15 December, 2017

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Colombo Telegraph Ban – It’s Time To Reverse Idiocy

By Rasika Jayakody

Rasika Jayakody

Governments do idiotic acts from time to time and the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime is no exception. One of its recent idiotic acts is to block Colombo Telegraph, widely popular website among Sri Lankan readers, not only in Sri Lanka, but also across the world. The reason for the blocking is obscure, but not beyond comprehension. The think tank of the government might have assumed that some of the articles carried it Colombo Telegraph “posed a threat to national security and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka”.

Blocking a website, in this day and age, is a foolish act because any banned website could be accessed through proxies. Apart from the momentary joy it entails and the blatant high-handedness it displays no can reap any benefit from such a foolish decision. By doing so, the think tank of the government waggles nothing but its lack of common sense and very low IT literacy level.

Colombo Telegraph carries articles of many columnists who belong to different schools of thought. Some of them, understandably, write in favour of the LTTE propaganda, promoting falsehoods perpetuated by the LTTE. I am no Fascist and I acknowledge their freedom of expression. Having said that I also know that acknowledging their freedom of expression does not deprive me of my right to speak on behalf of what I believe in. It is on that basis that I contributed for Colombo Telegraph as a columnist over the past few months. I am confident of my argument, and because of that, I have no reason to fear those of others, under any circumstance.

I am in total agreement with the government’s approach towards terrorism, which was reflected in the fourth Eelam battle, commenced under the political leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2006. I strongly believe that concepts such as “distinct Tamil nationality” and “Traditional homeland of Tamils” are diabolical lies that do not hold any water. Moreover, I believe that creating a “Sri Lankan Nation” while safeguarding the uniqueness and identity of each and every nationality of this country is the only way forward towards achieving national reconciliation. My recent articles that were carried in “Colombo Telegraph” as well as in ‘The Nation’ over the past few months were based on creating a “Sri Lankan identity” and breaking watertight compartments of petty communal politics.

Colombo Telegraph, despite being a “pro-LTTE website” (as assumed by the think tank of the government), allowed me to voice my opinion without any restriction. While ensuring my freedom of expression, it also carried the articles and columns written by some authors who took a pro-Eelam stance on various matters. As a right thinking citizen, I do not have a moral right to ask ‘Colombo Telegraph’ to stifle their voices or to label the online publication with a pro-LTTE tag. Unlike Tamilnet or any other machinations of Tiger propaganda, Colombo Telegraph facilitates ‘pluralism’, which constitutes the base of public interest journalism. On that pluralistic platform, what I can do is not silencing the voices of others, but utilizing my space effectively to voice my opinion and countering pro-LTTE propaganda with pro-Sri Lankan propaganda. This is what the think tank of the government is finding very difficult to understand!

Velupillai Prabhakaran was a Fascist leader simply because he did not have the mindset to tolerate ‘dissension’. His mind was not too barbaric to fathom the boundaries of civilization. His barbaric mindset was reflected in the activities of the LTTE since the late 70s. Having defeated a barbarism of highest scale, the government should not take decisions that would resemble the conduct of the LTTE, even remotely. A government that has relieved the country from the fear of terrorism should be able to recognize the framework of democracy of which pluralism is an integral part. But unfortunately, this is not visible in some of the myopic decisions taken by the present government.

The body which banned the access to Colombo Telegraph still remains a mystery. On Saturday, soon after the website was blocked in Sri Lanka, I, in my capacity as a journalist, contacted TRC Chairman Anusha Palpita over the phone to know whether he had any hand in the decision. The Chairman with little or no delay said the TRC did not take any decision with regard to Colombo Telegraph. But he was well aware of the existence of the web site. A few days later however, when contacted by another journalist, he had said he did not know whether there was a website called ‘Colombo Telegraph’. The Anusha Palpita I knew was a thorough gentleman and because of that the comments he had made with regard to ‘Colombo Telegraph’ took me by surprise. But it’s naïve to believe that such a ban can be imposed without the knowledge of the TRC and the Media Ministry. The Media Ministry has just washed its hands off saying ‘Colombo Telegraph’ is not a registered website at the ministry.

It is clear that a mistake has been made. It is also clear that the mistake should be corrected. It is now a matter of humility for the government. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is an astute politician who is very media-savvy. He should be able think beyond some of his slow-witted advisors and understand the strategic importance of a broad platform such as ‘Colombo Telegraph’. As long as the government is reluctant to take the humility path, it would continue to repeat the same mistakes, oblivious to their long-term repercussions.

*Rasika Jayakody is a Sri Lankan journalist who may be contacted at rasikajayakody2@gmail.com 

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    Rasika Jayakody,

    A good Analysis, but need to look from a different angle as well.

    1.”Governments do idiotic acts from time to time and the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime is no exception.”

    “It is clear that a mistake has been made.”

    Not necessarily. This may have been a trial balloon.

    2. “One of its recent idiotic acts is to block Colombo Telegraph, widely popular website among Sri Lankan readers, not only in Sri Lanka, but also across the world.”

    Not necessarily. This may have been a trial balloon.

    3. “The think tank of the government might have assumed that some of the articles carried it Colombo Telegraph “posed a threat to national security and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka” “

    A threat to the power structure and hegemony.

    4. “Blocking a website, in this day and age, is a foolish act because any banned website could be accessed through proxie”

    Very true. Furthermore, publicity makes the Web Site CT more known and more popular, to get true news.

    5. “Colombo Telegraph carries articles of many columnists who belong to different schools of thought. Some of them, understandably, write in favour of the LTTE propaganda, promoting falsehoods perpetuated by the LTTE. “

    Yes, all kinds of LTTE Terrorists, Sinhala Buddhist Terrorists, Mara Buddhist Terrorists, State Terrorists, and many other Myths holders like the Wahhabis, Souls, Kammas, Nirvana, Nibbana Samsara, Rebirth, Heaven, Hell, Limbo and Purgatory myth holders, all contribute to the mix.

    6. “Moreover, I believe that creating a “Sri Lankan Nation” while safeguarding the uniqueness and identity of each and every nationality of this country is the only way forward towards achieving national reconciliation”

    A true statement, because one needs checks and balances between the myth holders and those who promote their own myths in order to maintain their hegemony. It Sri Lanka it is the Theravada Buddhist Monks, who keep claiming they are the third Gem of the Triple Gem, when in fact it should be a Double Gem, Buddha and the Teachings (Dhamma)

    7. “Velupillai Prabhakaran was a Fascist leader simply because he did not have the mindset to tolerate ‘dissension’. His mind was not too barbaric to fathom the boundaries of civilization.”

    Absolutely true. However, he was a product of Sinhala Buddhist Racism, courtesy of Monk Mahanama Myths,

    8. “A few days later however, when contacted by another journalist, he had said he did not know whether there was a website called ‘Colombo Telegraph’.”

    This is standard practice.

    9. “It is clear that a mistake has been made.”

    Not necessarily. This may have been a trial balloon.

    DeJa Vu.

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    “Velupillai Prabhakaran was a Fascist leader simply because he did not have the mindset to tolerate ‘dissension’. His mind was not too barbaric to fathom the boundaries of civilization. His barbaric mindset was reflected in the activities of the LTTE since the late 70s.”

    Sounds familiar with what is happening now, doesn’t it?

    “Having defeated a barbarism of highest scale, the government should not take decisions that would resemble the conduct of the LTTE, even remotely.”

    You said it! How sad that they do…

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      Peter

      “Velupillai Prabhakaran was a Fascist leader simply because he did not have the mindset to tolerate ‘dissension’.”

      I am confused.

      Could anyone in this forum define fascism for the benefit of readers like me.

      • 0
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        Native V – I guess you missed the ‘quotes’ as well. Best direct your question to the writer. That was his statement.

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      Peter,

      You hav a very low IQ. Prabkaran did not have the mindset to tolerate Dissension. I agree with you YOU MORON entirely as the reason for that is as follows:

      He was fighting a Liberation War from Sinhala Tyrrany and every element of the struggle had to be brought under one central command to prevent
      ” Ettapans “.

      But your analysis that he was Barbaric is indefensible.
      MR is carrying out policies which are even more Barbaric as he is an elected Monster. Any one who dares to question him is either killed or side lined and the list is endeless.

      Lasantha —– Killed
      Shirani——– Sidelined
      Karuna who killed well over 2000 occupying soldiers single handedly — honoured.
      Sritharan MP —– Hounded

      Many more

      Next time think before you comment.

      • 0
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        Kali – before commenting on my IQ, maybe you should understand what quotation marks are! In case you still don’t get it, I was quoting the writer. So much for YOUR “IQ”

        Native – I guess you missed the ‘quotes’ as well. Best direct your question to the writer. That was his statement.

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    Rasika Jayakody tries to disguise his cover-job for the GOSL by sounding vaguely critical of an obvious stupidity. This is a less-literate version of the nonsense that the Marga Institute keeps producing and needs to be treated with similar contempt.
    Jayakody’s is but another facet of the defence of an indefensible regime!

    • 0
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      I don’t think you have read the article. Please do not criticize for the sake of it !!

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        Rifkha Roshanaara:
        We might disagree, but I READ the article before I posted my comment. Also, what this guy is up to is only too evident from his previous output which follows the same line.
        The empty phrase that was originated (in Sri Lanka) at a victory parade of some kind by MR is exactly what Jayakody says when he says, “Moreover, I believe that creating a “Sri Lankan Nation” while safeguarding the uniqueness and identity of each and every nationality of this country is the only way forward..” This is code-language for an “identity” that will be determined by the current government and the BBS and writers like Jayakody.
        Rifka, you might be prepared to swallow this rubbish but there are people (outside the Nation which Jayakody boasts of writing for and which is OWNED BY THE RAJAPAKSAS)who can recognise this nonsense for what it is – chauvinist nonsense.

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    “the think tank of the government waggles nothing but its lack of common sense and very low IT literacy level.” I don’t think so.

  • 0
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    This from the guy who only a few weeks ago blamed the 83 pogrom on Chelvanayakam !!!!!

    • 0
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      What you expect from this dodgy brains..

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        J.muthu

        “What you expect from this dodgy brains.”

        I am sorry, did you say he has a brain?

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          He has but he never been tried its functions…usaual sinhala budhist brain…

  • 0
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    Nothing works in Sri Lanka except pressure from the international Community. This is a banana republic like Zimbabwe, Belarus. Our leaders are cast in the mould of Mugabe and Lukashenko. The people are the cheering squad for anything goes.

  • 0
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    Look, the devil is quoting the scriptures. Even if only to muddy and obfuscate the issue and protect the real fascists in the country.

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    A very welcome and courageous piece of journalism. It is true, CT is one of the few places left, that a real feeling of the pulse of the people can be assessed, coming from the comments expressed, of varying hues and shades on the topic of discussion. This challenge can never be achieved in our own closed society, where all the media are either self censored, or government controlled, with extremely limited public interaction.

    Sometimes the source or subjects introduced may be from our own political geriatrics and sometimes from international, sometimes exciting and sometimes mundane, sometimes relevant sometime not. Everything varied and of mixed interest to a wide audience, with many opportunities to put the record straight, clear up the doubts, challenge some of the points raised or just ignore the silly and the downright absurd.

    Definitely one of my favorite sites and I frequently check it out (when I am online) to learn of what’s new and in vogue.

    • 0
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      Marwan:
      You obviously don’t read what you write before you hit the send button because if you did, you would be very embarrassed by your self-importance and the lack of substance and accuracy in what you write.

  • 0
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    This piece makes some terrific points. All the articles in the CT have a lot of comments. It is hard to get away with making falsehoods here without someone calling you out on them. This is a Sri Lankan and global public square.

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    Hats off to you Rasika for having the guts to clearly point the fingers at the wrong doers! Anusha Pelpita pretending to be oblivious about the existence of Colombo Telegraph is a super joke and I had a good laugh when it was reported earlier. By reacting in such a way he has only helped us confirm our doubts. Thanks for giving us the larger picture !

    • 0
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      Rifkha Roshanaara:
      Does your cheque come at the same time as this pandankaraya’s and from the same Araliya gaha place?

  • 0
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    But Rasika now K A Sumanasekera will accuse you of being in hi lover boy Sambandans payroll for writing this!

  • 0
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    CT also allows writers like Rasika Jeyakody who is a racist under the guise of journalism and freedom of expression. His article is not about threats faced by the regime against journlists. He uses this opportunity to create hatredness against Tamils in a different angle We have a history of unlawful actions by Rajapakse regime against journalism and he says that he supports all that murders and abductions of journalists by this regime. He himself understand that he he is a fascist and racist through his mindset of justifying the massacre of journalists, human rights activists and parliamentarians by this regime.

  • 0
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    What is evident is that the Americans and the West have successfully devided the Sinhalese and the Tamils for their advantage. I believe we have more things in common with the Tamils than with the whites of the West. Yet the Sinhalese prefer to subjugate the Tamils for the sake of ethnicity, thinking they are the enemy. On the contrary there are some who support the MR govt but are anti American. They are blind to the fact it is the very Americans that are sustaining MR allowing him to subjugate the Tamils. If we stand together and treat all alike we can easily live together as there is enough to go around.

    • 0
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      Why are you blaming the west and the Americans for the problems that caused Sri Lanka’s war? The issues with the Tamil’s resulted from their treatment by the government. It is understandable that the Sri Lankan govt. did not want to give them independence, but come on. They passed laws making Sinhalese the official language of Sri Lanka even though Tamil is spoken in a good part of the country. They then passed laws to deprive them of jobs. And, then they burned their library in Jaffna. I don’t like Marxists, but the Sri Lankan govt. caused the Tamils to turn to a Marxist thug who promoted a brutal civil war. The Americans are not responsible for that. Before blaming the Americans and the west, why not look at J. R. Jayawardene and Indira Ghanda.

      • 0
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        Also, why do you not mention the support that China provided to the present Sri Lankan govt.

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        Wyatt K

        “They passed laws making Sinhalese the official language of Sri Lanka even though Tamil is spoken in a good part of the country.”

        It was not wrong to pass Sinhalese as the official language of Sri Lanka. However it was wrong to pass Sinhalese was the only official language, and for parochial reasons completely neglected teaching and learning other languages, including English which was and is the international language.

        “And, then they burned their library in Jaffna.”

        I am sorry, all libraries belong to all people.

        “I don’t like Marxists, but the Sri Lankan govt. caused the Tamils to turn to a Marxist thug who promoted a brutal civil war.”

        When did the stupid Tamils become Marxists? If you meant LTTE it never believed in any ideology at all.

        JR the greatest Yankee Dick of all, changed Sri Lanka’s official name to Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

        What did JR got to do with Democracy and Socialism?

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        Wyatt K,
        Your knowldge of the problem seem superficial though you seem to mean well.You got to find out your self and understand what the west has got to do with it.
        I will give you a clue. After the riots in july 83,all the western countries accepted Tamil refugees enmass.They only had to have a one way ticket to their destination and be a Tamil.
        Try and see if you can find another occation where that happened.

  • 0
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    Dear Rasika,
    Why do you ‘choose’ to believe in ‘Srilankan Nation’ but dismiss Tamil Nation as “diabolical lies”? That choice is perhaps stemming from the ‘Mahawamsa mentality’ that is rooted in your DNA? Please contemplate on that question a bit more.
    If you had said that you believe in humanity as a whole and ethnic, linguistic or national differences do not matter to you then I would have lauded you. If you choose to draw lines between groups of people, then why does it matter as to how you draw it? It matters to you because your DNA is programmed as such.
    True liberation comes with renunciation of pre-sets.

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      There is nothing called Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka. Go to Tamil Nadu and find your so called Tamil Nation there.

      • 0
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        Rifkha Roshanaara

        “There is nothing called Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka. Go to Tamil Nadu and find your so called Tamil Nation there.”

        I am in complete agreement with you.

        There is nothing called Sri Lankan Nation in Sri Lanka. I believe you should have gone back to Bihar in India and looked for the so called Sinhala Sri Lankan Nation.

        How soon both the Tamils and Sinhalese leave my ancestral island.

      • 0
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        Rifkha,

        You moron what are you talking about man. Do you have any intelligence at least even basic. Man for your information even MR has accepted defeated.Gotha has been silenced. Wimal has gone missing refusing to resign. And to give you a foretaste of things to come.
        I like to sing you “Poka Poka Therium”

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    Sam Sarma, ‘Sri Lankan Nation’ in Rasika Jayakody’s book consists of Tamils, Sinhalese, Burghers, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and so on. Whereas your ‘Tamil Nation’ excludes all other Ethnic and Religious groups trying to live in Peace in Sri Lanka, as ‘Sri Lankans’.

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      Sanjay Karuna

      Does his Sri Lanka include Veddahs of this island.

      Could you define what Sri Lankan Nation is all about.

      It is manufactured identity without the consent of its people. The change of name of the island or last two constitution were not put to the people in referendum nor sought their approval.

      What constitutional guarantee does the constitution provide for the protection of my people and our land?

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        NV,
        Which clan of veddhas are you coming from? Vanniyalattho the present chief has accepted the status quo in Sri Lanka and he does not ask the other nationalities to leave the country.
        So, if you can enlighten us as to with what authority (if there is any)and with what right you are asking the other nationalities to leave the country.
        Veddhas too may have come from somewhere long long time ago,unless you can prove it is not so!

    • 0
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      Karuna,

      I hope you are not the reincarnation of the other one.
      For your information Jayakody”s Sinhala Lanka consists of
      Sinhalese- Buddhists
      Sinhalese- Buddhists
      Sinhalese- Buddhists
      Sinahalese- Buddhists
      Sinhalese- Buddhists

  • 0
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    The Writer, while rightly being critical of State actors for silencing Colombo Telegraph, also, characteristically, brings in his now known anti-Tamil bias trying to mildly portray the blog as being pro-LTTE. It is not. CT accommodates all views is there for all to see – from the Sinhala extreme, Muslim fanatics, LTTE fellow travellers, Buddhist chauvinists – and you name it.

    “Distinct Tamil nationality” and “Traditional homeland of Tamils” may be diabolical to this novice journalist. He clearly has much to learn. If he choses to do some research and speak to seniors he will learn in 1958, 1977, 1983 – and, even in the 2000s – when the State could not control the forces it created in its, arguably, inspired pogroms against the Tamils it was the Govt, keen to avoid the avalance of global condemnation, that sent the Tamils in trucks, buses, ships and train to the Tamil-speaking North and Eastern Provinces for safety so “they you are safe in your own land” Sinhala hardliner and anti-Tamil then Police DIG Kotakedeniya, who lead the “cleansing programme” in Colombo in the 2000s had to withdraw from the public view clearly for that ignominy that earned for the State global strictures.

    That is because these two provinces happen to be the omeland of the Tamils – traditional or whatrever – before the arrival of the European invaders in the turn of the 16th century. This fact is now accepted, in growing reality, by the region and indeed the world – in fear of which the Govt expedites colonisation of Tamil land in the NEP by the army currently in a forced strategy of demographic change set in slow motion by D.S. Senanayake in the late 1940s in the Eastern Province.

    Senguttuvan

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    Rasika,

    Stop this rubbish shedding Crocodile tears. You are not sorry for what is happening to CT. The only thing you are worried about is that you may be denied the space to preach your message of hate and false propaganda.

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      Kali:
      You are dead right. At least the BBS is up front about what it stands for. This guy is a jackal in rabbit’s clothing.

      • 0
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        Palayang yako!

        You scratch any Sinhala/Buddhists you will find similarities among them. The only difference is Rasika Jayakody who could type and most Sinhala/Buddhists couldn’t.

        Their equally bigoted Tamil/Saivaites are no different to their Sinhala/Buddhist brethren.

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    CT bark about Tamils, Human Rights and other issues. But very keen on hiding truths of LTTE and their allies.

    People who run the CT proved they are not useful to any one except the LTTE diaspora. CT make them happy by publishing articles from guys like Thangavelu!

    That is a symptom of CT’s failure as a journal!

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