a fully drawn out war, as the Sri Lanka’s ruling elite was not prepared for sharing power with any of the non-majoritarian communities, so that they could live as equals with dignity in their land of birth. It is unfortunate that even today we have people not only in Sri Lanka, but also people who have been living in multi-cultural, pluralistic societies for so long, who are still deaf and blind towards the needs and aspirations of non-majoritarian communities.

These are the sentiments the Rajapaksa regime, their clan, their collaborators, cohorts and henchmen are playing with, to arouse either a nationalist phobia or the foreign interference conspiracies phobia. Let us earnestly hope that the citizens of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankans overseas and their well-wishers will not be fooled once again by the Sri Lankan regime’s divisive propaganda. Make no mistake! They are preparing groundwork to isolate the protest movement so that they could militarily crush the youth once more.

Don’t be misguided by the regime’s propaganda intended to tarnish those who protest as agents sponsored or abetted by covert US led attempts for regime change in Sri Lanka. Do not get your hands dirty yet again with the blood of another younger generation who are protesting for wanting of a better Sri Lanka for themselves and for future generations.

The Chinese appear to have acquired a new role in protecting the Rajapaksa clan, playing this subtle game of tarnishing the protestors as sponsored and abetted by the US interests. The sole aim is nothing but to kill the “GotaGoHome” project. Those political movements and leaders who are only inwardly-focussed, and/or solely engaged in their self-growth projects in the current environment are virtually helping the ruling elite in one way or another to deviate the attention away from the protest movement.

Their propaganda is clever because they use the atrocities and economic and physical devastation caused elsewhere by the Americans and their willing coalitions; take for example, from Vietnam, Chile, Iraq to Afghanistan. The list is too long to cite here. Haven’t the Russians committed similar crimes and devastations in Hungary, Chechnya, Syria and now in Ukraine? None of these military powers are worried about the suffering of the people, but their own geo-political interests, and the resources they require in terms of satisfying the needs of their military industrial complexes and fossil-fuel industries so that they could maintain their economic systems.

Let us do all what we can to defeat the attempts of the Rajapaksa Propaganda Machine to internationalize this slander campaign; to misinform Sri Lankans everywhere; to distort reality and create fake news. It is the corrupt Rajapaksa family and their cohorts that are now bleeding the people to penury and starvation. This is amply attested by the fact that there are chronic shortages of food, fuel, electricity, communication and no healthcare.

In conclusion, let us focus on the real culprits, the Rajapaksa regime and their cheer leaders who got us in this mess. Let us not let them continue their disastrous embezzlement and self-aggrandisement agendas. The aim of their propaganda is to divide us first, crush the protest movement and then to carry on with their agendas as usual.

Let us not be deceived by the false propaganda. Let us strengthen supporting the people who are fighting to build a better future for themselves as well as for their future generations in Sri Lanka!

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Latest comments

  • 32
    3

    For the first time in Sri Lanka’s history people have elected a man with allegations of Murder, Fraud, Corruption etc. to lead the nation and expected him to deliver “Prosperity and Splendour”

    • 7
      1

      RohanaW

      “For the first time in Sri Lanka’s history people have elected a man with allegations of Murder, Fraud, Corruption etc. to lead the nation and expected him to deliver”


      Don’t you remember Premadasa?

      “Will America be able to achieve its sinister objectives in Sri Lanka” asks Prof.Tissa Vitarana.
      Pathetic and paranoid for long long time from the old left.
      They have a very short memory.

    • 0
      7

      RohanaW,
      “…allegations of Murder, Fraud, Corruption etc. to lead the nation…”

      Similar to war crimes and crimes against humanity ALLEGATIONS fabricated by Tamils and Sooka that have not been proved even after 12 years.

    • 4
      1

      Rohan that man lives in US but financed by China and was elected by our very own people. Now people want them to leave but they keep telling people wanted us and they are still with us. ( we have mandate). So the 6.9 million now have to come out, identify selves and tell family to leave. .Meantime Chinese ambassador is actively engaging with rebels on behalf of Mafia family whereas US says respect people’s opinion and India is financing to keep people alive. The problem started from the time of InDependence and there were no such foreign influence until 80 ‘s, when Lankan governments provided opportunity for them. On a close look it’s obvious internal racist agenda is influencing present foreign policies in most south Asian countries.

  • 23
    3

    “Let us not be deceived by the false propaganda.”
    Lionel has clearly identified that how these Rajapaksa family regime are capable of all the possible way to hold on the power within their family with their propaganda. The people always forget how dirty are this regime or divert the focus through racism and violence. The high level military and other armed forces, high level Buddhist Institutions, even high level professionals are still on the side of this regime. It is very difficult to keep the same level of support for this protest against the regime and how reliable are opposition politicians or people to make the changes that are necessary to this country.

    • 0
      8

      Ajith,
      “…and how reliable are opposition politicians or people to make the changes that are necessary to this country.”

      In 2015, 6,217,162 retards who were misled by ‘Regime Change’ mafia with fabricated stories sent Rajapakshes to Medamulana and elected Sirisena and Ranil to form a ‘Yahapalana’ Government to bring change but that effort ended as a great disaster. Only change they introduced was ruining the peace and stability prevailed in the country after eliminating Tamil terrorists by allowing Muslim terrorists to carry out terrorist attacks. The guys who were entrusted to introduce changes and miserably failed are now in the opposition (UNP, SJB, JVP). These guys who failed are once again singing the same old song to mislead the voters.

  • 1
    6

    “Their propaganda is clever because they use the atrocities and economic and physical devastation caused elsewhere by the Americans and their willing coalitions; take for example, from Vietnam, Chile, Iraq to Afghanistan.”

    That’s the point. War is a big business for the Western countries. Billions worth of weapons being shipped to Ukraine now (otherwise the “war” would have ended weeks ago). The longer Ukraine is devastated, the more likely new countries will join NATO. New countries joining NATO will need to buy even more weapons from Britain, USA, etc. While Russia has been sanctioned (except for oil & gas sales), the same Western countries continue to fund genocide in Yemen. With all that said, non-alignment is an excellent policy. You don’t want to anger these big countries, at least not yet. Loans are needed for development. Can you guess who the donors are to the World Bank, IMF, etc.?

  • 0
    2

    ” The ruling elite was able to “convince” the US led western camp that the political opponents were either KGB sponsored, or pro-Soviet or pro-Chinese. At the same time, they were able to “convince” the Chinese leadership that the very same political opponents were either KGB or CIA sponsored. Moreover, they were able to simultaneously convince the Soviet leaderships that the same political opponents were CIA sponsored.”
    *
    The US, China and USSR had their own sources to cross check.
    If the author has in mind the JVP, each of these countries had made up its mind about the JVP without help from any government here.

  • 0
    5

    “Let us not be deceived by the false propaganda.”

    Voters in this country got deceived by false propaganda in 2015 and brought a great disaster to people who enjoyed peace and security. Once bitten twice shy!

  • 2
    0

    Dr. Lionel Bopage: Your article is an interesting one. The problem I see is that the constitution is not well defined and well thought of. It was written to have all powers in his hand by JRJ. If they would have cared about the country, they should have crested 3 equal entity. President and Administration, Parliament, and courts (justice) .
    Each one of these groups can check on the other. But In Asia people are not to the level for this to work. They follow a one issue Phony(leader). That is the sad part of it. I predict this struggle and protest will be over in 2 months and every one will go back to their normal life after IMF give the money. Gotta will sell part of the coutry to China

  • 0
    0

    How can you stop this it all depends on the 225 member of parliament. You know it and I know they have took the money from Gotta and Mahinda. So they will not go against them. So the people who voted for these clowns should vote them out next tome. But I will put money that they will vote over and over for these guys. That what I call Asian mentality. What a pity.

  • 1
    1

    It is true that the 20th amendment should be abolished. But how can the 1978 Constitution be rescinded. The Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord is binding Sri Lanka for all purposes and the 13th Amendment was passed on account of the Peace Accord. The 13th Amendment is for the benefit of all the Provinces relating to economic development. What is wrong in allocating the Land and Police powers to the Provinces. The writer should give the reasons. India did not want to interfere into the domestic affairs of Sri Lanka. It has only provided guidelines by passing the 13th Amendment. One cannot put clock backward. It has to begin from where it stopped. The 13th Amendment also provides for participative mechanisms among the members of the Provincial Councils. The 13th Amendment stands as a checkmate for Ministers of the Central Government to make a fat commission from foreign contracts.

    In a nutshell, if anyone does not wish to see external powers interfering in our internal affairs, then his or her main advocacy should be to demand the regime to address the socio-economic issues and political concerns that are currently affecting people’s lives and their futures. It is true

  • 2
    1

    At least now realise that LTTE was not defeated by the brilliance of Rajapaksas but by the betrayal of 20 rogue countries

  • 1
    1

    You were stupid enough to accept a constitution written for JR without check and balance. Now you pay the price

  • 1
    1

    You say: ” Let us strengthen supporting the people who are fighting to build a better future for themselves as well as for their future generations in Sri Lanka!”
    Are you joking
    You will replace one Mahadana Muththa with another Mahadana Muththa as you always do

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