As the Podujana Peramuna parties rejoiced over Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s triumph in the 2019 presidential election, the unexpected passing of MP Ranjith D. Soyza, a fearless representative of the Podujana Peramuna and an ardent Mahindaist who energetically championed the Mahinda movement nationwide against the Maitri-Ranil government, left everyone in shock. His demise was particularly poignant as he had dedicated his parliamentary career to the cause of restoring the Rajapaksa leadership to power.
With the 2024 presidential election just around the corner, a member of parliament who was ready to give Rajapaksa his neck has died. He is Sanath Nishanta.
Sanath Nishantha is a popular name not only in Sri Lanka but also internationally. That’s because of his oxygen story. He had an argument with Devani Jayathilake, a wildlife department officer, about converting a forest land a playground. She said that the destruction of the forests would lead to loss of oxygen, he asked oxygen could not be eaten. The international media also publicized this story saying that a member of the Sri Lankan government was asking can oxygen be eaten.
He was a character who rocked the social media at that time. The entire social media condemned him for the Oxygen story, and the wildlife officer became a hero. It was the first social media bomb faced by Gota’s government, which came to power with 69 lakhs.
After that, he came back to the arena and went to the Galle Face to attack the aragalaya. Even then, he was a number one target on social media. Because of this, Gotabhaya ordered his arrest.
After that, Sanath Nishantha became a social media figure on the charge of contempt of court.
He is once again a social media target after paying the light bill for Namal Rajapaksa’s wedding ceremony, and he becomes even more popular on social media as people send light bills to his house asking them to pay their light bills.
During a recent reading of the verdict on the country’s bankruptcy by opposition leader Sajith in Parliament, Sanath Nishantha, in an unprecedented move, forcefully grabbed the file cover from his hands, appearing as though he might launch an attack. This marked an unprecedented threat to an opposition leader in the history of the Sri Lankan Parliament.
Also, it was Sanath Nishantha who gave the guard to the House Leader Susil Premajayant when the Social Media Censorship Act was passed.
Sanath Nishantha, who gained attention on social media, attended Parliament last Wednesday to vote in favour of the social media censorship bill. Notably, he has expressed opposition to social media and activists in the past. The initiative to target him on social media originated from Ranil’s U.N.P. During that period, the Podujana Peramuna possessed the largest social media presence in Sri Lanka. In response, Ranil’s U.N.P. established a social media brigade to rival this force. Sanath Nishantha’s narrative, particularly the “oxygen story,” resonated widely within the U.N.P. social media brigade. This group advocated for democratic principles, freedom of the press, and other liberal viewpoints, playing significant roles in the online sphere and the political landscape.
They are the ones who said that Ranil is a liberal and he should be in the parliament. They were the ones who justified it when Ranil became the Prime Minister under Gotabaya during the struggle. When Ranil became president with the help of the Rajapaksas, they boasted that we now have a liberal president, this is U.N.P. Social media.
This social media wave started in Sri Lanka before the 2015 presidential election. Mahinda called this social media wave as CIA conspiracy, he feared censuring it .
2019 President Gota was the biggest target of social media through the ‘Sir Fail’ campaign. But he too was afraid to censor social media. Sanath Nishantha, who became a traitor on social media before Gota, must have complained to the Rajapaksa family about the attacks on him on social media. But the Rajapaksas were afraid to touch social media.
Finally, the liberal Ranil decided to introduce rules to censor social media. When Ranil brought the bill to censor social media, the liberals crawled under the bed saying good things about social media and attacking Ranil. Liberals were not even looking when Ranil’s budding government brought the bill. There is no doubt that if Mahinda or Gota had brought this social media censorship bill, the liberals would have danced with the devil.
By making Ranil the president, Pohottuwa was disarmed by the liberals who branded them as anti-democratic, media oppressors and thugs. They got Ranil to suppress the struggle. Universities, trade unions and political parties stopped their agitations. They suppressed strikes and broke the backs of trade unions. Arrested those expressing opinions for free literature. Finally, social media was also censored.
Now if a Rajapaksa comes to power, the field has been cleared to play as he wants. Liberals have cleared the field. Looking at it that way, Sanath Nishantala wins. He has ended his life by getting the liberals who attacked him to bring the bill that will put shackles on the social media used to attack him and raise both his hands in favor of that bill. Sanath Nishantha is also dead. It was the liberals who died, not Sanath Nishantha. These liberals are now haunting corpses.
Before Sanath Nishantha became the talk of the country in Puttalam, D.M. Dassanayake in Puttalam appeared as the protector of Rajapaksa. Although he was a member of Chandrika’s government, Mahinda Rajapaksa raised him. He is the one who led the vote robbery in Puttalam district in the 1999 North West Provincial Council election. He was accused more than once of destroying the environment of Puttalam by cutting forest trees. But he was a favourite of Mahinda and Rajapaksa. He was scaring the opposition politicians in Puttalam and dominated as a thug. During Ranil’s government in 2002, he was in jail. Finally, he was Killed by an LTTE suicide bomb.
Mahinda developed Sanath Nishantha to fill the gap of DM in Puttalam. Sanath Nishantha served Mahinda and the Rajapakse family more than DM. DM’s end was a tragedy. But Sanath’s end is not a tragedy.
But Sanath Nishantha’s end ended in victory. He is winning the battle against social media. The U.N.P. who attacked him expressed the most grief for his decision. Liberals’ social media got into trouble when Nishantha pulled a gun from his pocket to protect Mahinda. For U.N.P. even though he fired missiles for Ranil for liberals, he is a ‘dude’.