WORLD: Is not Nilantha Ilangamuwa a congenital liar: a personal reply by Mr. Basil Fernando 

Like the proverbial animal with thousands of horns, Ilangamuwa has many titles such as “One of the” Editors of Sri Lanka Guardian, a correspondent for Sri Lanka Guardian, Special Correspondent and a spokesman from a concerned group of journalists that does not exist. He also claims that he is publishing from London, Boston, South Africa and every possible place while sitting in a small room with a single computer all by himself.

Mr. Ilangamuwa is no journalist at all. He is merely a Cut and Paste maestro. He may perhaps one day claim Cut and Paste Nobel Prize.

His so-called reply to the article I published about his lies and methodology of spreading lies with the idea of creating an impression of truth by relentless repetition. In this reply, he has not touched even a single of very serious allegations that I have made in my article. So I repeat, the central accusation I am posing to him: Are you not a congenital liar?

To be called a liar is the worst of accusations that could be made against a person and much worse against a person who pretends to be a blogger as what it means is, he has no respect at all for the truth. Truth is what all thinkers are concerned with. To be accused of being a falsifier is to say that the particular person stands in contempt and opposition to the truth. That is my accusation against him and I am not surprised over him failing to answer that.

Let me illustrate my accusation by referring to a few incidents that I know he would not like to be reminded of.

Just last week, N. Ilangamuwa visited the office of The Island, one of the best-known newspapers in Sri Lanka. A long time ago, he has worked in the formatting and design department of the newspaper and he left The Island in the same messy and ugly way as he has done with the AHRC. A senior journalist Mr. Manoj Abayadeera who was present when Mr. Ilangamuwa visited told me what happened in the meeting.

Ilangamuwa had gone there to ask for a Recommendation Letter about his work years ago. Mr. Manoj challenged him over his right to use the name of The Island after the mess that he had created for so many of the staff by all kinds of below the belt attacks, slanders and lies that had made life hell for several people. Mr. Manoj Abeyadeera told me that the impression N. Ilangamuwa made by his behavior was that wherever he would go, he would do the same.

In fact, when Mr. Manoj Abayadeera learnt that N. Ilangamuwa was in Hong Kong, he had sent a message to my family giving a forewarning that this fellow will create unforgettable havoc in Hong Kong too, just like he has done everywhere. I can now confirm that Mr. Manoj Abayadera’s prophecy has been thousand times fulfilled.

How Mr. Ilangamuwa got connected to us? Sometime around 2008 or so, he sent me an email in which he said that he has been called to the Fourth Floor by the CID for questioning giving the impression that the questioning was to do with his role as a dissident journalist and that he pleaded with me to get out of Sri Lanka. It was a time when many journalists were in trouble and a claim like that would not raise any suspicion. I arranged for him to go to Kerala, India, and then he claimed that he has no money to buy air tickets. I got that money paid through Philp Disanayaka, a leader of Right to Life movement.

Then, he went to India and for many months I sent him money on behalf of the AHRC through various friends we have in India including MR.T.K. Naveena Chandran, a well-known activist and also KGS Shankar Pillai one of the best-known poets in India. Among others, who went all out to help was, Mr. Bijo Francis, an advocate from India who was working with the AHRC in Hong Kong.

What is important by now is, that his claim, he was called for questioning at the Fourth Floor was a lie. He was in fact summoned for the suspicion that Mr. Ilangamuwa was an informer for the Intelligence Agency for a neighboring country. Till the appointment of the new government in January 2017, the name of Mr. Ilangamuwa among those of wanted persons to be questioned at the Sri Lankan Airports.

In fact, according to Mr. Ilangamuwa himself, his name has been sent also to all Sri Lankan Embassies, including the Consulate in Singapore. We do not know the veracity of this, but this is what Mr. Ilangmuwa has told us many times. Thus, the manner in which Mr. Ilangamuwa got the sympathy of the AHRC and all the support he received was through a blatant lie. When person who are more knowledgeable question him, he evaded them and did not want to answer. He managed to deceive us for many years!

Capacity for deception is inbuilt into N. Ilangamuwa’s very personality. In fact, some Sri Lankan journalists have written about this in their articles attacking him which appeared in many different publications.

Now to the question of the so-called 17 questions about the AHRC he is talking about. Apparently what he does not understand is what does a question really mean. A question is a very clear statement seeking clarification about a matter in dispute. None of Mr. Ilangmuwa’s questions are questions in that sense since they lack the specificity, lack evidence meaning facts and data to back them and they are just empty statements that are meaningless.

Anyway, that is what writings of Ilangamuwa mostly consist of making all sort of senseless allegations which do not even hang together logically. I am more or less sure that he will never arrive that stage in his life where he would be able to understand what a meaningful question is.

What he is capable of is as follows:

Make a statement without any kind of evidence and without any basis of facts. Repeat it as many times as possible. Make the repetition more affecting by making use of modern technology and reproducing the ugly stuff a million fold with the expectation not so much to convince anyone but to create confusion. This is the art of a rogue and not of anybody engaged in pursuit of truth. That is why we say, once again, that he is a congenital liar.

Writing under the fake identity of spokesperson for a concerned group of journalists that does not exist, he made the accusation that the Executive Director of the AHRC has taken HKD 300,000 for buying a brand new Volkswagen car. Concerned funding agencies have investigated the matter and found the allegation to be a blatant lie. That is just one. He also accused me of receiving a car as a bribe from the said Executive Director to cover up.

I have been in Hong Kong from September 1989 up to now and have never owned or possessed any car at all. I use public transport and I am quite happy with excellent public transport system of Hong Kong. This Ilangamuwa who has constructed this lie for almost 8 or 9 years and knew quite well that I do not possess any car. Doesn’t it simply expose him as a congenital liar?

What he may not know is that his lies have been laid bare in important places. Providing false information is a crime and those who engage in criminal activities will have a price to pay and Mr. Ilangamuwa’s time to pay is not far away.

This whole incident with Ilangamuwa reminds me of two parabolic stories. One is about a woman, who found a young serpent who has been injured due to some accident. She took the serpent home and took care of it. One day when the young serpent grew up it attacked her. The onlookers told her that she should have expected it to happen.

The other incident is about a young and an old monk who was bathing near the river bank. A scorpion fell from a tree into the water. The old monk took the scorpions and placed it on the riverbank. Meanwhile, the scorpion stung him. Little later, it fell again and the monk saved it again. After this happened several times, the younger monk asked the old monk if he cannot see every time you try to help the scorpion it stings you. Why do you keep on trying to save it then? The old monk serenely replied that it is the nature of the scorpion to bite and it is my nature to help.

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The views shared in this statement do not necessarily reflect that of the AHRC.

Document Type : Statement
Document ID : AHRC-STM-028-2018
Countries : World,
Issues : Freedom of expression, Human rights defenders,