Rajapaksa state media Daily News Editor Rajpal Abeynayake who claimed in his editorial today (Saturday 9 August) that the Editors Guild had awarded journalists who were the ‘worst betrayors and purveyors of hate’ in the country was awarded by the same Guild in 2004.
According to the Sunday Observer of the same state media group Abeinayake now works for, Rajpal was awarded the BA Siriwardane Columnist of the Year for his column in the Sunday Times newspaper.
The award is also mentioned in the Abeynayake’s Wikipedia page presumably managed by himself.
In light of his editorial today Abeynayake must now either return the award or clarify if the Editors Guild presented awards to journalists in 2004 based on merit or loyalty to the nation.
Until the Rajapaksa regime took office the Lake House newspaper group was part of the Editors Guild and their reporters were regularly recognised for their contributions at the annual award ceremony.
Abeynayake’s mentor who managed to get him recruited as Daily News Editor after he was sacked by Sumathi publications and Consul General of Sydney “Ambassador” Bandula Jayasekera has tweeted a picture of himself, the disgraced Lakshman Hulugalle and Yasara Abeynayake both of whom are also diplomats in Australia.
Hulugalle fell from favour with the Rajapaksa administration after he was found abusing power to serve his paramour and later threatened to reveal everything he knew about the final stage of the war to the diplomatic missions. He was given a diplomatic posting to get him ‘out of the way’.
Yasara Abeynayake is the former girlfriend of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second son and naval officer Yoshitha Rajapaksa. Following the break up the young girl was kicked out of the Carlton Sports Network and given a diplomatic posting to Australia to ‘keep her happy’ and prevent her from disclosing too many intimate details about the ruling Rajapaksa family.
According to the Daily News Editor “Loyalists and people who do not betray the people cannot necessarily be chosen by process of examination or intense scrutiny, however, and most times loyalists are those who have proven loyalty by natural if not almost organic affiliation.”
“Today, the foreign service has a record of being the most sturdily independent and uncompromising the country has seen since the grant of independence in 1948. This outcome was achieved not as a result of the ‘meritocracy’ that’s being touted, but in reality — as a direct result of eschewing it!” the Daily News Editorial said today.
Bandula Jayasekera Lakshman Hulugalla and Yasara Abeyratne are excellent illustrations of the Sri Lankan Government decision to ‘eschew’ merit and skill in choosing international representatives to manage foreign policy in one of the most challenging times internationally for the country.