17 November, 2018

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Crackdown On Free Speech Now Official: Social Media Critic Suspended

The Government which pledged to champion free speech and promised to give free rein to critics has now officially closed that chapter of the democratizing project by orchestrating the suspension of a person alleged to have ‘insulted ministers and criticized the Government’ using social media.

K.L.K. Piyankara, a project coordinator attached to the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (Employee No 6480) has been informed that he has been suspended following findings of an initial investigation. He would not be paid while the suspension stands, the letter further states.

Meanwhile it has been alleged that an individual who had committed similar “offences” had been tracked down to Malaysia, brought back and arrested at the Colombo International Airport.

These developments follow the controversial directive to media heads by the Secretary to the ministry of Media. In his letter Nimal Bopage criticised media for giving publicity to the “joint opposition”.

We publish below a copy of the letter sent to K.L.K. Piyankara.

K.L.K. Piyankara, a project coordinator attached to the Mattala Rajaaksha International Airport

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  • 18
    9

    RE: Crackdown On Free Speech Now Official: Social Media Critic Suspended

    “These developments follow the controversial directive to media heads by the Secretary to the ministry of Media. In his letter Nimal Bopage criticised media for giving publicity to the “joint opposition”.”

    Question. Is it crackdown on free speech or cleaning house of the Fifth Column who are on the payroll of the “Joint Opposition”?

    Who are in the Joint opposition?

    MaRa MaRa ChaTu MaRa and his cronies, Vasu, Wimal, etc.

    • 8
      12

      Do not forget all the people who voted in the last election to SLFP!, It was lead by Mahinda, Not Sirisena!

      • 2
        1

        This stinking Srinath is representingJOIN OPPOSITION. Kapuwath Mahinda typ. Anyways the kind of donkeys will take little more time to realize the gravity of the problems Mahinda Rajapakshe deliberately created alone during the ast few years.
        I really dont know why the men like Srinath being in their retirement still vage their tails in favours of higher criminals. GR is believed to be making donations to the villages asking them to attend their rally going to be held in Kirulapana. GR should be put behind bars is mandatory, since his politics will be harmful to gullible folks in the hungry nation: We are longer that civlized ( we means the majority of srilankens)

    • 1
      9

      Amarasiri,

      There are many lunatics who send comments regularly to the Colombo Telegraph. But you are the biggest lunatic of all! Why don’t you go to Mulleriyawa and get your head checked sometime?

      Regards!

  • 13
    4

    Social Media does not give the permission to threats of Murder to an individual or writing Lies to undermine ones character.

    It will be a good idea for the government to be Transparent and publicise the Do’s and Dont’s to the Public to be aware of , instead of playing cat and mouse games.

    Public need to know that what’s permitted to write on Social Media before being hauled up in front of the FCID.

  • 16
    2

    This cannot be considered free speech crackdown. If he has done the posting from home then yes but he cannot do that from the workplace.

    Yet, this government is a huge mess because of conflicting views coming from different people within. My3 should never have said that he found something from a newspaper. That is completely unacceptable and not funny.

    • 10
      0

      If CT follows proper journalism, it is there responsibility to reproduce some public comments this guy put in web from his office computer using his gov paid time..

      • 10
        1

        I can’t claim to have studied this issue in depth, but the sensationalism of this report appears to be unjustified.

        It is to be expected that a person working anywhere has to follow certain norms of responsibility. I don’t think the Colombo Telegraph should try to rouse readers to a frenzy over something as trivial as this.

        • 3
          5

          Does the same norms apply prof.Sarath Wijesuriya who critisized the incimbent president and his government while in government duty.
          Is it a trivial matter suspending a person from his job just for expressing his views.
          If he has popagated lies then one can understand but he is not charged on that count either.

          Masters of lies are the president himself and his cabinet.
          The next step in this direction is sure to be arrest and imprisonment and that will complete the jahapalanaya.

        • 1
          0

          But that is CT.They cannot survive otherwise. This is the platform for people who find it difficult to publish anywhere else other than similar organisations, like lanka web island.

      • 2
        0

        Dear Alahakoon,

        Despite the rebuff I’ve got from NAK, I remain of the view that this is trivial.

        There are two links to the same “public comment” by this guy in the article itself: “‘insulted ministers and criticized the Government’” is the first, and his name is the second.

        If you want to crticise, you must be willing to face the consequences. On occasion, I have been called a “loose canon” for criticising, and I have had to suffer the consequences. The causes were more genuine than this guy’s, but nobody came to my assistance. I have, by now, come to realise that criticising the “powers that be” does bring adverse consequences to the critic; almost no one will stick his neck out for you. After all, all those who have sided with this guy, K.L.K. Piyankara, have done so using pseudonyms.

        If you waste tears on this guy, you will cease to be in a position to protest against real outrages.

    • 2
      1

      Does the charge sheet above say anything about using office furniture?

      • 0
        0

        I have to guess that you cannot read Sinhala. Charge sheet starts with that.

  • 9
    9

    Hope it not just the beginning, They are using courts against May day rally of JO, Can you see how scared them to Mahinda and JO?
    This is shameful, These things did not happen under Mahinda!

  • 13
    8

    srinath.gunaratne

    ” They are using courts against May day rally of JO,”

    I see your point.

    The UNP/SLFP government is not using white van or STF to stop the rally.

    Do you prefer the latter?

    • 3
      4

      NV,you are making things up where were white vans or STF used to a mayday rally?

  • 16
    4

    Corruption, nepotism, and now censoring the media….didn’t the present regime criticize the previous regime for exactly the same? Weren’t we assured that they will not stoop to such policies?

    Nothing changes in our country, same old rhetoric, same old promises, and the same end result.

  • 3
    4

    “Do not forget all the people who voted in the last election to SLFP!, It was lead by Mahinda, Not Sirisena!”

    So Mahinda’s leadership at the last GE had many hidden agendas.One of them he choosing Kurunagala District to contest. Come back to power by discrediting MS,& Ranil using mainly the the gang of four and the joint opposition.
    For all the above shrewd moves he has been using the free media ( some of them are irresponsible ) , rallies using vulnerable ordinary people and trade unions, and Buddhist temples and Vihares to come back to power.

    Will he gain back his SLIP leadership and power of ruling the country after the May day ? It is upto the young people of this country.

    My personal view is that China may be supporting MR from behind the scene so that Mahinda regime rules again.

    • 2
      2

      “So Mahinda’s leadership at the last GE had many hidden agendas.One of them he choosing Kurunagala District to contest”

      The only agenda in contesting Kurunegala was to vote as many votes as possible because Kurunegala hold many ranaviru families.

      Why don’t you discolse the other agendas instead of just make bogus claims.

      “Come back to power by discrediting MS,& Ranil using mainly the the gang of four and the joint opposition”
      Who decieved vulnerable people during the elections is now plainly apparent and it is exactly that brings discredit to Sirisena and Ranil. MR does not have to bother about that when MS/RW are doing a fine job themselves.

      Sooner or later MS has to realize his folly and that day will end his suffering. It really doesn’t matter who gets the reins after that as long as it is a 100% SLFP government.

      The gang of four on their own has no power but they have correctly sensed the demand for MR from the people and are only facilitating that. MS with his UNP pot washers in the government have seen the writings on the wall and are now wailling for MR help stop their banishment from the polical landscape.

  • 2
    5

    True colours of the YP emerging . Supporters of the YP can wait for more to come .

  • 1
    3

    People enjoy the chnage you asked for.

  • 3
    0

    It is a real joke in this country. By and large all the politicos are parasites in one form or other. It is a sorry state of affairs. Yes truth hurts. How on earth one brings about change, without taking to task the wrong doers , be it from the party in power or in opposition. Free speech at what cost. People rob billions from the state and yet get away Scotch free. This is partly because the silent majority looks the other way as if it is nothing to do with them. And those few who dare to question are branded non patriotic, rumour mongers and dumbed in the wayside

  • 0
    1

    Batalanada PM told the media yesterday that there is no LTTE terrorism in the country now.

    If there is, it is because the previous Government didn’t eradicate it completely.

    How cool is that…

    Here is the punch line though.

    Batalanada Ranil warned the news Reporters not to publish anything about LTTE and or Terrorism unless they can show him real evidence.

    If they do, Batalanda Ranil will call the Editors and ask them to come and explain to him why they made such reports.

    Media Editors must be ecstatic.

    Trip to Batalanadla’s Office at the TT and have a chat over Cucumber Sandwiches and and Espresso (or is it Nescafe from the machine at LKR 40 )at the Tax Payers expense is really cool.

    Batta might even throw in a cold Beer too for the good looking Editors..Sorry I mean good friendly Editors.

  • 0
    0

    Successive governmentshave been unable to bring about Good Governance. Instead of telling the Sinhala Buddhist parliamentarians(=majority) to putBuddhism into practice, this Buddhist monk is converting Tamil kids into Buddhist monks to spread #Buddhism in #Jaffna and #Vavuniya to spread understanding between communities to bring peace: https://www.facebook.com/bbctamil/videos/10153421831085163/?fref=nf
    (Pl letmehave Sinhala/English version with weblinks)

    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said the same in March 2015:
    http://www.tamilguardian.com/print.asp?articleid=14231

  • 1
    0

    Colombo Telegraph: This article had been filed under your name. Have you not made a mistake in that:
    (i) No employee of the state can criticize the policies of the Government. If he/she wants to criticize he / she has to resign from the job he is holding with the Government. As an free citizen he has all the right to criticize the government.

    Certain grades of employees are allowed to contest at elections, however this gentleman Priyankara seems to be of the Executive Grade. Executive grades do not have the right to contest elections or to criticize the Government.

    (ii) The person who had been traced to Malaysia is said to have threatened / instigated the killing of the Head of State and the Prime Minister.Leaving aside threatening the President or the Prime Minister, threatening or instigating murder is said to be a punishable offence. That is why Dhammika Ranatunga – Chair Port Authority was taken to Courts and warned by the Magistrate.

    It is best if responsible news papers do not provide any cover for such fools.

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