25 August, 2019

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No More Dr. Vickramabahu’s Columns

By Colombo Telegraph

Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

Colombo Telegraph regrets to announce that Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne’s submissions will not be published for reasons of intellectual dishonesty and political irresponsibility. This decision came into effect on Wednesday December 19, 2012.  The decision was taken in the context of correspondence detailed below.

On December 18 Colombo Telegraph sent an email to Karunaratne asking whether he phoned the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe to request that he covers up misconduct on the part of a member of his party.  The substance of that email is as follows:

1. We have credible evidence that you talked to Ranil Wickemasinghe and urged him to not write to Lord chris patten regarding BBC journalists applying for interest free loans as per a scheme set up by the Government of Sri Lanka. Why did you do this?

2. What is your opinion on your party member, BBC journalist Chandana Keerthi Bandara, applying for this interest free loan from state banks where the treasury paid the interest to the relevant bank using tax payer money?

3. Don’t you think that this is unethical and amounts to a bribe being given to journalists by the Rajapaksa regime?

He didn’t reply and when we sent a mild reminder he sent a one word response on December 19: “thanks”.  We then asked him again to answer our questions. He has not. When he came on gmail chat and we again asked him to answer our questions.  He has not. For the record, Dr Vickramabahu Karunaratne regularly chats with Colombo Telegraph and its journalists.

Dr Karunaratne is a strident commentator on issues relating to corruption, accountability, good governance, media freedom, responsible media etc.  His silence is disturbing and immoral, we are forced to conclude.

Related posts;

Left-Right Collusion: Socialist Bahu Called Capitalist Ranil And Urged Not To Expose BBC Misconduct

BBC Pussyfooting On “Takes” From SL Govt’

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

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

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

Exclusive: Investigate Your Journalists! – Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe To BBC’s Lord Chris Patten

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Latest comments

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    Whats this fuss? Colombo Telegraph journalism now resembles TamilNet

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    Whats this fuss? Colombo Telegraph journalism now more and more resembles TamilNet

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    This is the number one traitor now a days in Sri lanka. He will do anything if he receives Dollars, pounds and Euro’s from his god fathers. Vickramabahu is a wolf wearing sheep cloths. Terrorists are terrorists. what ever cloths they are wearing, what ever position they are holding your real face decide by your actions.

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    I was a communist party active member and I know these big fellows talks socialism, theories, constitutions etc but their back yards utterly dirty and corrupt.
    Indika Gunawardene was such a culprit! They act alike saints but dirty horu. Chandana Keerthi Banada is another culprit from Avissawella, most unpopular man in the town, his best friend Chandra killed her own wife at the bed room. They saying they are the big stake holders of left movement, most dirtiest people people I have ever seen in political world, UNP, SLFP much better than these double standard crocodiles!

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    I know from very personal knowledge how BAHU s famiy at MOLADANDA WALAWWA treat TAMIL SERVANTS…He pontificates about RIGHTS OF TAMILS…Hypocrisy at its ZENITH…

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    This is called Dog eats Dog…… WB is a man with hate, and has a skewed intellect.

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

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    I am sad at the simplistic way that even otherwise quite competent agencies like CT apply moral and ethical principles. This art of simplicisms is actually symptomatic of the sensationalism that is a standard practice of the media industry. It is actual mass news media STYLE, whether it is corruption,war, “terrorism” (such a sexy word), disasters, rape, sexuality, violence, or whatever act of human behaviour that can be packaged as ‘news’.

    This is practised globally by the market-based media industry so one should not be surprised by CT’s behaviour. More developed media industries, that are big enough (e.g. India, US, Czeck Republic), host more discerning/critical niches of journalism that parallel the sensational arms of the industry. Ideally, CT should fill such a niche but, sadly, the CT management comes not from such a big, sophisticated industry, but from a tiny media industry in small, politically under-developed, Sri Lanka. Hence, CT’s lack of sophistication.

    Undoubtedly Bandara did a professionally questionable act in applying for this loan. But it is professionally questionable in only a very limited way – actually minute way. The vast bulk of journalists, the world over, work for a huge global industry, overall, that makes a business out of sensationalism for the purpose of market survival and success. Many journalists, especially in the more liberal societies, are unaware of the moral tensions. Those in repressive (and culturally repressed) societies like Sri Lanka are beginning to be aware, more and more, that industry ownerships (whether state or private)are endorsers or active supporters (if not instigators) of various immoralities in Sri Lanka’s body politic – from abject misgovernance, to corruption, nepotism, authoritarianism, racist politics, sexism, militarisation, etc. Yet these few thousand journalists and other media industry full-time employees must work on and earn their livelihood. Think of the impoverished peasant youth in the police and armed forces who must do their political masters’ bidding to accomplish ‘State security’ objectives (whether counter-insurgency, or political repression) at whatever the cost – whether massacres, assassinations, bannings, torture, abductions, or harassments. (Fingers of ‘war crimes’ are pointed at military officers ignoring the higher responsibility of their political masters, the true war criminals.) Compared to the seeming complicity of the security agencies with oppression and other ‘evils’, the complicity of media workers like Bandara is minute. And Bandara, from what I have heard, is actually far less economically secure than any member of the Sri Lankan armed forces or police. All he did was to apply for a government loan, not even a grant! As an industry worker, it is well within his rights. Here I am referring to Bandara, the reporter, who has done very well all his professional career (with very low earinings) doing what’ reporters do – report the actions of others, including the expression of others’ views. Bandara is a ‘journalist’ in that precise sense of the term.

    Vikramabahu, on the other hand, is NOT a journalist. He is a ‘columnist’ which is media industry terminology for socially recognised (whatever the field) regular ‘opinion leaders’. They merely write their views (including analysis) on the basis of their specialised ‘authority’. Most columnists apply ethical amd moral principles constantly in their columns, whatever the subject. That is precisely their role, in society, as well as in the media industry as market-capturing products (some of them are savvy enough to get paid, others do it freely). As an opinion-leader, since Bahu is not a journalist, he must be measured by a different ethical yardstick. As an opinion leader, Bahu has no option but to lead opinion even when committing mistakes, as he did in asking Ranil W not to raise the Bandara issue. He has to guide his readers in the process of self-criticism and then leave the readers and, therefore, the media industry that depends on his readership, to judge for themselves whether it is worthwhile reading him in the future. Personally, if Bahu does engage in frank self-criticism in his columns, I think he deserves to be revived in CT. Leave aside his attempt to ‘cover-up’, as a anti-capitalist revolutionary he must also explain why he ran for a such favour to the very leader (though inept) of capitalist politics.

    For both Bandara and Bahu, the industry may probably be the decider of their futures. I feel that the BBC, being part of the media industry may actually allow Bandara to continue with his work for them with the added stature of an impoverished journalist who ultimately corrected himself and refused that loan – a loan that he probably badly needs. In that Bandara is a rare journalist. Those who make sacrifices, even belatedly, do get recognition somewhere. What CT does with Bahu depends on their continuing simplistic style.

    It is definitely up to CT to apply the same yardstick of ‘intellectual honesty’ to all other columnists precisely because their core function as opinion leaders. Any selectivity by CT will have to be clearly justified to its readership if it is to retain the same market standing (and/or moral standing) as it does today. Personally, I would not even begin to compare Bahu’s intellectual honesty with that of such columnists as Rajiva Wijesinha (hope I spelt his surname right) and C.A. (Priyantha) Chandraprema. Dayan Jayatilaka, however, with his frank defence of both Stalin and his Gulags as well as Preamadasa and Rajapaksa, is in a league, nay realm, of his own. Now that it has begun judging its own columnists, CT proceed.

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      You say; Here I am referring to Bandara, the reporter, who has done very well all his professional career (with very low earinings)

      Low earnings?? Where? This man was never a journalist before join to BBC in 1994. He was a paid NSSP party full timer and also the first paid worker at Free Media Movement. What kind of journalism has he done? can you provide a single article he wrote when he was in Sri Lanka before became Londoner?
      Talk what you know Mr Ananda Mayadunne!!

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      ananda mayadunne:
      Thank you very much for that detailed analysis of the issue, sans the usual hysterical rhetoric that seems to invade these comment columns from time to time!
      CT has, indeed, painted itself into a corner and given the fact that it appears to be the “last journal standing” that blot on its escutcheon is to be regretted.
      I do hope that some lessons will be learned from this experience.
      May I also suggest that CT spend a little more time on censorship where it’s really needed – the simply abusive comments, in the foulest of language, that appear as responses to articles on its web pages?

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        Mr Emil,
        Inoka Ratnayake has asked you some questions above;

        //Is Emil van der Poorten the Anti- Boru commentator? Emil van der Poorten’s Gavator and Anti- Boru’s Gavator are same? Other pages Anti- Boru and here Emil? Why is that?//

        I thanked her saying, Well done Inoka for your investigation. You cannot be dishonest while you use internet . Will see what Van der Poorten has to say.

        But you haven’t responded yet. Now you say// May I also suggest that CT spend a little more time on censorship where it’s really needed – the simply abusive comments, in the foulest of language, that appear as responses to articles on its web pages?//

        If you are the Anti-Boru, look how abusive comments are there under Anti-Boru name! ;)
        Under the article //Full Text Of The Petition: Contempt Of Court Action Filed Against Daily News Editor Rajpal//

        Anti-Boru’s comment;

        This drunken sod, Rajpal Abeynayake, needs to be hanged from a lamp post adjacent to that from which his patrons swing!
        CT should publish the Pantheon of Pachayas beginning with Dayan Jayatilleka, Rajiva Wijesinha, Chandraprema etc. etc and have a competition as to who is the most despicable liar of this lot.

        Under Padraig Colman’s Lights Out! – Some Questions To Ranawaka Arachchige Patali Champika Ranawaka

        Anti-Boru Comment;

        Padraig Colman:
        Try genuflecting more often to the people you suck up to: the Rajapaksas. That JUST might do the trick. In the alternative, why don’t you go park yourself at the night-race track in Colombo which your buddies are lighting so well and expensively for their entertainment? The only thing is that your “pandama” will pale into insignificance against those floodlights!
        It is rather unlikely, one supposes, that someone who has discovered how helpful sycophancy to the powerful can be in Sri Lanka will be able to join the dots that link power outages to rank corruption and incompetence.

        Padraig Colman replied;
        Are you Nihan/Heshan/Observer?

        This is very odd. Anyone in their right mind can see that this is an article criticising the government and calling a minister to account.Yet Anti-Boru takes it as an opportunity to call me a government lackey. Styrange mental processes at work here!

        Under Malinda Seneviratne’s Our Cultural Icons
        Malinda Seneviratne said;
        Anti-Boru doesn’t have a backbone to put name to word. He/she amuses me. Mahen (if that’s your real name), the title is not about ideological predilection. I believe Dr. Amarasekera deserves it. As for his Hela Urumaya affiliation, your assertion only shows rank ignorance. If you don’t know stuff, you should learn stuff. Or shut up. Don’t you think?

        Under the article Make The Impeachment Boomerang On The Rajapaksas

        Anti-Boru’s comment;

        As another reader has remarked, whatever has happened to the media mongrels that are usually so willing to produce their “erudition” for our delectation. Where or where are the Dayan Jayatillekas, the Rajiva Wijesinhas, the Chandraprema’s etc. etc.? Too busy begging for their next bone from their masters or occupying their tongues in an another of their productive endeavours – boot-licking?

        Attacked Dr Dr Romesh Senewiratne.

        Senewiratne:
        Your bloody epiphany, coming from someone who believed Rajiva Wijesinha and Gotabhaya to be decent human beings, speaks for itself.
        Go hide under the rock where you really should be residing and stop polluting CT with your apologies for the Rajapaksa regime and, now, for yourself.

        Under Tisaranee’s Censored And Uncensored Columns

        Two down, one to go! First they got rid of Kusal Perera. Then it was Frederica Jansz. Next will be Vanderpoorten.
        Asanga Seneviratne is in a “even if we lose we win” game where he will lose NONE of his money if the Leader disappears as it will without writers of integrity and will win if the Leader survives and produces profits.
        The whole business stinks, starting with Frederica having brought Asanga Seneviratne into the paper in the first place!
        Only in the Miracle of Asia!

        One Lalitha Goonewardene asked;
        Who is Anti-Boru? Vanderpoorten himself eh?? Ndever mind, the fear is definitely justified. And yes, the former Jansz did in fact bring Asanga S. into the paper, too true. Stupid.

        Under the Indi Samarajiva’s article More Thuggery In The Name Of Buddhism

        Anti-Boru said;
        This hypocrite, Indi Samarajiva .. And Colombo Telegraph removed the comments saying this comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy

        Under Rohan Samarajiva’s Impeachment: Yes. Arbitrary Impeachment: No. article
        It is fascinating indeed to see this Rajapaksa sycophant (soon to be followed by his son, I suppose) making a pretence of fairness and erudition, both!

        He should be elected a charter member of the “butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-their-mouth” Party, joining the rest of the dead left.

        I saw lots of Anti-Boru’s comment’s were removed by CT

        Under the article Burden Of Proof, Court Of Appeal And Latimer House Principles
        Anti Boru’s comment;

        I think I just saw an article in this issue of CT saying something about “Bahu” Karunaratne being “intellectually dishonest.”

        I just wonder what criteria are applied prior to CT deciding to publish Thadi Priyantha’s post-Galkata mumbo-jumbo.
        ………………

        I NOTICED LOTS OF ANTI-BORU’S COMMENTS WERE REMOVED BY THE CT MODERATORS

        Anti-Boru is exposed?? What you can say Emil van der Poorten

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      You say, And Bandara, from what I have heard, is actually far less economically secure than any member of the Sri Lankan armed forces or police.

      You are mistaken, this person became a millioner after joining BBC, he bought a 50 acre state in Ahaliyagoda and doing business in Sri Lanka while living in UK. It is good you do some more research. I agree what you say, if Bahu do a self criticism CT should reconsider, I also urge it. But when you talk about Bandara you should do more research.

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    The question is who will ever consider Wickramabahu as a honest politician.
    The three-wheeler may now become a two-wheeler.

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    I sense that there’s some consensus that
    (a) CT has a legit right to veto anything it puts in the media through its columns but CT also has a greater and more sacred commitment for the cause..and see that it’s served.
    (b) That both Chandana Keerthi Bandara and Vickramabahu are victims of a corrupt political culture.. exemplified by MR himself when he explained recently in reference to CJ’s husband that “The man was hand picked by me for this high Banking position! He was after all, our man! Then I was shown something he had done wrong.. So I covered it up… (Watch the Video for expressions in his face) We usually take care of our man! Ain’t that what we do? ( are supposed to do?) for friends? (We have become so used to this culture – that our President just blurted it out. He appears to have never thought of the damage he was doing to himself as SL’s number one citizen…)
    (c) Bandara’s ineptitude or clumsy stance of applying for a GSL loan and Bahu’s gross indiscretion of telephoning Ranil for help in a ‘cover-up’ can be viewed as acts of desperation – Bandara, because being poor, he most likely needed the dough and as for Bahu, he simply wanting to help poor, loyal and dedicated a Party worker.
    (d) Questioning Bandara’s credentials now makes no sense since he must have done something right to be where he is today with the BBC – among the journalistic community..; established and recognized….

    I think we should move on since there are more important matters begging for our attention at this juncture than this storm in a tea-cup…

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    CT’s decision is highly judgmental.Many Sri Lankans may not accept his political stand,but not with his impeccable commitment towards his belief .Accusations leveled are not amounting to intellectual dishonesty and political irresponsibility.I don’t see much difference between this decision and banning of websites of different opinion in Srilanka by current regime.

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    Let the readers know the story of WB. CT should not block his views or writings, just b’coz of this issue. Living in a world of sinners and one sin will not make a person a discard overnight.
    Mary

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    CT, I think you ought to revisit your stance. Many readers have commented here giving many reasons why you ought to do so. The contribution Bahu makes to the common cause being in the common opposition is a great asset to the cause of the common people like us. We need every bit of strength from everybody who has the slightest of dissent against this dastardly despot. As has been already asked by a contributor what about Rajiva, Dayan? What about others like SL Gunasekara, Sarath NS, Gota, MR, Basil, CA Chandraprema et al even though indirectly reported by other writers on them? If you are to apply the same yardstick then you will have to “censor” them as well!

    Policy wise your argument is all right but Bahu may have his own reasons which you and we do not know. Besides, giving a written commitment is very risky because anybody can manipulate the meaning according to his wishes. May be there can be people who think “well, will take the bribe quietly but will continue with our regime antagonistic policy”. We all travel on the carpeted roads, go to government hospitals, our children get free school uniform cloths and books, government subsidized electricity bills etc. etc. yet do we all, after knowing your rectitude policy, abandon those benefits and boycott the benefits and subsidies and the regime? Do we, or does CT administrators, desist from travelling on government roads knowing fully well that these roads are a source of massive corruption and robbing of public money? As I understand this is not a problem directly involving Bahu, rather he has mediated to help a colleague or a friend even though it is against policies. In a way hasn’t Bahu taken a risk in trying to help a friend? It is extremely good if we all can uphold the high standards CT aspires to, but we all are humans and we all have great many problems too. I think the criteria of judgment ought to base on the net contribution of all the pros and cons of a person because to err is human! Please read all these comments by everybody and revisit your stance!—-A friend’s request!!!

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