16 December, 2018

Blog

Military Propagandists Targeting The HRCSL And RTIC 

Well targeted attacks aimed at the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission Chairperson Dr Deepika Udagama by a group of ex-military men appear to be part of a larger strategy aimed at destabilizing Sri Lanka’s independent Commissions, particularly the HRCSL and the Right to Information Commission (RTIC), both of which have been praised locally and internationally for their progressive interventions.

Army Commander

This week, the Divaina published a report by blatantly pro-military journalist Keerthi Warnakulasooriya known for his crude propaganda, saying that the RTIC’s recent direction to the Sri Lanka Army to produce information containing a list of canteens and hotels run by it in the North and East will pose a ‘grave obstacle’ to the activities of the Army in the former conflict zone.

The report is factually incorrect including a wrong reference that this was the first time that the Sri Lanka Army had been directed to give information. The Colombo Telegraph went through the website of the RTIC which carry the Commission’s decisions and found that the Sri Lanka Army had given information in line with directions of the RTI Commission on several occasions previously.

This included producing the report of a disciplinary inquiry held against a brigadier on allegations of sexual harassment on the complaint of an officer attached to the legal division of the Army and producing information asked for by a disabled soldier.

Colombo Telegraph spoke to an officer attached to one of the Public Authorities summoned by the RTIC on the appeals who refused to be named but said that; ‘The Army Commander has been very encouraging of the RTI Act and does not like these ‘planted’ stories’, adding that ‘we have been co-operating with the Right to Information Commission and the RTI Act and will continue to do.’

Increased activities of propagandists supporting the political entry of former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa have targeted the functioning of independent commissions, with an ex-military man leveling threats against HRCSL Chair Dr Deepika Udagama which were published in the Mawbima.

These are some of many such instances showing the lack of ethics and blatant bias of Sri Lankan journalists which has become a major problem with the self-regulatory Press Complaints Commission being ineffective. Stating only that the RTIC had not accepted the argument of the Army that the canteens were run on welfare funds, the Divaina article has also failed to mention the fact that the Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Air Force had given that very information to the RTIC on the same day through the Ministry of Defence and that when realizing that giving a list of the canteens that it runs could not be established as violating national security, the Army had agreed to give the information.

The Colombo Telegraph also learns that the RTI appeals being filed by Uthayan journalist Dileepamuthan to the RTIC asking for information on the hotels and canteens being run by the tri-services in the North and East and regarding what action the Army has taken on soldiers accused of sexual abuse in Haiti while serving as peacekeepers has become a ‘hot topic’ with Tamil diaspora activists who had raised a hue and cry that a military intelligence report is being maintained on the journalist.

‘Racist Sinhala journalists with their military friends who level death threats do not represent the Army.  Such people and pro-LTTE diaspora activists with their local activist friends are two sides of the same coin and are both troublemakers’ the information officer said to the Colombo Telegraph.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 13
    1

    This media is useless. What RTI for them? They can only run after politicians.

    It is like putting pearls before hogs! At least hogs serve some useful purpose. What do these journalists serve except some racist politicians?

    • 10
      5

      Army is a law unto themselves. They have been interfering in the affairs of Tamils since war ended in2009, but the government turned a blind eye. Now Army has begun interfering in other areas, and very soon like in Pakistan, no future government can do anything without permission of Army. There is news that sword wielding groups with hooded heads riding motorcycles had caused atrocities in several places in Jaffna today. Despite being well known that Army is behind these violent acts, no action is being taken to control it. Time has come to save Tamils from Army terrorists.

    • 2
      5

      Sri Lanka’s RTI is incomplete and has many flaws. I remember writing rigmaroles elsewhere against RTI when it was proposed.
      Nowhere in the world an RTI Act came into effect without a Privacy and Confidentiality Act. RTI should have exemptions same like other countries.
      The exemptions should be applied to;
      – strategic, scientific and economic interests of the military
      – information related to military welfare activities and funds
      – information that exposes whistleblowers
      – identity of witnesses in trials of sensitive matters such as anti-terrorism and sexual attack cases (like in India.) The court should ban publication of such information.
      – information on arrests in criminal cases that are detrimental to police investigations.
      I don’t remember whether it is included in our RTI but trade and commercial secrets cannot be obtained through RTI. For eg: Coca Cola trade secrets are exempted.
      The Army Commander has every right to deny releasing information pertaining to economic activities of the Military. The list of canteens and hotels run by military in the North and East should be exempted under “Trade secrets and Commercial Confidentiality.”

      • 3
        4

        Champa, please tell army commander that if he tries to undermine the work of Human rights council in exposing atrocities committed by he army, he will never be able to enter any country valuing human rights. Get him to comply with the request and provide all details asked for, in order to avoid being labelled persona non grata.

    • 2
      5

      The last line of my comment should read as follows:
      The list of canteens and hotels run by Military in the North and East should be exempted “under economic and welfare activities of the Military.”

      • 3
        1

        Stupid@Champa. Navy and AirForce already released the info. And Army Commander did not refuse but agreed. Get your facts straight.

        It is racist journos and idiots like you, this ‘softy’ who is soft in the head and Warna who wrote about findings bricks on Mars (what fools are these?!) who twist any situ.

        I suspect all of you are eelamists writing to discredit the armed forces by making them look idiotic.

        • 4
          5

          Pro Republic
          Your comment and my comment show who the Eelamist is.
          LTTE diaspora is using proxies to acquire lands in the North. TNA is tiger’s paw. LTTE diaspora uses TNA to remove Army from the North. Then their proxies acquire lands. This is the second step. Once they obtained these information through RTI and then they will use TNA to remove Army from those canteens and hotels. And then LTTE proxies will acquire those businesses too.Any fool can see what will happen once those information is disclosed.
          Army Commander has every right to refuse to furnish those details.
          Yahapalanaya government is under obligation to LTTE and TNA. But Military is not under obligation to them. That is the difference.

          • 2
            0

            Learn to read simple English. Army Commander did not refuse. He will not be so idiotic to refuse something that should be anyway public – audited reports of the Army in public will reveal the canteens/ hotels they run. What is the secrecy about that?

            Only idiots like you make things worse for the Army which I am proud of for doing a service to this country and keeping is safe in our beds. There. I hope you got the point this time – but no prizes for expecting idiots to learn the obvious.

      • 3
        6

        Champa,

        Why didn’t you add these exemptions to RTI:

        1. Gota and White Vans
        2. Disappearance of liberal and investigative journalists
        3. Matale Mass Grave
        4. Massacre in Welidada Prison
        5. Rathupusselawa killings
        6. Attacks on Sri Lanka’s most important war hero Sarath Fonseka who saved the country from the most ruthless terrorist organization in the world
        7. Purchase of discarded MIG planes and pocketing in of mega commissions

      • 3
        5

        Champa, the correct economic and welfare activities of the military are washing the toilets and scavenging the roads. I am sure Tamils will never object to this.

        • 1
          2

          Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam
          The whole world saw the harrowing condition of Northern Tamils under LTTE rule during the last phase of war. They all were in rags. They were feeble and infirm. They were unclean. Look at how they look now. They are in good clothes. At least they look happy now. Military played a major role since 2009 to make them clean, healthy people. Not a single Tamil, local or overseas did anything for Northern Tamils to uplift their lives and livelihoods. It was the Army who did that. More than half of the Northern Tamils are rich but they don’t spend money like Sinhalese. They are stingy. Even if they have money they don’t spend money to buy nutritious food. Their previous poverty stricken condition should be what makes them stingy. They never experienced the compassion showed by Sinhalese from their own people. You all talk big. But you have done nothing for them. If there was anything done for them, it was done by Sinhalese.

          • 2
            0

            Champa, Tamils are not interested in the compassion of Sinhalese, but their right to live as first class citizens in their lands of historic habitation. So whatever crap you are saying is useless.There is no signs of reconciliation and there is no relief from atrocities by agents of government. To say Tamils local or overseas did nothing to uplift lives and livelihood of Tamils is wrong. There are several registered charities abroad who are sending money regularly to help orphans, war widows and disabled who have been left neglected by the government. Army is the chief trouble maker to the Tamils and to say that they have done to help them is false. You are saying Tamils do not spend money to buy nutritious food. Ask Sinhala fish mongers and meat stall holders who spend more to buy them. Sinhalese eat for six days Kos mallung, Pol sambol and dried fish and bash out on the seventh day in expensive outlets. If you are really interested in the welfare of Tamils, please withdraw the racist armed forces and without delay empower them to look after themselves without any Sinhala interference. This is the advice given to SL President by Indian foreign minister recently which is also endorsed by international community.

          • 3
            0

            Champa ……………………………..profession


            “The whole world saw the harrowing condition of Northern Tamils under LTTE rule during the last phase of war. “

            The whole world didn’t see the harrowing condition of innocent people dying in those areas where state forces herded them into a small area, were being carpet bombed, shelled indiscriminately, ………………………………… a war without reporters.

            But then it was witnessed by the war criminals and the victims most of them are no longer alive to tell the stories, killed buried and covered by newly erected Buddha statues.

        • 2
          1

          @Gnana, I object to your scurrilous remark. Typical. You are as bad as these jomsofty and other crackpots on this forum. You should be ashamed of yourself. There are good eggs and bad eggs in the Army – same as everywhere else. Do not tar everyone with the same brush.

          • 2
            0

            There is no doubt that there are good ones, but they are in the minority. As long as army interferes with lives of Tamils, they have to be castigated. If majority of them are good eggs, by now there would have been calls within army ranks to stop their dirty tricks including unleashing sword wielding agents on Tamils.

          • 2
            0

            Pro Republica

            “There are good eggs and bad eggs in the Army – same as everywhere else. Do not tar everyone with the same brush.”

            What are you going to do about it?
            How do the victims or victims’ kith and kin feel about.
            You should stop raging and get the war criminals to own up their crime, confess, beg mercy, ……..apologise then move on.

            Your childish tantrum only serves to protect the many bad eggs.

            “Do not tar everyone with the same brush.”

            The army was and is not supposed to kill every one by branding them being terrorists. The shameless state war criminals have been killing innocent civilians since 5th April 1971 and you never felt shame or had the b***s to question about their crimes.
            It is more than weird.

        • 5
          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/

          • 4
            0

            Eelam or death

            Good.
            That is what somass and Helass want from the Eelamites.

  • 2
    22

    Right to information is a national disaster as it may expose the human rights violation by our war heroes. The RTI has to be changed so things such human rights violation by our war heroes are not released to the public. This goes against our ‘zero civilian casualty’ propaganda

    • 9
      0

      “Right to information is a national disaster as it may expose the human rights violation by our war heroes.”

      How can you call those who have committed human right violations as “heroes” whether war or otherwise?

    • 5
      4

      This is not Jim Softy. Look at the avatar, probably another racist Tamil trying to discredit the military.

      • 2
        2

        Paul

        “Look at the avatar, probably another racist Tamil trying to discredit the military.”

        Why shouldn’t any sane minded people disrespect racists, war criminals, thieves, murderers, rapists, …………………….. who never accounted for what they did from 5th April 1971 to 9th January 2015?

        Some of them killed the husbands and now the widows are being used as comfort women by these ugly men with guns and approval from high up in the ranks and their political masters.

        You should be ashamed of yourself being supporter of these antisocial criminals.
        Make sure they don’t see or meet your female relatives or in some cases male relatives too.

        If I were you I would find them psycho therapy .

      • 3
        4

        There is nothing more to discredit the military. Already they have been branded as war criminals by the international community and are being denied visas to enter countries cherishing human rights. There have been instances where members of military have committed crimes abroad, due to which some are being barred to serve in UN peace keeping forces. So much ignominy for this racist terrorist outfit.

  • 7
    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/

  • 6
    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/

  • 7
    0

    Human Rights violations? To release a list of canteens/hotels run by the Army?

    When the Navy and the Air Force has already done so? Why? Did that same ‘logic’ not apply to them as well?

    This ‘jomsifty’ character must get his brain checked – if he has one! Idiots like this ‘shifty’ only result in our armed forces getting a bad name. Story of the Rajapaksa blunders.

  • 16
    0

    There’s no professionalism in the media industry in Sri Lanka. Quack journalists, a major problem in many developing countries, are now a menace to democracy in Sri Lanka too. Many of them are openly violating basic media ethics in their unconscionable promotion of Gotler’s political entry. This media scum ranges all the way from Kili Maharaja’s rogue Sirasa talking heads to Derana Mafia to Divaina’s keyboardists like Keerthi Warnakulasooriya. Taking advantage of the ineffective Press Complaints Commission, they are spreading outright lies and hate propaganda in order to subvert the rule of law and the democratic process in the country. They lack common decency, let alone journalistic code of ethics.
    .
    Assisted by this rogue media, fascist military elements, both ex and current, are invoking the ‘National Security Ideology’ to intimidate HRCSL and RTIC from carrying out their duties as mandated by the constitution. These self-deluded ‘saviours of the nation’ have gone so far as to issue death threats. Dayan Jayatilleke, who was providing fake theoretical and academic cover for such Sinhala-Buddhist racists, is now trying to distance himself from the monster he has helped create. The moral coward that we have as the President has allowed the country to descend to this level by just speechifying to monks and school children endlessly, without taking any concrete, meaningful action on any of the grave issues facing the country. Come 2020, this fellow must be banished to Polonnaruwa for good.

  • 0
    2

    RTI should work for NGOs, expose the govt particularly the work of the Army, freedom struggles like what carried out by Vijayakala Mendis, or Tamil reconciliation for a homeland or Muslims MMDA – coup should not be disturberd

  • 4
    4

    Your war heroes are the damn rapists who rocked the bed in Haiti… And label themselves as ‘Peacekeepers’. Leave racism aside. Is rape a celebration of Peace? This is contradictory to Ms.Vijayakala’s statement, where the North and had a zero rape rate during the period of war, totally different from today.

  • 3
    1

    Lankan Armed Services are not loyal to GoSL. There is a ‘power’ behind them. RTI is a temporary setback. The ‘power’ needs a bit of time to devise ways of circumventing RTI.

  • 5
    0

    Ajay: Well said. I have never seen a “DWARF” of a “President” like this. Recently, the successor to Rev. Sobitha who brought this man as President, a Prof Sarath Wijesuriya said in public : ” This President and the Prime Minister are the two most “Uncivilized” ( Avichara) leaders that Yahapalanaya has produced. No doubt, that there is a well orchestrated plan to discredit the country’s security systems by politicians in the opposition and have garnished the support of numerous NGO operatives. This NGO who speaks of RTI has never ever cared or questioned the public statement made by the Chief Minister of NPC, Mr. Wigneswaran in Kilinochchi i.e.: “Do not give any information to the Army in the North. If asked why you refuse tell them to contact me”. Now this NGO gets worried over canteens run by Army & Navy and RTI’s failure to provide the information. What is the “Yahapalanay” doing about that statement? Is this CM “Above” the “Commander-in- Chief”, (this present President) of the country? What is the next in “Command” – the PM doing about it. Did you listen to that Vijayakala, when contacted on the phone by MP Ranjan Ramanaya during a “Media Briefing” said on questioning on her recent statement re LTTE in the presence of Yahapalanaya Ministers on stage ? She said: “I said so to get the Tamil Votes to my Prime Minister”. This whole “NADE” including the JO and its “Viyaththu” must be CHASED away, if the country is to be resurrected from going down the “PALLAM” (Precipice). A brand NEW BAND must take over and put all these tested “OLD GUARDS” behind bars for life.

    • 3
      3

      Uthayan asked the hotel information the Rapist Army illegally operating in North East. There is no mandate for Rapist Army to run food and lodging services or any other services in the occupied area. In addition Rapist Army had promises to IC that it will not occupy people’s lands in N & E. They are not supposed to be engaged in public activities. So Uthayan requested RTI to expose the Rapist Army’s lies.

      Rapist Army forced North – East public officials to spit out protesting pregnant women. There is a lone girl who has been protesting of her missing brother has died last week. Thamilini’s dead is not solved by government. She had spent long time in rehabilitation. Earlier Paranagama commission used the missing persons register to send CID to these homes and harass the lone living relatives of the missing ones. There are many complaints in Kilinochchi that the Rapist Army had raped and forcefully aborted women in the hospital. Pregnant women information is sensitive a matter, in any society, even in the relative safe western communities. Government has not acted on this accusation. Neither has it assured to the people that it has not used Rapist Army to collect this information. Apparently Yahapalanaya is colluding with Rapist Army to abuse the pregnant women information.
      NPC Chief has to know that he won’t be able to hold this dam alone. He needs to seek help from IC to stop Rapist Army targeting pregnant women.
      After Vijayakala complained of crimes in North East, the Aava and other Paramilitary groups have stepped up their crimes in retaliation for the complaint. Tamil media is filling it up almost half with the crimes and little political and social news. Only Grease Monster was reported to harass women Chitanta time; now Tamil Media reporting of Black Monsters, Dwarf Monsters, Axe Monsters, Tree Monsters……

      • 3
        1

        Mallaiyuran
        Your bogus narrative suffers from self-serving bias.
        If our Army didn’t donate blood almost all pregnant women in critical conditions would have died.
        Tamil people are the only ethnicity in the world who let their own Tamil patients die without blood due to caste issues. Tamils are such a cruel ethnicity.
        In contrast to Tamils, Sinhalese are a compassionate nation who have no issues when donating blood, eyes, kidneys or lungs.
        99% of the men, women and children in the North live on the blood donated by our Army.
        99% of the livelihood of Tamils are supported by our Army. Without them, Tamil people would have died in starvation.
        Many schools, irrigation tanks and houses were repaired by our Army. They frequently donate stationary and bicycles to school children.
        When Maha Sanga and Sinhalese visit North, they always take food, dry rations, school stationary and even cows I saw recently, with themselves to donate to Tamils in the North.
        Interestingly, I have never seen any wealthy Tamils who live in Colombo or suburbs donate any items to poverty stricken Northern Tamils. Not even a single bicycle or an exercise book to a poor Tamil child.
        It is the LTTE diaspora and LTTE supporters who don’t want our Army in the North. Ordinary Tamils always welcome our Army with open arms as they have no life without them.

        • 1
          3

          When was the pregnant Tamil women started to die? in 1958 or 2018?

          (In UN statistics, Jaffna Child death rate is better than New York, London towns in 60s 70s).

          Colombo General was the best Hospital in South Asia. There was nothing even closer… in Jaipur, Singapore……. That time Tamils were the Surgeons in Colombo General.

    • 3
      0

      Douglas
      “if the country is to be resurrected from going down the “PALLAM” (Precipice). A brand NEW BAND must take over and put all these tested “OLD GUARDS” behind bars for life.”
      That is everybody’s wish.
      How do you do it is the million dollar question.
      You expect them to do it on their own?
      Unfortunately Douglas we have wait untlil each one of them, one by one,dies off out of old age. Then again they have groomed their siblings to step into their shoes.
      Amen.
      Soma

  • 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/

  • 3
    0

    War hero’s or not human rights are sacred. Gods who they want to destroy they first drive them mad. Why arn’t they taking action against people issuing death threats.

  • 1
    0

    The example must come from the top. The critical mass of those who are for good governance and practicing the same is not there. Under such circumstances, that word is merely reduced to a slogan. One can find all kinds of under-currents to scuttle what it should be.

  • 1
    3

    Some Northern people and politicians do not let the situation comes to normal gradually. Because of their daily actions, the state, security forces and police have been forced to act accordingly

  • 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

  • 2
    1

    Oh CT don’t say that great Journalist, Keerthi Warnakulasuriya, is pro-Military Journalist. He is now world famous Journalist after finding stock of bricks in “Mars” He found this when he was researching about “Supreme Sat” masterminded by Rohitha Rajapaksha aka Rocket Rohitha, younger son of Mahinda Rajapaksha. He got many invitations from all over the world including “NASA” But he choose to serve his motherland purely because of national security. He exactly knows where are the Tigers, Tiger Uniforms, Hidden Tiger weapons, AAWA Group, etc. He along with Saman Gamage of Divaina, Kamal Gunaratna, Sarath Weerasekara are protecting Rana Viruwo. Our National security is intact because of this brave Journalist. Recently someone has written a book titled “Bhupathi Dutugamunu and Bhupathi Mahinda” If keerthi Warnakulasuriya continues like this in near future Mahinda Rajapaksha will be “Guupathi Mahinda”

  • 3
    0

    over to K A Sumanasekera for his senile comments but then he wont be bothered as he sips Gold label either from his pad in Wellawatte or dines at the posh Mallu Mallu in Pasikudah while poor silvas and rajas and moideens slog away for daily existence

  • 2
    2

    Except the most celebrated commander of our history – Sarath Fonseka and some soldiers like Wimalaratne who sacrificed his life to save thousands in his fraternity and who was honoured by Time’s Magazine, most of the so called War Heroes in Sri Lanka are proven Rapists, Contract Killers of GoTa and other politicians, Fraudsters, Bank robbers, and ghastly criminals in the South.

  • 1
    0

    Soma: Thanks. It is very heartening to hear from you: “It is everybody’s wish”. Then what is the problem? Work towards accomplishing that “WISH”. To answer my own question, the “Problem” is , a large majority of “Wish Makers” are bombarded constantly by the “Political Crooks” of all shades, now visibly aided, financially and “Intellectually” by a class of “Professionals” (a new breed) who roam around the country projecting themselves as the “Saviors” of the country. Those “Wish Makers” are not left in peace, be independent, because they know the dangers of allowing that freedom. Recently, I attended such a “Gathering” in Ampara ( taken into such far corners of the country) and my observation was nothing but “Horrible” and “Alarming”, as to how “Crooks” (political, religious) could form into “Unholy Alliances” and bombard those “Wish Makers” freedom and fully utilize their “Innocence” to achieve the goal of capturing “Power”. That is a “Million Dollar” investment by these “Crooks” The “Returns” would be double and treble and they know it well.Cheers.

  • 1
    0

    How can running hotel business, doing agriculture and appointing nursery teachers in the north be remotely connected with security? The dumwits, to be less offensive, must explain what they are trying to get. If its related to security why were not taken over in the other parts of the country?

  • 0
    2

    This whole debate is cockeyed. The real question of why the HRCSL has not been able to recommend the SL army personnel for peace keeping has been conveniently swept under the carpet over a chance remark by a careless ex-army man about traitors and punishment that should be meted out to them. Why has the HRCSL taken on this recommendation in the first place? What kind of mandate is that for a Human Rights dispensation? Looks like HRCSL has taken on unachievable and beyond its remit tasks probably due to political pressure. That in itself is questionable about the integrity of this Commission. The Chairperson has already proclaimed inaccurate facts (re Human rights v humanitarian activities) previously and has claimed it has powers to do certain acts which in fact do not come under its perview. The Friday possums, sorry Friday Forum consisting of some has beens have come to the fore to defend the Chairperson but conveniently fail to address the problem at hand. The problem is not about who the Chairperson is, it is about preventing the army personnel serving as peace keepers. It is only reasonable to suspect the govt has a hand in it, considering that they signed up to a highly controversial Geneva agreement and are in cohort with the LTTE diaspora and TNA to undermine the SL army.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.