by Our Diplomatic Affairs Editor
The chilling saga of deceit orchestrated by Ganiya Bannister Francis, a figure entrenched within the Swiss embassy, has finally unveiled its true colours after years of veiled manipulation. However, true to the contemptuous norm, neither the foreign diplomatic enclave nor the masterminds behind this sordid spectacle have mustered even a semblance of remorse in the public arena. The woman at the centre of this web of deceit remains enshrouded in the cloak of unaccountability.
Enter the so-called journalists, masquerading as truth-seekers, as they cunningly carve a path to the Western world, exploiting the ruse of their lives hanging by a thread. This manufactured narrative does not conclude here; it is but a recurring motif spanning years, with future acts yet to be staged. This nefarious clique is poised to unfurl yet another theatre of deception, a sinister play set to coincide with the impending human rights council session in Geneva—a platform meant to address the plight of Sri Lanka.
In this realm of calculated falsehoods, where veracity struggles to gain a foothold, deceit soars on the wings of fabricated tales. In the words of the noble Mark Twain, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Within a state apparatus and bureaucracy in Sri Lanka ensnared in somnolence, falsehoods effortlessly breed and objectives are deceitfully attained.
A figure emerges, Azad Maulana alias M. Mohamad Hanzeer, the self-proclaimed mouthpiece of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP). A man complicit in extortions, hostage ransoming, and the enlistment of innocent child soldiers during the twilight of the Eelam War. Travelling to India in 2021, and subsequently, with audacity, manoeuvring his way to France and then the United Kingdom after being denied a visa by the latter.
Born in the annals of 1983, Azad carries with him a narrative spun with meticulous artistry, a tale calculated to vilify and tarnish the reputations of select individuals, all in the name of securing a sanctuary in Europe. This is merely the latest instalment in an ongoing series scripted by asylum seekers, a grim tradition of targeting homegrown individuals and inflating their narratives to invoke the spectre of danger. Curiously, this isn’t Azad’s first venture into seeking asylum; he frequented India in the pursuit of a safe haven in third countries.
The narrative we confront stands at a crossroads, where the credibility of media channels hangs precariously in the balance, susceptible to the machinations of these schemers. Their “most controversial lies,” meticulously tailored to name-drop specific individuals, act as honeyed bait to ensnare media outlets worldwide, broadcasting their falsehoods to an unwitting audience.
Azad’s narrative is laden with intriguing facets. His lineage intertwines with the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), his father’s demise in the maelstrom of India’s turmoil a bitter testament. Post-graduation, Azad’s tenure with the Cashew Corporation coincided with Douglas Devananda’s ministerial tenure. Yet, his path diverged to join forces with Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, aka Karuna Amman, following his defection from the LTTE.
Azad’s linguistic prowess spans three tongues, and his network within the media realm became a tool of personal advancement. Alas, his motives are revealed as singularly self-serving, with credible sources asserting the dire repercussions awaiting any who dare connect with him.
Azad, the architect of discord, deliberately sowed seeds of division between Karuna and Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan also known as Pillayan. Yet, he manipulated this sinister orchestration through third-party puppets, executing a grand game of betrayal. Amidst the myriad tales encircling this con artist, one story emerges as a chilling epitome of his menace. Enter Kumaraswamy Nanthakopan, a Sri Lankan origins Australian resident harbouring noble intentions of uplifting his community during the final throes of the Eelam war. Operating under the alias Ragu, he aligned first with Karuna, then with Pillayan. However, as Pillayan ascended to the role of Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, Ragu, reaping rewards, found his happiness marred by Azad’s appointment as media secretary.
The year was 2008, November—a time when Ragu’s life was cruelly snuffed out, along with that of his driver, on the streets of Colombo. In this sea of darkness, only Azad holds the key to the agonizing truth behind this broad daylight bloodshed. With calculated manipulation, Azad spun a web of deceit, insinuating that Ragu’s connections with foreign intelligence agencies sealed his doom. This narrative solidified Azad’s foothold alongside Pillayan. Those acquainted with the true essence of Mohamad Hanzeer recognize his all-too-familiar modus operandi: a trail of eliminated competitors. The whispers from insiders reveal Azad’s ruthlessness, never hesitating to eliminate any threat to his position, while veiling his murderous intent behind the curtain of intermediaries.
The core issue lies in Azad’s entitlement to seek asylum should he genuinely perceive a threat in Sri Lanka. However, this pursuit demands genuine facts, not sensationalized fabrications that endanger the lives of real individuals enmeshed within this fictional tapestry. Responsible organizations and discerning individuals should expose this dangerous game before succumbing to the deceit propagated by these master manipulators. It is not beyond reason to foresee a scenario where Azad mirrors the treacherous conduct of Ganiya Banister Francis from the Swiss embassy.
Nor is it astonishing to witness the megalomaniacal thirst for power that successive Sri Lankan governments exhibit, allowing these schemers to carve into the nation’s reputation for their personal gain. Trust in politicians, who manoeuvre in the murky waters of power politics to perpetuate or attain their dominion, remains a rare commodity. Nevertheless, we nurture hope that one day, international organizations and reputable media outlets will unearth the truth behind these purveyors of falsehoods, despite the damage they have inflicted upon the public and individuals alike. As we look to the horizon, we beseech the forces of nature to align with truth, to dismantle these deceivers and their intricate tapestry of lies.