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On the Personal Attack by Basil Fernando of the AHRC in Hong Kong against Sri Lanka Guardian

As we are talking about very serious fundamental issues of human rights, we will not replace Mr. Nyeahu Nyeahu with Mr. Wattala Boar ( Wattala Uura – වත්තල ඌරා)

by Our Special Correspondent

( June 3, 2018, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) In what can only be described as a puerile attempt, Mr. Basil Fernando, Director, Policies and Programmes published a statement attacking Nilantha Ilangamuwa, one of the founding editors of the Sri Lanka Guardian on June 1, 2018. It wasn't the first time, and may not be the last.

We will never lower ourselves to the point to which this so-called human rights defender has crept, by digging up all personal issues. He knows full well, as do others who he really is and how he has ripped off people off to gain personal advantages. This character is best exemplified as Comrade Napoleon, a fictional character and the main antagonist in George Orwell's Animal Farm.

The bottom line is that his pathetic attempt at a statement shows the world that he has no courage, no dignity and no credibility to face the truth. What a sad affair. By seeing this sort of childish move no one can deny that even dictators such as Pol Pot had more in the way of redeeming features that this than crude version of a human being.

However, the Sri Lanka Guardian is standing by everything we have published about selected people working in the Asian Human Rights Commission and Asian Legal Resource Centre, who, we believe, has no moral authority to work in the field of human rights and spending the hard-earned taxpayers’ money provided by the foreign funding agencies. They must be held accountable for the havoc they have done upon the innocent lives that trusted them.

There is no need for Fernando to be in the situation he now resides in. All that is needed is the courage to face the truth and stop defending alleged perpetrators. He no needs to do this and the best way to prove himself is to answer the 17 questions we posted many months ago. Instead of doing so he has concentrated on finding ways to hide his dirtiness while talking in abstracts and nonsense. Talking about repetition and strategies of spreading slanders is nothing more than that described in, "On Bullshit", by the philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt, an essay that presents a theory of bullshit that defines the concept and analyzes the applications of bullshit in the contexts of communication. This is a book that Fernando has read, over and over again.

We would like to reiterate the fact that we are standing for what we have exposed and we strongly believe the subjects in our expose’ must be held accountable. The simple question is, how can a man hold the top position in a human rights organisation if he has harassed women who served under him? Do you need to know more; if yes; then read our 17 questions again?

Unlike Fernando, we have no personal issues with anybody but we are fighting for the fundamental principles of human rights ethics and norms, which, we believe, Fernando and his bedfellow, who is now serving as the Executive Director of this NGO, must be held accountable.

He talks about complaints before the authorities made by Mr. Nyeahu Nyeahu but he himself has made numerous complaints against ex-employees based on fabricated charges.

[caption id="attachment_51105" align="aligncenter" width="787"] The bottom line is that his pathetic attempt at a statement shows the world that he has no courage, no dignity and no credibility to face the truth. What a sad affair. 
However, we find the article by Fernando was so badly written and it was obvious that no editor had ever laid eyes on it. It was the childish comments that make it so deplorable. Not since his school days has the author seen such nonsense. Fernando refers to Ilangumuwa as Mr. Nyeahu Nyeahu. This is reminiscent of the author’s primary school days when children referred to a student they didn’t like as ‘Mr. Poo-Poo Head’. As we are talking about very serious fundamental issues of human rights, we will not replace Mr. Nyeahu Nyeahu with Mr. Wattala Boar ( Wattala Uura – වත්තල ඌරා).

Fernando goes on to blame Ilangamuwa for every bad thing that has befallen the AHRC since that gentleman was unfairly dismissed by Fernando himself. But, Mr. Ilangamuwa never talks about this unfair termination of the employment in the public domain, despite Fernando who bragged about the damage caused to the lives of the people that trusted him.
“One more of Mr. Nyeahu Nyeahu’s tactics is not merely to send these slanderous material (sic) to persons directly concerned but to everyone possible. Suppose, in an organization one person is in charge of dealing with a particular organization; then Mr. Nyeahu Nyeahu would not send his slanderous emails to that person alone but to everyone engaged in the administration from the managing directors to auditors and to everyone else; howsoever long the list may be.”
The truth of the matter is that Ilangamuwa presented Fernando with information which he would have preferred not to have been made public. Fernando was given numerous opportunities to present his position but quite arrogantly chose to remain silent, believing himself to be indestructible. Fernando only has himself to blame for the present situation of the AHRC, an NGO which is rapidly losing credibility and respect among the International human rights community.

Fernando refers to Sri Lanka Guardian’s reports as slanderous but he has never taken the opportunity to refute any of the comments.  And again, the result is that Fernando only has himself to blame for the situation and writing puerile statements against his detractors simply reveals his failings.


In a further, very strange situation, Fernando’s daughter, Jessica, has attacked another past employee of the AHRC. In several emails, she accused John Sloan, of attempting to extort another employee and also claiming bankruptcy to avoid a judgement debt. The following are excerpts from emails received by Sloan from Jessica Fernando.

“…and even when you started trying to extort yet another unfortunate employer, Basil defended you, saying you were going through a hard time.” And,

“When you made yourself bankrupt to avoid a judgment debt, and when your wonderful wife was very sick, some strangers stepped in to help you.”

Sloan contacted Jessica Fernando demanding an apology and she very quickly back-pedalled, claiming that she had misunderstood the real situation (which was obviously presented to her by Basil).  She also claimed that she had made these comments in a moment of stress caused by the death of a family friend.

It is a very sad situation indeed, when a previously highly respected human rights figure such as Fernando, the winner of numerous awards including the Right Livelihood Award, lowers himself to making such statements. Previously, Fernando accused Sloan of “looking forward to the day that the AHRC is no more.” However, the downfall of the AHRC, when it occurs will be entirely Fernando’s doing.

We have done our part, now it is time people like Fernando to face the truth. Yes, in most of the scenarios, as Pope Francis noted, the truth will set you free. But there are some instances, especially in post-truth era, the truth will shock you and expose to the world who you really are.

Mr. Fernando, why so much ado, when the truth is out there!

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