Jehanlive

We can connect to Egypt

Al Jazeera coverage on Egypt

 

Tunisia had a revolution. The western media more or less ignored it in the beginning. But, Al Jazeera didn’t and thankfully they have an English language channel for us to follow the events. Ben Ali finally left, BBC and CNN made this their top headline news. I could connect to the Tunisian public. Unemployment, rising prices, deteriorating quality of life, corruption, nepotism and lack of freedom are too familiar to me. The Sri Lankan public too, I thought, could connect with these people. But Ben Ali inflated the Tunisian middle class. He created an educated generation, able to speak French or English, internet users and a generation increasingly hunger for freedom (He didn’t create this, it is a result of education and media).   Being an internet user and an English speaker, I could still connect to the protesters. But, to at least 9/10 Sri Lankans, internet and English are foreign.

After Tunisia, Al Jazeera briefly covered Egypt’s similar woes and experts spoke as to why Egyptians can’t/wouldn’t revolt in a similar scale. Egypt’s bilingual, educated middle class is slim with little/no influence, Mubarak controls the military with a firm grip and has a sophisticated intelligence service and moreover Egyptians are not known to revolt, they would rather keep their woes for themselves rather than risk being taken away by the infamous secret police.

But now, Egyptians are revolting in a large-scale. If the people of a country ruled by an autocrat for 30 years can revolt, can’t we?. well, the Arab world now has a vibrant free media, that can no longer be censored, thanks to satellite TV. In Sri Lanka, all we have is self censored media. Ben Ali and Mubarak chose the “icon” of the free world as their ally. America is a democracy and preaches it, although it doesn’t, in many cases, choose its allies based on it. But, when people revolt against its ally regimes, it at least puts some pressure on the regimes, like calling for “reforms” in Egypt. But China, our closest ally would never give a damn about freedom or democracy. It would rather advise Rajapakse to use live ammunition like it did in Tiananmen square or in Tibet.

But, revolution it seems is unique to every country, although what causes it in the 21st century will broadly be the same. Corruption and lack of democracy and freedom.

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5 comments on “We can connect to Egypt

  1. sittingnut
    January 30, 2011

    lol @ your naivety and slavishness to west .

    btw can you point to even just one real sri lanka related story that was not covered in sri lankan media that you call ‘self censored’? even one ,. please do …

    this is the country where all the major media published/broadcasted in full the enemy terrorist murderer’s speeches in full. point me to any major western media that did that with their enemy leaders.

    who is self censored again ?

    you are buying westersn version of what is happening in eygpt. maybe you should remind yourself that west was wrong with regard to so called color revolutions in georgia , ukraine etc etc

    you want sri lanka to violently revolt ? do you want our shops and museums to be looted ? ppl to be to killed ? etc etc ?

  2. sittingnut
    January 30, 2011

    i forgot the following earlier (btw it seems you continue to edit you post? )

    your naive extolling of usa in comparison to china is indicative of your self delusion.

    there is no moral superiority either way when it comes to those countries dealing with rest of the world . they both ( and all others )act on their interest alone (not always successfully ) .

    remember that it is usa that is presently occupying and using live ammunition on innocents as well as guilty in iraq and afghanistan . but you forget that and remember tiananmen sqaure! now that kind of selective amnesia can only come from born slaves trained to lick western bottoms from birth . lol
    my apologies if you can give any other reasons for your selective memory. if you are unable ….

    china in order to gain an ally for its own interests, did sell(not give ) us arms to defeat terrorist murderers, rajapakse regime wanted to buy considering that defeating the murderers was in sri lanka’s interest .
    west ( acting in their own interests ) pressured us to ‘live’ with murderers (that is allow ourselves to be killed ) and not defeat ltte. rajapakse regime rejected that.

    now do you think defeating an armed gang of racist murderers was in interests of democracy and freedom in sri lanka? i do.
    whose selfish interests coincided with sri lankans democracy and freedom in this case ?

    lol
    don’t be such a pathetic slave to west as teh post show. think for yourself .
    or may be you are incapable of thinking for yourself ?

    • jehanlive
      January 30, 2011

      lol @ your naivety at the state of Sri Lankan media. Self-censorship isn’t mostly about completely ignoring a story. In Sri Lanka I’ve never seen our TV channels criticising Mahinda directly. His travel expenses, the cost of setting up hoardings and other propaganda material and etc are all completely ignored by the main stream media. I call that self-censorship.
      I would like to let you know that Al Jazeera, whose version I’ve mostly been following about the Egyptian crisis isn’t part of the western media. In fact I’ve found the western media, especially the US media less critical about mubarak than Al Jazeera. The American media has been more worried about Israel’s security than Egypt’s democracy.
      Oh, and I don’t think America is a country that practices what it preaches about democracy, freedom or human rights. But I do think that the vibrant media in America could influence the opinion of American people and in turn influence it’s policy makers. This means America’s friendly autocrat’s are in more trouble when there is a large scale demonstration in their country than China’s dictator friends. If you need proof for this just compare Tunisia and Myanmar.
      BTW criticising my views is completely acceptable, but criticising my personality based on my blog post just gives me a laugh.
      Also, I wonder how you came up with the assumption that I’ve edited this post? Please do point out any editing carried out since it was first published so that I can think about changing my account’s password. thanks

      • sittingnut
        February 4, 2011

        i see that you run away from answering the main question i raised.
        that only adds to what i pointed out before about your selective memory and do tell a good deal about your slavish personality.

        pointing to your moral and political make up and failings based on what you write on related issues is only logical. why not?

        you do not point to any, even one, censored story .

        as for vague “I’ve never seen our TV channels criticising Mahinda directly. etc etc….. ” really?!
        that shows how little you depend on others account of sl media instead of actually seeing sl media where opinion critical of prez can be seen.

        as i said here we allowed even the terrorist murderer the right to have his say in full. that is quite a contrast to west . but you lick their bottom


        as before, your total avoidence of west’s doings in afghanistan and iraq where they are directly killing ppl, while comparing them morally with china again point to your total slavish blindness.

        btw they are not propping up their allies in tunisia and egypt now bc they are overstretched and weak at the moment
        contrast with where they were when algeria suppressed an election victory for islamist party and brutally killed and imprisoned the opposition leaders. even though basically what happened in algeria is same as myanmar at teh same time. you use tunisa instead of algeria. there are other similar examples .
        your ignorance is no excuse.
        lol as i said your selectivity show your slavish blindess


        “I do think that the vibrant media in America could influence the opinion of American people and in turn influence it’s policy makers”
        lol
        is that why usa ivaded iraq ? etc

        but lets take a current example
        usa is bombing pakistan (with covert support of gov there but against the wishes of pakistani ppl and even gov publicly oppose that) and killing ppl . such action is a clear well defined war crime according to international law . which of any of the main stream western media have brought this fact to attention of public? that what obama and usa is doing is a war crime ? why not if they are so free and vibrant ? do explain

        what do you have to say about contradictory western coverage of earlier protests in places as different as lebanon and georgia . clearly western media has favorites when it comes to protest

        even in egypt why is early januray attacks against the coptic christians so soon forgotten, even though some of the ppl who are leading protest now were involved in anti coptic protests

  3. sittingnut
    February 4, 2011

    btw if you say you did not edit the post between my first and second comments so be it ( hence my question mark then)
    i was/am too lazy to dig up the screen cap and look at the post then and now .

    in any case your slavish bias and selectivity was there unaltered and that is what i am interested in

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