18 May, 2022


Rajpal Slams Journalism Awards For Rewarding Journalists Who ‘Betray Sri Lanka’

Editor of Rajapaksa state-owned newspaper, Daily News – Rajpal Abeynayake, has slammed the recently held Journalism Awards for Excellence and its organizers, accusing them of rewarding journalists ‘most adept at betraying the interests of Sri Lanka’s people’.

Rajpal Abeynayake

Rajpal Abeynayake

His editorial in today’s paper titled ‘Avoid Journalism Awards Meritocracy being replicated in foreign service’ has scoffed at the idea of the lack of meritocracy in Sri Lanka’s Foreign Service and has emphasized the country’s Diplomatic Corps does not need the kind of meritocracy that is celebrated in ‘some quarters of the journalistic firmament of this country’.

Referring to the information revealed by JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake this week in the parliament on persons not in the regular diplomatic corps being posted abroad to  majority stations, the Daily News editor has gone on to state that although meritocracy refers to paper qualifications and abilities, it is also equally important to consider intangibles such as ‘loyalty, fealty of the people and integrity’.

“So then, what is there to do with a meritocracy that is so inimical to the ‘interests of the people and of nation?” he has questioned.

In order to make his point clearer on what ‘not-to-do’, he has drawn an example off the recently held Journalism Awards for Excellence organized by the Editors Guild of Sri Lanka annually.

“It appears that in some quarters — where they THINK the be all an end all of journalism takes place in our local milieu — there is a meritocracy that rewards the people that are most adept at betraying the interests of this nation’s people. The recent journalism Awards for Excellence so called, for instance, is a scheme that appears to recognize excellence in prevarication if not outright lying, and outright betrayal,” the editorial states.

He has accused the organizers of the event of recognizing journalists who ‘incessantly scream that 40000 people were killed in the end phase of the conflict in 2009’ while describing the event as an ‘incentive scheme for the most corruptible minds’ since it has marginalized those who are honest and posses the ‘core personal integrity to avoid repeating lies.

Among the award winners of the night is FT journalist Dharisha Bastians won the prestigious Mervyn Silva Journalist of the Year as well as the B. A. Siriwardena Columnist of the Year (English) awards at the annual Journalism awards for excellence 2013 held last Wednesday at the Mount Lavinia Hotel.

Following are the other winners of the night:

·         Lifetime Achievement Awards – Rasiah Selvaraj, D. Solomon Ranasinghe, Bandu S. Kodikara, Ajantha Ranasinghe, Anne Abayasekara

·         Cartoonist of the year – Awantha Artigala

·         Investigative Journalist of the year- Sunday Times News Desk

·         Denzil Pieris Young Reporter of the Year – Aanya Wipulasena

·         Best Designed newspaper of the year – the Sunday Times

·         D. R. Wijewardena award for earning the appreciation of peers and the public – Kishali Pinto Jayawardena

·         Subramaniyum Chettiar Social Development Reporter of the Year – Lakna Paranamanna

·         Best environmental reporter of the year – Nirmala Kannangara

·         Feature writer of the year – Randima Attygalle

·         Scoop of the year- Kasun Pussewela

·         Photo journalist of the year- Rukshan Abeywansha

·         B. A. Siriwardena Columnist of the Year  (Sinhala) – Wimalanatha Weerarathne

·         Sports journalist of the Year – Channaka De Silva

Criticizing the award winners and the organizers furthermore, Abeynayake has stated that it is the kind of ‘meritocracy’ that has rewarded sensationalism and quick claims to fame that has also by extension frowned on the ability to remain unswayed by inducement, or the promise of a quick path to fame.

“It needs on the other hand proven loyalists by which is meant those who have proven their fealty to the country, which means by extension loyalty to the uncompromising foreign policy of the people’s elected government,” he has written.

Despite Sri Lanka’s Foreign Service remaining infamous today for being steeped in politicization, Abeynayake has commended it as the ‘most sturdily independent and uncompromising’ the country has seen since Independence in 1948 and has added its a result that has been achieved as a a direct result of effectively eschewing meritocracy.

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Latest comments

  • 12

    We the People are disappointed at the overall woeful look, feel and quality of the fellow who claims to be the Editor of the Daily Noise. We think he doesn’t quite know what he is talking about. We feel that perhaps the best way to provide some food for thought, and illustrate how Lee Kwan Yew adopted meritocracy over nepotism while shepherding Singapore to the success story that it is today, is to provide an extract of his response to a question by Der Spiegel in a 2005 interview, below:

    SPIEGEL: During your career, you have kept your distance from Western style democracy. Are you still convinced that an authoritarian system is the future for Asia?

    Mr. Lee: Why should I be against democracy? The British came here, never gave me democracy, except when they were about to leave. But I cannot run my system based on their rules. I have to amend it to fit my people’s position. In multiracial societies, you don’t vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion. Supposing I’d run their system here, Malays would vote for Muslims, Indians would vote for Indians, Chinese would vote for Chinese. I would have a constant clash in my Parliament which cannot be resolved because the Chinese majority would always overrule them. So I found a formula that changes that…

    SPIEGEL: … and that turned Singapore de facto into a one party state. Critics say that Singapore resembles a Lee Family Enterprise. Your son is the Prime Minister, your daughter-in-law heads the powerful Development Agency…

    Mr. Lee: … and my other son is CEO of Singapore Telecoms, my daughter is head of the National Institute for Neurology. This is a very small community of 4 million people. We run a meritocracy. If the Lee Family set an example of nepotism, that system would collapse. If I were not the prime minister, my son could have become Prime Minister several years earlier. It is against my interest to allow any family member who’s incompetent to hold an important job because that would be a disaster for Singapore and my legacy. That cannot be allowed.

    The full interview can be obtained here:

  • 7

    Hon; Prim minister ;
    “If I were not the prime minister, my son could have become Prime Minister several years earlier. It is against my interest to allow any family member who’s incompetent to hold an important job because that would be a disaster for Singapore and my legacy. That cannot be allowed”.

    They are Learned Statesmen.
    Not like Gam Kabarayos, Like incompetent Medamulana Jarapassa Psychopath Clan.
    What is happening in Wonder land is. Whole family members who are incompetent now holding every important jobs in the government and looting, Raping and sucking the blood of srilankans. that has become a disaster for Sri lanka.

  • 0

    It is obvious that nature has been unkind by Mr Rajpal Abeynayake and also that he is himself making it worse by acting like there is no such concept called self respect.

    But that does not mean that there is no merit in what he is saying. I find that writers like Darisha Bastian ,who looks quite young by the way,write on various political topics in a sweeping manner , which makes her writing sound rather immature.It is the same style that the sunday island political commentator Chandraprema follows. All very sweeping and verbose declarations ! Surely there are many complexities and nuances in our politics. The fact is that MR has by destroying terrorism given this country a chance to move forward again. A lot of voters think that of the choices before them MR is still better than a very dubious opposition. Do you really believe that the well known UNP activists ( Marapana,Karunayake,attanayake, karu,upul jayasuriya, Lawyer Gooneratne etc) are not corrupt, power hungry or non-violent ? They will not take commissions and wheeler deal ?

    The issues are very complex and not black and white as writers like Darisha and Tissarani make out. The fact is that a good part of the private media is controlled by Ranjith Wijewardena and Maharaja. Is that a receipe for righteousness ? We sadly dont have a middle class which judges issues on their merits. Those who criticize are obviously on one side. So is it wrong for MR to do everything to survive ?

    • 0

      Harry Hatton

      You sound just like a Rajpal clone.

      Or is Harry Hatton Rajpal himself?

      Idiotocracy at its best!

  • 6

    Did they kick Rajpal A in the head so hard, when they mauled him up at the Voegt Nights sometime ago, the man has lost his bearings? His obsequious editorials have raised far too many eyebrows regularly raising suspicion the poor creature has lost control of his natural faculties.


  • 7

    He got his free Laptop from the Saddarmadveepa Charawarthi and next time he will receive a Pair of shoes with high heels from his boss to wear when he visits Geneva next time.

    • 4

      I suppose he will be hooking up his wallet with a chain of some sort, to prevent him from losing it again in a pleasure parlour in that fair city?!!!

  • 4

    When he talks of betrayal of Sri Lanka, he means betrayal of the Royal Family!! It’s a betrayal of your old schoool and country? To what level could can people go down to for a few perks including a , laptop!!!


  • 4

    The Foreign Service once the best inSouth Asia after India has been destroyed .One officer who even failed his Efficiency Bar Examination even after 7 attempts has been appointed Additional Secretary , not following all accepted procedure,just because he does all the dirty secret work of the Monitoring MP of the foreign ministry.
    This officer ,majintha has only 12 years of service and his only qualification is that he is Sachin waas gunawardena’s bootlicker.This man has been appointed disregarding so many senior officers, more senior than him in service. Majintha planning to be next ambassador in china as he has a Chinese girlfriend.Majinta also works as chief of protocol.

    Easala a senior officer has been kicked away as additional secretary ministry of economic development as he does not bow to Sachin Waas.

    Another Sachin bootlicker,PM Amsa is to be appointed as additional secretary even though he is not the senior most officer.Amsa is the only Foreign Service officer in the SLFS history to openly work at the last presidential election in eastern province ,while holding post of Deputy High Commisioner in London.He was made ambassador in Brussles as a santhosam. He could work at next election too.

    So many very talented officers have been punished by Sachin Wass for not doing illegal work..GL Pieris pappa is sleeping . He has no power.

    So foreign service ruined by two ways: 1) by politicization 2) by politicizing foreign service officers like stated above

  • 5

    That photo should be captioned “Government sends Rajpal to Phuket”.

    In Sinhala.

    “Aanduwa Rajpal Phuket ari” * snicker snicker * :P

  • 3

    Why are you getting worked up on what this man -Rajpal- has to say on this? Like any other person in a democracy, isn’t he entitled to his opinion?

  • 2

    I surprised not to see Ms Tisaranees Gunasekera name among. the winners. To those of us who look forward to and read her column she is the BEST.

  • 0

    I looked at the mug shots of both
    Rajpal Abeynaike the freebooter
    and Bandula Jayasekera the lord
    of all what he surveys.

    Why not ask the Guild of Editors
    to have a prize for the Best Mug
    shot of the year? I cannot decide
    which one will get it. Both are
    equally good.

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