Thursday June 27, 2019

Hitler comment backfires on Sri Lanka cricket commentator

Jul 31, 2018 16:01 PM GMT+0530 | 4 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cricket commentator Roshan Abeysinghe faced an avalanche of protests online after he called for Hitler-style authoritarian rule to control crime, tweeting that no one appeared to be in charge of law and order.
"Looking at the killings in Sri Lanka I sometimes wonder who is in charge," the 55-year-old cricket personality said on Twitter on Monday.
"Sri Lanka truly needs a Hitler to put these elements in their places and not the compassionate government that once we wanted."
The Hitler comment, coming hot on the heels of Asgiriya Anunanayake Vendaruwe Upali’s advice last month to former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to be a "Hitler" and establish military rule, ignited a backlash.
"An individual with your public standing romanticizing genocide-loving dictators would not bode well for a country that needs 'rule-of-law'," said Tharaka @Tharaka_WBH.
Instead of defusing the situation, Abeysinghe went on the offensive casting aspersions on the level of education of his detractors: "..thought I was speaking to a mature and an educated audience. Sadly I am wrong! I am glad that the majority understood my Hitler comment, which has been taken literally. I also realise that there are few fools too, who don't seem to understand a figure of speech. Sad!,” a non-repentent Abeysinghe tweeted, only to be swamped.
Radhya Herath demanded an explanation from Abeysinghe on what he meant by "figure of speech".
"Hi Roshan, would love an explanation on how the word 'Hitler' could possibly be used as a figure of speech? And if it does what does it actually manifest ?," asked Herath Radhya @RadhyaHerath.
As protests grew, Abeysinghe tried to backtrack, but stopped short of deleting the offending comment.
"May be in my earlier tweet the name Hitler would have been too harsh! I should rephrase and say a strong leader who can take the bull by the horn (sic) and stop this killing that's happening too regularly! Law & order should prevail for people to live. That's what I meant all along,” Abeysinghe replied.
He, however, did not delete his tweet promoting M. A. Ratna to say: “Wait a minute. Your Hitler tweet is still there. You have not taken it off. If you don't know how to delete a tweet, ask any 12-year old.”
But, Abeysinghe insisted he will not take off the offending tweet: “I have not deleted I only did a new tweet. Please don't compare me to you about asking 12 year old children may be you should get such help to comprehend what I have written.” It provoked another response demanding that he gets lessons on the Holocaust.
Abeysinghe’s own fans were not happy with him: "Utterly disgusting Hitler reference. 'Too harsh' ? And Hitler Wasn't a competent leader he invoked racism and murdered defenceless people to hang on to power," Tweeted @nuzlyazhar.
Some asked if it was Abeysinghe’s international employers who forced him to take back the offending Hitler comment. "…was it your employer? Anyways what's important is that you take back that Hitler statement and apologies to humanity for such an insensitive inappropriate tweet,” said Biryani.
Added Abeysinghe: "That was taken back and corrected. Sadly you guys don't see the good or humility or a correction. You have to be evil for that."
But, a majority of Tweeps may have had the last word as Abeysinghe and his staunch loyalists tied themselves in knots trying to defend the Hitler remark. Many wondered if international broadcasters and the International Cricket Council would ever endorse him again given the Hitler stain.
Another pointed out the irony of Abeysinghe’s remarks in the context of his private business representing Keune, an international brand of cosmetics owned by a Dutch family who worked tirelessly to save Jews being persecuted by Hitler during World War II.
Twitter threads can be accessed here: (Colombo/July10/2018)


Related Stories


  1. Yosuf July 10, 11:53 AM

    Roshan you said and its the bitter truth.Sri lankan has no leadership hence no control.Nothing is right in Sri lanka starting from Politics to socio economics to law and order. We preach so much but no practice. Poor US.

  2. Upul July 10, 11:33 AM

    The fact that Abeysinghe seemed to think he had done no wrong, does make him a 'Sri Lankan' where two wrongs does add upto one right...Any adult should know ANY REFERENCE to Hitler is UNACCEPTABLE.

  3. Kevin July 10, 10:42 AM

    Budo Ammo. Are there such imbeciles as umpires. God help cricket. Mr umpire. Here is an education for you: Dr. Lawrence Britt wrote about common factors in Fascism after studying fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), Dr. Britt found they all had many elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism.

    Here are some of them to compare with Sri Lanka in the recent past and now: 1) Powerful and Continuing Nationalism: Fascist regimes make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia.

    2) Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights: Ruler Country. He owns the country. Opponents of the Ruler can be tortured, summarily executed, assassinated, imprisoned with cooked up trials. Courts are a tool of the Ruler.

    3) Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause: The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities, or miscellaneous foreigners

    4) Supremacy of the Military. Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding. Soldiers and military service are glamourized and military personnel, as long as they are loyal to the Ruler personally, are exempt from the laws of the land . .

    5) Controlled Mass Media. Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives.

    6) Religion and Government are Intertwined. Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion.

    7) Labour Power is Suppressed. Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed. NO STREET DEMONSTRATIONS WHATSOEVER

    8) Obsession with Crime and Punishment. Under fascist regimes, the police and military are given almost limitless power to enforce laws on a selective basis

    9) Rampant Cronyism and Corruption. Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

    10) Fraudulent Elections. Elections in fascist nations are a complete sham and are manipulated. Fascist regimes also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.


  4. MMP July 10, 01:45 AM

    Hit wicket..Should have left the ball to travel alone..

Name *
Email *
Telephone Number