The Real Rukshan
The Real Rukshan Fernando, 36, has been a prominent documentarian of the frequently violent demonstrations that have become nearly regular occurrences in the world's longest locked-down city, stunning and captivating a befuddled public for months.
About Rukshan Fernando
As thousands of people watched from home as riot police with weapons drawn pushed in on hundreds of protestors occupying Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance this week, several more saw via the lens and eyes of a filmmaker known as Real Rukshan. Viewers had a front-row seat to the extraordinary incidents, which escalated into the firing of rubber bullets and pepper balls, thanks to his high-definition, live-telecast show.
Rukshan Fernando, 36, has been a prominent documentarian of the frequently violent demonstrations that have become nearly regular occurrences in the world's longest locked-down city, stunning and captivating a befuddled public for months.
Fernando's footage as an "independent journalist," shot from the middle of the action and exposing brutality from both demonstrators and police, has grabbed a real audience of up to 70,000 people at a point this week as he monitored the protesters' movements. Many workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the lockdown are among the hundreds who have gathered, but the group also includes conspiracy theorists, alt-right leaders, and, on the fringes, Nazi sympathisers. Fernando is the son of lifelong Labour-voting Sri Lankan migrants, the director of a thriving wedding videography business that was interrupted by lockdowns, and a graduate law student.
"A lot of people are puzzled by him particularly because of his history, ethnic look, there is such a thing as a Sri Lankan, a little more liberal, a bit more conservative, it doesn't match the story.
However, his videotape clearly shows that the protestors see him as a ''Hero''. He has emerged as a prominent character in a rally devoid of a leader. This week, his Facebook fan base grew to 200,000 people. Hundreds of times during each show, he is hailed joyfully and rewarded for presenting a "truth" that the audience feels the mainstream media ignores.
Conversely, he preaches about Premier Daniel Andrews' "super-spreading disinformation" on his Telegram channel, which has 13,000 followers, and writes that "the world is watching Australia in astonishment as our politicians steal our rights, freedoms, and dignity." Police have visited his home in Melbourne's southeast twice to tell him not to participate in protests, which he has refused. Fernando, according to academics and sociologists, is promoting a movement that is wrong, especially in the midst of a pandemic, and has very unpleasant components. But he's also filming the activities of a militarised police force, whose at times, violent behavior would make most Melburnians uncomfortable.
Dissatisfaction with Andrews
When the first pandemic lockdown occurred in March 2020, Fernando stated he was behind Andrews. “When I had to close my firm, I wholeheartedly backed Andrews and his actions. I went around urging people to vote for Andrews' government says Rukshan. Later, he became dissatisfied with several of his actions, notably those relating to companies and the lack of accountability, as well as the quarantine problem." He started live-streaming the protests early this year, although he says he doesn't always agree with the participants' viewpoints, which he admits may contain a fringe Nazi element.
His first internet fame arose from last year's production of memes mocking Premier Dan Andrews. One of the most popular was a video altered to show Andrews on a Dr. Phil program with the headline "Help me, Dr. Phil, I can't stop lying," and another was a video contrasting Brett Sutton's contradicting comments on mask-wearing. Similar memes aided in the seeding and promotion of the Trump movement in the United States. It's worth noting that his Twitter picture banner resembles the US Capitol building, which Trump supporters stormed in January, hurting cops and putting senators' lives in jeopardy.
Fernando says,'' that he believes individuals should get information from a variety of sources and make their own decisions. "I always take news media sources with a grain of salt," he stated. "Don't put your faith in anyone." Don't even put your faith in Real Rukshan. "Do your own homework."