29 October, 2020

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Hiru Tries To Video Exhumation Of Lasantha’s Remains With Drone Camera As FMM Demands For Media Freedom

Hiru News, owned by the brother of notorious Duminda Silva, gave scant regard to the request by the family of slain editor Lasantha Wickrematunge and attempted to film the exhumation today by sending across a drone camera to Wickrematunge’s grave site at the Borella General Cemetery.

Rayynor Silva

Rayynor Silva

The incident, resulted in the exhumation process being temporarily suspended in the morning. Although the police launched a search operation, they were however unable to locate the remote control or the person handling it, but the Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that the drone camera was sent by Hiru News.

The media was barred from covering the exhumation following a request from Wickrematunge’s family. However, while most journalists and photographers stood outside the parameters and filmed the event which only showed the officials in attendance, Hiru news, which comes under Asia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), owned by Rayynor Silva attempted to film the exhumation of the slain editor, going against all forms of journalism ethics.

The remains of Wickrematunge has been sent for a fresh autopsy, after the CID told the court early this month that there was inconsistencies in the original report submitted by the then Judicial Medical Officer.

Meanwhile the Free Media Movement has condemned what it calls “irrational action” by Police to bar reporters from witnessing the exhumation of the slain journalist. Issuing a press release before the exhumation was even complete, the FMM said the police had not been given a directive from the Magistrate to keep the media locked out of the cemetery during the exhumation. “The Free Media Movement vehemently condemn the irrational act of the Sri Lanka Police by restricting journalists the chance to report and cover the exhumation of the remains of the former editor Mr. Lasantha Wickrematunge. A prior announcement by the law enforcement agencies of such a restriction had not been notified,” the statement by FMM Convenor Seetha Ranjanee said.

“The Free Media Movement vehemently condemns the act of the Police and emphasise the need to conduct the current investigation unbiased. The Government should initiate a special investigation on the irrational act of the police restricting access to journalists who went to cover an important inquiry of the Lasantha Wickramatunga’s murder investigation,” the statement added.

However lawyers for the family said the media had been kept at a distance from the exhumation site in accordance with a special request from Wickrematunge’s family, especially his children for who were badly shaken by his death seven years ago and did not wish to see images of their father’s remains if pictures of the exhumation were splashed across the local and international press.

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Latest comments

  • 61
    1

    WHY DID HIRU AND RAYNOR NOT TELECAST WHEN THE MURDERER DUMINDA SILVA WAS SENTENCED TO DEATH….. IT IS VERY UNETHICAL FOR HIRU TO STOOP TO THE LOWEST LEVELS AND SEND A DRONE TO VIDEO THE EXHUMATION OF MR. LASANTHA WICKREMATUNGE’S REMAINS. THIS GOES TO PROVE THE EXTENT THAT THE ABC BROADCASTING GOES TO PROTECT THE MURDEROUS PAST REGIME AND THE RAJAPAKSES…. WHAT A DISGRACE

    • 16
      1

      This particular HIRU was instrumental in spreading all the lies proxy Rajapakshe abuses.
      So, now not respecting peity related moral and ethics, they behave so. For, me the Silvas would even go beyond the levels for sure.
      There should be code of ethics and morals for journalists within this country even if media freedom is improved.

  • 36
    1

    D.E.M Ocracy: I totally agree with you. It was the request by the family of Late Mr. Lasantha Wickramatunga not to make this event of exhumation available to the public that was honored by the Police. Why can’t these Media people have an iota of common sense to honor such a humane request from the members of the family. This action shows nothing but the “LOW QUALITY” of “Policies & Principles” of that media outlet and its people who are managing it. It is a DISGRACE on the whole community of Responsible Media.

    • 1
      23

      Douglas

      Totally disagree

      The journalist’s slaying is beyond family interests now so keeping journalist away is unethical.

      Police should have convinced the family to allow journalists and respect the common social interests.

    • 2
      0

      Douglas, it is just because, former leadership made them untouchable.

      This particular HIRU held a talk show with Namalbaby few weeks ago, but every 5th grade could get it should have pre-set and discussed. They are 150% proxy Rajakashe thuggery.

      These men should be exposed by other senders so that the vulnerable could see it right finally. Sure, there are also some programs being telecasted by Hiru score more for not having comparison with contenders. ANyways, all in all, this sender is absolutely no good for peaceful country but for thugs promoting culture.

  • 27
    3

    Sorry for Hiru and their family companies. Maithree will delete your channels.

    • 11
      2

      [Edited out]

    • 6
      0

      Anna,
      Please go and hide some where else, the time is not good for you after your Boss’s brother is sentenced to death.

    • 2
      0

      After Loshan who will do Sooriya Ragangal programme on Sooriyan FM?

  • 29
    0

    Why does the media men in Srilanka find it difficult to understand the sensitivities of a family who lost their father and husband in a violent murder and do not want those memories splashed across the front pages of the print media and TV screens with pictures of a painful exhumation seven years later.

  • 23
    1

    A despicable channel run by a despicable family! No matter how rich or posh looking they are, which they acquired through drugs and other illicit business, at the end they show their real spots of hyenas.

    • 13
      0

      …even Hyenas have honour in their world

  • 10
    2

    Until the fifties, all post-mortem examinations were of two kinds – ‘pathological’, of persons who died in hospital within 24 hours of admission, or, of unknown causes, and, ‘forensic’ of persons who died due to unnatural/unknown causes, were ENTIRELY PRIVATE, and were attended only by the doctor who conducted it & his assistants who included medical students (in the old days each student had to attend the required number of post-mortems to get “signed up” to sit the Forensic Medicine and Pathology papers & orals of the 3rd examination of the MBBS course).
    Exhumations too were similarly private.

    Journalists should respect this privacy.
    No journalist will like outsiders attending post-mortems/exhumations of their own kith & kin.
    It is the duty of the magistrate to attend, observe and ensure correct procedure.

    • 3
      0

      Thank You Justice.

      I would add that anybody outside the necessary administrative/medical staff would be voyeurs.

      Public interest only kicks in when (and after) the report is published. It is right and proper that family wishes are respected.

      IF it is Hiru news, then that is entirely in their character.

      AND one final thought, IF the principle of exhumation is extended to the ordinary man WE will have many thousands of bodies needing to be exhumed to establish the truth.

      This is what Sri Lanka has come to.

    • 0
      0

      justice ,

      hindus and buddhist do not bury the dead So how come all this is happening??

  • 16
    0

    Sounds like arrogance runs in the family. It seems these men were not taught to obey the law, respect others, and give grieving families their privacy. I guess that is why one has got the death sentence.

  • 8
    0

    It’s an unusual (or even an usual?) coincidence I. E, Gota/MR triagulates in both cases! In Duminda’s case the finger is on Gota/MR. Lasantha’s case too the criminality is on the same guys!!

    I hope the fate will make its commitment! Dudley Sirisena’s son’s wedding was an eye opener to all that believe in Yahapalanaya! Are we going through a twilight fairy tale ‘Yahapalanaya’ that would end in a Subha Anagathayak?? Dear Yahapalanaya power wielders!! Don’t screw us the people!! We will take revenge on you if Yahapalanaya is a big farce! Only time will tell what your tale is going to be

  • 1
    2

    Exhumation Of Lasantha’s Remains …grieving families. Where is their Peace?
    What is this circus the Yahapalanaya is playing??
    Is their any shady bill or laws to be passed?? More burden on the ordinary masses?

    May Lasntha’s soul Rest In peace.

  • 1
    0

    [Edited out]

    • 1
      0

      Well said SF

  • 5
    1

    How come Hiroo Rayna has so much money to throw for Indian expired stars for the Hiru Mega Event.

  • 8
    0

    Gota would have arranged with Hiru to send the drone. It s an open secret who gave orders to the Ranaviruwo to do this cowardly thing.

  • 3
    0

    Gota is the one behind this drone drama. .he is preparing his case to answer in the court. .

  • 2
    0

    Hiru has forgotten that Lasantha was one of their kind. This reminds me of what Lasantha wrote just before his death when he quoted Protestant Pastor Martin Niemoller [1892-1984] one of Hitlers foes ”then they [ Nazis ]came for we and there was no one left to speak for me Etc..

  • 3
    0

    sr: I do not agree with your opinion, that the Police should have convinced the members of the family of Lasantha to allow the media to be present at this event. That is not a matter for the Police and I appreciate them for honoring the request of the family. In this regard, the Governmental Authorities, such as Defense, Civil Aviation must immediately conduct an investigation into this matter, as that would, in my opinion is a serious breach of Security of the country and the Public. Can anyone or an organization to send a “Drone” into the Air Space of the country without the explicit permission from the authorities. If that is a “Freedom” allowed, just imagine the disasters that could cause. It could have and would be made a well planed “Terrorist” attack. Who knows, whether this could have been a well planned “rehearsal”. I do not wish to discuss that aspect any further and my only hope is the Defense and the Law Enforcement would take this matter up very seriously and conduct a thorough investigation and bring the culprits to book.

  • 4
    0

    Someone who was not allowed in that place wanted to get a bird’s eye view of what was going on there. It was clearly an illegal act. In that case the police should have shot down the drone. Why didn’t that happen?

  • 1
    0

    I too fully agree with Justice and others who showed the real legal and ethical stand on this. Journalists are not the ones who do the autopsy to splash in the media trying to beat the others. So why can’t they wait till the authorities do their job.
    Journalists should put themselves in the position of close family members of the person concerned. Even when Tajudeen’s body was exhumed the family did not want the journalists to cover it but they, I believe, disregarded it. How ethically wrong that is?
    The biggest surprise is the FMM. Don’t they have common sense to understand the sensitivities of this issue. FMM should not jump at every incident, but should use their mental faculties (what ever they have) to see what they should or shouldn’t protest. These are the very journalists who do not care about ethics and morals. Just because they know how to handle a pen does not mean they know what justice and fair play is, blaming the Police.

    P.S.: Thanks and I agree fully with Douglas and Upul. A proper investigation should be held.

  • 0
    0

    Hiru is no more a ‘peththa giyath eththa kiyanna madya jaalaya’. Reynor Silva is interested only to telecast news that fits into his agenda When his brother Duminda was sentenced to death, it carried the news as three persons were sentenced to death to an incident which happened in Kolonnawara area in October 2011.What a joke?/ Where are the ethics of journalism Reynor?

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