“I am dismayed and disappointed that Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala, remains a key member of two institutions that are clearly in ethical and moral conflict” said Colombo based senior social anthropologist, writer and op-ed columnist Dr. Pradeep Jeganathan, to Colombo Telegraph today. “Its also quite surprising that he would use the term, ‘alleged’ to describe the blocking, when neither he, Friday Forum nor Dialog has contested the US State Department’s HR report for 2013, which reports the blocking of CT from Sri Lanka.
Dr. Jeganathan made above remarks when asked his opinion on Dhanapala’s roles as a director of Dialog Axiata PLC and as a member of the Civil Society group Friday Forum. Dialog continues to block access in Sri Lanka to news websites critical of the government including the Colombo Telegraph.
“I’m also somewhat mystified that this conflict of interest, and resultant ethically untenable position is being clouded over by a wooly headed notion of “good corporate governance.” he said. “It is certainly fair to say, that Ambassador Dhanapala can not speak for Dialog Axiata PLC. But certainly, he can consult his conscience and speak for himself. And more importantly, act ethically.” Dr. Jeganathan further said.
The Dialog Axiata PLC’s 2013 annual report is clear that: “The Board has separate and independent access to the Group’s Senior Management… ..The directors, especially non-executive directors, have access to independent professional advice in the course of fulfilling their responsibilities, at the Company’s expense.”
Dhanapala is an “Independent, non-executive” director of Dialog, and would in accordance with company policy, have “independent access to the group’s senior management,” and also “professional advice,” on the legal status of the blocking.
When contacted for comment on the ‘aims and objectives’ of the Friday Forum, a prominent member replied that it was committed to supporting the “rule of law,” “freedom of information and expression,” and “an independent media.”
While Colombo Telegraph has no direct information of the quantum of compensation Dialog pays Jayantha Dhanapala, the 2013 annual report of lists an amount in excess of 76 million Rupees, as directors compensation for the entire board of 8 members, who meet 7 times a year.
“I have a deep disquiet about the very concept of ‘good governance’ – which implies that public affairs, and common interests can be ‘managed’ in the same way as a for profit company. This is perhaps where we need to rethink our collective ethical stance,” Dr. Jeganathan concluded.
Jayantha Dhanapala Is A Liar; Caught Lying Over Silence On Colombo Telegraph Blocking
Jayaratne Says Dhanapala Will Stand By Best Practices, Dhanapala Pussyfoots On Illegal Web Blocking
Article 19 Slams Ban On Colombo Telegraph Website
Dialog Board Director And Friday Forum Member Jayantha Dhanapala Fails To Stop CT Blockade On Dialog Network
Sara Says ‘Dhanapala – WebBlocking’ Issue Needs To Be Resolved Within The Framework Of Good Governance
Subtle Business Interests More Damaging Than Anti–Democratic Regime: Dhanapala Should Answer Conflict Of Interest Questions – Dr. Nirmal Ranjith
Sri Lanka Blocks Websites And The President Lies On Twitter
Once Again Colombo Telegraph Blocked; Dialog And Etisalat Tamper DNS Responses
TRC Blocks Colombo Telegraph, Warns Service Providers To Maintain It’s A ‘Technical Glitch’
Colombo Telegraph Blocked, How To Reach Us Now: Sri Lanka Telecom And Mobitel Joins The DPI Club!
Sri Lankan Govt. Periodically Blocked Colombo Telegraph In 2013: US Human Rights Report
History of Colombo Telegraph blocking
First -December 26, 2011 – We are blocked but we will not be stopped
Second – May 8, 2012 – Colombo Telegraph Blocked Again
Third – March 29, 2013 – Sri Lanka Blocks Colombo Telegraph and Selected Tweets: Colombo Telegraph Unblocked
Fourth – August 23, 2013 – Colombo Telegraph Blocked, How To Reach Us Now: Sri Lanka Telecom And Mobitel Joins The DPI Club!
October 26, 2012 – Colombo Telegraph Was Hacked
August 9, 2012 ColomboTelegraph Password Cracking Attempt Blocked
Freedom House Report: Freedom On The Net 2012, Sri Lanka Is A Country At Risk
Professor Kumar David / March 20, 2014
I have thought about Dhanapala’s position quite a bit. Dialog clearly considers him a valuable person and seems to pay him well for his services on the Board. I have no problem with that. However, irrespective of whther I was a member of the Friday Forum, Bolshevik Party or anything else, I would have a problem if a company on whose board I served, engaged in unethical ptractices.
The question then is this. Is Dialog engaging in unethical and indefensible practices by illegally blocking CT and presumably other websites because they open their columns to writers who are anti-government (and others who are pro-government as well)?
The very posing of the question so explicitly makes obvious the answer. Dialog, and the other Internet service providers who engage in such activities are in violation of the Telecommunication Regulations and it would not be unfair to call them servile political stooges.
In Dhanapala’s case this is compounded by the thought in many people’s minds, and I admit in my mind too, that he may be influenced by the appaarently large payment he receives for his services on the Board.
Amarasiri / March 20, 2014
Dr. Pradeep Jeganathan,
“I am dismayed and disappointed that Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala, remains a key member of two institutions that are clearly in ethical and moral conflict” said Colombo based senior social anthropologist, writer and op-ed columnist Dr. Pradeep Jeganathan, to Colombo Telegraph today. “Its also quite surprising that he would use the term, ‘alleged’ to describe the blocking, when neither he, Friday Forum nor Dialog has contested the US State Department’s HR report for 2013, which reports the blocking of CT from Sri Lanka.”
“That he may be influenced by the apparently large payment he receives for his services on the Board. “
Well, well, Deja Vu, have seen it before.
1. Bribe takers are influenced by the large amounts of money.
2. Whores-are influenced by the large and small amounts of money.
3. Both have one thing in common. Self-interest and money, not necessarily ethics or the interest of the society they live in.
Dev / March 20, 2014
Anything short of his dismissal or resignation at this juncture would be too little too late to restore the credibility of FF.
Nimal / March 20, 2014
What about the unethicality of Dhanapala sitting on the board of a company whose Chairman is the nephew of an influential presidential adviser – Dr. Sunimal Fernando – of a government which is said to have determined telecom tariff policies to favour the same company – Dialog?
Ben Hurling / March 20, 2014
I agree completely with Dr. Pradeep Jeganathan.
He has spoken for the silent, yet furious majority of Sri Lankans.
Both Ambassador Dhanapala & FF should make their stand on this matter known to the public at once. Before they get their impeccable reputaions compromised in the public eye.
Truth is we badly need both Ambassador Dhanapala & FF in our struggle for a better Sri Lanka. Hope you will not let us down and rise to the challenge.
Tasil Samarasinha / March 20, 2014
With these people it is a case of “do as I say but do not do as I do”they have nothing called shame or have any self respect.
jeen / March 20, 2014
Its ALL ABOUT MONEY….. They Get a SHIT LOAD for staying on these boards
OutRider / March 20, 2014
Jayantha Dhanapala is only the tip of the malignant iceberg, human rights – NGO – civil society cartel.
Dinuk / March 20, 2014
Pradeep – thanks for speaking out! It is time for the “YOUNGER” GENERATION to CHALLENGE the hyppocracy of Dhanapala and his Friday Friends DODOs who are in the big Business Corrupt Boards league – that are quite unethical..
Jayantha Dhanapala and his Friday Forum dodos are the GENERATION that RUINED Sri Lanka and its political culture – with their double games and RENT SEEKING behavior, as also epitomized in the actions of their friends the DEAD LEFTISTS and the likes of highly compromised civil society “leaders” like – Nimalka Fernando in Bed with Vasudeva Nanayakkara – the Minister of National Disintegration!
The inability to take ETHICAL positions and willingness to indulge in meaningless legalese that muddies the waters when the necessity is for clear and ETHICAL positions and leadership particularly when MONEY AND POSITION is at stake, is a hall mark of JD and his Friday Forum self-described “eminent persons group!
Colombo “civil society” needs to be cleaned up, rid of these highly compromized individuals who claim to represent “civil society” and shut down, so that a younger MORE ETHICAL generation may take over. Unfortunately, the buzz about promoting “youth leaders” to get the Dodos to go, by UNDP another joke is about promoting Namal Jarapassa and stupid sons and nephews of politicians and their thugs! This is the UNDP’s and Commonwealth of Clowns approach to DEVELOPMENT and DEMOCRACY! JD is from the UN after all – bunch of jokers!
Nimal / March 20, 2014
The inability to take ethical positions in their politics is not confined to the members of the older generation represented in the Friday Forum. There is a new generation of NGO wallahs and activists spawned by foreign funding related to human rights, peace, conflict resolution etc. for whom engaging in NGO politics have become a comfortable way of life without having to ethically defend their political positions. One particular NGO that engages in such unethical activities is ‘Rights Now, Collective for democracy’ which acts as a front for recruiting cadres and providing funding for an extremist political group in the South with fascist and anti-feminist tendencies. Rights Now, Collective for democracy which claims to stand for human rights, democracy etc. and said to receive funding from European Union among other sources acts as a conduit to channel funds to the said political group however without having to ethically defend its extremist anti-civil society political positions.
Palayang yako! / March 20, 2014
Thank you for that, Dr. Jeganathan.
CT should poll every single member of the”centre for puffery,” the Friday Forum on whether each and every one of them believes that “Dr” Dhanapala should forego a not-inconsiderable emolument in the interest of principle. If nothing else, readers of CT will be regaled with a variety of sophistry that is not often found on this website! Paikiasotyhy has already begun that parade in defence of JD!
Also, how about The Friday Forum providing for public information its vision and mission statements?
Enough of the fraud that is being perpetrated by the lap-dog media of Sri Lanka on an unsuspecting public. Let’s hear the facts and where these frauds stand in the scheme of things.
Wickramasiri / March 20, 2014
There are some people we look up to. We expect them to represent our thinking on how upright a citizen should be, to set an exmple as it were. Jayantha Dhanapala, Pakyasothi Saravanamuttu, Chandra Jayaratne, are amongst them. They are always in the limelight. But when you fail to stand up to your principles, you expose yourself as a mere windbag devoid of true grit. When you no longer value your integrity and self respect and fail to stand by your good name it is time to retire from public life and seek solace in seclusion. This is the only course for Dhanapala. In fact Friday Forum may as well wind up too and call it a day or a week-end.
Paul / March 20, 2014
Pujitha Wickremesinghe / March 20, 2014
It is well and good in the public interest that Colombo
Telegraph is exposing a new tribe – those Friday Freaks
who speak of public morality on the one hand and receive
wads of money on the other.
The least someone of the claimed eminence of Dr Jayantha
Dhanapala should have done was to write a polite letter
to his colleagues in the Board. After all, they are not
like members of the Public Performances or Censor Board
who will reject everything deemed unfavourable to the
Government. That would have helped them weigh the pros
and cons. They could have represented matters to the TRC
though it is headed by one who is on a totally different
For greats like Dhanapala, Chandra Jayaratne, Dayan
Jayatilleke, Professor Rohan Gunaratne,Dr Ariyaratne
Athugala and the likes, self interest and money comes
first.Public interest follows.
Well done CT. You have exposed them. Shine the light on
hypocrites so the public of Sri Lanka know these are the
champions of their rights and duties. To hell with them!!!
Nimal / March 20, 2014
You have put a motley crowd together and called them greats! What irony!!
Kirri Yakka / March 23, 2014
Not sure why pujitha left out Anton Balasingam from this list of greats.
Neverdeless Pradeep this is a good article.Glad your are exposing the spineless over rated generation . The leave the island in a bloody mess for the next gerarion to carry unresolved burens.