14 June, 2024


Ranil Blasts Media In A Journo-Less UNESCO Conference On Freedom Of Expression

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed disappointment at the marked absence of journalists at a conference in Colombo devoted to the discussion on issues that are of paramount importance to the media, namely freedom of expression, rule of law and ending impunity for crimes against journalists.

Wickremesinghe noted that there were just two chairpersons of state media institutions and one editor of a privately owned newspaper present when he addressed the “UNESCO Regional Conference on Reinforcing Regional Cooperation to Promote Freedom of Expression and the Rule of Law in Asia through Ending Impunity for Crimes against Journalists,” at the Taj Samudra this morning (December 4).

Referring to journalists abducted, assaulted or killed while the previous regime was in power, Wickremesinghe opined that the journalistic fraternity seems unconcerned about such matters.

He then went on to attack media institutions in general, claiming that they attacked his government because they want the Rajapaksas back in power so they could, as he claimed they did before, do business and make money.

Commenting further on the absence of key figures in the media, Wickremsinghe asked whether they are interested in media freedom or if they only wanted media freedom to ‘attack the government, attack good governance and bring back a Rajapaksa regime.’

Meanwhile Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera remarked that the conference was an opportunity to reflect on a past where Sri Lanka used to be ‘a most unsafe place for journalists,’ recognize that there’s still work to be done although the government ‘has succeeded to a large extent in creating the safe space required for freedom of expression.’

He also stressed that ‘Sri Lanka remains firm in its commitment to work with the international community, including UNESCO, to work towards ending impunity for crimes against journalists, and to uphold the rights of journalists around the world who place themselves at risk every day, to give voice to the voiceless.’

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  • 19

    Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe,

    Most of the media and those who control the media have been bought out by the Rajapaksa crooks from the money stolen from from the public. Remember, the stolen money was used to pay off LTTE during the 2005 presidential election, so that, Mahaveran, Pereiyavar, VP would get Rs. 300 million or so, by way of Titan Alles and Basil Rajapaksa?

    The media people are all like that . Those dead journalists are those who could not be bought out. All those who did not attend were bribed by Mahinda Rajapaksa and cronies, and would not show up.

    One simple question. Why are the crooks and criminals still at large? Did they also beobe the Yahapalanaya Legislators as well? Why is Gotabaya Rajapaksa still at large?

    Is the answer blown’ in the wind?

    How many roads must a man walk down
    Before you call him a man?
    Yes, and how many seas must a white dove sail
    Before she sleeps in the sand?
    Yes, and how many times must the cannonballs fly
    Before they’re forever banned?
    The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
    The answer is blowing in the wind……………………………………

    • 7

      For once this not about Ranil.

      To hell with Ranil and the government ……. But everyone knows that there is press freedom today. The population, and most importantly the press should appreciate that. ……….. No journalists and custard and jello pudding is left on the pavement …………

      And it is disappointing to see that the editors and the press are missing from this important occasion.

      Rightly, as he has pointed out, it says a lot about the SL media establishments. They are no better than the corrupt politicians they are supposed to expose.

      There can never be a vibrant democracy without a free and fair media.

      Then again, for Lankans, democracy might mean a whole different shindig …………………

      • 6

        Nimal Fernando, you are indeed very perceptive.

        Well spoken.

        Some media men when on television or in print, appear whiter than white. The fact that they weren’t there yesterday says a lot about how and why these men can support a regime such as the one seen out, 2 years ago.

      • 0

        Native Vedda: Don’t talk BS. – Tell us where this free and fair media where the vibrant democracy is well and live. where are these great newspaper editors n the world. Is the editor for Charlie Hebdo. HAve you been to western journalist schools where sensational news, aavada to democracy, ratings and the profits are the names of the game.

        • 0

          Jim softy Dimwit

          “Native Vedda: Don’t talk BS.” – December 5, 2017

          Are you still dreaming?

    • 2

      @Amarasiri; You address Ranil as to support his speech, while you sir have forgotten that the very men and women mentioned in his speech who were killed or dissappeared have not gotten any justice from the same prime minister who came into power chanting slogans and making the very same promises to bring perpetrators to justice over their dissapearences. The yahapalanaya govt is on the verge of starting its 4th year in office, and you expect the media let alone people to celebrate media freedom, which clearly looked in this instance of the same old brand of ‘international sympathizing PR campaign’ that the grand old party has always been good at. To add to this, Mr Samaraweera in English, talks abt how atrocious the environment for media was during the previous government, making the entire country look like a bunch of savages. We are all waiting sir, please start by convicting someone on behalf of at least one of these fallen media men. Otherwise we all have to believe, that Mr Wickramasinghe came in to power crying over their deaths and dissapperences pointing the finger directly at the Rajapakses, but are making BS statements in front of the international media making the entire country look bad, while all the time protecting the very same rajapakses.

    • 1

      The media deserves all the blastings it get.

      Look at todays newspapers (8th December) the headline news! Some wedding of two unheard of persons grabbing the top-most spot, simply because the President and ex President were the ones who were attesting witnesses and the bridegrooms dad is one among dozens of ministers.

      IS THIS NEWS? My God, Doesn’t this country deserve far better?

  • 5

    Uh oh, he must be taking a cue from Donald Trump. They are all the same when they are cornered.
    The Orange man says he is above the law.

  • 6

    I heard that Ranil has or had plans to join with TNA in case Maithripala Sirisena backs the Yahapalanaya coaliyion.

  • 9

    I think Bond Scam Ranil is helping a western attempt to organize west affiliated NGOs such as Journalists without boarders. So, journalists, probably, was alert on it and they did not attend. Ranil also wanted the opportunity to bypass his impending prosecution from bond scam and divert the attention of journalists.

  • 7

    Look who’s talking?
    Clean man with BOND & BATALANDA to his credit.

  • 6


    There is a limit for people to tolerate your nonsense or leave CT for good. You have become a No 1 joker.

    • 1

      Why did you get upset ?. Bond Scam Ranil is trying to be an intellectual and a world leader but nothing to show. What is your role ?

    • 0

      Tilvin Fernando

      If Jimmy the Dimwit stopped typing where would we find fun?
      Otherwise CT too would turn into a serious humourless forum or Communist/JVP Manifesto.

  • 3

    Ranil complains that journalists are unconcerned about those who who were attacked by the previous regime, but he himself has not brought the culprits to justice. He is just as unconcerned. Aren’t they all?

    • 2

      There was a counter argument about what Bond Scam Ranil Said in a well known newspaper. that was, If bond Scam Ranil was so concerned about Journalists Against Crimes, why he gave a minister post, a luxury BMW, electorate organizer post etc., to an accused ?

  • 2

    It is NOT the media that is “blasting”. It is your bad and corrupt administration. They are doing their job but you and all of “yaha” are ….. ?? Surely, there will be a day of reckoning for you and all your friends

  • 2

    There are lists circulating of 23 Tamil Journalists names as murdered by Old King & his acolytes. Ranil Racist mentioned names of some dead Sinhala Journalists. He did not even mention one Tamil name, I understand. Tamils are only 1/5, but took the journalists 5 times higher than the Colombo Laptopsist. So the death ratio of Colombo Laptopsist : Tamil Journalist is 1 : 25.. Undyan Editor told about 43 cases Udayan alone on that same stage. The Actor Ranil Fonseka Racist immediately got up and took that list from Udyan editor and pretended that he is going to put the culprit in the dungeon right away. When PM David Cameron went to Jaffna, Tamils showed him of an incident. Even after that Ranil Fonseka Racist acted that he never heard of anything in North. The entire world knows army printed a 2nd Udayan against Aanati. This is the Media freedom and Balanced journalism Ranil Fonseka Racist he is preaching to the Laptopsist of Colombo.

  • 1

    Ranil is correct. Island, Derana, Maharajah group TV etc are giving priority in attacking the Yahapalana Govt. When reading news papers or watching TV shows of these organizations one can notice that the writers and anchors ask questions to bring out utterances of participants which attack Yahapalana. They publish articles and allow participants in TV shows without challenging them when lies are written or spoken. Derana always allows readers comments on their website news where the news is about or from a Yahapalana, but at the same time does not publish or even does not provide space to allow comments against Joint Opposition or Rajapakse. Similarly Island only publishes news against Yahapalana and do not allow any comments. None of these institutions FACT CHECK the items they publish or answers or comments given against Yahapalana. Its time the Government makes it compulsory that all media (print, electronic, radio and TV) should do fact checking and publish them. This is the only way the people of SL can get FAKE FREE NEWS.

  • 0

    No doubt the freedom of the media has been restored. This does not mean taking sides.
    Uthayan is a NP daily. Under the Governorship of Maj Gen GA Chandirasiri several journalists disappeared/pulped. The Uthayan Press was set on fire several times. For details of the terror inflicted read Uthayan Wikipedia. Chandrasiri dismissed the happenings sagaciously as ‘internal quarrels’. From 08 January 2015, Uthayan has functioned without major incidents.
    The RW outburst is an admission that the game is now between a home team and a home team. This was always the case.
    Will the ‘language/religion-divide’ be used in the penalty shootout? Cheerleaders are being given intensive training.

  • 0

    Undoubtedly we have said several time in these web pages that UNP leadership of Ranil Wicks will perceive only the evidence has shows denied of masses media-Freedom which his initial beliefs “democracy values” has change after 2015 January 8th being power as minority Govt. back by MS regime!
    The role of UNP and MS led government which particularly in dealing stop & discard the Press Freedom outside Parliament. Is that UNP –Ranil Wicks guarantee of Press Freedom and fair justice in Sri lanka by “good governance” was really delivered?

    After being to power 2015 August 17th that an issue Freedom of Press is weather UNP has really delivered on it promises? Is that UNP election pledge really means Press Freedom has even that seldom taken up? The Minister in charge of Masse Media is control by political thugs of UNP’s.

    The UNP leaders has undermined Press Freedom. Here is again clique of UNP Primer and his Ministers and MS by as powerful politically manipulate discussion in way benefit to their interest of CB Bonds scandal.
    While realizing their CB Bonds scam which hide and suppressed Press freedom, its leads to corrupted whole system democracy leadership of Ranil Wicks….mode of governances.
    The UNP has forget past and present that wrong kind of rule of law can help to preserve and extend for Freedom of Press in Sri lanka?
    Needless to say under UNP while a good rule of law is supposed to safeguard and protected the weak forces against powerful of anti-democratic of led by the UNP’s governances? What happen just opposites that large portion of Executive Power has transfer to Prime in 19th Constitutional Amendments of Primer of Republic. What has happen to that ?

    The result that Freedom of Press has been distorted by Primer of Ranil Wickmasinghe .
    We have seen that UNP political perception of Press freedom are in crucial period in Sri lanka under the current MS, UNP and CBK leadership!@

  • 2

    The great wisest man in Sri Lanka has spoken.
    What is wrong if at all the media is backing
    Mahinda Rajapaksa? After all, it is this same
    Ranil (who is NO MORE Mr Clean) and his
    bosom loving pal Sagala has been backing
    the entire Rajapaksa family in the near three
    years in office. They helped him by providing
    details of the investigations against them and
    how to get out.

    I am NOT saying this. The media has reported
    many times that it is President Sirisena who has
    said that many times in and outside the Cabinet.

    Ranil’s as well as Media Minister Mangala
    Samaraweera’s predicament is exposed. They have
    no place to turn so blame it on the media and
    see whether they can be put on the defensive.

    Who were the great champions of media who
    were present at the UNESCO seminar? One is a
    webmaster who had a reputation for fudging
    restaurant bills and has a penchant for wine.

    The other is a pseudo scientist who can barely
    be called a journalist. His only claim is a column
    he writes to a weekly. There are many who could
    claim more because they have contributed to
    the Letters column in the newspapers.

    Samaraweera has quoted some US survey that
    equates politicians and journalists together. Is
    this also another dumb or fake survey like the
    one he used to lower beer prices?

  • 0

    Most Colombo media were careful not to report about the forceful intervention made by the editor of the Udayan news paper during this regional conference. He was the only media editor who thought its worthy to make use of this regional forum and to highlight continuous impunity of those who killed his journalists who are Tamils.
    Except for him, mostcolombo media owners don’t care about impunity on the killing of journalists and are afraid to question law enforcement agencies about non action and to fight against the obstruction of justice by vested groups who protect culprits. Framing of C.T. report ‘no journos’ might satisfy the media owners. But it is the business of good journalists to find out and report about the real intervention in this type of regional fora instead of boasting about their non participation. The real issue is media organisations and owners and editors don’t want to work in unison to fight against the impunity because they are afraid to rock the boat of which they themselves are comfortable riders.

  • 0

    The CT expose’ ~ ” Sexual Harassment Case: Sri Lanka Army Gives Information To RTI Commission!” was just minutes away.
    Would this have appeared had the Lankan Media been under the control of ……you know who!

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