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.
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
Fourth – August 23, 2013 – Colombo Telegraph Blocked, How To Reach Us Now: Sri Lanka Telecom And Mobitel Joins The DPI Club!