Several senior Cabinet Ministers have complained to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that Media Ministry Secretary Nimal Bopage is acting like the ‘Mahinda Abeysundara’ of the new government.
Abeysundara, widely known for his disastrous propaganda strategies, contributed to the downfall of the Rajapaksa administration by making the government unpopular among edicated, urban middle class voters. Abeysundara died a few months before former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s defeat at the presidential election, in January, last year.
Nimal Bopage / Photo via his Facebook
The ministers had said that as a result of Bopage’s “foolish approach”, the government was losing support from civil society and educated, urban middle class.
“Bopage is a man who contested elections on the UPFA ticket and he even worked as a coordinating secretary under Dullas Alahapperuma when the latter was the Transport Minister. There is a serious doubt whether he is a mole as Alahapperuma plays a key role in the Joint Opposition,” a senior cabinet minister told Colombo Telegraph.
It has now been revealed that Bopage has directly instructed the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and the Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) to explicitly attack the Joint Opposition’s “pada yatra” in their main news bulletin.
According to many good governance activists, the Rupavahini main news bulletin, over the weekend, strongly resembled propaganda tactics of the Rajapaksa administration which turned state media into a mere mouthpiece of political authorities. It gave a one-sided coverage of the Pada Yatra while twisting the story to suit the government’s propaganda on the matter. Many people who voted for the current government watched Rupavahini’s news bulletin with utter disappointment and disgust, over the past few days. ( By Thilini Karawita )