27 November, 2020

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Appeal To Ravaya Readers And To Those Who Appreciate Ravaya

Following is the appeal made by a group of writers, journalists, creative artistes, social and cultural activists, trade unionists, academics, lawyers and concerned citizens, in our effort to make the 25 year old “Ravaya” news paper, a news paper owned by the readers, by the people. Perhaps the first such news paper in South Asia and definitely the first in Sri Lanka, to be in the mainstream print media.

Three weeks ago we informed our readers the need to broad base the ownership of “Ravaya” news paper with its identity and independence of 25 years intact. For this appeal we received an immense response from all over the country, from the regular readership of Ravaya as well as from independent well-wishers who, though not necessarily belonging to Ravaya readership, wish to see an alternative discourse to continue further in this country. That positive response was a strength as well as a blessing to our initial effort. First of all, we take this opportunity thank them.

All those who called us had one common yearning: to see Ravaya of tomorrow as the same vibrant platform as it used to be all along. At the same time they raised one common question as well. That is, how could they contribute to this worthy cause ?

The additional capital needed for our program of broad-basing the ownership of Ravaya on a  qualitatively more advanced and economically more sustainable footing can legally be raised only by changing the present corporate structure of Ravaya into a company with shares that can be sold and purchased by the public. Such exercise is not possible within the present structure of the Ravaya Guarantee Company. Hence, the need to change it into a limited liability company. For this purpose, Mr. Victor Ivan, following several discussions we had with him, agreed to transfer all the assets presently owned by him and the Ravaya workers to the new entity and to make the public, the owners of up to 40 percent of shares thereof. For that we are wholly grateful to him.

Another fortnight or so would be needed for this process to take off and be completed. In the meantime, we are attending to the legal process of forming a separate entity, to which contributions, in the form of shares as well as of outright donations, could be made possible.

As soon as that legal mechanism is worked out, share prices, maximum shares permitted to buy and mode of payment for the transaction etc would be notified.

Further clarification, if need be, could be obtained by phoning (Gamini Viyangoda / 077664757, Kusal Perera / 0773508328, Chulananda Samaranayaka /  0714204092) or by e-mailing (gviyangoda@hotmail.fr OR kusal.perera@gmail.com OR chulananda65@gmail.com).

We hope to see you in whatever capacity you may be able to be with us in this venture,

1.  Dr. Dharmasena Pathiraja

2.  Dharmasiri Bandaranayaka

3.  Dr. Sunil Wijesiriwardene

4.  Prasanna Vithanage

5.  Ashoka Handagama

6.  Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya

7.  Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri

8.  Gamini Viyangoda

9.  Kusal Perera

10. Wijayananda Jayaweera

11. Susil Siriwardene

12. Chulananda Samaranayaka

13. Parakrama Niriella

14. Vimukthi Jayasundara

15. J. C. Weliamuna

16. Chandraguptha Thenuwara

17. Sudharshana Gunawardene

18. Anoma Rajakaruna

19. Janaka Inimankada

20. Dr. Udan Fernando

21. Sunil Jayasekara

22. Bennette Ratnayaka

23. Ranjith Dissanayaka

24. Piyal Kariyawasam

25. Lal Wijenayaka

26. Anton Marcus

 

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    Great news my sincere thanks for those who got involved in this processes.We will do what ever possible from our end.

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    I am not a Ravaya reader, but aware that it is a journal with has a good standing and circulation within an influential section of the majority community and that is headed by a very dedicated journalist whose stance on national issues can be controversial to some but not unreasonable to the extent of being rigid if they can be negotiated and an acceptable consensus reached.

    Let us hope the call to broad base the Ravaya and secure it on a firm foundation to make it become economically viable will eventually lead to reach a wider readership in the languages spoken and understood by other communities who are citizens of this island as well.

  • 0
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    I too not a Ravaya reader and have a limited knowledge of Sinhala. But I am a fan of Mr. Victor Ivan. I wish you success in this endeavour.

    • 1
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      I liked ravaya years ago when Victor was critical of everything “bad” he was for justice. Then he wrote a book titled bandit Queen, but now he is deaf and dumb about the bandit kings.

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    Ravaya has to go beyond past old political-economy-social order ; and reached & approach after end of war 2009 May,against Terrorism of Tamils in North and Anarchism-terrorism in South. Both phenomena (indvade)are product of evil-evolution of DEPEND-CAPITALISM since 1948 our political-economy order of our country.
    Much the talk about accountability of Democracy of OLD society who was responsibility for destroying our people? Forcing hundred thousands of people our land had been killed by war and terrorism.
    Majority Rulers unclaim and plead innocence.
    There is individualism in our democracy , but no individual responsibility. In such way long-run society and political democracy order cannot function well, if PEOPLE do not take responsibility for the consequence of their political decision and action.
    I have to mention, that ‘RAVAYA’ cannot say “I WAS JUST DOING MY JOB AND NEWSPAPER.” It cannot be a defense. Failures are NOT the exception but the RULE of our land.
    There is meaning to individual in political democracy, to undertake responsibility. Democracy need to do more than just maximize their value for humankind. RAVYA as news paper need to think more about, what they DO and the IMPACT ON OTHERS. RAVAYA should become in a performance-oriented of PEOPLE’S society such as for future of our generation. In my view, we strive to do well- but what we do is affected by what we measure.

  • 0
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    Can anyone tell me please why the Ravaya editor stay silent as if he is deaf today ? I did not read any thoughtful article based on today^s post war developments inn the country, THOUGHT THE MAN HAD ATTACKED TO PREVIOIUS GOVT FOR NO REASONS BUT HYPING UP HIS OWN FANTASIES ABOUT THEM. Viktor Iwan is a like a polagana (POISONOUS SNAKE)… just revenged CBK, but the same polanga to have no gut to come up in the most brutal and critical juncture of the country – is not comprehensible.

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      your assessment about Raya editor commendabl though he claims that he is no more the editor of Rawaya.But we should not forget the fact that he opened Rawaya for those who hold dissenting views.

      • 0
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        That are tactics from Rulers.

        Today, who runs the SUNDAY LEADER ?

        Today, who runs RAVAYA ?

  • 0
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    To understand Victor Ivan’s inner mind one should see the youtube clip “Victor Ivan’s kunu harupa!!!

    • 0
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      Through Kunuharuppa..FILTHY FORMULATED stories but spreading like a metastatic cancer specially among middle class, so in that way some media institutions abuse innocence of the folks. For me, Viktor Iwan is the kingpin for that. His long silence in the post war sessions of the country- most critical period of the country – is questionable if he is a genuine journalist. Most of what he had published had no PROVABLE substance, but masses become their fans. It is the ” RALLA culture” in today^s Srilanka. Ask why you read it – one would answer the other, just because my friends or acquaintance do so.

    • 0
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      Mr Wijewikrama, for an ex Secretary, you are an absolute blot.You called Tasaranee Gunasekara comments on the govt as being personal.Unless you are a boot sucker of this govt,or a sucker of any other physiological appendage, you will not make this comment.If you want to read filth as it is uttered visit the parliament, visit the cabinet room and visit Bodu Bla Sena jokers speeches.I listened to foul mouthed idiot’s speech at matale.You are a sick man. Which University granted you a degree.Must be one of those from the canals of Maradana.

  • 0
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    This is another gimmick of the media grab by the regime. Ravaya is now under the regime, VI has sold himself to the regime, like an old bull which has no real use now and therefore sent to the butcher for meat! Lankatruth carried an article saying Milinda Moragoda had purchased Ravaya. In recent past we saw how VI performed laundry works for the Rajapakshas.

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      I had a great respect for Mr VI but after his comments on kehelmal “Media Ethics” drafted by Keheliya. No doubt VI his going for shopping. So Lost hope!on jurnalism in SL

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    With people like Kusal Perera working in the papaer who is writing loads and loads of rubbish attacking Ranil, Ravaya is seen to do the dirty works of the regime and it is a hilarious joke these people are asking to buy shares of this regime happy paper to assault the people with more and more lies.

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    Victor Ivan may not be entirely faultless. But he broke new ground. He gave the Sinhala-speaking educated youth a voice all regimes were forced to listen. The communal germ did not spare him. He was a leading figure in Wijeweera’s original team whose 5-lessons had a heavy anti-Tamil accent. Between then and now, if he was totally secular, he could have raised his voice against excesses by the State and its army on Tamil civilians. But he chose the path of least resistance and was comfortable in not taking on the regime here. There is little to support he raised his voice against the Sinhalisation of the North – now in full cry nor against the land grabs there aimed at changing the demographic reality. Neither did he use the influential tool of the Ravaya to call for reforms in the higher tiers of the collusionist Buddhist clergy. He is well informed of events in the Phillipines where the Catholic church there took the side of the people against the corrupt, powerful and repressive Marcoses. He could have used this example to galvanize the local clergy on the side of the people. He did not. They are just as corrupt and venal – at least those who entered politics.

    He should play a role in Ravaya where he can influence its editorial policy. Without him Ravaya will be what Murasoli (Tamilnadu) is without Maran or the Sunday Leader sans Lasantha. It will be good to see Ravaya both in English and Tamil.

    Senguttuvan

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    Senguttuvan:
    Yours is an interesting perspective.
    What concerns me is that only 40% of the holding company is being offered to the public. This raises suspicions of a camouflaged take-over when, in point of fact, less than half the shares can provide a controlling interest.
    It would be interesting to know whether Milinda Moragoda has already bought into this newspaper.
    Don’t forget that before Asanga Seneviratne took control of the Sunday Leader, he engaged in discussions with the shareholders of the time in what we were told were abortive discussions. The rest of that is, as they say, history!
    A word of warning from the past might be in order: “Beware of the Greeks when they come bearing gifts.” I know that Victor Ivan is not Greek, but ………..!

    • 0
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      Never heard of the saying “Beware of the “Greeks” when they come bearing gifts.”

      Can the writer please enlighten us on this new idiom.

      Is this a new form of “language revision” being introduced by our country’s “intelligentsia” (or who make an apology for it)?

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        “Timeo Danaos, et dona ferentes” Beware the Greeks even bearing Gifts!” Sadly we don’t learn the ‘dead’ languages any more!

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        Listener:
        Is this an attempt at sarcasm (and racist allusion) or is it another example of those who claim to be experts about democracy and democratic practice and lack an elementary knowledge of its roots and the traditions out of which it emerged?
        Incidentally, I don’t know what you mean when you say, “Is this a new form of “language revision” being introduced by our country’s “intelligentsia” (or who make an apology for it)?” Using a quote very well known to those familiar with English could hardly be interpreted as a “revision” to that language as Sanjay Karuna’s explanation should show.

  • 0
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    Emil,

    I see your point. As a Writer/Journalist having lived, I believe, in liberal Canada, you see the signs clearly. Sri Lanka are gonners for sopmetime now. The over 60% Electricity hike is the first sign. Controlled Parliament, Judiciary, Police and everything else is not signs of smartness but features that go out to destroy democracy. As a rugger fan, I have read your comments on the behaviour of Johnny come lately’s in rugger matches. The world has seen such mediocrites come and go. The injury that will be inflicted on all Sri Lankans – mostly the majority – will be one from which they will take decades to recover. I have mentioned Zimbabwe and Mugabe before. I do so with careful consideration. Was it Andrew Lloyd Webber who wrote “Don’t cry for me, Argentina”? The difference is, it will take the yakkos much longer to figure out they are done in.

    Senguttuvan

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      Emil and Senguttuvan,
      Conspiracy theories are a fad now, especially after the NY 9/11 terror attack. We’ve seen such theories often now, even on very trivial issues.
      If any one of you had any serious intention of knowing what exactly the developments are and how this whole campaign for funds is being worked out, we had phone numbers and e-mail IDs published for any query or clarification.
      There is nothing to speculate about Milinda Moragoda. He is totally out of the scene. We as a group stepped into raise the needed Rs.20 mn and as the first tranche, we would raise Rs. 10 mn before mid August. We have already collected Rs. 2 mn between us and have got very firm pledges for another Rs. 3.5 mn. We are therefore very confident we would be completing our task well ahead of time and would eliminate the possibility of individuals taking control. We have also agreed to keep editorial independence as a written policy, entrenched within the new Articles that would be drafted.
      I am surprised how this very open effort is being compared with S/Leader, except for self satisfaction. Most unfortunately, both of you are not readers of Ravaya, from what I see from your comments. If you are, you would have read a lot more than what is in our appeal, in the write ups that were published during the past one month on this “deal” if you wish to call it so. That had made this a very open campaign, not as yet over.
      As for Senguttuwan’s accusation about Victor and his political stand on the war, yes, Senguttuvan is right. But also remember, Ravaya remained the only news paper that had the democratic space to totally contradict his arguments and positions, even in the editorial. That made VI a single contributor and made Ravaya as a news paper, wholly opposed to war and pro devolution. “Plurality in society” had been the stand with Ravaya all through 25 years, and that would also be written into the policy framework of Ravaya, possibly the only news paper in SL to have such a policy frame work for its journalists. That is the difference between Ravaya and the new S/Leader, to which Emil is contributing as a tempered loner, subject to editing by the Editor who took the job to deliver what Asanga S wants.
      Guess I’ve given enough details for change of mind, in those who saw little geckos in running water.
      Kusal Perera

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        Kusal:
        As someone who has been around the political block for better than half a century I don’t contribute to conspiracy theories as you should know by now and I have NOT been writing to the Sunday Leader for a while either as you appear not to know. The reasons for the latter are the obvious ones as they were for at least another (skilled and principled) journalist who no longer writes for that paper.
        Until and unless it is finally determined that there isn’t an insidious take-over of Ravaya, I shall continue to view the efforts such as yours with some trepidation while wishing you all the luck in the world. I know that you and Frederica Jansz didn’t part under the best of terms, however I believe there was a lesson to be learned in what happened at the Sunday Leader before Asanga Seneviratne actually took complete control of that paper.
        To reiterate, I wish you and all those embarked on this endeavour nothing but the very best because, if you succeed, it will be a singular success for media independence in Sri Lanka.

        • 0
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          Dear Emil,

          Just to share you as non-Ravaya fan – but from what I heard and read on here and other forums, I have the feeling Ravaya Editor is a great sympathizer of MR. If not, why he is relatively silent with the totally unfair crime investigations that disturb to many in SL today. His double standards towards to leaders seem to very clear.

          However, I fully agree with with you; quoting from you comments:

          “Until and unless it is finally determined that there isn’t an insidious take-over of Ravaya, I shall continue to view the efforts such as yours with some trepidation while wishing you all the luck in the world”

          If the step is not taken by any others, the rulers would do the same with Sunday Leader.

  • 0
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    Kusal,

    I enjoy your views and writing and consider you as one who has a grasp of the complex Lankan political quagmire of the post-1980 era. I was in Chennai when the Hindu carried a feature of yours. Many friends in the academia there discussed the matter with me and I was pleased we had a Lankan writer today who put the issue beyond the usual pale.

    I have personally known Mervyn de S, Lasantha W, Reggie S, Ajith Samaranayake et al at close quarters. VI, to some extent, due to my close proximity to a well known political figure – now heading an NGO
    where we met several times. He spoke to the audience in Sinhala and I in English and that left much room in between. Forgive me, I found him more wind than substance – only able to convince the usual JVP-type semi-literates. CBK had her own views on VI. He backed her to the hilt to come to power in 1993/94, but they apparently fell out on some Printing Press issue in which CBK went public later. His book, more aimed at slandering her, it appeared to me – was to follow.

    Not just Ravaya but any effort by people with the national interest in mind to come out with a true plural and critical news media will always have my support.

    Senguttuvan

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      Thank you Senguttuvan.
      Yes, Victor Ivan is as complex in his politics as any in this island politics. We are going through an intellectual crisis in every aspect of human life. In such intellectual poverty, though no excuse, but an attempt at explaining, these aberrations in personalizing politics, do happen.
      Some end up as cynics, some as pessimists and some as anarchists, while here in Sri Lanka, most have turned out to be opportunists in different degrees. Yet the complexities do leave positive opportunities, as with Victor. After all, it was Victor’s hard work over two decades that established the news paper “Ravaya” that all of us are now trying to salvage from falling in to the wrong hands. Again it was Victor’s acceptance of our alternate proposal that gave us the “right” to call for this fund raising. He had every right to say “no” to us, because he is the founding editor/proprietor of the paper. IF he did not agree, we would not have been able to make this public call. So that is the “positive” side of Victor.
      There are those who do not want to accept this reality. Those who only see things as black and white. In dichotomies.
      It is in such context that I appreciate your offer of support.
      Thank you for that.
      Kusal

  • 0
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    Senguttuvan, Emil, Kusal and several others have expressed legitimate concerns and positions. For a mere reader of Ravaya, this is a reassuring sign that Ravaya will continue its robust existence. For over five decades, I have been a reader of many of the newspapers of Ceylon and Sri Lanka in the two languages that I am proficient in, and in my view, none supersedes Ravaya. Ravaya is a national institution and it’s entirely appropriate that its organization be formally placed on a democratic foundation. I have no hesitation in giving the proposed re-organization my fullest support. A word of appreciation of Victor Ivan is in order. I cannot do better than what Senguttuvan has done in his/her brilliant dual understatement, “Victor Ivan may not be entirely faultless. But he broke new ground.”

  • 0
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    nOWHERE IN THE WORLD WOULD CITIZEN FIND A NEWSPAPER PRINTING NEWS TO OUR LIKING.
    NOAM CHOMSKY IS VERY CLEAR ON IT IN ON SET OF HIS BOOK UNDERSTANDING POWER.

    A NEWS PAPER NEED TO DABBLE WITH THE POWER PROMOTING THEIR AGENDAS FOR THE ADVERTISMENTS TO COME IN TO MAKE IT PROFITABLE.

    THERE IS NO NEWS PAPER IN THE WORLD WHO PROMOTE GENUINE NEWS AS THEY CAN NOT SURVIVE.
    THEY NEED TO DABBLE IN MATTERS WHERE THEY ARE ASSURED OF INCOME. THEFORE ALL NEWS ARE SUITED AND PROJECTED TOWARDS REVENUE MAKING.

    THIS IS NO HIDDEN FACT TODAY. THEY NEED TO DABBLE IN CONTROVERSY WHERE THERE IS MONEY…………

  • 0
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    For those in public affairs there comes a time to play a selfless role on behalf of citizen and society. SP Amarasingham of the respected
    “Tribune” played his part during his days in the 1960s-1990s and
    even engaged the respect and attention even of his nemesis JRJ – at the very zenith of the latters power. To some extent, Victor Ivan came close to this. But SPA stood steadfast to principle till the end. Can and will VI do that in these days even matters are spoken of in hundreds of millions of rupees, which, is best put in Tamil “panam endral pinamum vai thirakkum” (roughly translated, when it comes to money even the corpse opens its mouth)

    As that immortal Russian literary giant Alexander Solzenitsyn put it
    “a repressive Govt fears an author as if he was another government”
    In times such as these when all of us face the greatest test in our
    democratic life in recent memory, honest writers/journalists are sine quo non in the fight for our democratic culture.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
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      Senguttuvan:
      Thank you for another thoughtful contribution to this discussion.
      You have spoken to the fact that one doesn’t have to pretend to god-like stature in order to be consistently principled and adhere to the tenets of democratic civilization, something increasingly unacknowledged, unfortunately.
      Apart from anything else, the proof of the pudding is in the eating thereof: look at where all the equivocation and opportunism by our so-called “leaders” has got us!
      People don’t have to be saints to stand up consistently for what they believe to be right. If they don’t, they can’t continue to claim to be civilized human beings.
      It’s as simple as that.

  • 0
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    The relationship with rawaya started with my university life when it was a tabloid.For the last two three years I used read only Rawaya and the Sunday Leader,and stopped buying and reading “Leader” soon after it was taken over by Vaz Gunawardena and subsequently Fredrica’s removal from her post. Now I feel that the only paper remaining for me to read also going to be fall in the wrong hands and we are going to starve. There is no more hope in the alternative journalism in SriLanka any more.

  • 0
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    If Good Citizen will permit me, of the English newspapers around Sunday Times – under the professional management of Ranjith W – comes out with credible and fairly reliable material. The Ranjith W and Sinha R combination keeps what goes as the Free Media gasping afloat.
    But for how long?

    DBS and CT are out of the reach of the Controllers of the Land of the White Vans – and so SL Guardian. English readers have some hope there. CT seems to enjoy readers’ popularity because of the emphasis and space to free comments. May their untrammelled voices be heard for many more decades.

    Senguttuvan

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    Ravaya is non mainstream newspaper used by editors like victor ivon to show some political manipulative power so that they can get close to the president(MR) This paper slings mud has no ethical practice. Best thing that can happen is for this paper to disappear into oblivion. i am amazed by some decent people sign this petition.

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