Kiribath, arrack and journalistic karapincha

  • 9 Nov 2007 06:41:18 GMT

    Jounalists specially in Sri Lanka are like the 5 fingures on a hand. Some don`t like kiribath, some don`t like arrack, some like arrack, certain others don`t like politicians at all, certain others will simply suck-up to any politician who is in power!

  • 9 Nov 2007 06:49:52 GMT

    [certain others will simply suck-up to any politician who is in power! ]

    Bandula Padmakumara



  • 9 Nov 2007 11:26:05 GMT

    It is a well known fact that successive SlFP governments have always tried to gag the media by hook or crook. Sirima, CBK, MR are all the same. They fear media because they are incompetent leaders who do nothing but talk a lot unlike UNP which does a lot but talks a little.

    Sirima closed Davasa. CBK tried to corrupt Vitor Ivan.

    MR is giving kiribath with a pistol in the other hand. Either kiribath or bullet. His brothers go about threatening ministers and high public officers, including Anura B.

    Media has always thrived under UNP governments. Even the introduction of Internet in Slanka is due to the foresight of RW.

  • 9 Nov 2007 16:58:44 GMT

    [Jounalists specially in Sri Lanka are like the 5 fingures on a hand. Some don`t like kiribath, some don`t like arrack, some like arrack, certain others don`t like politicians at all, certain others will simply suck-up to any politician who is in power!]

    Yes Kiwi, and until recently we had a very exceptional journalist with an international reputation, I`m speaking about Iqbal Athas of course. No one can blame him for having choosen family and security as his priority after what happened to him.

  • 9 Nov 2007 23:09:57 GMT

    RaiGOMA says,

    [Media has always thrived under UNP governments]

    Oh Yes!! and here`s some proof:

    1. Richard De Soysa was Sexually molested and Murdered in Cold Blood..By Traitor Ranil/JRJ Govt...

    2. Paul Harris was deported from Sri Lanka during the 2001 Traitor Ranil Govt......For Exposing the LTTE Terror activities..

    Traitor Ranil Publicly Declared Three Weeks ago at the Sacred Asgiriya Raja Maha Viharaya that he (She/it??) will ordain all Media Personell..........

    Traitor Ranil`s own brother, Shan Wickramasinghe (TNL Owner) said that Media Freedom is at an all time high under Mahinda.......

    Traitor Ranil/Lakshman Kiriella has Continuously attacked the Media over the past weeks for NOT Publishing the Trecherous Speeches of Traitor Ranil..........This is why the Traitor has to Print His(her/it`s????) speeches and distribute them at Sunday Fairs and Railway Stations.....

    Tratitor Personally attacked the Media (Editor`s of Island, Lankadeepa and Divaina) personally coupled with a scatching attack on Buddhism......for giving publicity to Mahinda`s Speeches....

  • 10 Nov 2007 04:47:16 GMT


    [Even the introduction of Internet in Slanka is due to the foresight of RW.]

    kolla danna deval...

  • 10 Nov 2007 06:10:37 GMT

    [Even the introduction of Internet in Slanka is due to the foresight of RW.]

    Does he at least know how to log on to a computer?

  • 12 Nov 2007 10:32:03 GMT

    The United National Party got their green colour panties in a knot last week by attempting to take on the media without sticking to what they know best.

    But, wait a minute... silly me. That IS what they know best.

    The UNP does occasionally have spells of relative monotony, during which time they generally mind their own business and do their own thing. You know, dole out leaflets at village markets, lose members to the Government, hold the odd press conference and roam the countryside - mike in hand - with Mangala Samaraweera.


    And, then... they have these interludes. Like musical interludes, except they?re funny (in a tragicomedy sort of way). One such interlude came in September when they ventured to suggest that the UNP had never supported federalism. And promptly had their green noses rubbed into every federalism statement or quote they had ever given in their sorry lives.

    So, what happened last week? Our Ranil Wickremesinghe - who apparently (from the look of it) hates to maintain good relations with the media - has got his knickers in a twist by whining about a newspaper that hadn?t published a UNP statement on the budget.

    Even when things were going good (not often), Wickremesinghe never made a habit of sharing plain tea and pol cake with journalists. It is no secret that he only hung out with buddy-buddy reporters that toed his line, glossed his image and added a bit of shine to his dull party image. He cloistered himself in with cohorts and apple polishers, shut out reality and never bothered to explain himself.

    Many times interviews were requested and turned down: He doesn?t DO interviews. He is Ranil Wickremesinghe. (Even when he?s an out-of-luck Leader of the Opposition who desperately needs to polish up his flaccid PR skills and win the next election to stay in politics).

    So, Ranil devotedly cultivated an image of aloof, bourgeois arrogance and nurtured it with relish. And now he carps that the newspapers aren?t using his statements! The cheek of it. Honestly.

    The UNP needs to get their media machinery - and leader - sorted out before they try to fix the world. This newspaper had to call the party several times and send at least three faxes before they finally forwarded us their statements and notifications. There is no archive on the UNP website which contains Ranil Wickremesinghe?s complete speeches. (We wonder if anyone but state media has Ranil Wickremesinghe?s complete speeches). They send Sinhala language faxes to English newspapers. And some of them don?t hesitate to chew out journalists who ask questions that are critical of the UNP or unsavoury to them.

    In July, Lakshman Kiriella snapped at a reporter who wanted to know what Wickremesinghe had meant by calling Toppigala a jungle. Kiriella huffed that only five thousand people lived in Toppigala. ?It is important to know the population of the area to understand Mr Wickremesinghe?s comments,? he said. ?Journalists should be better informed before asking questions. Just taking down notes won?t do.? And he is JUST the one to teach journalists their job.

    Vital importance

    Anyhow, Ranil Wickremesinghe?s exchange with an English newspaper last week threw up some issues of vital importance. It transpires that he had telephoned a young journalist and (according to the newspaper, which we are more inclined to believe than the UNP) reprimanded him for his institution?s failure to publish the UNP statement on the budget.

    What chutzpah. What inconceivable gall. Politicians in this country are getting way ahead of themselves. If Ranil wants his statements published, perhaps he should start a newspaper. That might give him something to do after the next election.

    Too often do politicians expect journalists to be at their disposal - writing what they say, what they do, what they don?t say, what they don?t do, what they think, what they don?t think, what they eat, drink, and vomit, blah, blah, blah. To HELL with all that.

    In a Telegraph interview last month, CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour stressed, ?We need to remember that we are journalists, not politicians. We are the eyes and ears of the public, who trust us to bring back as honest a version as possible.?

    Ranil and others in the country need to remember that they are politicians - not journalists. We will do our job. You do yours.

  • 12 Nov 2007 10:40:30 GMT

    The main opposition UNP yesterday issued a statement challenging the contents of the Daily Mirror page one comment titled ?UNP and the Media Freedom? in which the Editor of the Daily Mirror said that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe reprimanded Daily Mirror journalist Kelum Bandara.

    The first statement sent by the UNP yesterday did not have a signature. However when contacted by the Daily Mirror Mr. Wickremesinghe?s Media Secretary Saman Athaudahetti confirmed that the statement was sent by the UNP. Later the UNP sent a second copy signed by UNP spokesman Gayantha Karunatilleka with similar contents.

    Please find below the Daily Mirror response to the contents of the UNP statement.

    UNP : In its comment titled ?UNP and Media Freedom?, the Daily Mirror has failed to live up to the editorial practice that ?facts are sacred?. It is a misrepresentation of facts.

    DM : It is the UNP that has misrepresented facts. We will prove this point in our answers below.

    UNP : The Leadership of the UNP did not contact Daily Mirror journalist Kelum Bandara yesterday.

    DM : UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe did speak to Kelum Bandara and he used the mobile number 0777 448224 to call the journalist and reprimand him.

    UNP : The Opposition leader?s Media Secretary Saman Athaudahetti contacted News Editor Kesara Abeywardena inquiring the reason for the non-publication of the UNP communiqué on the budget. Mr. Abeywardena explained that the newspaper was unable to do so since no translators were available. Thereafter the UNP decided not to pursue the matter any further. The Daily Mirror comment has deliberately left out this information.

    DM: Since the issue was about Mr. Wickremesinghe reprimanding Kelum Bandara there was no need to refer to the conversation between Mr. Athaudahetti and Mr. Abeywardena, given the limited space.

    Mr. Abeywardena had also told Mr. Authaudahetti that the Daily Mirror had spoken to two UNP MPs on the budget.

    UNP : Mr. Bandara spoke to Mr. Wickremesinghe and explained the reason for the absence of the opposition view points in the front page of the Daily Mirror. The Leader of the UNP said he could not accept the explanation since the sister paper Lankadeepa had carried the UNP, JVP and TNA comments on the front page.

    DM : Mr. Bandara did not contact Mr. Wickremesinghe. It was Mr. Wickremesinghe who contacted Mr. Bandara.

    UNP : It is the duty of an English newspaper to ensure its journalists are bilingual so that English readers get the benefit of reading statements originally made in Sinhala or Tamil. Journalists such as Denzil Peiris, edited both Sinhala and English newspapers. The Daily Mirror has only itself to blame if it cannot provide this facility to its readers.

    DM: The Daily Mirror does not need advice from the UNP as to how to run a newspaper. The fact that the UNP has failed to send statements in English to English newspapers is a reflection of a deficiency in the UNP and not in the Daily Mirror. It should be noted here that even the peripheral parties made it a point to send their statements in English to English papers.

    UNP : The photographers of the Daily Mirror were asked to leave the Gallery of Parliament prior to the presentation of the Budget by the President. It is a well established tradition that the newspapers refrain from publishing photographs of events whenever photographers are prevented from covering such events. The Daily Mirror broke that tradition by publishing a photograph of the President and the Deputy Minister of Finance. But it blocked out the comments of the Opposition Parties. Therefore the comparison with the Daily News was inevitable.

    DM : We carried comments by UNP Parliamentarians Ravi Karunanayake and Joseph Michael Perera and also of Sripaithi Sooriyarachchi of the SLFP (M). All these are opposition members.

    The Daily Mirror editor was not informed about the photographers being prevented from taking pictures by the time it was carried on the web. The Daily Mirror editor explained this to media rights groups.

    UNP : The Leadership of the UNP did not attempt to influence the Editor of the paper. The Leader of the UNP has never spoken to the Editor. We hope the Editor will also uphold this tradition and refrain from speaking with the President.

    DM : The Editor of the Daily Mirror is not in talking terms with either of them ? the President or the opposition leader.

    UNP : The UNP is committed to media freedom. International Media Organizations will testify to our record in Government. It is this reason which led the UNP to champion the cause of the Editor of the Daily Mirror both locally and internationally. Despite her tantrums we will continue to defend the Editor and the Daily Mirror whenever their media rights are violated.

    DM : There were no tantrums. The editor only presented facts. While thanking the UNP for taking up media issues the Daily Mirror would also prefer if the UNP abstains from violating the rights of journalists.

  • 12 Nov 2007 10:45:18 GMT

    In an another incident the Free Media Movement learns that UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has pulled-up Daily Mirror Lobby Correspondent Kelum Bandara for not publishing of UNP statement on budget.

    The UNP Leader had reportedly said that ?Daily Mirror is worse than Daily News? indicating that the paper is being partial to government and had added that he would issue a letter to mark his protest over the matter.

    The FMM wishes to remind all political leaders that newspapers are not under obligation to carry party statements and expresses concern over the manner the main opposition tries to intimidate media.