26 October, 2020

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Pujith Gags Police: Suspends Media Division

In a surprising turn of events further eroding the Government’s credibility on media freedom the Police media unit has been temporarily suspended by the new Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara, for violating orders and making statements to the media.

DIG Pujith Jayasundara

DIG Pujith Jayasundara

ASP Ruwan Gunasekara headed the unit, which is stationed at the Police Headquarters.

According to reports, the new Chief has instructed the division to only issue written statements instead of verbal statements to the media. However, the personel had reportedly issued verbal statements and confirmation too of an incident.

Initial reports reaching Colombo Telegraph said the issue had arisen regarding the news of the arms cache found in Chavakachcheri. However, the arms cache was found in the last week of March while the Jayasundara took oaths as the IGP on April 18.

The suspension and orders come as a blow to the media and information to the public.

Journalists across the country, recieve verbal confirmation of stories around the clock from the Police Media division.

The written statements of stories selected by the Police are sent on electronic mail twice a day.

“it creates a massive issue for us. We call the media unit every single hour of the day for any story. Then we are either directed to the relevant police station or incident. This gagging order is nonsensical because if the division refuses to speak- we can only rely on the statements sent to us. They pick and chose the incidents which are sent on that statement with no credibility at all”, a Colombo based journalists told Colombo Telegraph.

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Latest comments

  • 16
    1

    …because Colombo’s journalists are famed for their stringent ethics.

    Who the hell are these people trying to fool? These are the same jokers that were flogging those two dead girls’ bodies raw to generate pageviews/paper sales. People campaign for these clowns to get them the right to report without fear of being abducted/killed, which they then turn around and use to sink to tabloid level morals. Journos and politicos are all the same- use society to get what they want, then wreck havoc to protect their self-interest.

    This whole country is sick, and we keep fooling ourselves everything’s going to be fine. Should’ve stayed under the suddhas. A massacre every now and then would benefit the gene pool.

    • 5
      0

      This may be a good step to open the spokesman even more responsible when adding statemetns to air. This should not be regarded as media control. Words that go to air irresponsibly can almost cause all physical and mental harms. We know perfectly the way MR media units and police worked under MR reacted to that time – Altuhgama issues – where BBS rabid dogs did create new form of communal violence being criminals on public stages, while the police standing next to them as just onookers. That cultre must not be promoted by today s rulers and any othe rrulers that come to power.
      Media men are the third power in a country. They have mostly big power of controlling the people.
      Every violent or near to violent making news can go viral to peoples hearts and end up with the unexpected. Mouth pieces should be subjected to a filter …
      If Dr Merkels adminstration would allow anything and everything, Germany would not have been the nature we experience it today. Meaning some sort of media control should be there to protect the people from being attacked – people should be made aware the danger through bad and irresponbile news spread..

      • 1
        0

        Be like or not,believe or not in every systems filters should be there to separate the good from the bad. So this is common to media world too. And then only only human beings can be controlled well for their progress. else, human beings even with PhD and Prof titles abuse their knoweldge and power.

        But the filters are harmful as no allow basic human rights- then the rise of any kind of activits is inevitable.

        Most known examples for lanken spot light that do it other way around – for their petty gains are as follows

        a) DJ and Mahinda Pala with their talents do twist the information at hand as nother do.

        b) Profs like Rajeewa W and GLP do behave the same

        c) All other profs and higher academicsin lanken active politics behave not far from the above a and b categories.

        This is the nature of lanken so called men regarded as so called docs and profs.

        • 0
          0

          Bunjappu, you are dead right.

          I happened to deal with a prof from Germany who is very young.
          He di dnot knwo the rules and regulations. He hired several indian candidates to work under his supervision, but ended up with a mess.

          Even if he is a prof – he had no years long exp in that area- whichi is focused on supervision of doctoral students. That caused him all the mess.

          Likewise, truly agree with you dear, we need some filters to some exttent.. our guys, calling it a press freedom making every efforts to ruin the system .. going beyong all the guidelines and restrictions.: Then being hurt by the words added by rulers, they then try to call it ” see how the press freedom works “….
          I have no doubt.. today we are press freedom – multiple times more than previous worked under previous regime.

    • 3
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      My great wish to see – that all the systems will get shape with the time under the guidance of new IGP and other counterparts being appointed in various fields – sonner we experience the better feeling we will have.
      Hope the best.

    • 5
      0

      Whole country is not sick but a large portion for sure.

      They never raised the question why they did not hear anything and everything about MR not being subjected to any direct interviews yet, even if the man and the family is continuously beeing invited and focused by FCID or other bodies for alleged investigations.
      And his son was remanded for several weeks- and no interviews or whatsoever were added to lanken media….
      Readers lanken people have every rights to know why Yoshita Rajakshe was set free through bail out ?

      Did you guys read any broad based articles written on how the YOUNGE men of Rajakashe the all mighty were blessed with 2.2 mio dollars to start with that CSN sender ?… even if this was hyped during the days of him being remanded – there were various discussions, but since then, nothing was read in the lanken media.. no in papers, nor in TV… why ?

      This was the case for Sajin Vaas and his cases…

      This was the case for Basil and his investigations…

      Thi swas the case for Gotabaya and his investigations…

      This was the case for Play boy Rajapakshe brother in law

      This was the case for Mahindanananda
      This was the same for oTHER men JVP added were the high crminals of top level.
      Jonsten Fernando and how he became that rich were not subjected to even investigations.

  • 1
    1

    Gagging the media unit will help cover up police excesses and shortcomings. What else can such gagging do? It seems like Pujith has descended to business as usual after his initial (hoodwinking) gesture of arresting the Crime Inspector of Narahenpita police over the Thajudeen murder case.

  • 8
    1

    Why do we need a Police media unit providing information all the time?Police is not obliged to provide constant information to media. In my view they should come to media on a case by case basis, if it is essential. Also police is not meant to do politics or propaganda. They have to do Police duty, honestly and impartially. Media can help people by publicising wrong doings of Police but no point getting information from Police and publishing it. Police is not for a popularity contest but if they do their duty honestly, with in a very short time everyone will come to know about it. Unfortunately we never had a decent. honest Police except a very brutal and corrupt one. Hopefully the direction will change with the new IGP

  • 3
    3

    Yahapalanaya is a disgrace! Ranil is back to his old tactics.. didn’t take too long did it??.. Hail democracy.. BTW this is probably cause the LTTE is regrouping and the Government is trying to shield the news from us.. stupidity.. and now CT commentators will start babbling about media freedom under MR.. excuse me.. the country voted for a difference.. at least under MR we felt secure! In the last week I’ve had my car stopped 3 times for security checks in Colombo. . Looks like we are going back to that miserable era again! Great way to promote unity and encourage investors to come to our country!

    • 2
      1

      Man, are naked ?

      Why to call Yahapalanaya is disgrace – sure criticisms coming from the nitwits must not be concerned but we see good governance is there but not to the manner we expected prior to electons.

      So do really think the current rule is worst ?

      Where have the BBS dogs been ? that did every harm to the common people to that time ?

      Where have the kind of IP Gunawardhanas whose mediation were finally seen as the main reason to happene those murders… ?

      Where have the MERVIN like personalities who ran amok withthe direct patronage of HEAD OF STATE ….

      Dont you see it if you are sane, even President and PM are subuected to LOUD criticism today as had NOT been the case under MR ?

      If you respond the above with NO- you should better go and have a neuro check ? After than we can meet us here for further disucsions.

      Please dont work for your thugs man… be real. And help the people heavens sake to turn the current situation to a civlized world. Young ones will be grateful to you no doubt..

      • 1
        2

        Aah. . Back to criticising past regime again ?Grow up for heaven sake and correct the current lot in power without whitewashing all their mistakes! . Or gauranteed.. they will take top notch place for being the worst ever government !

        They were handed a country free of terrorism, they had better not compromise on that IN ANY WAY!

        You may have no feelings about bombs going off in our country..and our servicemen loosing limb and life.. but we do!

        • 1
          0

          Do you think that majority srilankens would support terrorism again ?
          The kind of findings were also there during you god fathers days, but media restrictions did not allow them to come to surface.

          jUST WHAT they thought was put to air to grabe the attention and fool the stupid folks you represnt on a repeated mode.

          So people thought,… my god, all is elemintated in terms of terror.
          Please go back to the forces and get the facts right before you utter nonsence.
          Pleaes add your thoughts in line of statistcs and facts. that can help CT reders more… but any low levels comments of your kind cant bring us forward. basta

          • 1
            0

            Past regime again? Obsessed aren’t we? :)))

            • 0
              0

              Words, obsessions are not so uncommon – just take a look in the mirror and see who is obsessed by by that “past regime”.

              Don’t tell me you need another free laptop already!! Or are you missing that Editor’s role?

            • 1
              0

              how can we not talking them – JO are on our way….

              So you want us to shut us this way ?

              Please send him out leaving us healthyin this country. Man deserves to be exile.

        • 1
          0

          Like your god ffather said onece .- it was a piece of cake.. which was handed over…
          then you guys now up to say.. that MY3 and RW created new terror incidents. Not only Praba led activities should be called terror acts but allso some that have now been done by MR led people should also be named after terror acts.
          They do whatever thugish activities to promote their rascal culture.
          IGP will take actions accordingly is my hope.. doubt about that.

          MR et al should be hung on the lanken streets to have done so much harm to this nation, by telling lies.

  • 1
    0

    “Pujith gags police…”

    May be due to weak verbal communication skills of the members of media unit.

    It’s not easy to repair a verbal expression fault whereas a written one can be re-read and released.

    It’s not a serious problem as it’s a temporary step.

    A verbal police report is always admired and people expect it be restarted as soon as possible.

  • 6
    0

    This caption is somewhat unfair on IGP Pujith. We need to give more time for the new IGP to re-structure the Police force. What point does a Police media unit serve when such units are fragmented and not in sync with the top hierarchy. Until re-structured, such a media unit only adds to the confusion and a public relations nightmare. The Police needs a public relations unit that is transparent and can win the public trust and maintain a good relationship while they address and solve complaints effectively without political influence, bias or corruption. The Police also needs to be structured with internal and external checks and balances for oversight to take disciplinary, preventive and corrective actions rapidly rather than in time consuming, worthless and irrelevant internal inquiries that lead to nowhere. Also, we need to somehow stop recruiting Police officers at whatever rank without demanding qualifications only through a standardized and rigorous Police academy training, testing and unit testing officers from their divisional strengths on Policing, undercover operations and intelligence, technical skills and assessment on the field, basic investigation and interrogation techniques, engaging in public service engagement, verbal speech, communication and writing skills, managing relations, ethics and the basic law enforcement and literacy of laws to team with any government public prosecuting office. One solution I propose to this government is to seek a foreign police force training unit to establish camp here such as from Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia or England that is structured to fit the British commonwealth management model of law and order that is streamline with INTERPOL practices.

  • 0
    0

    Police, Army and even other state departmental media units are not part of the normal news media.
    They are essentially organs of the state or a department of the state. The official spokesperson has not the freedom that a journalist could claim, even in a dictatorial media outfit.
    His/her job is to make announcements on behalf of his/her organization, no more no less.
    A news weatherman can crack the occasional joke, even without permission. The media unit man cannot do even that.
    Breach of discipline is a serious offence and is punishable.

    It is unfair to bring in freedom of expression into this equation.

    Political parties and businesses to desirably communicate through media spokespersons. That is perhaps a good idea. When one speaks on behalf of an organization, his/her statements can only reflect the position of the organization. There is limited flexibility, subject to not saying anything in breach of the official stand.

    In this country even a potential party candidate talks with the authority of the party leader. The media love it, as that is the staple of journalism.

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