Serious questions have been raised in Sweden’s Foreign ministry, after a Swedish media organisation raised the story of Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala’s unethical role as a director of Dialog Axiata PLC, a Sri Lankan digital communications provider which is illegally blocking access to a number of major news websites, the Colombo Telegraph has learnt.
Dhanapala serves on the board of the Swedish Peace Research Institute, (SIPRI) which receives its core funding from the Swedish Government. When contacted for comment by the media organisation “Sydasien“, director of SPRI, had replied through his communications director, to say, “Jayantha Dhanapala is a former Assistant Director-General for Disarmament in the UN and the current president of Pugwash Conferences. SIPRI relies fully on the Swedish government’s decision regarding the appointment of members of the Board”
Nevertheless, the matter continues to be pursued by the Swedish Foreign Ministry.
Under the headline “SIPRI director involved in the strangulation of the Internet in Sri Lanka” Sydasien wrote; “Freedom on the web is a primary concern for Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Bildt. Foreign Ministry holds high the banner and propagate internationally for online freedom. The government stresses freedom online as a cornerstone of democratic development. It is Foreign Ministry who appoints board members to SIPRI .The Vice President of SIPRI, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, now identified as involved in the process known as ‘internet enemies’ can be seen as embarrassing to the organization’s credibility.” ( Translated from Swedish to English using google)
A number of Sri Lankan intellectuals have spoken out about the ethical incongruity of Dhanapala’s role on the board of Dialog while being a key member of Friday Forum a vocal, high profile Sri Lankan civil society lobby group.
‘Dhanapala Must Choose’ Says Saravanamuttu
Picture Evidence: After Dhanapala Addressed BASL Meeting Dialog Blocked Colombo Telegraph Again
Unlawful Restrictions On Media By State Or Private Actors Is A Matter Of Serious Public Concern And Must Be Questioned – Bishop Chickera And Prof. Savitri
Dialog Unblocked Colombo Telegraph For Dhanapala To Address A Public Meeting
Jayantha Dhanapala Is A Liar; Caught Lying Over Silence On Colombo Telegraph Blocking
Jayaratne Says Dhanapala Will Stand By Best Practices, Dhanapala Pussyfoots On Illegal Web Blocking
International Press Institute Urges UN To Ensure Interference With Colombo Telegraph Ends
Colombo Telegraph Has Every Right To Raise Dhanapala’s Conflict Of Interest; Friday Forum Member Speaks Out
Article 19 Slams Ban On Colombo Telegraph Website
Dialog Board Director And Friday Forum Member Jayantha Dhanapala Fails To Stop CT Blockade On Dialog Network
Dhanapala May Be Influenced By Large Payment He Receives From Dialog – Professor Kumar David
‘Dhanapala’s Position Ethically Untenable’ Says Dr. Pradeep Jeganathan
Sara Says ‘Dhanapala – WebBlocking’ Issue Needs To Be Resolved Within The Framework Of Good Governance
Subtle Business Interests More Damaging Than Anti–Democratic Regime: Dhanapala Should Answer Conflict Of Interest Questions – Dr. Nirmal Ranjith
Sri Lanka Blocks Websites And The President Lies On Twitter
Once Again Colombo Telegraph Blocked; Dialog And Etisalat Tamper DNS Responses
TRC Blocks Colombo Telegraph, Warns Service Providers To Maintain It’s A ‘Technical Glitch’
Colombo Telegraph Blocked, How To Reach Us Now: Sri Lanka Telecom And Mobitel Joins The DPI Club!
Sri Lankan Govt. Periodically Blocked Colombo Telegraph In 2013: US Human Rights Report
History of Colombo Telegraph blocking
First -December 26, 2011 – We are blocked but we will not be stopped
Second – May 8, 2012 – Colombo Telegraph Blocked Again
Third – March 29, 2013 – Sri Lanka Blocks Colombo Telegraph and Selected Tweets: Colombo Telegraph Unblocked
Fourth – August 23, 2013 – Colombo Telegraph Blocked, How To Reach Us Now: Sri Lanka Telecom And Mobitel Joins The DPI Club!
October 26, 2012 – Colombo Telegraph Was Hacked
August 9, 2012 ColomboTelegraph Password Cracking Attempt Blocked
Freedom House Report: Freedom On The Net 2012, Sri Lanka Is A Country At Risk
Amarasiri / April 11, 2014
Mr. Jayantha Dhanapals,
“Serious questions have been raised in Sweden’s Foreign ministry, after a Swedish media organisation raised the story of Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala’s unethical role as a director of Dialog Axiata PLC, a Sri Lankan digital communications provider which is illegally blocking access to a number of major news websites, the Colombo Telegraph has learnt.”
If you want to play the game, you need to play it in the open, just the like the Sri Lanka cricket team, not like the Sri Lanka corrupt and unethical politicians.
The Swedes have high ethical standards. They give out the Nobel Prizes recognize globally.
Mr. Dhanapala, do the right things. You will be remembered for that.
Ben Hurling / April 11, 2014
It is great Dr. Dhanapala is under the microscope right now about this embarrassing issue. I still hope Dhanapala will rise to the occassion and do the right thing on behalf of millions of Sri Lankans.
However, I would take the position of Carl Bildt or current Swedish regime which is deeply pro American with a pinch of salt.
SIPRI is a tool of Swedish Foreign Policy. Typical for most so called “respected” Western Think Tanks. That produce cusotmer-tailored reports to any flash points around the globe. Promoting their sponsors’ policies.
Sri Lanka has been at the receiving end of this kind of groups “research” for more than 30 years. And counting.
Both PM Sweden and Carl Bildt are US stooges. Sweden played the key role by indicting Julian Assange and disrupting Wikileaks. It is now almost disfuntional. No funding either.
Against this backdrop, Sweden’s official position “Freedom on the web is a primary concern for Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Bildt. Foreign Ministry holds high the banner and propagate internationally for online freedom. The government stresses freedom online as a cornerstone of democratic development” does smell like stinking BS.
Anpu / April 11, 2014
The discussion is mainly about Dr. Dhanapala NOT USA or Sweden. It is not about USA or stooges. USA is ok to get all the support to fight the war and kill innocent thousands of civilians!!!!!!!!!!!
Dodo / April 11, 2014
JD should be booted out of Pugwash as well.
In any case Pugwash is a joke – and organization for geriatric gentlemen to feel that they are young studs!
Ben Hurling / April 12, 2014
For the record Pugwash won/given Nobel Peace Prize not so long ago.
Ben Hurling / April 12, 2014
Agree. Dhanapala’s deafening silence on this matter is a tacit approval of Gota & Gang’s illegality.
Dhanapala is also the issue. And time is running out to rescue his public image.
Looks like Dhanapala does not care. More into collecting millions from the Dialog Board.
However, do not be blind to what these saviours of free speech from Sweden have done when it matters to them or their allies. Sweden along with UK & USA played the most imporant role in locking up Julian Assaange in London. Which effectively destroyed Wikileaks.
Exactly the same kind of attack Gota launches on press freedom. Just a bit more secretaive and high-tech.
Anpu / April 12, 2014
Tx Ben. Point taken.
Robert.R / April 11, 2014
For you everything seems to smell of something LOL
Ben Hurling / April 11, 2014
SL is now in a helpless situation due to a manipulating, brutal, undemocratic family lead, lawless, corrupt mob rule.
Nobdoy knows how long the this dictatorship will last. SL as a country will be severely damaged by the time The Clan decides to pack and run.
Therefore support from Sweden, SIPRI or Carl Bildt are welcome. We need all the help we can get.
However, do not be mislead by the dubious nature of our well wishers. It is important not to be gullible. Despite our desperation.
It is our stupidity at desperate times that has landed our beautiful country in the hands of “Political Blood Suckers”. Again again.
I rest my case! Cheers!
Robert.R / April 11, 2014
I suggest you read Anpu’s reply.
The question here is Danapala’s actions. Whether SIPRI is good or bad is another matter. Danapala needs to quit the friday forum and also SIPRI, his actions are against the laid down principles of both groups (whether the said groups follow what they preach is another matter).
once again, the question is Danapala’s actions that are in question.
Dev / April 11, 2014
Thanks CT for the continued coverage.
This guy’s behavior has brought down the Friday Forum and now SIPRI !!!!
Nimal / April 11, 2014
Here is a list of some of the Friday Forum members (who made submissions to the LLRC). They should be asked to expalin what is their position on Dhanapala’s duplicity.
Most Rev. Bishop Duleep de Chickera
Professor Arjuna Aluwihare
Dr. A. C. Visvalingam
Dr. Deepika Udagama
Dr. Selvy Thiruchandran
Dr. Camena Gunaratne
Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne
Dr. Anura Ekanayake
Dr. Nimal Sandaratne
Prashan de Visser
Professor Gananath Obeysekera
Professor Ranjini Obeysekera
Suresh de Mel
J. C. Weliamuna
Pena Kiyanna / April 11, 2014
Looking at this list of names, the only decent one looks like Dhanapala!
Native Vedda / April 11, 2014
“Looking at this list of names, the only decent one looks like Dhanapala!”
Whats wrong with others?
Ben Hurling / April 12, 2014
There might be something wrong with “Pena Kiyanna”.
Thondamannar / April 11, 2014
Sweden making a hue & cry as Sri Lanka spooked the swedish foreign minister who was to accompany David Mili-Banda and French FM Kouchnere.
Jayantha Dhanapala happened to be on the Board of Dialog as well as on the board of the swedish Peace research institute.
JD has nothing to do pertaining to the operations of dialog.
However, JD has everything to do when SIPRI prepares Customer Tailored reports.
With Dialog, probably collects returns for his investments.
With SIPRI Dhanapala sings for his supper in keeping to the melody of his pay masters.
Dhanapalas, Fernandos, are all puppets having succumbed to Western Conductors. Add to the list are JCW, PS, JP, NF…………promoting a hidden agenda against SL.
Palmsquirrel / April 12, 2014
” With Dialog, probably collects returns for his investments. With SIPRI Dhanapala sings for his supper in keeping to the melody of his pay masters.”
I see, Dialog money = investment but SIPRI money/benefits = singing for supper. So why isn’t Dialog money = singing for his supper. Don’t answer as it is a rhetorical question meant to highlight your bias.
Palayang yako! / April 12, 2014
I will bet that not one single person among those you’ve named will respond to your very logical request.
Why? Because they are a bunch of posturing humbugs who will NEVER put themselves at the slightest risk for the current Sri Lankan dictatorship!
Razeek / April 13, 2014
Most people in the list of Friday Forum will not dare antagonise the government authorities even after knowing they violate democracy. It looks like names who belong to a Colombo7 club.
Hunt with hound and run with the hare is the true statement that reflects their attitude.
BBS Rep / April 15, 2014
Dhanapalas’ unethical behaviour in blocking websites such as CT which are critical of the GOSL is really is the action of a mortal man. Sri Lanka is a country where you have to tow the Rajapaksa Mafia line. If not it is not a matter of ‘if’ but when the sledgehammer will come down on your head. Sri Lanka is a very dangerous place to be if you do not kowtow to the GSOL. Dhanapala’s behaviour is the cave man instinct that we all have- survival at any cost.