22 August, 2019

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BBC Pussyfooting On “Takes” From SL Govt’

By Colombo Telegraph

The BBC World Service has still not issued the press release which has already drafted regarding the misconduct of its journalists in the Sinhala section, a source close to the drafting process told Colombo Telegraph.

Lord Christopher Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust

The issue generated heated debate within the organisation the source further said.

Two of its journalists, BBC World Service producer Chandana Keerthi Bandara and the Colombo Reporter Elmo Fernando, applied Rs. 1,200,000/-each by way of interest free loans from the state banks to purchase cars or vans, where the interest will be paid by the Treasury using tax payer money.  This is part of a Government scheme but the move has been criticised by media rights organisations and the opposition as an attempt to purchase loyalty.

Meanwhile BBC Sinhala section head Priyath Liyanage last week wrote to the The Nation Editor Malinda Seneviratne, stating that ‘the BBC wishes to make clear that no BBC employee will be accepting car loan from the Sri Lankan government, now or in the future’. Seneviratne, in response, agreed to publish the clarification provided that Liyanage respond to a question of his own: ‘Has anyone in the BBC applied for such a loan?’  Liyanage responded that in fact some had, indicating inter alia that the original clarification was incomplete and was tantamount to suppression of vital information pertaining to the issue.  The Nation carried the full correspondence (see below) under the title ‘Factoring integrity into media freedom’.

Colombo Telegraph also sent an email to BBC World Service Journalist Chandana Keerthi Bandara who has applied the loan before we published our first story. We asked him; why did he apply the loan and didn’t he think the loan is a bribe, but so far, he has not responded.

The Nation article;

Factoring integrity into media freedom

Mr. Priyath Liyanage, Sinhala Service Editor, BBC World Service, wrote to us regarding the article published on December 2, 2012, with the above title.  We wrote back to Mr. Liyanage seeking clarification and he responded with an amended ‘Letter to the Editor’.  We reproduce below the correspondence  on the subject so that the readers are fully informed.

To the Editor, the Nation.

Regarding the piece by Malinda Seneviratne on Sunday, 02 December,  the BBC wishes to make clear that no BBC employee will be accepting car loan from the Sri Lankan government, now or in the future.

Priyath Liyanage

 

Dear Mr. Liyanage,

We will carry this clarification, provided you can tell us whether or not any BBC employee has applied for a car loan as per the scheme put in place by the Government, and whether or not any BBC employee accepted free laptops, again according to another Government scheme.

Malinda Seneviratne
Editor, The Nation

 

To the Editor, the Nation.

Regarding the piece by Malinda Seneviratne on Sunday, 02 December,  the BBC wishes to make clear that no BBC employee will be accepting car loan from the Sri Lankan government, now or in the future.   Two BBC employees applied for loans under the scheme but they will not be accepting them [emphasis ours] . No BBC employee has accepted any laptops presented by the government.

Priyath Liyanage

Related posts;

‘BBC World Service Journalist’s Interest-Free Loan Application ‘On The Waiting List’ Says Sri Lankan Government

Applying And Receiving An Interest-Free Motor Vehicle Loan Will Damage BBC’s Credibility Says The Former Head

‘It Is A Shame And Very Disappointing, BBC Should Investigate Its Journalists’ – Says Dr Saravanamuttu

Exclusive: Investigate Your Journalists! – Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe To BBC’s Lord Chris Patten

 

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Latest comments

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    Mr. Liyanage,

    BBC has been playing a reasonably useful role, and to continue to do that you have to have staffers who are not tainted.

    Beeb got boobs, sorry, egg all over I don’t know what, with former lady staffers having to tell, that when they were on air fellow men staffers were all over their boobs…..Can you imagine that? That means no clear policy on what to do with that kind of staffers…for years.

    And, are you telling us, no policy and/or guidelines to prevent staffers were going to be bought over, and by suppressing that they were bought over, how long you expected to remain before the stuff hitting the fan…?

    You owe something to sinhala listeners, especially in times like this with unprecedented media control and media lackeys in SL. If you and your team can let down your listeners like this…I have no more words…!!

    • 0
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      BBC has been playing a reasonably useful role. What? Are you listening to BBC Sinhala?? Rubbish, there is a media suppression in Sri Lanka, these buggers are not doing anything. If they do, how can they got interest free loans from Sri Lankan government? This Priyath is lying. Bandara even went to the bank.

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        BTW:BBC World Service funding has also been cut drastically because other forms of media have taken over.

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        Lakshan – I Agree with you they’re laughing all the way to the Banks. Choose between the white van or Bank???? I definitely would choose the Bank.

  • 0
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    Disgusting , I cannot believe what this Priyath says. I thought he is professional. All are in cover up game. Shame.

  • 0
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    CT I will give you an eye witness account. Check your mails!!

  • 0
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    If you want to know any thing UK care homes Priyath can reply very well any thing in and out.Not any thing about his staff members.Ask from media Ministry to publish those letters and cheque numbers issue
    infaveour BBC Sandehaya Jurnalist this matter is very easy to settle.We know their are not professionals.Just jokers writing taking to the interest parties.Bada gostharaya gata gahana minissu. Very few Sri Lankan listeners listen to this Radio or website.That’s the truth.

    Kumar

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