4 December, 2020

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The Abuse And Pathetic State Of The State Media

By Nimal Bhareti

Nimal Bhareti

Nimal Bhareti

I stopped buying the State newspapers Daily News and Sunday Observer several years ago. The reason is simple. It only contains Government. propaganda and is full of lies, half truths, and slander. Both these newspapers which maintained very high standards under private management during the regime of D.R. Wijewardena have now become gutter newspapers blowing the trumpet of the Government and attacking and even slandering those who oppose government views. The only sections worth reading are the feature pages. I now buy only the Daily Mirror and read the other papers online. Though the Island circulation is small, it is by far the best with articles of high quality. I read the Daily News only for feature articles and obituary notices. I never watch Rupavahini and ITN news which also contain only Govt. propaganda and lies. I also access through a proxy site the banned website ColomboTelegraph which contains articles of varied and very open views.

During the Presidential elections both the state newspapers and TV came down to its lowest level with massive propaganda for MR where they made attacks on the opposition candidate in a very vicious way and uttered blatant and distorted lies.and slander of the worst type. It reached such low depths that it was disgusting and revolting to watch the news even by accident. Both channels gave full prominence to the Government propaganda and full coverage to what looked like huge crowds at election meetings addressed by MR when everyone was aware that these crowds were not from the respective areas but imported from all parts of the island in hundreds of buses obviously fully gratis. We are sad and disappointed that the Elections Commissioner did not use his authority to stop this completely biased reporting by State TV.

Rajapaksa and Media Minister Rambukwella

Rajapaksa and Media Minister Rambukwella

I quote a few examples where the news was fully distorted without an iota of truth. The document shown by the former UNP Secretary Tissa Attanayake of a so called secret pact between Ranil and Mairipala, which was given prominence. It was strongly denied by both Ranil and Maithripala who maintained that it is is a forged document. Mention was also made of non-existent secret pacts between the UNP and TNA and Maithri and JHU which were all blatant lies. Gutter speakers like Wimal Weerawansa, Johnston and Rohitha spoke at press conferences on matters such as the defection of Hakeem and the Muslim Congress, pumping of huge funds by the Tamil diaspora, and other blatant lies all of which were shamelessly given prominence by these two TV channels. While prominence was given in both the press and TV to the few crossovers to the UPFA, no mention was made at all about those who pledged their support to Maithripala which totalled much more than the crossovers to the other side. This is the disgraceful behaviour of the State media during the entire election campaign. Even the so called talk shows in both channels unlike those in other TV channels are completely one sided and only intended to boost the Government

A word about the editor of the Daily News Rajpal Abeynayake which is in no way intended to be personal to him. Rajpal in his editorials uses gutter language sometimes bordering on vulgarity to attack others. This gutter language he uses also in a morning daily one hour radio show on SLBC called “People’s Power “which is disgusting to listen to, is full of lies, and personal attacks on individuals. It is absolute rubbish and only uses prime time of SLBC when many are driving while listening to music. Recently he called MP Bathiudeen who crossed over a pig. When Bathiudeen protested he apologised to pigs for comparing them with the MP. This is the type of newspaper editor Rajpal is.

So if any newspaper readers still foolishly buy the Daily News and Sunday Observer I request them stop buying it, boycott it completely, and switch to another more decent and unbiased newspaper. They can certainly read them online. If you’re watching Rupavahini or ITN news you’re wasting your time. Switch to any other news channel.

*The writer, a retired SLAS officer, is former Director General National Budget in the General Treasury

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Latest comments

  • 4
    0

    The journalists who edit these papers are worse than pimps and prostitutes. Don’t they have a more decent way of making a living?

    Sengodan. M

    • 3
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      Look at the picture – that says everything the nature of MR.

      That worth thousand words. This man is FAKE NUMBER 1. Genetists have to screen his genome to get it finally:

  • 4
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    It is a shame for SriLankans to see the behaviour of state media which functions like media network of UPFA only. Both Rupavahini, and ITN during the past few days just repeat same old songs of UPFA campaign whilst the lake house publicatiins equally compete with them. In fact, this kind of campaign or misuse of the resources would have done more damage to MR’s campaign as most of the public switch off or change to other channels as they are fed up of seeing an onesided repeatitions.

  • 4
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    The legendary D R Wijewardena must be turning in his grave seeing the sorry state of affairs of his legacy.

    Nimal Bhareti has written a timely protest, and one that I, and many others who remember those long gone better times at Lake House, will readily second.

    As for Rajpal Abeynayake, I have no compunction in declaring him a disgrace to the noble calling of journalism. He is a foul-mouthed and vituperative person, and shouldn’t be trusted with a small town rag leave alone publications that at one time enjoyed the highest respect in our land and beyond.

  • 4
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    Not only the Lake House Papers the standard of journalism displayed in other so called neutral unbiased journals is also generally pathetic to say the least.

    The media has been politicised and would do anything to please the ruling party. People are also scared to write. Some people take the opportunity to write things that pleases the government and secure their careers.

    Divayina and Rivira at times is blatantly racist. Island, Nation and the Times do not want to rock the boat too much in case they tread the toes of the politicians. A lot

    Papers like Daily News, Observer and Silumina, for years were the mouthpiece of the government. One must be insane to take these papers seriously (on current or political affairs).
    The damage the so called unbiased papers can do is even more great as they are expected to be neutral.
    Media has gone to dogs (or may I say pigs) in Sri Lanka

    MJA

  • 5
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    I hope that someone will take Rajpal Abeynayake to (a real) court for each and every single garbage lie he wrote. This guy should be jailed for many many years.

    • 1
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      Can I be jailed with him please.
      I’m turned on by him after being with this old [Edited out] for a few years now!

  • 4
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    Regardless of which party comes to power its a governing party newspaper,even ITN and Rupavahini is the same ……its a shame when it’s funded by the tax payers

  • 1
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    Sir, this is a very well know fact to all of us, but why you wait till so long to come out with this very necessary complaint before. Such complaints may have already gone to the EC but we all know that his hands are also tied to a very greagt extent. I guess all those who have been maligned and slandered by the State print and electronic media, RA and others speakers will be dealt by the victims in the proper way. Poor Sri Lanka.

  • 2
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    I never watch North Korean style state media Let it be Rupavahini, ITN or infamous Carton TV. So who cares what they shout!!!
    Let alone the dogs to bark!!!

  • 2
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    You are absolutely right Mr.Barethi- numbers of buyers of local newpapers have gone down as no times in the past to this day.

    THis ALL RECORD HIGH BY BEING HIGH CRIMINALS- THE govt made it clear that they are powerful in all unethical manners rather than being moral. No any govt in power sofar had abused local presse to the manner incumbent has been. While doing so -he attacks the opposition with no arguments but by force. Alone the so called alleged pacts might have signed by opposption have no basis but to twist the mind sets of the rural folks who are only emotional at voting for any election.

  • 1
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    I believe some microogarnisms can live in the heat of over 150 celcius- in the same manner Rajapakshes are resistent to any kind of attacks. That is how they have been brought up by born rascals. Even if he would perhaps win the election – not many days people will tolerate his governance.

  • 2
    0

    Mr Bhareti

    Should you close your eyes completely to what is purveyed by government channels, especially during an election campaign?

    Incidentally, on Sunday night I thought of checking out government propaganda on the TV. At 10 pm on Channel Eye, Dayan was in full flow lecturing Medical Officers (a captive audience?). He held them, rather less than spellbound, judging from the bored looks on most faces, for as long as 40 minutes, delving into the medical origins of words like “body politic” — basically exhorting them to vote for the President. The same programme was repeated yesterday. At first I thought he was addressing them a hospital somewhere. Few of them had seats, most were standing around, looking bored or at the most disinterested, probably irritated at having been herded into a room from which they could not escape, and told to do what many of them might very well likely do anyway — but perhaps the very encounter may well dispose them to vote against Dayan’s candidate simply out of irritation at being told what to do. At the end of the lecture (imagine standing throughout it) the President appeared, looking bright and cheerful in a stunning red shirt and went around t shake hands. Dayan was beaming all over his face — a job well don!

    Now the Opposition Candidates certainly cant come up with something like that. Not only can they not herd professionals in a room for a long lecture, but they also, probably, cdnt afford the television time at the President’s free disposal. Impossible to talk of a free and fair election. From the word go that is not the case.

  • 1
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    Coming from a family of credible and respected journalists, Nimal with his lucid and candid style needs to be taken seriously. Besides the obituary notices the only other thing that is often authentic are the dates. Bensen

  • 0
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    Daily News is a conspiracy between Bandula Jayasekara and Rajpal Abeynayake

  • 0
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    From my school days years back I have noted that the first thing most of the people glance in Daily News & Sunday Observer is the Obituary Columns. Even now people prefer to insert the death notification in the family in these Newspapers. It brings to mind the Obituary Notice of “DEMO-CRACY” in the seventies. Nowadays the only truth in these Newspapers are the Obituary Notice and all the others are lies.

  • 0
    0

    ‘Nowadays the only truth in these Newspapers are the Obituary Notice and all the others are lies.’

    Even the obituaries are lies. As you can see ‘reports of my death are greatly exaggerated’.

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