Despite being readily available to wash the dirty linen of the Rajapaksa-regime, Editor of state -owned newspaper Daily News has shamelessly accused the journalist who was heavily assaulted by UPFA supporters in Haliela, of being part of the UNP parade as the reason that led to his assault.
Daily News Editor Rajpal Abeynayake seems to have a hard time believing the journalist was at the scene covering the attack on the UNP parade by UPFA supporters. He however, does not hold any doubts believing government Minister Dilan Perera‘s claims when he ‘swears’ that the victimized journalist was in fact a participant of the UNP rally.
In what seems to be a justification of the attack on the UNP rally (which he has described as a losers’ parade) in Haliela by UPFA supporters, Abeynayake has stated that the journalist who was assaulted had not been wearing his ‘journalistic hat’ during the time of the assault.
“Though it may beggar belief that a professional scribe is party to an overtly political effort, it is not difficult to believe these days that journalists are for all intents and purposes card carrying members of political parties, even though they parade as being fiercely independent and ‘unbowed’ professionals,” he has written in today’s editorial titled ‘A Neutral Laugh’.
Although he himself was among the journalists who accepted laptops distributed to journalists by the Rajapaksa-regime, he has gone on to accuse today’s Sri Lankan journalists of ‘pretending to be independence’ and instead remaining in the pockets of political leaders, enslaved by generous grants that come in terms of picking travel tabs and other financial benefits which he claims are doled out by NGOs.
Though it initially seems today’s editorial is about trying to paint the government and its Ministers white with regard to the allegations of attacking Harin Fernando’s rally in Hali Ela, Abeynayake has quickly moved on to attack the local New York Times correspondent criticizing her independence as a journalist stating she is a ‘dyed in wool cheerleader for the UNP’.
It makes the readers wonder, the level of the grudge Abeynayake bears against the New York Times as he has gone on to question comments made by the NYT correspondent in New Delhi for the explanation he has offered for recruiting the Sri Lankan journalist over others.