3 August, 2020

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Requests Made For Exiled Journos To Return But No Action Taken

The absence of a formal request for the exiled journalists to return to Sri Lanka, has cast a shadow over their return despite several government Ministers’ invitation for them to return.

Gayantha Karunatilake - Minister Media

Gayantha Karunatilake – Minister Media

Although informal invitations have been extended by Ministers of the new government including Rajitha Senaratne and Gayantha Karunatilake, a formal request is yet to be made through the parliament by either the Prime Minister or the President concerning this matter.

Considering the circumstances in which these journalists fled the country during the previous regime, such a formal request has become vital as fabricated court cases have been filed against some of the journalists living in exile.

Journalists who bore dissenting views or criticized the Rajapaksa regime were labelled as ‘LTTE supporters’ and ‘traitors’ and files were opened by the Terrorist Investigation Department on some of the exiled journalists including the Colombo Telegraph editor.

However, despite the regime change the Attorney General has not made any promise so far with concern to any possibility of withdrawing such cases. Neither has any promise been made by the new government to expunge such intimidating inquiries or withdraw Airport surveillance.

Although the Colombo Telegraph made several attempts to contact those responsible for a comment on the situation, none of them have been reachable.

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Latest comments

  • 2
    0

    Just two weeks passed since MS has been elected. His cabinet ministers are not even that old.
    Yes, the authorities have to make it officially going through all the channels so that those excile journalists could return witout any fears being in their minds. However, with the loads of unexected issues becoming aware with ground realities only focusing on abuses of diverse kind – these issue should be adjusted with the time. Our people seem to have no patience at all. They are only attacking mode to the new govt. Anyways, all what Chilaw MP assumed/stammered to have met Ekanligoda in France or Belgium should be investigated by interviewing the lawmaker first and though an open investigation. During MR days, anyone could agitate anyone for their sake. Everything towards crime promotion were catalized by MR politics.

  • 2
    0

    When Sunil Jayasekara and Uthaya Pathirane were busy at the election Rallies of PS….I knew that soon after the victory of PS…there will be a news item like this !!? For, Mr.Sunanda Deshapriya – better known as ”Shakwithi Ranasinghe ” Of FMM ,desperately wants to come back home to get into the FMM by cook or crook !!?

    Uthaya and Sunil who depends on the non qualified Jackal Sunanda to air there messages in English are disciples of Sunda.

    Even if the Government officially extend an ivitation to exiled Journalists …Sunanda should be arrested and produced for his robbery of millions of rupees at FMM.

    Sunanda is a disgrace to the dignity of neutral journalism in Sri Lanka.

    1. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/fmm-fraud-story-rolls-on-despite-denials-with-a-note-from-colombo-telegraph/
    2. http://www.thesundayleader.lk/20090524/spotlight.htm
    3.http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2012/03/04/how-sunanda-robbed-the-money-and-ngo-accountability-fmm-still-not-submitted-audited-accounts-for-rs-30-9-million/
    4.https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sara-to-take-up-sunanda-deshapriya-issue-with-groundviews-edi

  • 3
    0

    Dear CT, thanks for taking up our cause.

    An invitation in parliament however, is not enough.

    We suggest sending one of the idling Mihin Air planes to Europe(to UK, France, Germany and elsewhere), cross the Atlantic and go to the US and Canada to pick up all these long suffering journos.

    Some however, like Frederica Jansz, Sonali Darling and Nilantha Hulangamuwa have informed us that they have no interest in returning. They have got used to the life here.

    The political activism in Sri Lanka is a closed chapter now as far as they are concerned, after obtaining refugee status in the West. Sonali even took oaths as a US citizen back in October.

    So some are saying Thanks, but no thanks. But there are many like us who are willing to return but are unable to find the airfare back.

    Please push the case for a Mihin Air flight back.

    • 0
      0

      What a shame…!

    • 4
      1

      Return from Exile

      “We suggest sending one of the idling Mihin Air planes to Europe(to UK, France, Germany and elsewhere), cross the Atlantic and go to the US and Canada to pick up all these long suffering journos.”

      Could it be possible for you to arrange Mihin Air giving Rajpal Abeynayake a one way trip to somewhere in Europe,Americas or Antarctica on its way to pick you up from those countries.

  • 1
    1

    Calling upon journalists and intellectuals, who have fled the country due to death threats and intimidation to return back home is one thing. But to take concrete steps to guarantee their human rights and fundamental freedoms including their right to life, is another thing. So far no concrete action appears to have been taken by the new President and the government! There needs to a consultative process that will include those journalists who had to flee Sri Lanka due to various threats to their lives.

  • 2
    3

    No journalist with a brain on his/her head will risk coming back to Sri Lanka in the troubled political situation here currently – which is a repeat of Ranil’s 2001 administration. More than half of the rogues in Parliament pledging support to the Sirisena Govt. are
    despicable and unprincipled long-jumpers, pole-vaulters and so forth. There is no stability in this 100-day Project, Neither will there be one even if a Caretaker Govt. runs the country for 2 years thence.

    The only saving grace is the able, learned and generally corruption-free Ranil will try hard to save the country. He will have the support of many of our friends in the global community – almost all of whom the Rajapakses unnecessarily made enemies of. We need the help of divine intervention to save us. Meanwhile, like Maria in that delightful moview of old Sound of Music “how do you solve a problem like the Medamulana moda-horu?

    Backlash

    • 0
      0

      GLOBAL COMMUNITY?
      DONT MAKE ME LAUGH.
      THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY IS A CARTEL THAT DICTATES. DO WHAT I TELL YOU. DONT FOLLOW WHAT I DO.
      THERE IS NO GLOBAL COMMUNITY. THERE IS HAVE MONEY COMMUNITY, DONT HAVE MONEY COMMUNITY.

  • 0
    0

    There are hitmen with Rakna Lanka weapons on the loose. Let’s not get the journos done it with a formal invitation.
    Focus more on those weapons. They’re a danger to us all.

  • 4
    0

    At least a request has been made in this case.But What about the dual citizenship issue which is also very important?

  • 5
    3

    Formal invitation? What nonsense, were they formally exiled? Are they superior to others?

  • 4
    1

    A formal invitation is a stupid idea. Sri lankan journalists and media are not that saints. See how they report so many lies. So, if some of these reports are lies, it is natural some one to get angry and go against you guys.

    During the election and even now, I read lot of lies, unsubstantiated reports, and very partial reports.

    that is not journalism.

    what is a formal invitation ?. Are you guys asking free tickets to come back ?

    • 2
      0

      Not free tickets, but the cooked up cases and arrest warrants to be removed. Te invitations mean little when there is an arrest order at the airport.

    • 0
      0

      Onlycowards fear Journalists. It shouldn’t matter they write the truth, lies, good or bad, their followers would vote with their feet and the unpalatable will die away. If you don’t agree with what they write, you have the freedom to counter.

  • 1
    0

    Why would you need to get a comment from President or Prime Minister?

    If you have got balls just come to Sri Lanka and report anything you want. But don’t insult someone using “freedom of speech”.

    • 0
      0

      I don’t think Prime minister or president has to invite you guys.

      Why ?

  • 0
    1

    If they ran for fear of life and were not taking the opportunity to seek asylum in the west, this is the best chance they have to prove their fears were real. In My3 era all white vans have been converted to passenger vehicles for the vulnerable social groups and all the death squads have been dismantled.
    I bet none will return – not even Frederica Janz.

    • 1
      1

      “I bet none will return – not even Frederica Janz. “
      That’s because the grease yakkas are still lurking in the shadows even though the white vans have gone

    • 2
      0

      Sorry Paul. You are wrong. I will return as soon as my current term of teaching is over and in an orderly fashion.

      But this is the new time of “law and order.” Notwithstanding the removal of white vans, there is an open warrant for my arrest at the airport. The invitations notwithstanding, by the rule of law I need to be placed under arrest at the airport and produced before the magistrate whose court issued the warrant.

      I will come but only after successfully getting the warrant removed. I have issued appropriate instructions to my legal team. I am confident that my lawyers will succeed.

      I am hoping that without putting those like myself through the legal expenses and a period of anxiety, the Attorney General will have the arrest warrants removed. Then the government would be giving real substance to the invitations to those like myself whose only fault was exposing election malpractices for which criminal charges were filed against us.

      Personally I would rather be unemployed at home than living in alien lands.

      • 0
        1

        follow due process.
        that is what everyone wants.
        no one is above the law including those that fled.

    • 0
      0

      You’ve got to be a glutton for punishment to give up the relative freedom you now invariably have and return to a chancy environment that could change on the toss of a coin. Also, if you have become a citizen of the adopted country, you’d also be a fool to waste Rs.500,000 and more for the privilege of returning with your family.

  • 2
    1

    They never will come back
    Who would want to give up luxurious lifestyle and social security money ( dole for unemployed or unemployable persons) of western countries. Is there any single journalist who seeked refuge in socialist countries

    • 2
      0

      Sol,
      I would.
      JH

      • 0
        0

        I don’t think Prime minister or president has to invite you guys.

        I think hoole left because of LTTE and their own :tamil internal problems”.

  • 1
    1

    “Since 2009, over 60 journalists have been forced to leave the country” says Freddrica Janz in a sob story she published in the USA.
    If this is true, would you be good enough to publish their names and whereabouts? We would like to see bow many of these would return now that the country has go rid of the so called criminal regime.

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