25 October, 2020

Blog

Ranil’s Friend Bowls Doosra: Observer Sports Editor Out LBW

Callistus Davy the Sports Editor Sunday Observer has been sent on two months paid leave for a reporting blunder at the conclusion of 137th Battle of the Blues Royal Thomian Big Match, sources close to the Chairman Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited told Colombo Telegraph.

The veteran scribe counting over 25 years experience in sports journalism had carried an incomplete story in the Sunday Observer following Royal College’s remarkable victory. The story was written by Sports Journalist Ranjan Anandappa.Daham Sirisena Royal Thomian 2016

Nevertheless it is speculated that the reason behind the decision was because of Davy’s negligence in carrying a photograph of Chief Guest and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe handing over the D.S. Senanayake Shield to the winning Royal College captain. An Editor said “he carries the picture of the winning moment which as an editor he is entitled to”.”I am not sure if it was negligence or because President’s son Daham Sirisena was also on stage by forcibly making himself there. If they had to crop the picture to drop Daham from the scene, it would have caused much more problems for the Editor from President Sirisena’s side. He would have been caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. I think he played a forward defensive stroke here, but perhaps the doosra bowled by Premier Ranil’s friend trapped him in front of the stumps” he said.Daham Sirisena Royal Thomian 2016

However, when contacted a source close to ANCL Chairman Kavan Ratnayaka told Colombo Telegraph “He made a major blunder, So he was sent on leave. With paid salary etc.. He will be taken back in two months. The next day report on the Royal Thomian has no end and it ends somewhere in the middle, abruptly. That’s the main reason we took this decision.”

The source said that Davy had on numerous occasions carried “unfinished stories”. When asked if this was the first time he was suspended, the source said “yes”.

Both the print edition and the web edition online carries a story without the picture of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe handing over the trophy to the Royalist Captain.

Meanwhile, the former Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ Malinda Seneviratne, under whom Davy had worked earlier, dismissed the reasons offered for Davy’s suspension as being ‘flimsy and silly’.

“It is wrong to state that the story is incomplete. While it possible to claim that the story ends abruptly, it does carry all the vital information relevant to the match. What it lacks is detail. However, if lacking details is a crime warranting suspension then all sports editors should be worried about being punished. Details are often sacrificed due to a variety of number of reasons. There are other Big Match stories that are even more condensed than this one. Of course the Royal-Thomian could be considered more important due to its long history, but even then what’s been offered is a flimsy and silly reason for the punishment of a senior and respected sports journalist,” he said.

Colombo Telegraph did not contact ANCL Chairman Kavan Ratnayaka for a comment. Earlier when Colombo Telegraph questioned orders by the Prime Minister’s office to not carry Mahinda Rajapaksa’s “Medamulana Statement” on July 1, Ratnayaka said “I read Colombo Telegraph but I don’t question you,” he said in response.

Ranil’s freind Chairman Kavan, his brother Law and Order Minister Sagala as well as Prime Minster are old boys of the wining side – the Royalists.

Attempts to contact Davy failed.

Sunday Obsever Sports page Royal Thomian

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 18
    1

    Not issues for people like us. When magistrate Thilina Gamage will be taken into custody? And Sumangala?. We need clear independent decision from Judiciary.

    • 4
      4

      Nimal, is it because you endorse this type of ‘media freedom’ by yahapalanaya or you are just a blind party supporter?

      • 3
        4

        Kavan

        After decades your newspapers are newsworthy and well done.

        Keep up the good work.

        Media guys think they are above the law and that they can write and publish anything and everything.

        Jagath

  • 6
    4

    This is a major part of Jahapalna media freedom!!!

  • 11
    2

    Callistus Davy is easily one of the better Sports Journalists who has gone about his business for so long with an unblemished record. This seems to be the start of Yahapalanaya’s victimization of journalists. Hitting them hard with no employment now. True they say he was paid two months salary, but surely he should start looking around for another decent employer. His language skills are brilliant and he also writes in a nice flowing style. What the fuck is happening in this country now? Pad up Ranil W….Sri Lanka Cricket needs a dasher at the world cup…perhaps you should be padded up and batting at a different wicket. Leave the journos be…for they were instrumental in getting you in ….ONCE AGAIN don’t forget that.

    • 2
      0

      Popping Crease – don’t worry. Callistus Davy is in fact on 2 months
      furlough, with the full salary & perks paid and also with a promise that he will be taken back at the end of the furlough, may be with
      a promotion.

      Strange things are happening in this country these days.

  • 8
    7

    What is this rubbish? Why can’t a Chairman take action to maintain discipline in an organisation? I think he should be complimented and not condemned. Today independent people have started reading the lake house newspapers and the present management/editors should be praised for the quality of the newspapers.

  • 7
    8

    Within a short period of time, Kavan Ratnayaka has made a big difference at Lake house. He not only maintains extraordinary discipline at Lake house but is committed to improve the newspapers. In the recent past we have not had such a decent chairman. At a time when people are complaining about discipline it is a blessing to have a chairman like Kavan Ratnayaka.

    • 6
      3

      Mr Kuruppu, this story is nothing to do with Kavan’s management skills at lake house, but removing an able editor based on biased, silly reasons.

  • 8
    2

    Kavan was a colleague of mine at Dialog. I was very impressed with his attention to detail and human qualities. He is a person, who will always stand by what is right. Good people like Kavan should be protected. What is the point of having a chairman if he can’t make any decisions. Journalists are not above the law. They also must learn to discharge their duties like any other profession. He has been a friend of the Prime Minister for a long time but I cannot understand why he is referred to as PM’s friend. I get the feeling someone in the PM’s office is behind this story. It is not unusual for political stooges to dislike people like Kavan. I am a CT fan but I don’t think this story is unbias.

  • 7
    2

    I agree with Ranjith, that a Chairman should not be condemned for taking action against, people who fail to do a proper job. Our people are used to doing anything, and getting away with it. Hats off to the Lake house chairman, for taking action. It is people like this chairman who will make a difference. The government should have more people like him in powerful positions.

  • 6
    0

    This is a hell of a thing no! Are we expecting the lake house chairman to get approval from parliament, before taking a decision? Are these people insane? This is really a very sad state of affairs.

  • 7
    2

    Yes I too feel that the lake house newspapers are much more readable than ever before. Obviously the management is doing something right. When you do the right thing there will always be opposition. I am glad at least few of Ranil’s friends are doing the right thing. Good luck to the chairman but be cautious of the snakes who might be very uncomfortable with professionals like you.

  • 1
    1

    [Edited out]Thank you Malinda thank you very much.

  • 2
    2

    Congrats Chairman for having the courage to take action. This is what our country lacks. Well done and keep it up. Your newspapers are more independent than ever before.

  • 4
    1

    Come on CT! Grow up! If a management can’t make decisions for a better product, there is absolutely no point in running that operation. This story is just stupid.

  • 3
    1

    Even though the whole yahapaalanaya thing is falling apart, Lake House newspapers still stand tall and doing an absolutely great job. And now I know why. Lake House is lucky to have a leader with a back bone. This is what the country is lacking.

  • 2
    2

    Is this what yahapalanaya preach before they came into power? In what journalistic principles that say PM’s picture is a must to appear in the newspaper? Some of the above commentators are hilarious. They praise CT when it attack their political opponents, but bash the same journal when it critical of their political masters. Shame!

  • 2
    1

    It’s simple . he did not carry Ranil’s picture and Management had make a rubbish reason to remove him from his post hiding the actual reason .
    Callistus was never interested in politics and certainly wasn’t bias person and always tried his best to keep Politics out of sports coverage. He never liked to carry pics of politicians along with sports article and i guess Roy-Tho was no exception .
    Plus as Malinda had described there were several big matches and other sports coverage in that day along with some important international sports such as world cup matches. with the limited space for a newspaper editors had to take a decision to shorten stories plus observer had carried full scoreboard of the match which could fill up any missing information .

  • 0
    0

    Punishments meted out to journalists because they are considered enemies of some “editors” because they feel hard working journalists a threat to them are not unknown under the Yahapalanaya management as well at Lake House from what we hear from the scribes there.

    One such example, comes from a Sinhala daily. Despite the pronouncements of the highest level of management that they are free to write, an editor, not the lady editor of the paper, aspiring and in a hurry, to get the seat of the latter, it seems is in the habit of transferring hard working scribes out of his division falsely portraying them as anti-government in an effort to impress the current management whereas this editor himself despite being an office bearer of a “radical” trade union was nowhere to be seen within the January 8th movement. However, as fellow journalists would bear witness if they are given an opportunity, the ability of such hounded scribes both male and female to represent diverse views in their feature pages had brought new readership to the paper. It is said this editor has mislead the higher editorial management as well and has been able to recruit new people who are personally faithful to him falsely claiming they are supporters of the January 8th movement. ( Similar transfers have been made in a Sinhala Sunday paper as well). It is said that hounded journalists such as the above referred to at Lake House do not have a mechanism to present their case to the management as the said editor claims that the editorial higher management is on his side.

  • 1
    0

    Whats the use of Kavan if he can not make the news paper the mouth piece of Yahapalanaya where his Class Mate brother are stalwarts?

    Where is rational thinkig ?

  • 1
    0

    Callistus Davy looked for the most newsworthy picture and selected it for the news story? If Yahapalana (in/competent) authorities think it was wrong they could voice their concerns under readers’ comments or as a letter to the editor. That’s how journalism works under democracies.
    They should know they have no right or authority whatsoever to order or force a media institution to send a veteran journalist home (even temporarily). What’s this if not intimidation? This is not the kind of media freedom the average people expected from Yahapalanaya leaders.
    What we have been hearing for the last 15 months is blunder after blunder, mismanagement, and broken promises in every aspect of nation’s life? Except for several die-hard supporters many who comment to Colombo Telegraph have expressed their serious concern about this negative trend! This is not the first time Hon. PM and his men have shown their ‘muscles’ to journalists and media institutions directly and/or indirectly. They could use thugs in their field (Politics) against their opponents as a form of retaliation and a means of manipulation but not in the field of mass media. If I am correct this is the 4th such incident I heard within the last few days!
    These ‘politicos’ and their henchmen show the signs of what they intend to do in the future and probably journalists and media institutions may have to be proactive and ready with a comprehensive strategic plan to deal with the situation. We should give them a straight and collective warning about their thuggish behavior and tell them in no uncertain terms: “if you don’t understand what media freedom is, you should go back to school and learn the fundamentals of democracy; if you don’t, this could be the beginning of the end of your freaking Yahapalanaya! “
    It’s a sorry state today: the average Sri Lankan has begun to feel and think why on earth we all voted this inefficient bunch of good-for-nothing men to power at the last two elections.

  • 2
    0

    Royal Thomian encounter is a big opportunity for an English weekly papaer to push its circulation among the Colombo audience. It’s bigger than an ordinary cricket match (at least in that sense ) That must have been the thinking behind the Lake House management’s decision. Of course Malinda Seneviratne doesn’t know that because he is only famous for closing down newspapers; not to revive them.

  • 0
    1

    Max please don’t demonstrate your ignorance. Obviously you are a frustrated Rajapaksa supporter, still unable to recover from the 8th January defeat. All sensible people (not idiots like u) appreciate the changes that have taken place at Lake house. The success of the Lake house newspapers, are largely because of the strict discipline maintained by the chairman.

  • 1
    1

    I think max needs help. We are not interested about politics but no one can dispute the right of the management, to take a decision on an employee. None of us know the real reason behind the decision of the Chairman. I think it’s nothing but reasonable, to give him the benefit of the doubt. I can’t understand the logic behind what Max is trying to say. He is obviously a petty political animal who has a biased opinion about the new government. Sad thing is he is displaying his frustration.

    Well done Mr Chairman for having the courage to take decisions.

    • 0
      0

      As a matter of interest . Is the chairman an uncle of the Prime Minister ???

  • 0
    0

    People who love this country, are happy that the Rajapaksa’s were thought a good lesson on the 8th of Jan. However, unfortunately this government has not lived up to expectation. One of the few good things I see in this government, is the quality of the Lake house newspapers. Whatever party we may support, as citizens of this country we must always appreciate the good work done by people. If the Chairman is a rotten fellow there would not have been positive changes at lake house.

    Chairman don’t worry about some of these idiotic comments just continue to produce a readable newspaper.

  • 0
    0

    Tarzan,
    Where can you find Malinda Seneviratne’s comment or what is the role Malinda Seneviratne has played here in this decision? He writes a column now for Daily Mirror isn’t it after his stint at The Nation?
    I am still saddened for this sorry state of affairs journo’s are beginning to face with the Yahapalanaya intimidation tactics beginning now. First it was Dhammika Ranatunga blatantly doing it and mind you in the court premises itself.
    Callistus should be given Kavan’s job. He will do a much better job than Kavan. For sure!!!!!

  • 0
    0

    How many read the lake house newspapers before January 2015 ? have we forgotten who was the chairman and senior management of lake house for the last 20 years ? were they fit to run the country’s largest newspaper company? isn’t that bad leadership the reason, the newspaper company was taken to the ground making losses, been unprofessional without any quality in their reporting !

    Lakehouse is lucky to get a person of Kavan Ratnayake, a former IBM country Director, been in the senior management of Dialog and Cargills, two of the top blue chip companies in Sri Lanka. Obviously, his standards are high will set a benchmark to produce quality and professional work rather than mediocre work that was the norm before.

    Reading the half baked big match report in the sunday observer was pathetic. A big match win irrespective of the schools that played is a big deal for the kids who played, their families, the current school children and the alumni, etc. After all is done, its the newspaper and other media reports that will keep the moment live for posterity. For the captain and the team that won and received the coveted D.S. Senanayake trophy from the Chief Guest, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister will be probably the high point in their lives to cherish for ever. Giving such insignificance in graphics and words to the moment by this sunday observer is unprofessional and unacceptable!

    When our country is in transition to finally moving to our rightful place in the world, professionalism needs to be given priority. We need to start with a few institutions to set this trend and hope Lake house will take the lead.

  • 0
    0

    Kavan Rathnayake, for all his career highlights, takes his orders from the government (and often from minions). Lake House remains THE government mouthpiece and no amount of embellishment will void that fact. Readers take what is printed in its publications with a pinch of salt – except, of course, for the obituaries.

    Only in Sri Lanka are school sports reports given so much valuable space. Very few give a brass monkeys’s for the partisan tripe. So much for our priorities. Still, nothing will change as long our politicians fear a truly free press with the freedom to keep a close eye on the shenanigans they get up to.

  • 4
    0

    Poofs of the world unite !

  • 1
    0

    This is another set up by CT. It has been gathering momentum over the weeks/months and readers of this site have been commenting on their poor quality, biased news columns that they highlight. CT is losing their credibility, if not that they have already lost it. Bad show CT.

  • 1
    0

    From what we hear the plan is to handover the Lake House to the family of its first owner, D.R.Wijewardene. KR’s task is to clean the place by mainly reducing the employees. Towards this end he is said to be using the same strategy he has used elsewhere: carrot and stick. Carrots to trade unionists by offering them very high wages and various other benefits to keep them silent while the repression of workers go on. Even a so-called radical trade union leader now said to be aligned with a breakaway group of the JVP has been won over it seems and he is said to have been seen in the company of the great Leader of Yaha Palanaya. Stick for the other workers. KR has increased the cctv surveillance system by covering all the nooks and corners of the office and it seems the employees have been issued instructions prohibiting them to talk to each other even down the corridors.

    The present higher management other than the Chairman who is a political appointee is to be retired and a new management is groomed with salaries more than double the value of the Chairman’s himself it is reported. The plan is to set up a new management that won’t change even if the government changes. So, a group of young turks whose boss started as a kind of an assistant to the chairman but truly runs the show now will be virtually at the helm soon, it is reported. Then Chairman might retire, who knows, to take over a similar job elsewhere serving the friend and the master.

    The latest is that, reportedly a few days ago, a caller from the President’s Office to the Chairman and the DE has ordered not to publish things critical of the President following a column published in a Sinhala daily. And the DE had conveyed this to the Editor of the Sinhala daily and then the Editor to the staff below with the message from the DE that ” the President don’t understand media freedom unlike the Prime Minister who is a liberal and therefore for media freedom, but better stop criticizing both the President and the Prime Minster.” If you are keen to know what was the article that is said to have annoyed the President or perhaps his new image prop up team read it here: http://epaper.dinamina.lk/art.asp?id=2016/03/22/pg25_2&pt=p&h= ? and this is the column the previous week: http://epaper.dinamina.lk/art.asp?id=2016/03/15/pg29_2&pt=p&h= which must have annoyed the Prime Minister also if he read it. What the DE did not tell the Chairman or the President’s office was that it was his own point man the features guy who is responsible for publishing this column. Not sure whether he reads the stuff of course as he always passes the buck to some junior journo.

  • 0
    0

    This is to Savan

    Savan, we gather that you are a decent guy despite your earlier affiliation to those who wanted to make a political kottu out of Colombo municipality aligning with Gota and his agent Moragoda. Unilke the Chairman who does not see humans but only numbers , which can be discarded as technocrats wish because they have got the master’s orders, we know that you see the value of human beings.

    If and when you take over Lake House on behalf of family as the claim goes now, you will have to resurrect the Lake House not only as the liberal media house that it was at its origin, but also true to your liberal values (unlike the heartless technocratic neo-liberal ones espoused by KR) you need to revive the humanist tradition of treating employees as human beings with their own lives with families and children to take care of.

    What is going on right now in Lake House is those who have assumed power under Yaha Palanaya making hay while the sun shines. Those who claim they are higher ups in the Editorial section because they are President’s men even though they are in the habit of privately running down the President as reported, they are engaged in getting rid of hard working journalists whose work have maintained the integrity of Lake House, and filling those vacancies with their own henchmen despite that they are not good journalists with any proof to their capabilities. One such features guy in a Sinhala daily who is covering himself under the shadow of DE has been out to get the lady editor whom you have personally felicitated in a ceremony to honour her long standing service to the institute.

    If you can rise up to the challenge, what is required at Lake House to revive its humanist history is to set up an independent mechanism via which hounded and victimized journalists under the Yaha Palanaya can appeal to you so that they won’t be unfairly thrown to the wolves due to the private grudges of some jealous incompetent frauds who parade as senior journalists who thrive on political patronage who masquerade as President’s or Pm’s men.

    One specific wish that is coming from the scribes inside is that when the good Lady of the Sinhala daily duly retires according to the rules of the Institute despite those who want to retire her early, please select an editor through a proper process, an editor who can restore the glory of Dinamina to its Martin Wikramasinghe, Piyasena Nissanka and Meemana Premathilleke days. It is believed that such an editor has to come from outside the institute, if Dinamina is to remain independent of political corruption. Best wishes to your endeavor.

  • 0
    0

    In the Corporate Management system, Chairmen, CEO’s work with doers, and performers. Because they are responsible for Bottom lines that ensures, profits, Customer & HR Satisfaction, sustainability, VMOV, Benefit to Society. Lake House or Sri Lankan Air may not be used to such Management practices. These Management styles could be viewed as strange, by a few who lacks understanding. Keeping an employee at home, with pay should not be construed as a punishment, or the person is guilty. It is unfair to Guess as it may be due to one or many reasons.

    I have worked with Kavan at Executive Committees, and in a Central Bank appointed Committee under the last regime.

    During this period I observed, his presentations had clarity, decisions were far reaching, sound and error free.

    Have confidence ! Suren

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.