Sonali Samarasinghe Finds Solace In The Cuddle Of The Guardian 2009: Particular Development

Sonali Samarasinghe finds solace in the cuddle of The Guardian

This particular development arouses interest, not due to Samarasinghe’s ranting the Sri Lankans are familiar with, but due to the Guardian’s enthusiasm in providing
a platform for Samarasinghe in the hope of exploiting her discontent. The Guardian is fully aware that Samarasinghe is a misguided colonial who has ‘taken the bait’ and got in to difficulties due to her ferocious pursuit of the Sri Lankan government to implement a national agenda (of unbridled rights and freedoms regardless of the consequences on national security and development) prescribed by them – a mouthwatering prospect! First to Samarasinghe’s gripe: the gist of her allegations in the interview is that Sri Lanka is on the road to a ‘Zimbabwe style’ mono-ethnic dictatorship, or rule by a military junta like that of Burma where minorities and dissent is not welcome. Her choice of these two countries would have been music to the ears of the British establishment because of their frustration about the almost insurmountable resistance against colonialist interventions put up by Zimbabwe and Burma. The British have been unable to rally the regional and international bodies against Zimbabwe in particular, due to the principled stance of ‘non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries’, of the South African President Thabo Mbeki at the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), and China and and Russia at the UN Security Council. Curiously, Samarasinghe declares that her reason for fleeing the country was the government’s ‘doing nothing’ to catch her husband’s killers, and danger to her own life caused by the murderers ‘knowing’ her: this is a significant downgrading of the earlier accusation that the government was the killer. It is also revealed that, in an attempt to ward off legal action by the defence ministry (which has concerned him greatly), her husband threatened president Rajapake at a dinner in December 2008 with disclosure of information relating to Major General Janaka Perera’s killing. This incredible revelation, easily an attempt to pervert the course of justice, provides a damning indictment of the unethical and bullying brand of journalism, bordering on blackmail, they practiced. As usual, without producing any specific evidence, Samarasinghe alleges that Wickramatunga received serious threats from the ‘government’, and she bemoans that the president ‘never came’ to her wedding. Referring to ‘that’ editorial, Samarasinghe, in a somewhat defensive sounding remark, has said that ‘Lasantha was killed on Thursday and on Friday a colleague found it on his computer in the office. I decided to put it on the front page’: less said about this mythical write-up the better. In order to understand the Guardian’s (disingenuous) interest in promoting and safeguarding civil liberties in Sri Lanka, one needs to explore the paper’s disgraceful beginnings and its historical role in suppressing the working class in Britain and in providing ideological and other support to almost every military campaign launched by the trans-Atlantic, Anglo-American-Zionist alliance, maintaining a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ disguise. The Guardian is a reactionary propaganda sheet that arose out of the blood, sweat and tears of the children, men, and women who were exploited in the cotton mills of Manchester in the early 19th century. More than two-thirds of the workers who worked 15-18 hour days in these mills, under sweat-shop conditions, were children under ten years of age. Those suffering debilitating injuries were simply dismissed without compensation, creating a true class divide in the British society at the time. The labour uprising of 16 August 1819 to demand the reform of parliamentary representation for workers was brutally put down, with cavalry charging into a crowd of 60,000–80,000: an incident which later came to be known as the ‘Peterloo Massacre’. Despite the horror of the massacre in Manchester and elsewhere in England, the government’s reaction was to intensify the crack down on reform. This was reacted to by the workers by starting publications to canvass their cause, and the mill owners’ responded similarly.
The Guardian was founded (as The Manchester Guardian) in 1821 by a textile mill owner named John Edward Taylor as a part of this process. Taylor later used his influence to force the government to close down the competing working class paper ‘Manchester Observer’, gaining a monopoly. The surviving working class paper ‘Manchester and Salford Advertiser’ called the Manchester Guardian ‘the foul prostitute and dirty parasite of the worst portion of the mill-owners’.

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