Sri Lanka: The Gaza Connection.

It’s yet another Colombo morning filled with somewhat bizarre events and news.  An SMS message from a local news service just interrupted coffee on my sixth-floor balcony in Wellawatte, saying a suspected LTTE cadre has jumped off a seventh-floor balcony in Wellawatte after security services found suicide kits in a flat. I look around, see nothing unusual and go back to coffee and the local newspapers.

The Daily Mirror, traditionally a moderate, reasonably independent paper stills seems to at least be trying to report what they can about the situation in Sri Lanka, and what the world outside has to say about it. Their coverage would indicate that they either don’t know a lot more than the international media do, or that that they choose not to publish much of anything that can be perceived as critical of the government.

Such caution is certainly understandable, given how dangerous it can be for local journalists to work here. Even the Sunday Leader, which likes to call itself "Unbowed and Unafraid", recently promised, in court, to "refrain from publishing news causing insult and discomfort to the Defence Secretary", president Mahinda Rajapakse’s brother Gotabhaya. Such developments need to be seen in context; many in the Sinhala-Buddhist majority seem to genuinely believe that there is an international conspiracy against them, spearheaded by the former colonial powers and a few other countries.

Oh, the Gaza connection: decipher if you can today’s Sri Lankan Daily Mirror editorial, which made my Colombo morning even more surreal. Am I missing something here?