1 August, 2021

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Sirisena Stooge Bopage Targets Derana TV

Controversial Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Nimal Bopage, who was found guilty by COPE of multiple charges of corruption when he was the Chairman of the National Human Resource Development Council (NHRDC) during former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime, is now conducting an inquiry against Derana TV.

Bopage

Bopage

As Colombo Telegraph reported last September he is facing a fresh crisis over his alleged involvement in a corruption case amounting to Rs.100 million, with both the COPE and the FCID receiving fresh complaints requesting them to carry out investigations against Bopage.

The Attorney General in March this year advised necessary legal action against Bopage, but he was appointed to the powerful position of Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media two months later by President Maithripala Sirisena, despite corruption charges.

To cover up his sins worth Rs. 100 million he has now started to suppressing the media.

Representing the interests of the Maithripala Sirisena’s camp last September, he ordered SLBC Chairman Nanda Muruttettuwegama to cancel the SLBC Board meeting, where he (Bopage) has no powers to cancel a Board meeting of a statutory institution such as SLBC.

Derana TV has become the latest target of pro-Maithripala Sirisena media secretary Nimal Bopage, calling for explanation on a news item aired on 12th October. The news item was based on President Maithripala Sirisena’s address at the “Sathviru Sanhinda” ceremony at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on the 12th October, where in his comments the President expressed his dissatisfaction with instances of Independent Commissions acting on hidden agendas.

He pointed out instances where ex-army personnel were being subject to inquiries and added in particular, that he was opposed to three ex-Navy Commanders and the former Defence Secretary recently being summoned to court.

Later that day, the Presidential Media Division issued a press release with the summarized content of the speech, and much of the following day’s press led with this story.

There followed a minor outcry among civil society and associated websites alleging that the President was now trying the save the Rajapaksa clan by publicly defending its members.

The same day, 12th October, President’s official website  http://www.president.gov.lk carried a story summarising Maithripala Sirisena’s speech in the same way in both Sinhala and English as:

“කිසිදු අවස්ථාවක ආරක්ෂක අංශ දුර්වල කිරීමට සහ රණවිරුවන් අපකීර්තියට පත්වන සිදුවීම් සඳහා ඉඩ තැබීමට තමා කටයුතු නොකළ බවද පැවසූ ජනාධිපතිතුමා පසුගිය දිනවල හිටපු ආරක්ෂක ලේකම්වරයා සහ හිටපු නාවික හමුදාපතිවරු තිදෙනෙකු අධිකරණයට ගෙන ගිය ක්‍රමවේදය පිලිබඳව ආරක්ෂක අමාත්‍යවරයා ලෙස තමාට එකඟවිය නොහැකි බව කියා සිටියේය.”

“The President said that he had not allowed any step to be taken to the weakening of the Security Forces. As the President, as well as the Defence Minister, I could not agree with the manner in which the former Defence Secretary and three former Navy Commanders were produced before the court.”

Bopage’s accusation against Derana – of distorting the comments when editing the 40 minute speech for its news item – followed almost as a reaction to this outcry. The Media Secretary wrote to Derana on the 25th October calling for an explanation, with Derana responding on the 26th stating that the 1-2 minute edit did in fact preserve the context of the speech.

Furthermore the channel also explained its editorial stance – where news items are developed by news editors under the guidance of news director Shehan Baranage with no interference by its management. Speaking to Colombo Telegraph, a spokesperson from Derana said they had no further contact from the Media Ministry on the accusation until suddenly, at 4pm on 17th November – a letter signed by Nimal Bopage and dated 11th November was hand delivered to its offices, calling for explanation within seven days. Sources say Bopage is presently overseas. The Channel has written back, requesting for the full seven days after the date of receipt, to respond.

Media watchers see the letter as a clear warning to Derana from Bopage in an effort to silence the channel.nimal-bopage-calling-for-explanation-from-deranaderana-tv-to-nimal-bopagederana-tv-to-nimal-bopage-part-2 presidents-media-unit-statemntnimal-bopage-to-derana-2deran-to-nimal-bopage-2maithripala-sirisena-on-gotabaya-and-othersmaithripala-sirisena-on-gotabaya

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Latest comments

  • 13
    1

    If MS was really serious about “protecting democracy and fulfilling his obligations to the people”, he should put his money where his mouth is and stop interfering with the judiciary and appointing guys like Bopage who was found guilty of “multiple charges of corruption by” COPE.

    Otherwise he will be known as a liar and a hypocrite because of his various actions that justify the tags.

    • 3
      0

      Gamaralahamy

      //”If MS was really serious about “protecting democracy and fulfilling his obligations to the people”,..//

      “The Attorney General in March this year advised necessary legal action against Bopage, but he was appointed to the powerful position of Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media two months later by President Maithripala Sirisena, despite corruption charges.”

      Use common sense and come to a common sense inference.

      “With the support of 6.2 million, the present Sri Lankan Government swept into power, winning both the presidential and general elections on the slogan of ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ – it was believed, to end, the ‘Bad Governance’ of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.”

      “The ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ election manifesto of ‘Ranil’ and ‘Maithri’ who led this unique rainbow coalition contained many promises – those which the public trusted and voted for, key amongst them:….”

      In a nutshell, what we have is the deception of the 6.2 million who voted for Good Governance.

      The President Sirisena, turned out to be a Turncoat*, Traitor**, Gona*** Mala-Perathaya**** Sirisena, who deceived those voters ands sold himself to the Rajapaksa and his cronies.

      Turncoat*: a person who deserts one party or cause in order to join an opposing one.
      synonyms: traitor, renegade, defector, deserter, betrayer; Judas, Benedict Arnold; fifth columnist

      Traitor** a person who betrays a friend, country, principle, etc.
      “they see me as a traitor, a sellout to the enemy”

      synonyms: betrayer, backstabber, double-crosser, renegade, fifth columnist; turncoat, defector, deserter; collaborator, informer, mole, snitch, double agent; Judas, Benedict Arnold, quisling; informalsnake in the grass, two-timer, rat, scab, fink
      “convicted traitors will be executed”

      Gona*** Colloquial Sinhala, a Whore, to the Rajapaksa and his cronies, for the stolen billions.

      Mala-Perathaya**** Somebody who eats off the dead, like Sirisena accepting Santghosams, largesse, from the Rajapaksa killers, on the Mala-Peretha smile.

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Maithripala-photo-via-his-Media-Director-.jpg

    • 1
      0

      This man has been criticised by former Athigaru yesterday loudly as he can.

      Anyways, Mahinda Jarapakshe, has louded, that this journalist had been their man prior to 08th Jan 2015.

      MR sounds to have been worried if Derana would have been controlled/tamed, showing them the way it should be – MR men would have been neglected by Media with the time. So long their media men would work in favour of them only, Rajaakshe manthra can live up.

      Hiru would have to stay as it is – since they have only been working for Rajaakshe agendas with their brother the convicted murder criminal being in jail – my MILION DOLLAR QUESTION these both senders brought Pictures of Jumper wearing former Army commander the war hero – but today, very same bring no pictures of their man – Duminda Silva wearing a jumper .. how come ?

      May be the current govt does not allow anyone to be insulted the way, former MEN did it. Just becaus Rajapakshe malicious men did it, we must follow them as relatiation.
      Latter is the standard that a civlized world woudl have to follow.

    • 2
      0

      But his speech contained a valid point:

      Dont you think so ? Why should they keep those Intelligence men of Army that long in remand ?

      Why the man who is highly susspected for the Thadjudeen Murder case is being kept in Remand even today ? It is more than 6 months now ?

      On th west, it is impossible to keep guys that long in remand wihtout completing investiations.

      Why former President Wife -first lady is not yet questioned regarding her vehicle mediation to varied abuses during the high days of Atigaru ?

      Why why why ? Yoshita Rajapakshe was not guilty sofar even if his direct involvment was proved while he was in lanken forces ? Why was that FORMER Army commander was jailed for 3 years for no good reasons but for a revenge, but today, the laws seesm to be biased in terms of Rajapakshe men ? Why why why ?

  • 3
    2

    On what basis can this guy conduct inquiries and call for explanation from a media institution for their news content?

    Is he a lawyer representing Sirisena wanting to file a defamation or libel case against Derana TV?

    The most the government could do when there is a misreporting of Sirisena’s speech is to issue a statement explaining what exactly he did say at that meeting and get the said media to give publicity to that statement. Any good media institution if it had really made a mistake will always come forward to issue an apology for the mistake and carry corrections.

    On the other hand if the said media institution had purposely wrongly reported to defame Sirisena or to bring discredit him , then action should be in the courts for defamation or libel?

    That is what a leader of democratic should do. Only tin pot dictators try conduct inquiries into misreporting and shut up the media institutions concerned.

    In Australia, the free media carries out all kinds of news items and reports about the Prime Minister. I have not heard of the Australian Prime Minister ordering his Ministry Secretary to conduct disciplinary inquiry against a media institution for misreporting.

    Is Sirisena trying to become a dictator by supressing the free media in Sri Lanka by ordering his Ministry secretary to institute inquiries against media institutions?

    • 2
      2

      Naga, welcome to governance Sri Lanka style. President, PM, Ministers et al – they talk through both ends of their physical anatomy or orifices. You can guess what comes out of it.

  • 1
    2

    Gamaralahamy:
    Couldn’t have been said better!

  • 5
    2

    I fail to understand what on earth is going on. The Ministry of Media may have a case if the contents of the President’s Speech and the Media release of the President’s Office differs with that of the broadcast. Even if it did differ is it going to revoke the license of Derana?

    Let us be sensible. Where is the provision of the media license issued to Derana or any other media institution binds the media institution to publish the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Even newspapers are not bound. If a defamous publication took place then the agrieved party must file civil action and the Ministry of Media has no place in the whole issue. It can step in if and only if LICENSE CONDITIONS ARE VIOLATED. Even in doing so is there a provision in the license stating the grounds for cancellation? In most media licenses that is not there.

    Don’t forget that Derana has performed quite a lot of CSR projects and is immensely popular. If the Media Ministry like a cheap thug cancels the license and if there is a massive public outcry and demonstrations what next? Ultimately like in the attack on disabled soldiers is the President going to say why was not I informed, (even telephoned to where ever I am)?

    It looks as if a senior bureaucrat in the Ministry apart from its controversial secretary, is trying to be too smart and is trying for another cancellation of the license to earn plaudits so that he may be considered for his next promotion, say an Additional Secretary trying to be the Secretary of a Ministry.

    If the Media Ministry has any sense it must first have the tools to act. Somebody who worked in the Ministry many years back told me that she submitted a proposal to convert the existing Press Council which a three quarter dead institution into a Media Council to encompass all forms of media, its commissioners appointed by the Constitutional Council with the right to issue licenses etc for the independent governance of the media sector. Obviously it fell on deaf years of the senior ministerial bureaucrats who want to play the fiddle.

  • 2
    2

    Is Sirisena trying to become a dictator by suppressing the free media in Sri Lanka by ordering his Ministry secretary to institute inquiries against media institutions?

    OK. A good question. Assume for the sake of it that he is not. Then look at Bopage’s track record. Looks like one of many crooks that invariably assisted the fall of former president. Here when Mr. Sirisena gets surrounded by the same mob, you can definitely expect the same kind of outcome. Tragic!

    President of Sri Lanka is not all that powerful as some suggests. Even before 19th amendment it seems like the case. No president was powerful enough to keep those around him under control.

  • 4
    1

    President Sirisena is beginning to act like a puppet in the hands of others who seem to be manipulating him.
    He was elected to that position not by the Armed forces or the biased media outlets like Derana, but because of the long suffering freedom loving people yearning for a breath of fresh air; By the campaign mounted by the civil society organisations. And most of all the enbloc vote of the minorities.
    Lest he forgets this, it will be curtains for him. There will never be a second term as this group of trusted voters will lose all faith in him.
    If his advisers around him have any brains, they will guide him to carry out all what he promised in his manifesto, such as cleaning up the corruption in the country and incarceration of all the fraudsters while achieving racial harmony.
    If he does these three, the rest will automatically fall in to place.
    The same 6.2 million will bring him back without fail.
    Buying new vehicles for his coterie of thieves or making deals with the fraudsters will not take him anywhere.

  • 2
    1

    Bopage is looking more like an egomaniac. His Minister Gayantha appeared on Derana requesting donations for the new project Derana launched under “Manusath Derana” to build a hospital for children. This is confusing.

    There is something seriously wrong with this government. Government is asking people to be patient while imposing tax on them and at the same time PM proposes salary hike for parliamentarians. This is complete lunacy.

    Ravi claims that IMF approved latest disbursement because they are happy with the concessions in the budget for the people.

  • 2
    5

    Derana is a media (including web site) strictly Rajapakse promoter. When ever they have Rajapakse news or JO news they do not allow comments in their website, they block. However, when its news regarding Yahapalana Govt they allow comments. Most of their news or interviews are strictly based on supporting Rajapakse clan and not balanced news or interview. What Bopage is doing is correct and an investigation has to be conducted. Free media is not promoting one group, free media is balanced information.

    • 3
      2

      Park agree with your comments. Derana is Pro Rajapaksa’s and they are hell bent in destroying the yahapalanaya government.

      • 3
        0

        Mudzon Silva, where had you been ? We missed your comments.

        Yes, Derana men are servile to Rajaakshes. So long these men do the job for MR, only they get millions from them. There can be hidden deals between them.

  • 0
    0

    I think bopage is trying to score positive points with Sirisena. That is the sri lankan system. Squeeze the balls and score points.

    Sri lankan politicians are living cheating, lieing, manipulation and exploitation of voters.

    So, news media is writing sensational stories by publishing only part of the story.

    Then the next question how do you decided who wrong is

    • 2
      0

      That the dimwits of your kind are compelled to feel.

      But Bopageis not country s president.

      Mr Sirisena has already commanded IGP and ministers to go vehement against anykind of racial inciters

  • 1
    1

    Why would Bope want to do that?.

    I know Batalanada Ranil hates that young dude who does bloody beautiful debates with the politikkas on Derana…

    The lastest one I watched was a classic,

    UNP Eren ,whom the Yahapalana suckers call a genius, was trying to read CB Report which that baiya Bandula was quoting from, to demolish the Yahapalana Budget figures.

    Is Bope trying to get browny points from Batalanada ?.

    Or is he trying to devalue Derana, so that Batalanada and Mallik can help their Bond scamming mates to buy it at a bargain basement price?.

  • 0
    0

    MS and RW are playing the bad cop and good cop game. This is done by both so all the blame stated in the above comments must also be directed at RW…oh and also CBK who is the unofficial leader of SL.

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