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Watch: Key ‘Disinformation Project’ researcher’s ‘two-faced’ past exposed

Dr. Sanjana Hattotuwa has been at the forefront of calls to censor and cancel what he considers to be ‘disinformation’ in New Zealand.

Hattutowa is a key spokesperson for the ‘Disinformation Project’, the government funded research ‘think tank’ tasked with researching New Zealand’s ‘information landscape.’

A report by Operation People has exposed Hattutowa’s past in Sri Lanka.

There, he was a dissident citizen journalist, and founded a popular anti-government news website called groundviews. According to the website, it was established in 2006 with Hattutowa serving as its ‘Editor at Large’ until 2020.

‘What I do with the site is bear witness to narratives, stories, issues that mainstream media will not talk [about] and cannot report,’ said Hattutowa in a video unearthed by Operation People.

‘The availability of information is what compels citizens to be citizens and to hold their governments accountable,’ he said. ‘Groundviews is regarded as one of the sources of information that gives and empowers citizens to ask the questions that are critical, that need to be asked in a democracy. None of us have any kind of sole ownership of the truth. But information in the public domain, accessible, and usable, is what helps us ask questions, and perhaps, in time, get the answers we desire as well.’

Operation People Investigator Phil called the statement ‘unbelieveable’.

‘What we know of Sanjana is the New Zealand version of Sanjana. Most of us have never seen the Sri Lankan side of Sanjana Hattutowa. And this version is quite the opposite to the New Zealand version. Over in Sri Lanka Sanjana’s modus operandi is to fight against mainstream media narratives,’ said Phil.

Hattutowa claimed to have pioneered the use of social media in Sri Lanka for activism and citizen journalism.

‘Sanjana is arguing for free speech. He’s arguing to push the limits of journalism because it is necessary in a civil society to prevent violent conflict. What happened to this Sanjana when he came to New Zealand?’ asked Phil.

‘It is difficult to reconcile why someone who was so passionate about countering the mainstream narratives [in Sri Lanka] would become the very one who was setting the mainstream narrative and contributing to the censoring of citizen journalism in New Zealand.’

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  1. Someone who knows the lay of the land in that field very well. An asset for the disinformation project. Headhunted with an offer to good to refuse??


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