5 December, 2020

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JFJ Demands Immediate Action Against Navy Commander

“The assault of a journalist by the Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy is a condemnable act. The IFJ is seriously concerned by the assault of a journalist by the head of a security force and demands immediate action against him from the Sri Lankan government. Such an incident, if allowed to pass, not only undermines press freedom and the rights of the media but also has a chilling effect on free press.” the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said in a statement today.

We publish below the statement in full:

Vice Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne | Photo credit royalcollege.lk

Vice Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne | Photo credit royalcollege.lk

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Free Media Movement, Sri Lanka (FMM) in condemning the attack by the Sri Lankan Navy commander on a journalist at the Magampura Port in Hambantota, Southern Province on December 10. The IFJ demands immediate action against the commander.

Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne assaulted Roshan Gunasekera, a local correspondent for The Island and Divaina dailies, while the journalist was reporting navy action to open the port blocked by protesting port workers. Video footage recorded by other journalists showed the navy commander darting towards Gunasekera, assaulting him and using foul language.

Gunasekera later said: “I went to the Magampura Port to report the protest by the port employees. While I was reporting the event, a naval officer in civil clothes came to me and asked what I was doing there. I told him I was from [the] media and showed him my media accreditation card. Then he grabbed me by my neck and dragged me. [Then] the Navy Commander came there and I told him that I was from [the] media. He abused me in filthy language and assaulted me.”

The FMM urged President Sirisena to commence a special investigation and take the necessary legal action so that those who attack journalists, however high their positions, cannot get away with impunity. The FMM said: “The Navy Commander led the attack. He has also chased away the journalists, beating and scolding them using obscene language. This is a very serious incident.” The FMM deplored the assault at a time when the right to information is guaranteed by an Act, and said: “Even though affirmed to establish a better media culture, such media suppression is a blemish to the whole country.”

The IFJ said: “The assault of a journalist by the Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy is a condemnable act. The IFJ is seriously concerned by the assault of a journalist by the head of a security force and demands immediate action against him from the Sri Lankan government. Such an incident, if allowed to pass, not only undermines press freedom and the rights of the media but also has a chilling effect on free press.”

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Latest comments

  • 16
    3

    He looks like third class, drunkard (his beer belly witness that),white van thug who runs for loots at the ethnic riots. Nowhere closer to the Navy If, at all, cling to an inch of decency and reputation.
    What a shame !!!!!!

  • 11
    12

    Not to go against Journalists, the situaton was no means peaceful at the moment there. So I THINK as an average person – not being baised to anyone, Navy commander should be pardoned here.

    Lanken protesters are similar to ones seen in Africa or the like countries. They dont know how to behave there peaceful. In Europe, protest marches do their job, with all peaceful manners. These men in Hambantota have been abused by Joint opposition racists for their political gains.
    Else, if there will be good steps being taken for the benefit of masses, why to stand on the way ?
    Beside, those men protesting there are said to hav eno provable docs to claim that they are appointed as workers to harbor.
    So to please them temporarily, previous idiots may have abused against the poor folks and their gullibility.
    One thing is clear, poor men and women should be helped GIVING them due reliefs. But them further to work for racial groups should be not respected.

    • 8
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      realnaked
      So, what you are saying is the Navy Commander beating up a journalist is good work? Should he be doing this more when there are protests? Looks like you appreciate this commanders hands on approach of doing his job!
      May God (Buddha/Jesus/Allah) save Sri Lanka from people like you!

      • 7
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        No it is simply an act- which deserves forgiveness. But he should make his statement as to why he happened to do so. The size of harm had been doing by the protesters – was avoided as was the case a week before in Batticalo.
        Why the Journos stay away from reporting the truth. I am no biased to anyone.This is no means a commendable act but almost everyone of us make accidently mistakes. But Rajaakshes did it delieberatly. So best way is to admit it and go foward.
        If anyone would resign for the kind of acts, we would not have enough candidates to fill the vacanices. So much of mistakes occured in an uncvilized country of this kind.
        Journos too dont do the job as they are upto.

        • 3
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          Real
          Are you saying that every assault case in Sri Lanka involving our citizens should be dismissed as they are all mistakes or only this Navy guy’s case should be dismissed?

          • 2
            1

            I am not telling that his act was right.
            But leaders too should be treated considering them too being human beings.
            Developing folks such ours, I see people only make mistakes. Each time back in the country, I cant even see anyone behave – normal.
            Be it in the bus, supermarkets, doctors rooms, hospital, vet clinics and anywhere you go, they make only mistakes. This is the ground reality. And I believe, the particular Navy head sacrificed the moment to save the people and country.
            That shoudl also be considered. But I am still in the same mind, that he could come forward and make a statement from his point of view. That could shine a great message to all. But this has been tradition in this country.

            • 4
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              real
              It is mind boggling to read this kind of posts from you being a resident of another country, specially if you are living in the west. Have you ever heard a Commander of a defense force manhandling a journalist in any of those countries? Why are you trying to treat this coward as an important person to be treated differently than us. This guy sacrificed what for the country? What was he thinking when he joined the Navy? to beat up journalist or fight and defend the country? He chose to join the Navy, nobody forced him to join the Navy and fight for us. He was paid for what he was doing like we are all paid for what we do. I don’t consider him as a leader he is a servant of us paid by our tax money to defend and keep us safe.
              I call him a coward because his beating up a journalist happened while Navy soldiers were there with guns to protect him. Imagine what would have happened if he attacked (in civilian clothes) protesters where there was no security for him. Wouldn’t he be beaten to death by the mob?
              All these show poor judgment on his part. And you think he has the right mind to protect us? I strongly disagree with you; that people of this caliber should be treated differently than other citizens.

      • 3
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        Eusense, how come you went disspeared all these months.
        I hardly read your estranged posts for such a long time.
        I thought you may have disspeared in over flowing Rajapakshe toilet pits.

        • 3
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          My friend leela
          I will never disappear as long as Tamil separatists are roaming in this site.

          • 2
            2

            What about when you become evident Rajaakshe extremists make every efforts to create new form of racial waves ? There, you dont seem to have the same pains right ? Why is that ? Can you please elaborate on this ? For example those rabid dogs hidden behind the Sanga constumes continue their devious acts against us all today, betraying us the born buddists in this country, there you seem to be buff why ?

            • 2
              1

              leelage
              I don’t take sides. I am not a fan of MR but I value what he did for terrorism. If you read my posts you will find I hate terrorism, I fight against terrorism whether it is from the Tamils or Sinhalese. In this modern era you don’t kill each other to resolve problems you negotiate. What “racial waves” are you talking about? To elaborate I need to know what you are talking about!
              If you have read my posts you know I am all for separation of religion and governance. I consider religion as a private entity, you practice those teachings but do not enforce it on others or advertise by erecting statues and Bo trees at every corner. No special treatment should be given to any religion by the gov. The problem we have is the politicians who use religion as a tool to get elected. This is not confined to SL, in the US abortion and gay marriages have become issues exclusively for election time to attract conservative Christians.
              I don’t know what you mean by “buff”, but this is an area we the Buddhist lay should pay attention to and stop giving undue respect to these criminal monks.

              • 0
                1

                Eusense: I based on your comment – while responding to you here even if the topic of the article lies somewhere else:

                I am afraid, considering all what you posted PRE and POST election scenarios – my thoughts would never me to name as ANTI-MR rather the other way around.

                Let me be very clear even if you sound to be different than the pen said to us sofar because yours is no means far from those got intoxicated by biased MEDIA senders targeted programmes. However, I am saddened to see learnt men of your nature too have been fallen to the levels even after MR s poisonous antennas were removed by people s power.

                1 “If you have read my posts you know I am all for separation of religion and governance. I consider religion as a private entity, you practice those teachings but do not enforce it on others or advertise by erecting statues and Bo trees at every corner.”

                What are u talking EUSENSE- from the day one on, each and every govt is giving a greater place for the Religions – NEEDLESS to say that it was not to be overlooked in the days of MR it went to all exaggerating hurting the non-buddhistic thoughts. Latter was calculated acts carried out by PREVIOUS govt highly abused by Gotabaya FACIST groups.
                Even world s already branded FANTIC monks from MYANMAR was highly welcome by BBS patronaged by MR regime Remember ?

                2 “The problem we have is the politicians who use religion as a tool to get elected. This is not confined to SL, in the US abortion and gay marriages have become issues exclusively for election time to attract conservative Christians.”

                Were you born yesterday EUSENSE ? May I draw take you back to the days of BBS highly violent very recent past – who was behind them ? Even last month -prior to that Ampitiye Thug Monk ran amok hurting almost everyone in and out of country – who paid a visit to Managalaramaya ?
                Sources reported the manner MR paid a visit to the place – knowing that ABUSIVE monk was overreacting but getting attention from incumbent President – the reports made it very clear that scheduled presidential visit had to be cancered due to some various reasons 3 months ago or so – there the mad monk himself ordered to demolish a NAME BOARD cemented and ready to open by the president Mr Sirisena, if he happened to turn up there. However, MAD monk fair taled it as it matched with his stories taken from few incidents occured to the people in that areas – as nobody but he is the only person to have done much to those people. Media proxy Rajaakshes painted the story attacking current rulers. However, from what we the neutral folks sitting in and out of the country but being srilankens knew the issue could even make more harm to the divided folks. That indeed did.
                However not even POLICE could controlled over the place.
                We are all made hurt by the filthy loads drops by the monk as not even a drunkard of Maradana street would not have done.
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VafPImYnpi0&t=103s
                All in all, some tamil families (not everyone belong to LTTE) living in Europe questioned me on this – I just made them compliments since GS who was provoked by the Mad monk behaved very decent (exemplary) not even passing any counter attacks.

                Lesbian/Gay/or asylum issues are the thornful ones for example when Dr Merkel focuses her next term at the end of 2017.
                However, they the politicians dont mix it with Religions.
                But over the last few years alone, Buddhism in SL has abusively been used by the politicians for their devious political gains.
                Almost everyone know the manner how Gotabaya led BBS directly acted hurting muslims in Aluthgama and other areas.
                Meaning not that the rise of some islam movement would not be a threat. But those serious issues should be addressed not hurting them further.
                To be continued:
                Willa dd the rest tomorrow.

  • 9
    1

    There is NO chance that Vice-Admiral PotBelly will suffer any admonishment for this ‘minor’ transgression. The Commander of the Force will plead that he was ‘provoked’ and it will be ‘shaped’ up, the medals are safe. Definitely no international tribunal, and life will go on. Maybe a promotion, or an ambassadorship?

    Of course the IFJ can give the incident wide coverage and it will mean people will nod knowingly when we speak about ‘our highly disciplined armed forces who went into battle with the Geneva convention in one hand and their killer weapon in the other’. File this incident along with Chilaw, Rathupaswela and Katunayake. In truth, our armed forces cannot (and will not) differentiate between ‘terrorist’ and civilian.

    Uncharitable people will say that Vice-Admiral PotBelly of our heroic ‘well balanced and cohesive’ navy, moving like a dump truck with a flat tyre, went for the puny journalist knowing a) the journalist was small, b) unarmed, c) had nowhere to run. This is the stuff that creates national heroes.

    The recruiting officer must have been distracted the day he took this man in!

    ps: WE can only speculate what the Vice in Vice-Admiral stands for. Certainly suits Vice-Admiral PotBelly.
    .

    • 3
      3

      Spring Koha,
      Your comment, “The recruiting officer must have been distracted the day he took this man in!” just shows how ignorant you are. Just because there’s a platform to comment doesn’t mean you have to be be a jackass. First get your facts straight.

      Just go to the link I posted and look at his credentials before you type, you bloody ignorant keyboard warrior. He’s the highest decorated special forces officer and a graduate of Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.

      http://navy.lk/cofn-biography.html

      My point is:
      I do believe that the navy commander overstepped and I am by no means defending his actions but my problem is why are we not questioning the integrity of the so called journalist?

      Could you, good sir point me to what ethical and privacy guidelines that govern Sri Lankan Journalism? I do not know and I would very mush like to know.

      Are you saying that the said journalist had a right to intervene in such a manner when the police or military when they are trying to diffuse a dangerous situation? Will he be held accountable if something goes wrong due to his actions? We will have this same conversation again and again.

      This particular journalist especially, should have acted with more integrity and awareness of his boundaries and definitely should adhere by a set rule of ethics as not to endanger the public or himself.

      As for the media, they may have reported the general
      situation but they are choosing to focus on the aspects that they can sensationalize. Do you see them talking about how this journalist decided to overstep his boundaries and aggravate an already tense situation?

      • 10
        4

        Fall Koha

        “He’s the highest decorated special forces officer and a graduate of Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.”

        Does it mean the thug can assault anyone anywhere as he bulldozed into a group of unarmed journalists? The medals don’t give him the right to behave like a thug, as he did in that situation.

        He should have brought a Howitzer Artillery unit on tow to clear the waiting journalist and then dealt with the “dangerous” situation.

        So you want a war on workers without reporters.

      • 6
        1

        Fall Koha, just because the man is “highly decorated” it doesn’t mean he isn’t a bully and a thug as evidenced by his action against the journalist. Is this the kind of example to his forces you condone and encourage?

        The man certainly isn’t a “gentleman and a scholar” regardless of his academic and other qualifications, and that speaks volumes as to his character – and to yours as well, by the way!

        The least he could do would be to apologize to all concerned, but it would be better still if he is publicly admonished and disciplined by the ‘powers that be’.

      • 4
        1

        Full Koha,

        “graduate of Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.”

        I’ll be damned. So FullKoha, is this what the Dartmouth College taught him to do. Go out into a demonstration and beat up every one.

        I for one believed he got his training at the Buddhist Temple that trained Gnanasara.

      • 3
        0

        Fall Koha

        IF the journalist had committed any transgression, he should have been arrested and charged in a court of law. NOT white-vanned; NOT tarred and feathered; and certainly NOT subject to a public beating up by the Commander of our heroic navy.

        I expect, not unreasonably, our decorated Commander to behave like ‘an officer and a gentleman’ NOT like a two-bit mariakadde thug charging about like a bull in a china shop.

        Illustrious Dartmouth College has done nothing for us; our present Commander is now in the dog house with another Dartmouth alumnus, one Lt Yoshitha Rajapakse (remember him?).

  • 7
    2

    Realnaked: You said: “Navy Commander should be pardoned”. Sorry; I do not see eye to eye with you on that statement. This person is the HEAD of the Navy of the country and his official responsibilities and connected behavioral patterns, even under very stressful situations must be fitting into the position. In this particular incident, he not only failed in the discharge of his responsibilities, but also brought disgrace to the country. This is a time, we are struggling to establish our lost identity and reputation in the international arena and just imagine how these types of behavioral patterns by the “HEAD” of the country’s Navy could badly affect such efforts. Already, we see the world’s prominent “Rights Groups” reactions and if the Authorities in Government do not show responsible reactions, that whole effort of re-building would be lost. Just imagine how the Foreign Missions based in the country would be reporting to their respective Governments as regards these types of actions and behavior by the HEADS of Security and Law and Order establishments of the country. Therefore, I feel strongly, that strong disciplinary action must be instituted against this person, irrespective of his position and “connections”.

    Coming back to the question of employees’ demands, the lack of responsibility and independent judgement by the authorities have led to this situation. The port is to be handed over to a Chinese Co, on 90 year “Equity” (80/20) basis and further extendable to another 90 years. In drafting this agreement the Government should have addressed the question of 483 employees’ future, viz, whether they would be absorbed by the Chinese Co or discharged with a suitable compensation package. For your information, no mention as regards this critical matter has been made. The Government knew that the port operations were so far handled by these employees and isn’t it the responsibility to come to an agreement, as regards their employment status with the incoming authority (the Chinese Co) that is going to take over the entire administration. Why waited all this while to tell that 90% of the people cannot “prove” their employment status? Is the Government going to ignore these 483 employees of a “Company” who handled the port operations. For your information, even the “Chief” of operations of the port is an employee of this “Company” that was set up to handled all those functions. The “INTENTIONS” of setting up that “Company” should not to be questioned and in fact not a “matter” at this point of time; because it is now a HUMAN PROBLEM of losing livelihood of employees and their dependent families. Please note, there is no “racial” factor connected with this problem, as you mentioned in your comment; but purely a HUMAN PROBLEM that MUST be addressed by the Government. That MAJOR FACTOR was completely IGNORED by the Government in drafting this “Agreement” to hand over the port to the Chinese Government “NOMINATED” commercial establishment, mind you for 90 years that which is “Extendable” for another 90 years, i.e. nearly TWO CENTURIES. Please try to SEE the HUGE “Economic” and “Social” problems embedded in this venture of 80/20% holding.

    • 4
      2

      Why not heads regardless of where they come from are also human beings.
      In such a situation, he just need to come forward and make a public statement assuring nothing like that will never repeat under his lead.
      Even presidents make big blunders. Even Kings and Queen do allow them.

      Specially country filled with more unvilized than the civlized – we cant avoid happeneing the kind of actions. I watched the video closely. The situation was not easy at all. Those who may defend the protesters will ofcourse add their thoughts as written in books. JVPrs or anyone add their thoughts the manner, but practice they too end up as if the dogs hide their tails behind -when things would turn to be realities.
      Where uncivlized, bastards are the majority, what cant happen.

      I lately happened to see protest marchers join to protest against the rises of Germany s NPD against Refugees. There too, they the police and army reacted – more of less some become victimized of such attacked. But not to forget, masses get protected. What matters in such incidents is safeguard masses not focusing on just one or two single people s injuries. Those who go for such protests should also learn to behave…. basta.

      • 3
        0

        @RealNaked

        “In such a situation, he just need to come forward and make a public statement”

        I agree with you. He could have handled it WAY better if he did that .. AND he would likely have been lauded for defusing a tense situation peacefully

        Sadly, he gave into baser instincts and the situation has just become worse

        Alas, the knee-jerk reaction to resort to thuggery/force is still strong in Sri Lanka. No finesse.

        • 0
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          [Edited out]

      • 6
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        Realnaked

        “In such a situation, he just need to come forward and make a public statement assuring nothing like that will never repeat under his lead.”

        He must be hiding under smart ass patriotism (remember he is a war hero).

        Possibly visiting the Sangha to prove his loyalty to Sinhala/Buddhism.

        Or may be hiding behind his female folks.

        • 4
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          Yes, going to seek for blessing and repeating the Ups done in war against LTTErs are just protective Mechanisms, that have been seen as so called tradition of this lost nation.

          Yes, Even after fulfiling theSUNDAY LEADER NEWS PAPER EDITOR- Lasantha Murder, they the Army intelligence officers went and knelt down the Malwathu chapter theros. So did former front man -Mervin too, many a time as got to see in screens.

          Rajapakshe s uniqueness is he went on reciting the war related HIGH achievements while continue his deliberate human rights violations. May be the bugger, may have thought, all the war related wonder making could license him to go for raping, let people missing, murder etc.

          Today s men while let occuring big mistakes just keep away from asking for apology.
          So all in all, not much progress seem not to have achieved in terms turning to better.

    • 1
      2

      This can be tolerated from our ignorant third class politicians!

      But this precedent from a Naval officer, utmost, commander, who set standards to the whole Navy, can run havoc like the Hambantota thug mayor who brandished a pistol in public!

      There must be something wrong with the training they had!

    • 2
      1

      Douglus – have you ever been to a SriLankan port – Have you ever tried to clear anything from port – for me majority of port workers are roughs – unqualified, uneducated money suckers – If we want to make this country a better place – then we need leaders who has guts to do the write thing at the write time – all the time the leaders cannot take politically correct decisions – Forget about all the good norms and conventions – What Navy Commander did to chase the striking hooligans and their media reporters out and release the two vessels from the custody of hooligans is absolutely correct – in fact he could have done this bit earlier

      • 3
        0

        Rabok,

        Those who know it have to agree with you every word.

        We need qualified people to have been given chances.

        Those men in Hambantota or so, are said to have no documents to prove their job stands.
        What had the BUGGER ET AL been doing to this nation, but telling hype talks about DEVELOPMENTs and Road constructions.
        People have been made brainwashed with no reverse

        Gobbel s theories had been applied in that process – also calling the state as MID INCOME EARNING level. However, not even 30% would live in this country to be called as MID INCOME EARNING.
        They had doctored state documents to collect all huge debts with or without the mediation of Central bank, but pleaseing Rajapakshe idiots;
        SO PEOPLE THOUGHT THE GROWTH RATES CONTAINED in the JOURNALS were the real numbers.
        All was looted and manipulated for their survivial turning this country a highly abusive place.

        Now Current DUO have met with crossroads, being unable to fulfil as godly promised.

        THE DEVIL IS EVEN DARKER THAN EVER GUESSED BY THE BOTH.
        jUST AFTER putting the feet only they really felt the size of the depth fall.

        This they have to explain to the nation without making any round abouts.
        Village levels people should know all the realities of the day.

        Media men should be warned not to allow and Anti-yahapalaya to rise up.
        harder law enforcement – is imperative regardless of the status of the JOINT opposition men

      • 2
        2

        Rabok

        “What Navy Commander did to chase the striking hooligans and their media reporters out and release the two vessels from the custody of hooligans is absolutely correct – in fact he could have done this bit earlier”

        You seem to suggest journalists were the main obstruction to solving the labour dispute. If you want to build a thriving democracy the country needs a free media more than it needs thugs in uniform.

        Democracy begins with well informed masses and media aided transparency. It dies when you publicly accept thuggery especially when the thug is working for the state.

        War on workers without reporters is the first step in the direction of dictatorship.

        If you hate democracy you need Gota.

        • 0
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          Democracy is something used by so called developed world to rob the masses and manipulate them for the advantage of ruling class – under the cover of democracy this ruling class do all kinds of highly undemocratic things – the best example is the way USA practice democracy – In the Mideast they want to bring down dictatorships and bring in Democratic governments by killing so many innocent lives in the process – look at Libiya , look at Siriya , Look at Iraq Libiyans ,Siriyans and Iraqians were much better off under Dictatorships – now in chaos – The real reason behind toppling Dictatorships is not USA’s heart felt desire for democracy but their unsatisfying desire to dominate the world economically and politically — It is the same story about countries bordering the Russia – again the cover story is to establish democracy in those country – but the real reason is USA wants to make those countries NATO members and keep on threatening USA – in the process they create chaos in Ukraine

          So my dear friend Democracy is bull shit hypocrisy – if we are aiming at developing our country – then we must throw this democracy shit out of the window and start disciplining the country with tough laws – wrong doers must be punished severely without looking into their social status – the lousy brick bats in our public sector must be give kicked out if they cannot function as per expectations – Strike and protests must be banned for few years and trouble makers must be thrown to the dust bin

          Our education system should be revamped completely to produce graduates who can take this country to the next level and beyond –

          The big mouth advocates of human rights and democratic rights of people should be make to understand that their rotten theories should be kept within the premises of universities

          May be I am politically wrong – but if we want to see a developed country then we must stop allowing goons manipulating country’s main economic nerve centers

          May be democratic Pandiths may not see what Navy Commander did is correct – But he did exactly what he is suppose to do – So they are not thugs but the striking goons are the thugs

          • 3
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            Rabok

            “So my dear friend Democracy is bull shit hypocrisy – if we are aiming at developing our country – then we must throw this democracy shit out of the window and start disciplining the country with tough laws”

            So do you want to run the trains on time as did Benito Mussolini? Are planning to crown Gota as the sovereign head of this island with absolute power?

            Every citizen should learn to ask the following questions when they meet those in positions of economic, social and political power:

            “What power have you got?”

            “Where did you get it from?”

            “In whose interests do you use it?”

            “To whom are you accountable?”

            “How do we get rid of you?”

            The late Tony Benn former MP.

            Think about the five questions, most importantly the last one.

            ” But he did exactly what he is suppose to do “

            What was exactly expected of him, break the journalist’s neck?

            • 0
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              Dear Native

              Absolute power corrupt people – irrespective of the way the leaders are elected they may become corrupted if they are allowed to concentrate more powers into their hands – This fact remains true even if you are democratically elected leader or otherwise – Hitler and Mussolini are crack pots – mentally sick senseless rascals – not only them present day ISIS leaders , Osama Bin Laden , Pol pot – no different – These guys also had and having their own visions – but unfortunately they let their vision blind their logic – to make the matters worse they all were very talented orators who could make masses believe them blindly – However the leaders like Lee Quin Yue also used many dictatorial and ruthless ways to lift Singapore from a rotting mud hole to the present status – He also had a vision – however he was very tactful in achieving his vision – he never got intoxicated with power. But never fails to use the power when it is necessary – like the way he crushed the strike action of Singapore Airline pilots – sometime back

              What SriLanka needs today are the leaders like Lee — not democratic buffalos who put their tail between hind legs and start pissing when some bloody union leaders or some media ruffians start shouting against a legislation that would be beneficial for the general public –

              Yes leaders got the power from the masses to be used for the benefit of the masses – So when few ruffians wants to disrupt the smooth functioning of a Harbor which will bring benefits to the masses what actions the Gov. is suppose to take?? – Act democratically and go by the book on human rights ?? – Hell !! hammer the ruffians out and bring in normalcy.

              Democracy is something suitable for a society where everybody is equally educated and on equal economic status and enjoy more or less similar social status. Not for third world countries

  • 2
    1

    Law enforcement treats all alike, no special treatment for Journalists,he was part of the unruly gang and deserves it. he should be charged for encouraging the gangsters to break the law while carrying a media pass. Navy Commander’s action is commendable.We need more of this caliber in forces.

    • 2
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      sene
      Why do you think this Navy guy picked a journalist to beat up not a protester?

      • 2
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        Nuisance

        sach is still looking for your padikkama.

    • 2
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      Sene

      The journalist was armed and dangerous, possibly connected to the diaspora, ISIS, Bader Meinhof, Red Army Faction, Shining Path, LTTE, DJVP, CIA, RAW, MI6, SVR RF, Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, …..

      Navy Commander should be promoted to the rank of First Lord of the Sea.

  • 3
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    I think this naval officer has all the credentials like Gunarsa,he could do more in yellow saffron than the navy uniform.

    The other one santhosams head “sir” disgrace for the uniforms they wear.

  • 4
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    It is a common thing in Sri Lanka, When you have a couple of colleagues around you, you become a pig and want to beat up somebody, beating up somebody is referred as a very satisfying past time!

    I saw this in University too, when one has no balls to challenge someone they bring the gang together to beat someone.

    I guess we are still not evolved to treat humans like humans!
    We have this religion and the 2500 year old culture that we boast, But still we behave like tribes in Africa (No disrespect to Africa).

    Even our parents did not teach us that!

    The dignity and the self respect of the journalist is equally important as the dignity of the Commander!

    Journalist was not hiding among protesters,
    He identified himself.
    Journalists were not banned from the premise!
    journalist did not provoke the Navy personnel!

    This is another one similar to,
    Mahinda’s son can assault a referee and get away,
    Ministers can tie people to trees and get away,
    Minsters can hit and run and get away,
    Sirisena’s son can smash night clubs and can get away.

    It is one law for them and another law for us!
    It is a matter of you are with them or not.

    This country will be a better place when this sick culture is changed!

    This gon palane does not want to change that either!

    Is it it shameful that we live in a country where human rights have to be imposed as a part of trade deal? (GSP+)

    • 3
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      Srinath,

      it is just the mentality.
      And not having leading personalities to guide those young men.
      I think not only Medical Docotrs, Engineers, IT specialitsts and others in science streams, but also other areas such psychology, sociology and the like fields, we need more to get graduated to meet the larger gaps in the society. See, in UK or other european coutnries, they focus also on sociology and paedogogy equally. I think lanken education system has lost some areas over the past few decades not paving due attention as needed.
      And the fact, you must not get graduated in such areas if other institutie could produce enough professionals to serve the nation.

      See alone that Hambantota protests for a week now – there I heard them saying ” API MARENAWA MAI:::: apita kawuruth ekai apita ona ape illieem – we will commit suicide, we dont mind politicians, we only want our jobs to be confirmed etc “. But today, it revealed none of these workers can produce any documents issued ot them as the workers. Can you imagine ? This shows, there should be some big lacks in the processes of them becoming workers to that harbors ? How could these things have happened, if the authorities did their job as we experience it to be the case in Europe ? System deficiencies have brought all chaos not just in Harbor, but even many officesin Srilanka. There are no inspectors to search the levels of performances. Be it in term sof schools or other institutes that is the same.
      Here we feel wrong if we collect our salaries if we did not perform what expected from us to the top. But down there, they the many just work not having understood the meaning of work.

      Once paradigm shift is applied to every areas, srilanken can see forward. d

  • 6
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    I say, promote the Navy Commander.

    But first make him lose some weight. It’s unsafe for the ships that carry him around.

    • 5
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      nimal fernando

      “But first make him lose some weight. It’s unsafe for the ships that carry him around. “

      Give him a head transplant, anger management, …….. take his medals away from him, ….

  • 1
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    I do believe that the navy commander overstepped and I am by no means defending his actions but my problem is why are we not questioning the integrity of the so called journalist?

    Could any of you, good sirs point me to what ethical and privacy guidelines that govern Sri Lankan Journalism? I do not know and I would very much like to know. Does “the right to information Act”, give you the privilege to interfere with law enforcement or military when they’re trying to diffuse a tense situation just because you’re a journalist.

    Are you saying that the said journalist had a right to intervene in such a manner when the police or military when they are trying to diffuse a dangerous situation?

    Isn’t there a set of boundaries that is set by IFJ and FMM have come up with that instruct of a journalist should behave in tense situations like these?
    Will he be held accountable if something goes wrong due to his actions? First go fix your own house. Then we can have an intelligent conversation about it.

    This particular journalist especially, should have acted with more integrity and awareness of his boundaries and definitely should adhere by a set rule of ethics as not to endanger the public or himself.

    As for the media, they may have reported the general situation but they are choosing to focus on the aspects that they can sensationalize. Just like this article. Blowing it up beyond proportion. Do you see them talking about how this journalist decided to overstep his boundaries and aggravate an already tense situation?

    Also all the keyboard warriors who’ve been attacking the image of a war hero, first go read his credentials and then make a judgment instead of blindly insulting someone. Here’s the link.

    http://navy.lk/cofn-biography.html

    • 2
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      Fall Koha, why are you so focused on the journalist when the subject matter is the bullying and thuggish behaviour of the Navy Commander?

      If, as you so ‘proudly’ state, he is so “highly decorated” and you are so hung-up on his “credentials”, shouldn’t he have accrued some ‘decency’ in his studies at Dartmouth?

      And as for your insulting crack at Spring Koha as “.. you bloody ignorant keyboard warrior”, all I can say is that you are no better than this bully with his impeccable “credentials” (according to you)!!

  • 2
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    Comment from Dilrook Kanangara from lw
    Shameful and cowardly conduct of the Sri Lanka Navy should be roundly condemned. No less than the Navy Commander used raw filth and violence against unarmed innocent Sinhala civilians in Hambantota. His words perfectly describe his own conduct and descent.

    What is surprising is the meekly surrender the same navy suffered in Silawathurai and Trincomalee! In Silawathurai, Tamil thugs armed with clubs and machetes assaulted three naval ratings severely injuring them and keeping one of them in their custody. They agreed to release the navy personnel kept in their custody in exchange for immunity. Alas! Immunity was granted to these terror wielding hooligans. It was a mini episode of a prisoner exchange! To make matters worse for the little men in blue uniform, police protection was given the navy camp.

    Then there was the incident involving the Muslim Chief Minister of the east who publicly abused a navy officer. Not just the navy brushed it under the carpet, it also replaced the area commander and even invited the offending Chief Minister and his clique for lunch.

    The navy has been unable to halt Tamil Nadu illegal fishermen venturing into Lankan waters. This conduct is consistent with other incidents.

    This discriminatory, filthy and cowardly conduct of the navy raises very serious issues. Is it the product of closer ties with the US navy Sri Lanka has cultivated recently? Okinawa has seen similar conduct displayed by US troops against natives (lets not talk about Diego Garcia). Looks like the Sri Lanka navy has been reduced to a ragtag group of men willingly surrendering to Tamil and Muslim abuse while abusing Sinhala civilians. They must be reminded of the repercussions of losing public trust and the need to treat everyone equally irrespective of ethnicity.

    If he has any professionalism left, the navy commander must step down.

    • 6
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      Lorenzo

      “No less than the Navy Commander used raw filth and violence against unarmed innocent Sinhala civilians in Hambantota.”

      Is it alright to use filth and violence against unarmed innocent Tamil/Muslim civilians anywhere on this island|?

      “Tamil thugs armed with clubs and machetes assaulted three naval ratings severely injuring them and keeping one of them in their custody.”

      So the navy man who used his bare arm to neck snap the journalist is not a Sinhala thug.

      Thanks for your enlightening us with your typing. Only a bigot could make the vivid distinction.

      • 0
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        I thought the langauge being prefered in that area is filthy enriched Sinhala – since areas is identified by Rajaakshes. Or am I wrong ?

  • 2
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    This is what happens when the leadership of a highly esteemed military service is given to 3rd class, uncultured, bullies. They drag down the reputation of the Service to their level of indignity. Shame on you Navy Commander, it is high time you admit your bad behavior and voluntarily relinquish your post. If Court Martialled you could lose all your brass gongs that you earned during the war.

    PS 1. Do not waste time telling lies to twist what happened on the streets. It will make you a liar in public eye, adding to the damage that you did to yourself.

    PS 2. My comments do not extend to the question of Navy action in releasing the ships blocked by the protesters, and only to the stealthy presence of the Navy Commander as part of the assault team and his own personal behavior.

  • 1
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    I feel very pathetic Sir . I heard you were a war hero. You a hero to us all. Please show every nasty things happened in this country and respective culprits to the world without hiding under winds. I am so sorry about what is happening in this country

    The Divine powers protecting the Noble Buddhism in this country would never forgive the severe culprits would be punished shortly.

  • 0
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    So this thing is completely polotical. NAvy commander became the pawn.

    • 2
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      Jim
      So what are you saying is, this navy coward beat up a journalist is all political but nothing else?
      Is that should be the way a Commander should act?

  • 0
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    Rabook: Yes. I agree that the port is a hell for that type of “rough” and “tough” handling in all matters. Have you tried to find out WHY? The simple reason is the way these people are “motivated” from the time they are taken in as employees. All are there with the backing of the Politicians and once they are within, they are subjugated to be at the back and call of the Trade Unions. They dictate and everyone has to obey, if not, you don’t survive. For example, when Mr. Chamal Rajapakse was the Minister, he filled the whole place with his catchers plus those who were able to feed the stretched out “invisible hands”. It goes on and on. Even in the case of Hambantotota Port, Rajapakse did not want to make direct recruitment; but instituted a private Company through which these people were taken in. That was done purely to give employment to his own “catchers” and “goons”, who are now facing the consequences. That is why I always say, this must CHANGE and whole place need to be resurrected from these goons, mostly politicians.

    Dunken Leutheuser: I still feel the Commander of the Navy should not have behaved in that “rough” and “tough” way. Someone raised an issue with his “uniform” (a shirt & a pair of shorts) at the time of the incident. Toady, I saw FM Sarath Fonseka, a Minster stating at a media briefing, that this Navy Commander is one of two people who is licensed to pilot a ship in the Navy and what he was wearing is the proper uniform. Do you agree? Is it another “BS”? Open for discussion and educate me. Thank you.

  • 0
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    Misbehaving Navy Commander.

    First, he should be asked to reduce his weight. Too much of paper pushing and eating good food I guess. Bad for his health too.

    Give it to the bugger for leading the operation from the ‘front ‘, too bad he let the reporter get under his skin.

    As it is customary in the motherland will this too be ‘shaped’ up ?

    Another feather to our culture of impunity ?

    Personally, MOD must write him up, cautioning against future misbehavior.

  • 3
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    Man to hell with it all. These journalists have way too much freedom. They are fully biased and one sided, not giving the true and full picture of it. It’s all well and clear in the video, why he was mingling among the troublemakers, and when he was asked to move out, he should have moved out instead of poking their camera at the Navy personnel, when they were trying to take control a highly tense and explosive situation. They should have co-operated instead of hindrance. By any means and standard, he shouldn’t be mingling among the troublemakers, should stayed well clear and done his job. Ports are highly sensitive and secure places, only authorized people are allowed entry, that too only authorized dock workers have the right to stay in the dock, not others. With whose authority he was in the dock, and that too near the vessel, all these places are highly restricted to outsiders and unauthorized people. From all these, it’s all done with well pre-planning by planting the journalist in the middles of the action. I make a request to these journalists to study the footage of Al Jazeera’s reporting of the recent protest in Seoul, Korea. How meticulously and professionally that reporter and his crew were doing their job by staying well clear of the crowd, and occasionally interviewing the by standers. That’s the beauty of true journalism. What happened in Magampura Port was Mariyakadai journalism.

    I’m not for or with the government or its leaders, normal sensible people could understand this well. I’m writing this because I love my country, and I want it to be there for my generations to come. Take the case of the daily news news papers, TV and radio news and their current affairs programmes. All mostly against the government and it’s leaders, biased and one sided as if the government and the leaders are doing nothing but snoozing and in deep slumber. Only sin they did was giving to all of them the freedom from the whites vans, torture and death. Let them attack but shouldn’t go to the gutter level to create mayhem in the country by making mountain out of molehill by senses alization of the news for their ulterior motives, our people don’t have the least ability and capacity to differentiate the good and the bad, that would make this country ungovernable for any one, already it’s the case, and it would become another Somalia. If the country exists, in peace instead of in pieces, they could practice their craft and all could live well, else all would end up as refugees in all corners of the world like the Syrians. Journalists and journalism should have great responsibility towards the country and society.

    The Navy was doing their duty to secure and protect one of the vital facilities of the country, from the savage hooligans and terrible thugs, and the ports are one of the nerve centers of the country’s economy. The law has entrusted them to safeguard the country’s ports and ocean territories. These rotten and savage beast had taken hostage of foreign vessels and their crews. It’s piracy, and terrible international high crime, when there are enough and more peaceful avenues available to sort out issues and grievances, this not freedom, and freedom too has it’s limits.

    This is not the way to demand what they want, and they are doing contract for their masters. They and their masters’ want to make this country a pariah state like Somalia, North Korea,Sudan, Nigeria, Venezuela. They want to spoil the image of the country, and sabotage the country’s progress by scaring away investors, in order to achieve their selfish and evil means. They are terribly mean and selfish. They and their masters are rotten to the core and savage beast, wouldn’t give a dame to the country or people. This sends a frightening message to the foreign investors. When the situation is like this, who on this planet with his right senses would risk their hard earned money and invests in this god forsaken country. They and their masters would send them, these white elephant projects and the country to the gutters when the economy goes belly up. Their masters are loaded with looted funds, when everything goes to the gutters, these masters would leave them high and dry, and run away from them.

    Their actions were so horrible and despicable. They were holding the such huge vessels’ anchor lines with bulldozers and placed gantry cranes to obstruct the vessels movements. They have done massive damages to the port’s administration buildings, and other facilities, and these are people’s assets. Thank God, nothing bad happened to the vessels, crews and their cargo, these specialized car carriers are worth millions of dollars. If any damages, no joke, country had to pay through our noses. K -line is not a small fish, it’s part of a huge billion dollar Japanese corporation, employing hundreds of thousands of people with worldwide operations. If something bad happened to the vessels or its crew or it’s cargo of hundreds of brand new vehicles, they would have taken these hooligans and the country to the cleaners, in any case they would demand damages for days of losses when they kept it hostage. From Colombo Port they shifted operations to Hambantota like a mercy for these people, when no other regular vessel was coming there, this is how they showed their appreciation for the kindness.

    Now, the WTO has something called International Arbitration which gives ways for international companies to demand compensation from governments for their losses, once given its ruling, there is no tribunal in the world to appeal, it’s always favor the companies. It has given many rulings against many countries. Recent one was against Indonesia. During the military dictatorship, anyone could do anything there by paying some thing to the generals. This Australian company signed agreement to mine gold, but the place was very pristine area where indigenous people lived, and they were to lose everything. Due to the people’s protest things got drag on. This company went to International Arbitration tribunal, and they gave ruling in its favor. The company pressed the new civilian government of Indonesia to clear up the people but they back off. Then armed with the ruling, the company took actions to seize the international assets of Indonesia, then they sent the army and cleared up the people. Now all the area is spoilt beyond redemption and whole place is poisoned due to the mining but the company is raking big money from the gold produced. So playing like this is not a joke, we are already in the deep hole and up to our eye balls and over our heads in debts. The international – Citi, HSBC and Deutsche bank – banks took SL too to this tribunal over the petroleum hedging issues, we had to pay millions of dollars to those banks but Standard Chartered won the case in the London courts, and squeezed the neck.

    Government is taking all steps to settle, these high interest debts and lighten the burden on the people. These mad hats had obtained this loan at 6.3% interest, even companies or individuals wouldn’t borrow at this rate from the international market. Countries borrow at much lesser rates between 0.5 to 2%. This has to be paid in 15 years with interest. This port is not making any money, real white elephant, they are bringing money from the Colombo port for the expenses. So if they give it to Chinese or any devil and save the people from the miseries, that’s it.

    They forgot the days people stayed day and night in endless queues to get rotten rice, bread with dead insects, stale milk powder for infants, medicines, and the way people ate manioc, ala, batala, leaves and bark to survive, and wore clothes made of kerosene smeling fabrics. If this continues, that time would be very soon around the corner, and there going to be a big calamity in the country when the economy hits the rocks.

    When these white elephant projects would destroy the coffers of the country, this would definitely happen. Look what’s happening in Nigeria and Venezuela, major oil exporting countries, they screwed up their economies, one third of the population of Nigeria are in famine, starving to death, thousands of Venezuelans are doing daily run to neighbouring Colombia for their basic daily essentials. Brazil’s economy in deep trouble, such a resources rich country with it’s recent robust economy, people are undergoing immense sufferings. In Greece hundreds thousands lost job and every thing, and those at work had to take deep pay cuts, people are facing untold sufferings. Like our government, the Greek government’s income is not sufficient to service its debt payments.

    Not only in capitalist countries but in the socialist countries too, in difficult times, they take extraordinary measures to put back the economies to normal. A Taiwanese contract electronic manufacturer which makes smartphones for Apple and Samsung in China and Vietnam. In China, this company employs 1.2 million Chinese workers but due to higher wages and appreciation of the Chinese currency, it’s losing money, now it wants to automate the factories to become profitable. Due to automation 300,000 workers going to lose their jobs but no murmur from the workers or the Chinese government, if they stop, if the company goes under the entire 1.2 million would lose their jobs. Same token, after automation, if they make good money, they might employ 300,000 or more. Same company going to set factory in India and going going to employ half million workers. Take note our gullible GMOA doctors and others opposing the trade agreements, I will write about it later, Taiwan and China are arch foes but over 1.2 million Taiwanese are working in China in supervisory and middle management level. When its business, economy and well being of the people, they forgo all their differences, and they are clever and sensible people, that’s what they are moving ahead in life.

    Cuba has signed agreement with Google for internet coverage, it’s internet speed is one of the slowest in the world and charges are among the highest. Miami is stone stone throw away from Cuba but it’s telecom traffic is passing via Venezuela. Until all issues are sorted out, Google going to set up it’s own servers there and host it’s content. Before Trumps inauguration, Cuba is signing agreements with host of American companies, leting American Airlines and cruise ship companies to operate services for Trump is taking a hardline towards Cuba, Iran and China.

    When countries are taking so much efforts and pain to get out of troubles, why are we fighting with so many unwanted and unnecessary infernos, not only those few who are doing these despicable and horrible things but to due their bad actions and nasty behavior all should end up in deep trouble. Its high time for all to put some sense into these misguided people in order to save the country and people from unimaginable calamities which going to unfold unless we reform ourselves from all petty issues and differences. The almighty God save should Sri Lanka and it’s people

    All in All the situation of the world’s economy too scary and not that rosy. Sri Lanka sells huge lot of things to the USA and hardly buys anything, Trump warned those countries that he would slap 35 to 45% duty on them. Oil price would nose dive to the bottom due to solar, wind and wave power revolution taking place both in the developing and developed world. More and more workers are losing jobs in the Middle East and returning to the country, that would add more pressure to country.

    Why I wrote this with so much pain is to enlighten all that we are in for rough and hard time, and there is no room for people to play around, otherwise match over, no doubt, all would end up in terrible chaos and utter mess. To avoid this and navigate it safely, all should use our heads and use our senses carefully, and look for ways for the safety of all.

    • 2
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      jaliya
      You have wasted your time trying to explain what is irrelevant to the issue in hand. You keep blaming journalist. Your statement about the journalist staying clear of protest and other news worthy situation is incorrect. Actually, journalists can be anywhere they want to report. Most western journalists even risk their lives as they are planted among soldiers in battlefields, protests, public rallies, demonstrations, gov. hearings etc. etc. As you say Al jazeera standing clear of protest does not speak good for that organization. In the west journalistic IDs are very much respected.
      The issue in hand is the actions of the so called Navy Commander. Sure the navy was doing their duty. In fact the lower ranking Navy soldiers were doing an excellent job until the ego maniac Commander came to the scene. Do you think he has the right to pick a journalist and beat him up while the real protesters were making the environment tense? I expected you to write paragraphs and paragraphs on the behavior of the Commander but instead you are wasting time writing about journalists! why??

    • 0
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      I hope many politician will read this comments and advice their
      surrogates on true and naked facts.

  • 0
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    jaliya: You have identified the “Disease” and so do the people who put this Government to “Administer” a cure. Here we are discussing the “Future” of this strategically important project that belong to the country. I don’t think there is anyone in the country who says that this port is “unnecessary” or a “waste”. No at all. This has all the economic and security reasons for its development and securing it as a National asset. This Government was given the mandate and undertook that responsibility to “Manage” and “Secure” this national treasure. Now the question the people rightfully question is the “Manner” in which the Government has embarked on fulfilling that responsibility. The Government, in handing over this national asset to a Chinese Company to switch a loan equity to a 80/20 percent holding and give the entire “Management”, is the most “Riskiest”, in that, the country will be the greatest loser in the end result. You too agree how a Port is very important to the “Security” of the country and therefore I am sure you will also agree that such an asset should not in any case be left under a “Majority” management by a foreign company and that too a period of 90 years. For your information, this Chinese Company is a “Holding Company”, mind you NOMINATED by the Chinese Government. So, in terms of country’s SECURITY, this is a very unwise and a “riskiest” decision.

    Next you must address your mind is the “Economic” factor. As, I said earlier, there is no objection by anyone to developing this natural harbor to an operating port. This is very strategically located along the so called “Silk Route” and more than 200 ships pass by on a daily basis. Isn’t that a great OPPORTUNITY for us to make use of and generate much needed foreign exchange needed for our other developmental projects? In simple terms this PORT to us is and can easily made a FORTUNE. To do that perhaps, we need a little more infusion of capital and with the “KNOW HOW” already available in handling the port of Colombo, we could and worth managing this as a National Venture. It has all the promises and potential that should not escape the attention of any responsible Government. Along with the port development so much affiliated economic activities could be generated to the entire benefit of the country. So, when we know its huge potential, WHY this Government made such an “Unwise” and a “Riskiest” decision to hand over it to a foreign company that also “Nominated” by the Chinese Government. I am sure, you will be more disturbed and baffled, if you take a little time to know some of the “draconian” terms and conditions stipulated in this agreement, in terms of which, as the majority holder (80%)of equity share the “Management” and “Revenue Sharing” goes to a period of 90 years and beyond for another 90 years. i.e. Two Centuries. Is this is the WAY and the POLICY of this Government that was mandated to manage National Assets of the country by the people? That is and must be the NATIONAL DEBATE and not so much the Labor Issue. Unfortunately that MUST, NATIONAL DEBATE has been sidetracked by this trivial Labor dispute that can be settled with little patience and foresight. You are therefore invited to look at the BIG PICTURE leaving aside this assault on the Journalist and the labor dispute. Thank you.

  • 0
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    Journalists are a pain in As#.

  • 1
    0

    assaulting a journalist is a “condemnable act” but white vanning, torturing, assassinating and disappearing them is a patriotic duty in Sinhala Lanka!

  • 0
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    Hello – The Prime Minister of SRI LANKA has already taken IMMEDIATE action. Why you did not see the photographs published in the daily papers yesterday? Well done Commander of the Navy! This geneleman deserves a service extension forthwith. bye- Nihal Gunatilake

  • 0
    0

    looks like a mariyakade Thug. What a bad example to be obese as head of the Navy.This is as a result of a broken Judiciary,if it was the case in a Western country he would have been removed immediately and court marshalled and jailed.Sarath. Fonny put his 2cents worth because he was implicitly involved in extra judicial killings.

  • 0
    0

    The Naval Commander did what is right – why should he be prosecuted

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