Most Sri Lankan mainstream media outlets buzzed with the news that Sri Lanka had been “ranked 9th” in the Global Response to Infectious Diseases, as the Gotabaya Rajapaksa Adminstration rushes to gear up for ‘operation normalcy’ in order to facilitate a parliamentary election during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Exposé: Godahewa Cooks Fake News To Boost Gota’s Image As Efficient Administrator During Pandemic
Nalaka Godahewa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Articles appeared in The Morning and Daily Mirror, claiming that “Sri Lanka Ranked 9th in Global Response to Infectious Diseases”. (share links)
The Morning newspaper owned by Derana CEO Dilith Jayaweera, and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s closest confidant claimed “Sri Lanka and its President Gotabaya Rajapaksa have been ranked 9th in the Global Response to Infectious Diseases (GRID) index.”
The Daily Mirror also cited the same “GRID” ranking on the front page of the newspaper. Neither of the publications made reference to the credibility of the index or what the data was based on.
Colombo Telegraph found that the source cited in those articles was the website www.cmawebline.org, which is the website of the Certified Management Accountants, Australia.
Former SEC Chairman who was indicted on financial misappropriation and money laundering charges and who is now a candidate on the SLPP nomination list Nalaka Godahewa is the President of the Sri Lanka Chapter of Certified Management Accountants, Australia.
Interestingly, Nalaka Godahewa is the President of its Sri Lanka chapter.
A simple Google search for GRID INDEX 2020 results in only two results in reference to COVID-19. One is a link to the website of the certified management accountants Australia. The second is to The Morning newspaper, owned by Jayaweera.
According to the CMA cites the website http://www.healthreviewglobal as the source of its information on Sri Lanka’s handling of the pandemic, a completely unknown organization. Colombo Telegraph conducted a brief investigation about the origins of the Health Review Global website cited by CMA to qualify Sri Lanka’s approach to tackling the crisis in the internet registry.
Image 1: Search of the internet registry reveals website http://www.healthreviewglobal.com on which CMA “GRID Index” is based was created on March 19, 2020Using this unsubstantiated and abstract information, for reasons it knows best, the Certified Management Accountants, Australia ranked Sri Lanka as 9th on its “global ranking” of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of doing the necessary background checks, the Sri Lankan media jumped on the so-called GRID ranking circulated by the Rajapaksa Government’s chief purveyors of fake news led by Godahewa and Jayaweera and told the Sri Lankan public that their country was ranked 9th in the world for handling the pandemic.
In fact the London based think tank Deep Knowledge Group has ranked Sri Lanka #15 in the world in terms of COVID19 risk level.
The DKG also ranks Sri Lanka among the lowest in the list of safe countries in the Asia Pacific. (See image below)
Sri Lanka does not rank anywhere in the top 40 of the list of Top 40 COVID-19 SAFETY COUNTRIES RANKING published by Forbes.