19 July, 2019

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‘It Is A Shame And Very Disappointing, BBC Should Investigate Its Journalists’ – Says Dr Saravanamuttu

By Colombo Telegraph

“It is a shame and very disappointing – it seems that some journalists are being supported by tax payers in two countries and with notions of conflict of interest and professional ethics and integrity thrown to the winds. The relevant authorities in both countries -this includes the BBC- should investigate as to how this could happen.” says Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu.

Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives and founder member of the Board of the Sri Lanka Chapter of Transparency International made the above remarks when asked how he saw the issue of senior journalists, particularly BBC World Service journalists applying for and receiving  Rs. 1,200,000/- as an interest free loan from the state banks to purchase cars or vans. According to the Ministry of Finance Sri Lanka, the Treasury will pump in the interest due to the state banks for the loans under this scheme.

BBC Sinhala Service Colombo reporter Elmo Fernando and the Londoner BBC World Service – Sinhala senior producer Chandana Keerthi Bandara both applied the interest free loan from the Sri Lankan Government.

Bandara

Meanwhile the Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that some media personnel who had received laptops and obtained vehicle loans, had defamed him in their publications the very next day.

“Last Sunday BBC Sinhala Service Colombo Reporter filed a distorted report on the Opposition Leader’s press conference and attacked him” a senior opposition legislator told Colombo Telegraph, asking for anonymity because he didn’t want to be targeted by the ‘laptop and interest free loan’ media.  The BBC didn’t report what the leader said in full and just criticised him for not answering BBC questions. The BBC even failed to report what the questions were.

Listen to BBC Sinhala reporting on Ranil Wickremesinghe here at minutes 7.37 – 11.20.

Addressing new IT recruits at Sirikotha, Wickremesinghe said that the gifting of laptops and interest free loan to journalists and cartoonists, which coincided with the budget was no mere coincidence. It had been calculated to prevent the media from highlighting the burdens placed by the budget on the poor suffering masses.

“I see this interest-free motor vehicle loan as a sort of a ‘bribe’. I don’t think it’s appropriate at all for a BBC journalist to take this. Obviously it will damage their credibility.” the former head of the BBC Sinhala Service Vasantha Raja told Colombo Telegraph.

BBC guidelines says; “A conflict of interest may arise when the external activities of anyone involved in making our content affects the BBC’s reputation for integrity, independence and high standards, or may be reasonably perceived to do so.  Our audiences must be able to trust the BBC and be confident that our editorial decisions are not influenced by outside interests, political or commercial pressures, or any personal interests.There is a danger of conflict of interest in every area of programme or content making.  Each department or team must be aware of its area of vulnerability.  There may be particular sensitivities for on-air talent.”

“The BBC’s reputation for impartiality and objectivity is crucial. The public must be able to trust the integrity of BBC programmes and services. Our audiences need to be confident that the BBC’s editorial decisions are not influenced by the outside activities or personal or commercial interests of programme makers or those who appear on air.”

Related posts;

Applying And Receiving An Interest-Free Motor Vehicle Loan Will Damage BBC’s Credibility Says The Former Head

‘BBC World Service Journalist’s Interest-Free Loan Application ‘On The Waiting List’ Says Sri Lankan Government

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Latest comments

  • 0
    2

    It is disappointing that a journalist from the BBC has stooped to this level. Maybe BBC should appoint a more reliable person and give him a laptop or at least pay him enough. Beggars cannot be choosers.

  • 0
    1

    It’s the Graft Indian virus spreading into Sri Lanka or vice versa or both ways.
    BBC cut some Foreign Service programs in its structural restructuring but not salaries so for a mere £6000 it is despicable.

  • 0
    2

    If channel 4’s John Snow and other big guys at BBC with all their personal wealth can cycle to work and fro what problems do these two creeps have?

    Isn’t it quicker to cycle when there are traffic jams?

  • 0
    1

    Yes Dr Saravanamuttu, agree with you, YES It is a shame and very disappointing, but also disgusting .

  • 0
    2

    BBC should not allow two corrupt bastard to undermine its integrity

  • 2
    0

    Anyone watching BBC during the Iraq invasion would not have guessed that the BBC had a “reputation for impartiality and objectivity”. Apparently though, they have one.

    Controlling the media through the influence of friends and family used to be the exclusive preserve of Mr Wickremasinghe. Now someone has broken in and one-upped him.[Edited out]

    Part of this comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/

  • 1
    1

    So it is ok for these NGO kaakas to receive dollars from their overseas benefactors to persue their agenda (of regime change & destabilisation) and journalists should not ask loans (not grants mind you).

    What a hypocracy! Who is trying to fool whom?

  • 2
    0

    I do not know about the BBC Sinhala Service, but I do know that the BBC Tamil Service is a bastion of pro-LTTE elements. BBC’s Tamil Service reporting is highly unbalanced and anti-Sri Lankan government. At the time LTTE was controlling North East Sri Lanka,BBC Tamil Service never reported anything bad about the LTTE. Their Vavuniya correspondent Manikavasagam who these days always report the travails of the Vanni refugees was conspicous by his silence on the mass scale child recruitment and other atrocities committed by the LTTE against the Tamil civilians and Sinhalese alike. Now he has become the champion to the cause of human rights of the Sri Lankan Tamils.

    Also do not forget the former BBC Tamil Service Producer Ananthi Sivapragasam who was very fond of LTTE. I understand she later after her retirement from BBC became an important personality in a pro-LTTE organisation based in London.

    In any case BBC,similar to the VOA for the Americans, is an organisation floated and still maintained at British taxpayers’expense as a propaganda voice of the British to spread its ideals and views. Hence there cannot be any neutrality in its news reporing or program content.

    As for the Sri Lankan government providing goodies to the Sri Lankan journalists, there is nothing wrong in those poor journalists accepting them because in any case they work for organisations by design or choice that are either pro-government or anti-government. If they are working for a pro-government organisation they should always be filing stories to put the government in good light, whereas, if they are working for an anti-government media they should seek out anti-government stories. This is the inescapable unwritten rule among the Sri Lankan journalists. An anti-government journalist after acccepting the government goodies cannot be writing pro-government stories to his media as these stories will obviously end up in the dustbin. In effect, the goodies provided by the Rajapakse government are not going to bring out any change in the highly polarised Sri Lankan journalist world. Let those poor bastards enjoy the goodies given by Rajapakse government. Good luck to them.

  • 1
    0

    Pakaya Saravanamuththu….

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

    • 0
      1

      You will never ever be published if you do not agree with this two faced and biased website. Saravanamuttu is being investigated for ,any years. “Thambi” has been part of CBK’s undergarment crew so he escaped punishment because the investigations never complete.

      • 0
        0

        I gather Ranil never got an answer from BBC chief Patton because the value of laptop once it reaches the first user is £30 just enough to visit a local pub and they are found in skips awaiting the recycle van. Short distance away is RNIB and on this matter he commented `they have eyes but don’t see`
        Have you heard of biodegradable office buildings they were displayed in China Expo Shanghai by the Swiss and last 20 years (no carbon imprint) so they come on lease and the full value is depreciated?
        When you wear Parana coat and like to be a vicious politician from court house (registrar office) supporting the `Boo`ts government and working for a few coins your comments are understandable.
        I refrain from giving you the knowledge of where to find brand new for free with no strings attached because you have no imagination.

  • 0
    1

    The BBC has been unfairly criticized by the Sinhala extremists for being anti Sri Lankan and pro Tamil. Moderates have defended it as a reliable source of news and impartial analysis. The applications of some BBC journalists for money from the Rajapaksa government compromises seriously the credibility of the BBC, and makes it impossible for those who trust the BBC to defend it. If the BBC is to maintain the credibility it so far enjoyed, it has only one choice, to demand the resignation of those who have lined up to receive the tainted Rajapaksa money.

  • 0
    0

    BBC correspondence must refrain from any conflict of interest. We expect the reporting of the BBC to be accurate, precise and unbiased. It would damage the reputation of the BBC and its public perception, if its correspondence in Sri Lanka, had applied for an interest free loan, and decided to take the perks given by the government which was with intention to stop reporting of anti government news.

    BBC you need to do more.

    • 0
      0

      The BBC has been despicable on many issues and events they have reported. In the present Scottish referendum that have blatantly ignored the rules of proper journalism and taken sides. Alex Salmond has complained and sadly will not be the last person to have complaints about biased BBC reporting.
      Saravanamuttu [Edited out]

      • 1
        0

        Peter Casie Chetty

        “The BBC has been despicable on many issues and events they have reported.”

        Spotting these biases makes you the senior journalists. You deserve it.

        Well done Peter.

  • 0
    0

    Why would these Journalist LQQk for perks elsewhere IF the BBC had a scheme to assist its journalists than be offered goodies by others… IF ethics is the yardstick, there WONT be any journalists working for BBC in UK or anywhere else..

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