How USAID is funding and training an online media empire in Sri Lanka

1. Roar Media is an online media organization in Sri Lanka with 1.2M visitors to their website and 10.9M social reach

2. According to Roar, some of their investors are IREX and Google news

3. According to IREX, they are funded by the following organizations including USAID, US State Department, Open Society and Ford Foundations, and Millennium Challenge Corporation (supposed counter to BRI in Europe, Asia & Pacific including Sri Lanka)

4. IREX also has a journalistic training program in Sri Lanka called MEND supported by USAID, which Roar, according to their own website received a grant from

5. Roar has published several articles criticizing China’s influence in Sri Lanka in the past, including an article where they falsely claim the Hambantota Port lease was a debt/equity swap.

6. Roar’s editor in chief Roel Raymond has played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s regime change protests, by using her Twitter presence to support them and to rally people against the leaders.

7. These are some of her many tweets about the protests.

8. Roel Raymond can be seen with the USAID funded IREX team in the image below

9. Almost 2 months after the first riots/protests in Sri Lanka broke out, Roel Raymond was invited to meet the US ambassador

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@th

How the US has been attempting to turn Sri Lanka into a military colony Thread 🧵 1. Sri Lanka has signed two US military agreements. ACSA & SOFA. 2. SOFA was first signed in 1995. However an updated version of this pact was sent to Sri Lankan authorities for approval in 2018

3. The new draft would allow US Department of Defense, its contractors, and its local employees special privileges, exemptions and immunities. 4. They would be authorized to wear uniforms while performing official duties and to carry arms while on duty.

5. They would not need Sri Lankan visa to enter or exit the country, US identification would be enough. 6. Vessels, vehicles, and aircraft belonging to US would be allowed to exit and move freely within the territory of the country

Jul 15

(1/5)How USAID, NED and NATO fund Sri Lanka’s “Fact Checkers”. Thread: 1. WatchDog is Sri Lanka’s one of the most popular fact checkers. 2. WatchDog’s CEO Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, has played an active role in Sri Lanka’s regime change protests through his online presence

(2/5) 3. Watchdog lists the following organizations as their partners/funders. Some of them are NATO, OCCRP and IREX. Let’s find out who’s behind OCCRP and IREX

(3/5) 4. IREX lists USAID as their partner for their local media training program (MEND). IREX is also supported by Open Society Foundation, Ford Foundation and several other key organizations

B

@admin1

(1/4) How NED produces Pro-IMF and Anti-China propaganda content in Sri Lanka through local Youtubers. Thread: 1. On April 18th 2022, a prominent Youtuber in Sri Lanka who usually produces comedy skits, shared a video that addresses Sri Lanka’s economic crisis.

(2/4) 2. The skit pulls at your heartstrings, and portrays China and India as predatorial loan sharks, despite collectively owning less than 12% of the country’s national debt, while the majority is owned by the west. 3. The video ends hinting at the importance of an IMF program

(3/4) 4. One of the video’s sponsors is Verite Research, a local think tank with a research team consisting of ex employees of western financial institutions, and is funded by none other than NED 5. As disclosed by the NED in Feb 2022, NED granted them $75000


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