26 July, 2021

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Expose: Full List Of The Free Laptop Journos; Media Minister Lied To Parliament

Journalists from virtually every mainstream media in the country with the exception of the Sunday Times newspaper have accepted laptops and car loans or both from the Rajapaksa regime, a Colombo Telegraph investigation has revealed.

A free Laptop from President to Daily News Editor Rajpal Abeynayake

A free Laptop from President to Daily News Editor Rajpal Abeynayake

According to statements made by Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella in Parliament during the budget debate on the Media Ministry earlier this month, 496 journalists have been awarded laptops by the Government, proof that the regime is ‘media friendly’. In fact the file is in Colombo Telegraph‘s possession indicates that only 403 laptops have in fact been awarded and not all of them to journalists, indicating that the Media Minister has in fact misled the House on the issue.

The Minister’s leaked files now in possession of the Colombo Telegraph prove that only 136 mainstream journalists and 30 provincial correspondents have been awarded laptops by the regime and noted by name. 11 of those provincial correspondents are from the Media Minister’s electorate of Kandy while nine chosen correspondents are from President Rajapaksa’s Hambantota. The other 237 recipients are believed to be Ministerial aides and supporters who cannot be identified as journalists. No explanation can be found for the missing 93 laptops from the Minister’s file.

Several senior editors of newspapers in Sri Lanka have also accepted the interest-free car loans and the free laptop from the Government, the Colombo Telegraph investigation has revealed.

Speaking to the Colombo Telegraph Sunday Times Editor Sinha Ratnatunge said that his news editor had informed him that a letter had arrived informing him that there was a laptop allocated to him. He had been asked to attend a ceremony to receive the laptop, the letter had said. However Ratnatunge said he had decided not to accept the laptop from the Government or attend the ceremony.

It was only Ravaya News Editor Lasantha Ruhunage in writing refused to accept the free laptop.

Colombo Telegraph also spoke with the Editor of The Nation newspaper Malinda Seneviratne who accepted a laptop awarded by the Ministry. Seneviratne said that two laptops had been offered to The Nation. “Two laptops were offered to ‘The Nation’, one was for me. I believe I was one of the last journalists to make use of the offer.  The reason is simple.  We were short of computers at the time, so I took it and gave it to one of my journalists to use.  I even gave the machine entitled to me as the editor to one of my journalists.  In fact, I’ve always used my personal laptop for my work,” he told Colombo Telegraph. Asked if there was an ethics issue about accepting the laptops Seneviratne said he did not believe so.

“My company didn’t have a problem with it.  I don’t have a problem with it.  The only difference it has made is that it has made our work a little bit easier. Indeed, it is one of the many machines we use to write stories criticizing government policy,” he said.

Victor Ivan, Advisory Editor of the Ravaya newspaper said he had not been offered a laptop, but cautioned that the fundamental issue facing the Sri Lankan media was not about material support but freedom. “Giving privileges to selected people or profession is always a bad practice” he added.

After a series of exposures by the Colombo Telegraph about the serious conflict of interest issues and violations of standard journalistic ethics, the BBC World Service ruiled that some of its Sinhala Section journalists have breached journalistic ethics and violated BBC’s code of conduct by applying for interest free vehicle loans offered by the Sri Lankan Government. The BBC has also stated that the staff in breach of the code would be sent for retraining.

The Colombo Telegraph has been unable to reach Media Minster for comment.

We publish below the free laptop list in full;

Chief Editors

1. S Srigajan – Chief Editor – Weerakesari

2. Nisthar Cassim – Chief Editor –  Daily and Weekend Financial Times

3. V Thanabalasinghan – Chief Editor –  Thinakkural

4. Jatila Vellaboda – Chief Editor – Lakbima

5. Sisira Paranatantri – Chief Editor – Rivira

6. Thushara Gunaratne – Chief Editor – Maubima

7. Narada Nissanka – Chief Editor – Divaina

8. R Sivaraja – Chief Editor – Sudaroli

9. Gamini Jayalath – Chief Editor – Dinamina

10. Dinesh Weeravansa – Chief Editor – Sunday Observer

11. S Thillainathan – Chief Editor – Thinakaran

12. Karunadasa Sooriyarachchi – Chief Editor – Silumina

13. Rajpal Abeynayake – Chief Editor – Daily News

14. T. Seththivelar – Chief Editor – Thinakaran

15. Ariyananda Dombagahawatta – Chief Editor – Irida Lankadeepa

16. R. Prabagan – Chief Editor – Sunday Weerakesari

17. R. Baharthi – Chief Editor – Sunday Thinakkural

18. Mohan Lal Piyadasa –  Chief Editor  – Irurasa

19. Sundara Nihathamani De Mel – Chief Editor – Lakbima

20. Malinda Seneviratne- Chief Editor – Nation

21. Gamini Sumanasekara – Chief Editor – Irida Divayna

22. Saman Samarakkody – Chief Editor – Randiva

23. Ranga Jayasooriya – Chief Editor – Lakbima News

24. Mahinda Abesundara – Editorial Advisor – Dinamina

25. Jayantha Sri Nissanka – Editor – Ceylon Today / then News editor Lakbima News

News Heads 

26. Nilantha Rajendra – Sri FM

27. Priyantha Pradeep Ranasinghe – Sha FM / Hiru FM

28. Lenin Raj – Vektary FM

29. Wasantha Karunaratne – Ran FM

30. Udithamal Hemachandra – Real radio / Kiss / Siyatha FM

31. Sameera Fernando – E FM

32. Mrugayya Indrajith – Sooriyan FM

33. Sachindra Jayesundara – Sun/ Gold FM

34. Bradman Jayaweera – Rangiri Sri Lanka

35. Sidath Mendis – Lak FM

36. Kulasiri Kariyawasam – Neth FM

37. Sashika Jayathilaka – The Buddhist radio/ TV

38. Chamika Janakantha Alwis – Isira radio

39. Shehan Baranage – Derana FM/ TV

40. Swarna Gunawardena – VIP radio

41. Sunesh Rodrigo – TNL rock FM

42. Champika Perera – Max radio

43. Chamila Galewela – Sinha FM

44. Udayajeewa Ekanayake – V FM

45. Chaminda Karunaratne – Swarnavahini

46. Sugath Dharmapriya – Sri TV

47. Sardha Jameel – Den TV

48. Teran Karannagoda – TNL

49. Nilantha Kankanamge – Art TV

50. Saddhamangala Sooriyabandara – CSN

51. Sudeva Hettiarachchi – Hiri TV

52. BAC Abewardena – TV Lanka

Section Directors and Managers 

53. Vijaya  Dissanayake – Rupavahini

54. NM Raja – Rupavahini

55. Vimukthika Kariyawasam – Rupavahini

56. Mohan Karunaratne – Rupavahini

57. Prasad Dodamgodage – Rupavahini

58. R Kanapathipillay – SLBC

59. Yusuf Noordeen – SLBC

60. Indika Jayaratne – SLBC

61. Thushara Sandanayake – SLBC

62. HSK Perera – ITN

63. GSN Perera – ITN

64. AG Gayan Chinthaka – ITN

65. Hasantha Hettiarachchi – ITN

66. Sanjeewa Edirimanna – ITN

News Editors

67. Sampath Deshapriya – Lakbima

68. Viranjana Herath – Rivira

69. Arthur Wamanan – the Nation

70. Benet Rupasinghe – Maubima

71. Piayasena Disanayake – Divayna Irida

72. Azif Huward – Ceylon Today

73. Naleen Dilruksha – Dinamina

74. Indrani Peiris – Lankadeepa

75. Ranjith Ananda Jayasinghe – Lankadeepa Irida

76. Duminda Sanjeewa Balasuriya – Ada

77. Daya Lankapura – Irurasa

78. Chaminda Senaratne – Randiva

Other section heads

79. Wimalanath Weeraratne – Ravaya

80. Nuwan Gankanda – Lakbima

81. Manoj Abedheera – Dinaina

82. Chandrasiri Dodamgoda- Divaina

83. Anura Solamons – Divaina

84. KRP Haran – Thinakural

Cartoonists

85. Tissa Hewavissa –  Lankadeepa

86. Dasa Hapuvalana – Lankadeepa

87. Talangama Jayasighe – Lankadeepa

88. Prithi Kannangara – Dinamina

89. Ruwan Tharasvin – Dianamina

90. Janaka Ratnayake – Mawbima

91. MD Weeraratne – Divaina

92. Sujeewa Jayawickkrama – Lakbima

93. Anjana Indrajith – Lakbima

94. Darshana Karunatilake – Lakbima

95. Camilus Perera – Rivira

96. Asanga Indunil – Rivira

97. Awantha Artigala – Daily mirror

98. BB Opatha – Daily News

99. Shantha Weeramuni – Island

100. Udaya Wimalasiri – Island

101.  Jeffrey Kelaart –  Island

102. SM Jayasekera – Irurasa

Journalists

103. Mangala  Radaliyagoda – ITN

104. Surendra Abepala – ITN

105. Vajira Sumedha – Swarnavahini

106. Lakmal sanjeewa – Swarnavahini

107. Sajith Ranasinghe – Swarnavahini

108. AEAN Wijeratne – SLBC

109. Ajith Gamage – Hiru FM

110. Sandamali Apsara – Sri FM

111. Jayasiri Munasinghe – Dinamina

112. Dhanushka Godakumbura – Dinamina

113. Mahinda Aluthgedara – Dinamina

114. Ruwan De Silva – Dinamina

115. Lorenz Selvanayagam – Thinakaran

116. Marlin marikkar – Thinakaran

117. Sunil Daya Alwis – Thinakaran

118. Anura Balasuriya – Divaina

119. Jude Densil  Pathiraja – Divaina

120. Dushyantha Samarasena – Lankadeepa

121. Gayan Agalakada – Lankadeepa

122. Panuka Rajapaksa – Lakbima

123. Suranimala Perera – Lakbima

124. Sandun Jayasekara – Daily Mirror

125. Crishty Mahesh De Silva – Rivira

126. Tigo Kugan – Thinakkural

127. A Kanagaraja – Weerakesari

128. Nandana Kehelgamuwa – Maubima

129. Gamunu Vallage – Maubima

130. Keerthi Warnakulasooriya – Divaina

131. Chamara Lakshan Kumara – Irurasa

132. Bulitha Pradeep Kumara – Divaina

133. Nayanaka Ranwella – Rivira

134. Nimal Seneviratna – SLBC

135. Mohan Perera – SLBC

136. Kamal Jayamanna – SLBC

Provincial Journalists

137. K Arzarathnam – Manipai / Lake House

138. C Wimalasurendra – Kanday / Upali Newspapers

139. Kamal Suraweera – Kandy / –

140. Asanka Arambewatta – Kandy / –

141. Gaya Wanniarachchi – Kandy / –

142. Nihal Jayawardena – Kandy /-

143. Shan Seneviratne – Kandy / –

144. AG Wickckramsinha – Kandy / –

145. IPW Polkotuwa – Kandy / Upali Newspapers

146. JL Jayasinghe – Kandy / Lankadeepa

147. Asela Kuruluwnasa – Kandy / Dinamina

148. Herath banda – Kandy/ –

149. MA Fakurdeen – Akkarapattu 4 / Lake House

150. WSKK Justin – Uyanva – Matara /Lake House

151. Edmon Liyange – Matara /-

152. SP Ediwin – Tangalle / Lake House

153. Gamini Obesekara – Polonnaruwa / ITN

154. WGS Nissanka – Polonnaruwa / Dinamina

155. Chaya Wickckrama Surendra – Matara / Rupavahini

156. SM Farook – Badulla / Lake House

157. PHG Kulasiri – Beliatta – Hambantota/ Rupavahini

158. WSA Pakkaja Sankalpa – Matara / ITN

159. RHAR Vydyasekara – Hambantota / Lake House

160. Karunadasa Kottegoda – Hambantota / Upali Newspapers

161. KK Ariyadasa – Hambantota / –

162. Granvil Ratnayake – Hambantota / –

163. DG Jaysundara – Hambantota / –

164. Sanath Gamage – Hambantota / –

165. Wimal Garusinghe – Hambantota/ –

166. KK Dayasena – Hambantota / –

Related posts;

BBC Says Applying For GSL Interest Free Loan Is Violation Of Its Code, Sinhala Service Corrupt Journalists To Be Re-Trained On Ethics

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Latest comments

  • 19
    2

    Theses journalists will be on Mara’s laptop for ever.What a useless country.

    • 5
      2

      “Colombo Telegraph also spoke with the Editor of The Nation newspaper Malinda Seneviratne who accepted a laptop awarded by the Ministry. Seneviratne said that two laptops had been offered to The Nation. “Two laptops were offered to ‘The Nation’, one was for me”

      Looks like Christmas presents from Santa Mahinda Rajapaksa.

      In America, the special interest groups give presents and Christmas presents to politicians. ……………….

      In Sri Lanka, the Politicians give presents to Journalists and the politicians lie all the time or most of the time…

      “Dharma Deeepaya”…..Faith Island……..

      • 0
        0

        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

      • 0
        0

        Was there a need for Malinda in addition to the shilling to donate is back?

        Just curious? Thee terms of the ‘gift”

    • 7
      1

      Malinda Seneviratenes who has taken a 2 laptops form the Rajapakse Military dictatorship and sings its praises is a corrupt and UNETHICAL clown.

      MS policy is to blame everyone else for his and his patron’s (Mahinda Jarapassa’s) regime’s corruption..
      Attacking foreigners and locals who oppose the Rajappakse Rogue regime is MS’s favorite past time – to distract the Sinhalaya modaya’s by writing TOSH.
      “A great many people think that they are thinking when they are actually recycling their prejudices. ” So true of MS!

    • 2
      0

      ” I have given Lap top computers to You All Alp Dogs, Now Start Barking “OH GOD BLESS THE F KING”.

      “Daen Umbala Hamotama Lap top computer Dunna”,
      “Hari Siyaludenama Patanganilla MAHARAJAANENEE Gaayanaa Korannda”

    • 1
      1

      You too…..Thanabalasingham (Thinakkural) !!??

      Mmm… no wonder. For, the Jaffna man’s mind is always preoccupied with money and matrimony …What to do !!? Thank God , M P Sridharan is not a Journalist.

  • 20
    1

    Asked if there was an ethics issue about accepting the laptops Seneviratne said he did not believe so.

    If Mr.SeneviRotten really knew the meaning of the word ‘ethics’ he would not keep whitewashing the government day in and day out in his articles. :)

  • 18
    1

    Bravo! Excellent journalism.

    Malinda’s doublespeak is amazing – on the one hand he was criticising the health ministry for having received some official benefits from a milk food company and now he says there is nothing wrong in accepting free laptops!! Of course Malinda’s moral flexibility was never in question.

  • 19
    1

    Hats off to all those journalists who didn’t fall for these carrots.

  • 9
    0

    Under standard FCPA of USA or OECD giving laptop for as a gift is bribery.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Corrupt_Practices_Act

    How many ministers had MaRa bought to UPFA from opposition?
    This UPFA regime is corrupt to it’s core from top.
    Well come to Rajapakistan….

    • 1
      0

      Sumith you should note it is called RAJAAPKISTAN

  • 16
    0

    Lap Dogs

  • 15
    0

    Bribery at the helm…!!!!
    166 x US $ 1,000 = 166,000 x 135 = Rs. 22,410,000
    This is Public Money spent for Private purposes….

    • 2
      0

      It seems you haven’t read this story, it is not 166, but 496.
      So ;

      496 x US $ 1,000 = 496,000 x 135 = Rs 66, 960,000 :( :( PUBLIC MONEY

  • 7
    0

    Journalist seem to be a notch better than the judges… which doesn’t mean much as the journalist are all silent

  • 13
    0

    This is a new culture introduced my MR regime to silence the public dissent.Free media is the back bone of a democratic society. Powerful media can bring down any powerful politician within couple of days . The democratic values in western world is mostly controlled by independent media and everybody wants to play a clear game knowing the power they can exhibit. Our regime has been very clever in breaking that back bone this is simply one more step of that process.No point arguing about that, if you took a laptop keep quiet and do whatever we want you to do.It is a simple message.They will allow you to write some anti goverent garbage to hoodwink the public but in real sense it is just an eyewash.You cannot have sit down dinners with your enemy. Can you?

  • 8
    0

    This corrupt regime is not “media friendly” but buys friendly media. Many journalists who accept the bribes are unethical and shameless like many opposition MPs who swap their professionalism for perks. Once the bribes are accepted they have the audacity to claim they “criticise” the government.

    How many of the journalists highlight the criticism of the UN HRC High Commissioner, Yashushi Akashi or the Report of the French Charity that concluded the guilty verdict on the Security Forces for the killing of their 17 innocent workers? The media that is bribed feel obliged to blackout critical news that the international community make about this government.

  • 9
    1

    Giving free laptops and car loans to media is hardly pro media by GOSL, as it can rightly be construed as bribery. — GOSL is using this free laptop and car loan issue to soften their attacks on the media. — If GOSL were genuine about protecting media freedoms, they would ensure the safety of those jouranlists who are critical of the GOSL, instead of trying to bamboozle the public by these meaningless donations of free laptops and and car loans.

  • 9
    0

    Laptops for journalist, Ministries for Politicians, Tax Breaks for Industrialists, Senior appointments for Bootlickers and Sycophants. These are some of the favourite things lavished by the Regime to have their way.

  • 9
    1

    Very soon they will get a different kind of “laptops” to satisfy their biological needs! Hail Hitler.

    • 3
      0

      They will soon get Lap Dancers from the Casino Nightclubs to add to the perks given to the sycophant journalists, that dine with the Maha Raja and keep him amused.What a country, miracle of Asia, where an Official photo journalist accompanying the President is caught stealing a camera at a foreign airport, and another fellow on an official delegation with the President steals of all things a Bed sheet cover.And the Lap journos keep mum because they are under orders from the top.Hide your head with shame you disgusting journos who will sell your self respect and ethics for a free meal a Lap top and a Car Loan.

  • 6
    0

    I think we discussed recently that the key factor to the success of Mahinda is bribe and threat. Journalists are no exception.

  • 6
    0

    As pointed out in the comments above the giving free laptops and car loans to media personnel is a new culture that the corrupt autocratic MR regime has evolved. The recipients should know this the public money that has been spend by MR for his own personal and family advantage to gag the media to be critical to MR regime and to create a set of boot-lickers of MR. As this regime has systematically ruined all forms institutions that fundamentally safeguarded the democratic values of the society, MR has now destroyed the free media .
    What the people of Sri Lanka could expect from these persons? Can we expect any free expression of opinion from these guys made in the best interests of the society at large from whose money that these were solicited bribes and , kickbacks to serve this heinous, despotic regime that suppresses all forms humanitarian rights and plunder the poor man’s monies and wealth to further his personal benefits .It is good to that we were informed of these MR’s bootlickers so that we could close our eyes on what they write and opine.It is also very comical to observe the set of jackals that surround MR

  • 5
    0

    As one correctly pointed out this is sheer abuse of public funds by the regime in power to stop media from performing its role as the fourth pillar of the Nation i.e. to engage in their public duty with no fear or favour and expose all forms of govt wrongdoings.

    Now the regime has effectively imposed a thing called ‘self-sensorship’ on all media institutions. God bless Sri Lanka, the five star democracy.

  • 16
    0

    Congratulations CT, on this brilliant expose.

    These laptop receivers should not be referred to as Journalists, but sycophants of the regime, who have reduced the once noble profession of Journalism, to that of the world’s oldest profession!

    • 2
      0

      good one !

    • 2
      0

      Very well put it.

      No shame or self respect of selling oneself.

      There is nothing called free lunch.

      Why did the regime choose MPs and journalists for free laptops, interest free loans and perks and why not charity workers or teachers?

  • 1
    0

    Hope we have a hacker in this forum to send a WORM TO THESE JOURNALIST LAPTOPS. ACTUALLY THESE ARE BRIBES THROWN OUT TO THESE IDIOTS SO THEY ARE BOUGHT OVER, IS LIKE HAVING A BLANK DOCUMENT SIGNED BY THE MINISTERS…
    Anytime the govt feels like punishing em, all they have to do is send a govt rep( white van) to IMMEDIATELY return with all contents…

  • 1
    0

    Is this the way to spend Public Funds and also to publicize your “Image”at a cost to the people? This is one among many such other “gimmicks” adopted to bolster the names of those in power.

    One of my teachers told me: “if you don’t have shame and fear, you could do any low thing and behave in a shameful manner”. When you see these types of things happening,(giving and accepting gratifications) I realized how valuable that advice is.

  • 3
    0

    Free Laptops? According to the list, 90% of the benefactors are state media/supporters. Freedom of the Press ??????

  • 2
    0

    The price of a journalist is only a laptop???
    I am disappointed.
    The missing 93 laptop beneficiaries??
    There is an old saying “Charity begins at home”.

  • 0
    0

    Could be another dirty secretary resigning in the near future

  • 0
    0

    These must be the left over laptops from CHOGM.

  • 1
    0

    Make hay while the sun shines ! Who cares today about freedom of the press or journalistic ethics in today’s Sri Lanka ? ! Except a few who still have policy and discipline. Appreciate your brave stand.

  • 2
    0

    The corrupt culture of politicians has infiltrated a nation. We call ourselves “proud to be Sri Lankan” but honestly I hold my head in shame for the things that happen in this country. I refuse to be a part of the masses who believe that all this is acceptable and in order with a government that has won a war for us. Winning a war by defending a country is the bounden duty of an elected government. They are elected for it, they are paid for it, they rob us for it, they tax us for it and should we be foolish enough to be eternally grateful for this. Is this the level of our education? If this all we can impart as wisdom from the free education we get from this country? I am sure all the journalist mentioned above believe they are innocent from any wrong doing but If journalists can think this way what right do they have to expose corrupt politicians and malpractices in our country.

    I want to be a proud Sri Lankan. I yearn for it. Please help me understand how. Please!!

    • 0
      0

      Well said!…and straight from the heart too.

  • 0
    0

    thank you CT for revealing the so called ‘Dawal Migel Re Daniyel ” journalists so that we can read their ambitions behind their articles.

  • 0
    0

    This is another Rajapakse tactics….Bribing countries(Uganda), Bribing diplomats(Kamalesh Sharma),Bribing British MPs and local opposition MPs, Bribing Prabhakaran(to prevent Northern tamils from voting) Journalists(to keep mum about regime’s corruptions and malpractices) The list goes on like this.

  • 0
    1

    THIS IS A KINGDOM OF MR??

  • 0
    0

    C.T.Pl.see my response dated Dec.13th to Malindas article of Dec.8th.under the caption “Sumanthiran comes within slapping distance”.Well,he has got his Laptop.

  • 0
    0

    Hi, Malinda,
    You are working for the Rajapassa family newspaper! Therefore you are in their payroll and have done nothing wrong!
    Howevere why does the CT offer a column for this vagrant?? I think they give it purposely for everyone to attack his pro MR stance.? I suppose MS is naive in terms of political maturity and ethics!!

    I am sure people like the Fuck-a-shima, Veddas, and bandas etc also got a laptop each for the fulltime jarawa they write against many articles!

    This is also robbery ; since it is public money given to rogues to fullfill MR. Fantasies. It is like Malinda saying ” I did not take the stolen property for my uss. I gave it to another guy” a Robin Hood/ Saradiel story! Receiving stolen property is as bad as stealing! So much for Ma(l)(h)nda’s ethics!!

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