Sajith Says Sri Lanka needs an elected dictatorship?? Find out the truth…

Misleading Political

There are many occasions where readers get misled due to misleading newspaper headlines and reports. This is our investigation related to such a misleading story published by the Daily Mirror about Opposition Leader , Sajith Premadasa.

Media Reports

On the 24th January 2022, Daily Mirror newspaper carried a front-page story related to Sajith Premadasa, the opposition leader of Sri Lanka. The screenshots of the e paper are shown below.

Key elements of the reports are as mentioned below.

An elected dictatorship with democratic structures is needed: Sajith

⮚ I won’t say elections should be scrapped but only suggest that an approach similar to the Margaret Thatcher government in the UK be implemented.

⮚ We should make the media and civil society strong.

⮚ Sri Lanka also should follow strategic thinking like Prime Minister Oshida who led Japan after the Second World War.

⮚ Mr.Oshida focused on foreign direct investments.

Due to the curious nature of this report, we directed our attention to see whether the Opposition Leader said such a statement in the “Medahath Mawatha” meeting which was held on the 22nd of January in Colombo.

Fact Check

We were able to find the complete speech made by Sajith Premadasa at the Medahath Mawatha meeting and it can be watched via the video below.


However, in that speech, the Opposition Leader didn’t say that Sri Lanka wanted an elected dictatorship. However, he explained that currently there is an elected dictatorship in the country, and stated that we need an era, in which there wouldn’t be any dictatorship. And also, he didn’t suggest following the former PM of UK, Margaret Thatcher and said that Thatcher   was also called an elected dictator. This part of the speech can be watched below.

Meanwhile, Samagi Jana Balawegaya, the party’s Opposition leader rejected the claim of Daily Mirror and sent a letter to Daily Mirror editor regarding this issue.

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In this letter, media secretary to Samagi Jana Balawegaya, Erananda Hettiarachchi , clarifies the “Elective Dictatorship” concept.

“When discussing the failed policies of current SLPP administration, the Opposition Leader made a clear and unambiguous reference to Lord Hailsham`s “Elective Dictatorship”, drawing parallels to the present state of Sri Lanka`s parliament, which appears solely accountable to the President and not to the wider electorate that voted for their representatives. The reference to Margaret Thatcher`s “Iron Lady” persona was a comparison to the SLPP`s unilateral, insular and non-consultative mode of Government that has led this country to the brink of economic destruction and social chaos.”, the SJB said in a letter to the editor of Daily Mirror.

We noticed that the Daily Mirror newspaper also published the above mentioned clarification letter of SJB on 25th January 2022.

Meanwhile, a member of “Medahath Pawra”, Dr.Athula Siri Samarakoone also requested from Daily Mirror newspaper to correct their misleading news while participating in a media briefing, held at Colombo. The video can be watched from below.


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According to our investigation, we were able to find out   Sajith Premadasa didn’t suggest that “elected dictatorship” is the way forward for the country at “Medhahath Mawatha” meeting which was held at 22nd January in Colombo. Instead, he suggested avoiding any type of dictatorship from the country while balancing the three main pillars, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary and strengthening another two pillars- media and civil society. He didn’t suggest to follow Margaret Thatcher’s path also.


Title:Sajith Says Sri Lanka needs an elected dictatorship?? Find out the truth…

Fact Check By: Kalana Krishantha 

Result: Misleading

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