Jayantha Dhanapala, a prominent member of the Sri Lankan civil society group, the Friday Forum, is a member of the board of directors of Dialog Axiata PLC, Colombo Telegraph learnt.
Dialog one of Sri Lanka’s key telecommunications providers, has been surreptitious blocking access to Colombo Telegraph, over a period of time. Dhanapala was appointed to the Board of Dialog Axiata PLC on 3rd August, 2007, after serving as Under-Secretary-General of the UNO (1998-2003), among other high posts.
When reached for comment on this matter, Dhanapala stated, via email, nearly three weeks ago now, that, he was “uninformed about operational details of the company.” He went on to say that, “The first information I have had about alleged Dialog interference with the Colombo Telegraph (of which I am a regular reader) was when I read of this in your blog. I will make inquiries about this and let you know what the position of Dialog is on this matter.” We have not heard from him since.
The Dialog Axiata PLC’s 2013 annual report, however, 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.
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
Robert.R / March 6, 2014
Jayantha, are you batting for both sides?????
Katmai / March 6, 2014
Of course he is. That’s how most of these bigwigs are.
Looks like even Lanka Telecom is also blocking CT now. I don’t get it though. What the hell do they think they are going to achieve by this?
When foreign carriers came to Sri Lanka and prices started dropping and people started moving to these carriers, I remember, CelTell used to run advertisements saying they are the first and Sri Lanka owned company and people should stay with them because the money given to them stays in Sri Lanka (as if those million dollar equipment is made by them). When I saw those ads I wondered if they didn’t think that people remembered how they charged exorbitant prices when they were the only game it town.
Of course, people didn’t buy it and CelTell is dead and gone. But when people start moving in droves, to carriers who care more about their customers, I wonder what Dialog is going to say, in order to convince them to stay.
Balasuriya / March 6, 2014
WHF is this? oh my god! Danapala [Edited out]
Balasuriya / March 6, 2014
Can’t stand this [Edited out] Such a dirty hypocrite.
Pala / March 6, 2014
Good job CT congratulation for exposing these corrupt people!
kolla / March 6, 2014
Good to see JD’s true colours ;) ;)
Anpu / March 6, 2014
I have read only the title not read the article yet. Mr Dhanapala should resign from the Dialog board immediately.
Amarasiri / March 6, 2014
Dear Mr. Jayantha Danapala and Colombo Telegraph,
“Jayantha Dhanapala, a prominent member of the Sri Lankan civil society group, the Friday Forum, is a member of the board of directors of Dialog Axiata PLC, Colombo Telegraph learnt.”
“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.”
“Under-Secretary-General of the UNO (1998-2003), among other high posts.”
Now that Mr. Danapala knows, the CT readers expect him to make sure the subscribers and all the citizens of Sri Lanka have free access to information.
If Mr. Danapals has a different opinion, Mr. Danapala should write about it, so that all CT readers can hear about it and make their own opinion.
Mr. Danapala , your credential tell us that you are an ethical Sri Lankan, and please use your good officers to straighten any deficiencies, that may have resulted i n blocking free acces to information for Sri Lankans.
Thank you in Advance. This is what the Enlightened Buddha had to say:
“Believe nothing, in the faith of traditions,
even though, they have been held in honor,
for many generations, and in diverse places.
Do not believe, a thing, because many people speak of it.
Do not believe, in the faith, of the sages of the past.
Do not believe, what you yourself have imagined,
persuading yourself, that a God inspires you.
Believe nothing, on the sole authority, of your masters and priests.
After examination, believe what you yourself, have tested
and found, to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto.” The Buddha
Park / March 6, 2014
Jayantha have you got on to the President’s lap?
Friday Forum Fan / March 6, 2014
Waiting to read Dhanapala’s resignation letter soon, we can see whether is a man with principles or not.
Bull / March 6, 2014
He may not be able to view this article because it is blocked by the SLG. That would be a nice excuse!!
Amarasiri / March 9, 2014
Friday Forum Fan ,
Shills do not resign. They are kept or kicked out.
If he is not a shill, he can resign and will resign.
Do you know what happened to Shill Lasksman, Hugalla, aka Borugalla, or or Pachagalla? he Got kicked out. May be his lies were not strong enough.
Don Quixote / March 6, 2014
How much is Dhanapala paid in directors fees ? You will have to better that if you want him to resign.
Furthermore what will he be if he resigns ? A powerless , has-been failed contestant at the UN !
nimal / March 6, 2014
Dhanapala was Dialog Chairman at one point. Dialog CEO Hans Wijesuriya works very closely with MR getting MR’s preferential treatment among telecom companies. It is upon Dialog’s request that the govt. maintains the minimum phone rates for mobile phone refusing airtel’s request for for a free floating rate system. Hans Wijesuriya tells people that his uncle Sunimal Fernando is very close to MR and that’s how he gets things done to the benefit of Dialog. Would the Dialog reveal how much it contributes the coffers of the MR regime in various ways?
Safa / March 6, 2014
There are two ways this can be handled. Be on the inside and take up the matter. This I believe is the role of the independent Directors. Dialog being a public quoted company has to answer to its shareholders. It is possible that one Director may be over ruled by the others who seek to compromise with the Govt due to commercial interests such as Nanasala etc.
The other would be to resign and make a public statement as to the reasons. This could turn into a fruitless exercise as evinced by the cases of CJ SB and General Fonseka. It is better to live and fight than be a martyr for a day.
Ainsley / March 6, 2014
In a way I am happy that CT is exposing in a factual way, pretenders who excel in well fashioned statements on good governance and the like – and do not have the sincerity to walk the walk. They only talk the talk. Friday Forum – what a group of pretenders!
One by one, they are getting exposed. But having said that, something must also come from all these exposures.
One thing is that the impact of these people to change public opinion has already gone down. No one listens to them any more. That much is for sure. But that too is only helpful to the government.
Cannot an actual group of genuine civil society get together, those who talk the talk AND walk the walk to give opposition to this terrible government? Answers, anyone?
Rodin / March 6, 2014
CT wants to project a picture and want the government to ban them, so that they can get may be some sympathy and funding. I am now typing this mail and reading the Colombo Telegraph, by using a Mobitel connection in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
nimal / March 6, 2014
I have a Telecom connection at home. Since the day before yesterday CT has been blocked for me. This, I am connecting from my workplace which has a fibre network catering to a large number of employees even though the main provider is telecom. The next move of the regime will be to block access from places such as this well.
Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah / March 6, 2014
We sense a hidden hand behind CT blockade, even Jayantha Dhanapala doesn’t know of or doesn’t want to reveal!
Haruki Ranarajah / March 7, 2014
Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah
Tamil people are more interested in the hidden hand behind blockade of information about what happened to all the money collected through extortion and other criminal activities in Canada for the failed project of racist Tamil Eelam.
Gamini Karalliyadda / March 6, 2014
A litmus test for Dr Jayantha Dhanpala!!! Waiting to hear from you.
Khema / March 6, 2014
He should resign immediately and prove what he preaches via Friday Forum
Upali Piyatissa / March 6, 2014
Resign , resign , resign Dr Dhanpala !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Make a public statement on this dirty tricks by the private sector.
Sumana Fernando - Colombo -3 / March 6, 2014
Dr Dhanapala, how much they pay for you? one million for a sitting? can you tell us for the sake of transparency – good governance etc?
sirimal / March 6, 2014
what BS are u bubbling ?
Wait and see how Mr. Dhanapala would react to it in the days to come.
He is a recognized world figure, we are all proud of.
I wonder why the thugghish govt failed to profit his knowledge on IC.
Sekara / March 6, 2014
other side of the so- called CIVIL SOCIETY TYCOONS :( Shame on you Jayanatha Dhanpala.
Matilda Ellepola / March 6, 2014
All this time I was to assume that JD was on the same caliber intellectual like the late Laxman Kadiragamar a Trinity Lion.
Looks what a depth he have fallen with this corrupt regime backing Telcos whose CEO is non other then the son in law of the leading Advisor to the dictator MARA.
JD have fallen into the same level that of Sashi Taroor a UK born Academic/career diplomat/UN under Sec/Union Minister in Indian govt and now a pariah in his own country with all sort of [Edited out] and all that a Diplomat turned into a DiploMUTT.
JD in his retirement is well off to manage himself other then getting few thousand dollars from a corrupt regime backed Telco.
Shame on you Jayantha !
Unreal / March 7, 2014
Why this rush to judgement. Let us give JD the benefit of time and space for him to speak the right words, or take the right action.
Jay / March 7, 2014
This fellow Dhanapala is not the distinguished diplomat people think he is. He like many others is only interested in fattening his own interests.
Palayang yako! / March 7, 2014
Why are we not surprised that “The first information I have had about alleged Dialog interference with the Colombo Telegraph (of which I am a regular reader) was when I read of this in your blog. I will make inquiries about this and let you know what the position of Dialog is on this matter.” We have not heard from him since?”
This is one of the leaders of the fraudulent band calling themselves Friday Forum.
They will NEVER stand up to this corrupt pile of rogues as long as it pays them better not to!
The proof of the pudding is in the eating and this fellow’s conduct proves it very comprehensively.
Fathima Fukushima / March 7, 2014
What a defeat for Tamils in UNHRC!!
US resolution is like a cricket ball from a match fixing bowler.
No INTERNATIONAL investigation!!
Damn losers. Now Tamils can get back to howling and weeping.
Harry Hatton / March 10, 2014
Mr Sunimal Fernando and his wife are presidential advisers to President Rajapakse and call themselves a “task force” to develop computer English in Sri Lanka ! Both are in their late 70s !
They have offices in the President’s office in Fort ! Mr Fernando is also running the BMICH which has now become a private property of the Rajapakse’s and recently refused to allow the Lawyers Association to conduct a seminar on human rights at the BMICH premises ,having first accepted an advance payment from them! Fernando also supervises a censorship on all social and cultural activity at the BMICH .
This Sunimal Fernando is Hans Wijesuriya’s uncle. This is how closely connected Mr Hans Wijesuriya the CEO of Dialog is to the president.
It is sad that people like Jayantha Dhanapala joined the board of a company like Dialog which is a Malaysian company. All their activity is to make maximum profits for the mother company in Malaysia.While there is nothing illegal about it the question for people like Dhanapala is , as a civil society activist of Sri Lanka, can he serve both with no conflicts in his conscience ?