4 December, 2020

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The Post-Rajapaksa Bravery

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

The post-Rajapaksa bravery of some political commentators and my personal experience

I recently had, from an old friend in Australia, an email suggesting that I could begin writing quite freely to the media again because I had been tempting fate while the Rajapaksas were ruling the roost by writing critically of their government and that this threat was now behind us. The suggestion was that, ultimately, I had succumbed to pressure from my friends and family and gone silent and I should now take up cudgels again.

I found this quite interesting, not to say bemusing, in the context of what has really been the case for Sri Lankans with journalistic pretensions both before and after the removal (however temporary) of the Rajapaksa monstrosity from the body politic.

Many of those seemingly exhorting me to “again” begin writing to the mainline English language press, seemed totally unaware that newspapers in that category – with the exception of the Sunday Island, headed up by one of the few principled journalists in the country – had “shunned” me for the longest time for coming across as “anti-Rajapaksa” and, for that reason, likely to be a stain on their “national loyalty” escutcheon. Their need to demonstrate overall fealty to our Ultimate Leader while pretending at ethical objectivity in journalism was the name of the game. Long before I began a four-year association with the Sunday Leader, after the death of Lasantha Wickrematunge, and until Frederica Jansz was driven into exile, I had contributed columns on a regular basis to several English language newspapers. In fact, the first of these was Lakbimanews, then edited by the indescribable (more appropriate terms come to mind, but…) Rajpal Abeynayake. That association ended when he insisted on sending me a cheque made out to the pseudonym that I used for those columns which bore no resemblance to that carried by anyone in Sri Lanka, leave alone the first and last names to which I answered! Given the established character of Mr. Abeynayake, I think I need hardly suggest the motivation for this irrational behavior.

I used to write, at their invitation, a column with a rural slant to a part of the Sunday Times under the pseudonym “Haris Tumpane.” However, that contribution was “tapered off” and disappeared because I was told that advertising revenues were paramount and rural political commentary had to make way for it when circumstances so dictated. My take on this was somewhat different and borne out by the response I got when, after what I thought was a long enough time, I made inquiries about the column being reinstated. The answer was that I “couldn’t be touched with a barge pole!” To me this constituted proof, yet again, if proof be needed, of the Wijeya Newspapers self-censorship which I have always found more reprehensible than the pandering that obviously pro-government newspapers are guilty of. Why? Because jackals in sheep’s clothing are more destructive than the undisguised variety! Not far removed from all of this was the fact that, when I inquired about a quite-innocuous Letter to the Editor from me not being published in the Daily Mirror, I was told that I had to be out of my mind to believe that a paper in that group would publish ANYTHING critical of what the late S.L.Gunasekera had written in their pages! The reason? The late Mr. G was the newspaper’s lawyer! Journalistic ethics and independence, anyone?

As for the end of the road with the Sunday Leader, that’s a different story. While I had my differences with Frederica Jansz and a few telephone donnybrooks to go with them, I also found her to be absolutely honest. When Asanga Seneviratne’s participation in the Sunday Leader was imminent, I had a raised-voices discussion with Frederica on the subject. Suffice it to say that subsequent events proved her to have been trusting to the point of gross naivety and yours truly right in his assessment of who and what Asanga Seneviratne was and what he represented. The very week that Mr. S took over, my column was dropped with Mr. S responding to a query from, I believe, Colombo Telegraph, that it “wasn’t up to standard” or something to that effect, this coming from a man whose claim to fame in journalism (and literacy) was being the rugby coach of the Heir to the Throne! This was followed by a cockamamie story to Colombo Telegraph, about there being some kind of “mix up” that had resulted in my column being “missed.”

In any event, despite the sweetest of conversations with Frederica’s successor, I was “jacked around” and ultimately, with the Sunday Leader still owing me payment for several columns, I threw my hand in.

A footnote here would not be out of place. The grapevine had it that Tisaranee Gunasekara and I were going to be kept on for about six months after Frederica was turfed to create the illusion that the Sunday Leader was politically independent. Tisaranee wrote just one column before the absolutely unethical behavior of Frederica Jansz’s successor compelled her to stop writing for the Sunday Leader. What followed beggars description and would best be spoken to by TG. However, suffice it to say that it indicated how low the Sunday Leader and those now at its helm could stoop.

Let me make now make a couple of observations that should be only too obvious to anyone reading Colombo Telegraph.

The first is that simply removing the Rajapaksa Dictatorship from the equation will not restore media freedom as long as the likes of Wijeya Newspapers is allowed to play its sly and unprincipled games. The matter of media freedom and, through it, freedom of information for an entire nation needs to be examined more closely and, if necessary, a system, however complex, be put in place to ensure that this cornerstone of democracy is restored and maintained. Simply letting people write is hardly enough when, for the most unprincipled of reasons, what they have to say is dictated by the whims of those who consistently avoid what they perceive as “inconvenient truths.” I was fortunate in that I have never been a professional journalist dependent on my computer keyboard to feed my family. Professional journalists do not enjoy this luxury and thus can be pressured by “the media reality” to bend to the will of those who sign their pay cheques. Talking about “media freedom” in such a context is simply empty rhetoric until such time as law and regulations are put in place to ensure that freedom.

The next matter I’d like to address before closing is that of the blocking of websites by Internet Service Providers such as Sri Lanka Telecom and Dialog. Simply put, there needs to be swift punitive action taken against those individuals who carried out the patently illegal orders of the Rajapaksa Regime. It should be easy enough to find out who signed the memos which resulted in a blackout of dissenting voices, after which, they should be prosecuted and punished as the law provides, for this contravention of the basic democratic rights of every Sri Lankan to information. Nothing less will suffice and this needs to be done without delay.

From a situation where it was a declining number of the “old faithful” (inclusive of the Sycophants Brigade of Dayan Jayatilleka, Malinda Seneviratne, H.L.D. Mahindapala and Rajiva Wijesinha) that chose to write to Colombo Telegraph, its columns have suddenly blossomed in a veritable Sri Lankan spring of writers critical of the Rajapaksa Regime! One doesn’t have to be a Sri Lankan Sherlock Holmes to ascertain why there has been this sea change. It is now safe, or seemingly so, to write critically of the MaRa bunch and its monumental criminalities! All fine and good except that these people who have suddenly grown backbones are quite capable of having that essential part of their anatomies achieve a jelly-like consistency once again if faced with anything resembling threat and repression. Oh well, one should be thankful for small mercies, though it is certainly essential to bookmark events of this nature for future reference!

Hitherto, with the exception of a few males such as Kumar David, the ranks of the brave in Sri Lankan English-language journalism have been populated exclusively by those of the feminine gender. I would suggest that, if the Sirisena government ends up in opposition, there could well be a return to that status quo and Colombo Telegraph should prepare for that eventuality returning to haunt us once again because our “saviours” will, once again, disappear into the woodwork from which they emerged only when President Sirisena was elected!

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  • 24
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    Well said Emil, you basically took the words out of my mouth !

    The Daily Mirror is one of the main culprits of the masquerading that went on as the “free Press” ! Their reporting is terrible and biased and even a comment that was critical was never published.

    The Daily news never had any pretensions at all.

    I agree that the Island Editor tried his best but he too succumbed to pressure, more than once !

    Why not simply boycott all these papers and TV stations and Radio channels that did this to us ? Do it for long enough and they will be driven to close down !

    • 3
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 3
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 12
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      Don Quixote:
      I have tried for the longest time to try and convince my own circle that boycotts DO work, but to little avail!
      That said, I continue to persist in setting an example in that regard and to tell anyone who’ll listen that it is important not to give up!
      Incidentally, insofar as The Island is concerned my comments ONLY apply to the editor of the Sunday edition, not the daily one!

      • 7
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        Thank you, Emil.

        You call them as you see them.

      • 2
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        Emil,

        I have always thought that editorials of The Sunday Island have been more rational than the daily edition.

        What I couldn’t understand is that the Wijeya group was owned (not sure if it still is) by a Wijewardene, a close relative of Ranil Wickremesinghe and the father of UNP MP Ruwan Wijewardene. So were even UNP’ers afraid to criticize the Rajapaksas, or was it a business decision where they feared that anything critical of the regime would deprive them of lucrative government advertisements?

        There was a situation with The Hindu in India when they exposed the Bofors scandal in the early 1990’s, leading to a rift within the family controlling the paper because some feared loss of government advertisements. But what we saw in SL was not just a fear of excessive criticism, but an extreme case of sycophancy, a complete abdication of all journalistic integrity.

        • 0
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          I have heard that GR would call Ranjit Wijeyawardene and voice his displeasure abundantly at any article/news item he disliked. The govt owed the Wijaya group a lot of money for advertisements and Mr. Wijeyawardene was cautioned that he should not jeopardise the collection of those payments.

    • 3
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      Emil, though I am not a great fan of the tone of your articles posted on this website, I endorse your right to engage in such anti-Sinhala Buddhist rantings against the Sri Lankan establishment.

      I find your history of finding outlets prepared to carry such items has not been easy. I can see why.

      I am disturbed however, to read that you have accepted payment from at least one newspaper. That in my opinion would have compromised your opinion and made you a person with ‘vested interests’.

      I also read that you are a cousin of the beleagured Fredrica Jansz? That adds another angle to your line because you both come from the same ethnic minority. I fear that might explain her preparedness to carry your articles while no one else was prepared.

      All in all, I am not a great fan of reading the abuse you throw at other people and your apparent belief that you are holier than, and you know better than any one else. The reader will come to different conclusions after reading what you write!

      That is the reason why I will fight for your access to whatever media that is happy with your (lack of) style of writing.

      All the best.

      • 2
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        Agnos:
        I think a clue as to the editorial “line” of the Island group could lie in the fact that the head of the company who I understand married the widow of the Wijewardene who disappeared while piloting his private jet is the brother of a minister in the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, Welgama by name. Not a Rajapaksa but close enough to the throne to have as his lead journalist the man very famous for being most economical with the truth, Shamindra Ferdinando!
        Hope that explains The Island’s “slant.”
        I cannot but agree wholeheartedly with you when you say, “But what we saw in SL was not just a fear of excessive criticism, but an extreme case of sycophancy, a complete abdication of all journalistic integrity.”

      • 5
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        Sunshine:
        That you stereotype anyone but a xenophobe as “anti-Sinhala Buddhist” would provide any reader with a fair indication of where you are coming from.

        Even though I am not related to Frederica Jansz by blood or marriage, I find your suggestion that such a circumstance would have anything to do with journalistic integrity nothing short of contemptible, to say the least but then, someone could tell me, “Consider the source…” Suffice it to say, though, that your attempt at racial stereotyping is disgusting to say the least but is typical of the moronic thinking that has got Sri Lanka into the mess that it is in today.

        Thanks but no thanks to your offer of support. Yours is hardly the kind of character I would make common cause with!

        • 3
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          My dear Emil,

          Distraught to hear of your refusal of my offr to assist.

          But i understand an old jackal can’t change its hue though in a different jungle.

          By the way, signs are emerging that tou may have to tone down your vituperative attacks on the Rajapakse family in light of the following news item that appeared this afternoon:

          “The newly appointed Secretary of Defence, B.M.U.D. Basnayake, today confirmed that the account held with the Bank of Ceylon’s Thapprobane Branch, containing nearly Rs 8 billion, is not under the name of his predecessor and that it belongs to the Ministry of Defence.

          In a press conference yesterday (18), Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had claimed that a sum of Rs. 7,500 million was found in a bank account under the name of the former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and that the money has been transferred to the Treasury.

          However, Rajapaksa rejected the allegations leveled against him as “grossly misleading” and an attempt to discredit his reputation with “ulterior motive.” He stated that it is an Operational Account dedicated for the use of financing the construction of Army Headquarters building at Pelawatta.

          New Defence Secretary Basnayake confirmed these claims while also refuting Karunanayake’s allegation that it was used by the former Defence Secretary as a personal account.”

          Bugger! The new guy appointed under the yaha palanaya has spoilt the good party being planned by the swindler Kakunayake, while he is still out of jail.

          • 3
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            You were not my,
            Sun shine;

            It is very happy and a good news that Your Sinhala Buddhist Mahinda Rajapassa’s So called Brother,
            Panchseela Rakna,
            Sinhala Buddhist,
            Gothabaya Rajapassa deposited Money transferred from Central Bank to Safe keeping for the payments for MOD’s New building construction payments.
            as Those M O D money is not Safe at the Central Bank and Very far from Pelawattha.

            Do you know Who are the Contractors for the Army Headquarters building at Pelawattaon CIVIL, Mechanical, Electrical HVAC, Landscaping, IT Networking contracts,???????.
            And What criteria’s they have selected, when awarding and openings of the tender documents???.

            Why cant the CENTRAL bank Release Payment checks as Paying to EPF, ETF Ect..??. Because are they SOOOOO heavy????.

            ” an attempt to discredit his reputation with “ulterior motive.””
            Aney Yako!!!!!!

            What type of reputation Does this SHIT EATING PIG have????.

            We know that This Swiss Dog,
            sorry, the USA Passport holding, SRI LANKA’s Loving Patriot has a reputation for WHITE VANS and pilfering of People’s money on dilapidated War Machinarys.

            Does His Wife related to Mr BILL gates?.
            or Doing a Deputy Attorney job under OBAMA Administration,
            to have two Houses on her name in L A, USA.

            We, the People know, Who are the jackals and Hyenas Came with Sheep’s Clothings.

            BUT THOSE Malaccan Raja Passa URULEWAS Filthy Smell is Very difficult to Remove!!!!!!./

            “Because The Malaccan Jarpassas clan are Born Thieves and sycophants.”
            Do not Try to Show us, after White Washing those Urulewas.
            White VAN THEM !!!

          • 1
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            “I am not your sunshine:”
            You seem to have a singular inability, despite change of alias, to understand that there are some of us who are NOT attached to some political hind teat and, therefore, are not going to rush around justifying anything and everything some politician says.
            There are some of us who are not a part of the political (sub)-culture that you belong to where sycophancy to some two bit politician who pays our keep is the name of the game. Wake up, man, to the fact that the world is largely peopled with people of decency, not simply those who can be bought by some corrupt politician when he or she has the time to pay your stipend between dipping into the public purse.

      • 1
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        “…I also read that you are a cousin of the beleagured Fredrica Jansz? That adds another angle to your line because you both come from the same ethnic minority. I fear that might explain her preparedness to carry your articles while no one else was prepared…”

        Help! Help! Fredrica Jansz and Emil van der Poorten the Burgher Tigers with their NGO friends are about to destroy us Sinhalabuddhists(one word) and our 2500 years of history! We don’t like your style or Tone Mr. Van der Poorten. We don’t! But we Sinhalabuddhists (one word) are a fair minded bunch and we will “fight for your access to whatever media that is happy with your (lack of) style of writing”. We will Mr. Van der Poorten. Honest!

        • 0
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          for a person who prides himself as a Sinhalabuddhist… it is more like sinhala but leave the buddhism out.
          the venom and vairaya in the words of some (repeatnot all) those who call themselves sinhalabuddhists never cease to amaze me.
          Where is the maithriya, the compassion the Great Gautama spoke about.\
          It proves one point – religion in itself cannot override the hatred and hostility of the human heart.
          But Gautama did and modelled it. Remember he was Indian. we can learn some leasons from reading his teachings more regularly.

        • 0
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          TinKgiri;

          “about to destroy us Sinhalabuddhists(one word) and our 2500 years of history!”.
          First, Take to your memory!.

          I ,[ The “HON JULAMPITIYE AMARAYA”] am a Buddhist Sinhalese.

          SO CALLED “SinhalaBuddhists”;??????????????????.

          Mr S W R D Bandaranayke Was A SinhalaBuddhist.
          Mrs Sirima Bandarnyeka Was A Sinhalabuddhists.
          Somaarma Bihikku Was A SinhalaBuddhist.
          Rohan Wijeweera Was A SinhalaBuddhist.
          J R Jayawardhana Was A SinhalaBuddhist.
          Cyril Mathew Is a Great SinhalaBuddhist.
          Chandrika B, Kumaranthunga is SinhalaBuddhist.
          Mervin Silawa Is a Sinhala Buddhist.
          Udaya Gamanpila Also a So called great Sinhala Buddhist.

          Mahenindra Jarapassa Is A SinhalaBuddhist.[ Mallaccan descendants of Muslims/Christians].
          Nandrasena gotaabaya Jarapassa Is a American Patriotic, SinhalaBuddhist of Mallaccan descendants of Muslims/Christians].
          Baacil Jarpassa Is a American Patriotic ,SinhalaBuddhist of Mallaccan descendants of Muslims/Christians].

          GalabodaAththe Gandassara is Also a So called Sinhala Buddhist.
          Pistol Eraj Fernando Also a So called Sinhala Buddhist.
          HLD MahindaPaala Also a So called Sinhala Buddhist.

          So please tell me, At least,” Who or How many of them Are caring and observing First 5 Precept of SinhalaBuddhism?????”.

          And What about Lord Gauthama Buddha Preached INDIAN Buddhism { two wards] and are you going to Preach Galbodaaththe Gandaasaara Buddhism to the world.
          How about Buddhist Dalit Indians, BuddhistsTamilans, Buddhist Chinese, Buddhist Afghans, Buddhist Central Asians and Buddhist Russians.
          So you all are going to terminate them to safe guard your Sinhala Buddhism.

          Are YOU AND YOUR JARAPASSAs WITH Bulshit Balakaya going to Propagate SinhalaBudhism or TinkiriBuddhism all over the World?????????????????.

          Do not Insult to a Great Philosophy preached By a Great human Being, Do not Insult to Lord Buddha !.

          You better Get in to a WHITEVAN voluntarily and Go, die with them with out giving any Sins to others.

    • 5
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      Emil van der Poorten –

      RE: The post-Rajapaksa Bravery

      Emil, thanks for the write-up. Good take home lessons.

      “The first is that simply removing the Rajapaksa Dictatorship from the equation will not restore media freedom as long as the likes of Wijeya Newspapers is allowed to play its sly and unprincipled games. “

      The regime and Wijeya Newspapers self-censorship is all about self-preservation and self-interest.

      Writing in English Newspapers are fine for those who do not read Sinhala and Tamil, who constitute only about 10% of the voters. The balance 90% read Sinhala and Tamil, or listen to Sinhala and Tamil. Information for them was controlled by the regime and Wijeya Newspapers self-censorship.

      So, the big question is, how do you communicate and inform the 90% pf the voters who read in Sinhala and Tamil?

      Common Sense Phamplet Sri Lanka in Sinhala /Tamil. Keep it below 50 pages, simple everyday language, and get the message and pint across, just like in a cartoon.
      It could be in the style of chapters of “Gam Peraliya” or “Madol Duwa”

      “Hitherto, with the exception of a few males such as Kumar David, the ranks of the brave in Sri Lankan English-language journalism have been populated exclusively by those of the feminine gender.”

      Common Sense Pamphlet by Thomas Paine.

      Can one of them step up? Sri Lankan “Thomas Paine” or “Thomi-Anna Paine”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_%28pamphlet%29

      Unfortunately, getting Sri Lankan writers to write the Common Sense Phamplet Sri Lanka, was like herding Cattle(Harak). They make strange noises, Baeee, Baeee and Baeee , only Cattle(Harak) seem to understand.

    • 3
      1

      How do Don Kihote, Emil Pooton and others chirping about “yaha palanaya” explain the UNP thuggery of the rascal called Palitha Thewarapperuma of Matugama.

      Thia thug made Pradeshiya Sabha member Murugan Pushpakumar kneel in public as a punishment and assualted this poor guy.

      Thewarapperuma’s behavior was in stark contrast to the principles of good governance upon which the present government was formed only one and a half weeks ago.

      UPFA Parliamentarian Mahinda Samarasinghe has lodged a complaint with the Police over the incident, but no action has een taken to arrest this roaming thug.

      It is now clear that police are treating Thewarappruma, who is now a Parliamentarian of the ruling party, with velvet gloves.

      Yaha palanaya, my left buttock!

  • 1
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 7
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      Bullshit Caller, Galagedara Chandiya & Concerned

      Brilliant comments, very educational.

      How did you manage to come up with exactly the same message at approximately the same time?

      Did you communicate with each other by telepathy before typing your comments here in this forum?

      • 0
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        It’s formulated by Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, in which lately Sathya Sai Baba sodomized it into a cult of his own.

  • 4
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    You said it, Emil!

    Hats off to you and others who had the guts and good sense to air your views, up-front and without fear (unlike a lot of us!). Yes, let’s hope for an administration who will govern with consideration and justice to all, regardless of their ethnicity or religious beliefs.

  • 2
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    pooty

    you are a joke . why any body would pay for the drivel you write is beyond me .

    Cheers

    Abhaya

    • 6
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      bla, bla, blAbhaya

      “you are a joke.”

      Then laugh, why do you complain?

      “why any body would pay for the drivel you write is beyond me .”

      Every sensible piece of writing is beyond you. It is because you have been sitting on your brain since your birth.

      We will help you if we could however it is impossible.

      Now that Basil is in USA you should have got back your old job, b***s carrier.

      Wish you well.

      • 1
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        NV@,
        Abhaya -was not to be foudn all these weeks. He has no balls to come forward and heart out – these kind of men are irreparably sick. No matter what position they bear being out of the island nation. Basila and the goons may be next door men and women of Abhaya for sure.

      • 1
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        Sensible . ha ha what a joke . Did you get your brain examined ? I think your issue is urgent please do it for the good of the community .

        Cheers

        Abhaya

  • 2
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    Emil, I am glad you survived.

    I agree, we must not for a moment lose sight of the fact that Sirisena can also follow or surreptitiously made to follow the path that MARA took. No guarentee that he will stick to his promises as almost all leaders prior to him made a meal of governing Sri Lanka. To make matters worse he is surrounded by people such as Chandrika, Ranil and even Hakeem, people with a chequered past and questionable integrity.

    As for the masses we Sri Lankans like in Syamon’s recent article in CT are still medieval in outlook. Our mentality is still propelled by Mahanama myths, seth pirith, soothsayers, astrologers and unadulterated racist attitudes and as such getting us to see the light of true democracy is almost a lost cause. We can all be led by our nose smiling all the way to the gallows.

    Anyway keep up the brave work. Sooner rather than later the rot will set in.

  • 0
    7

    Mr Poorten got shafted by the Sunday Leader … Right..

    So much for the Christian values and mate-ship.

    But calling the English Journos in Lanka, sissies is a bit harsh .

    And politically incorrect in this day and age.

    I mean the old mates of Poorten have done a yeoman service to feed the chooks in the Elite, Anglican and Vellala coupe and convince them to join with the ex and pro LTTErs, JVP, SLMC and even the Maha Sanga of the JHU, to roll Rajapaksa and get the UNP through the back door.

    And made Ranil and his Buddy Mangala, PM and FM respectively.

    I mean this is a record in our SL parliamentary history ,where we have a PM who never got even a ballot paper printed let alone contest.

    Now that the Elite , Anglicans and the Vellalas are in power, Poorten perhaps should join Samrasekara on CT, to look after the interests of the Dalits, including his loyal Durian pickers.

    This is certainly the hour of need, watching that poor Murugan getting bashed in Agalawatta, by the Elite , Anglican and Vellala rep,the UNP MP Mr Thevarapperuma.

    And poor Murugan was on his knees. in the middle of the main drag……

    • 4
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      K.A Sumanasekera

      Are you a practicing/card carrying racist?

      Is brave heart Gota hiding behind women folks?

    • 1
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      It is called democracy Sumanasekera. The people were fed up with the racist divisive politics of your friends and voted them out. So try to live with that fact. If the new govt has TNA, JVP, Anglicans, Buddhist monks so much the better. They will hopefully represent all of them in a united government.

    • 0
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      K.A. Sumaney aka “The man of a thousand aliases:”
      Would really appreciate a translation so we might understand at least 1% of what you have to say! That way we could laugh even louder at the fate of vermin like you who are probably now detached from the Rajapaksa hind teat!

      • 1
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        Pootey

        you self important nitwit , you think just a single person who reads this forum finds you a joke and are using different aliases . That is another sign of your megalomania . you need to good psychiatrist . See one before too long .

        Cheers

        Abhaya

  • 2
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    Emil

    Could you please inform the rest of us the present ownership structures of Sri Lankan media or can CT provide it for our collective education. It would be easier to understand what the hell is happening even after the election if we knew who owned what.

    • 5
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      I might be able to help you here:
      1. Lake House is state owned (Daily News, Sunday Observer, Dinamina, Silumina)
      2. The old Times is now Wijeya newspapers owned by Ranjit Wijewardene (Ranil W’s uncle, managed by the new Defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene. They publish the Daily Mirror, Sunday Times, Lankadeepa and lots of other Sinhala and Tamil publications.
      3. Lakbima (Sinhala) – owned by Thilanga Sumathipala
      4. Upali newspapers currently mannaged by Nimal Welgama publishes The Island, Sunday Island and Divaina.
      There are other minor newspaers like Ravaya who have a small, already converted audience.

      %, Don’t forget the TV and electronic media, with Sirasa owned by Maharajas, Swarnawahini owned by Edirisinghes and Derana by Sarath Amunugama’s daughter.

      The problem is media ownership is highly concentrated and they are basically owned by the families with political involvement. They express, thes views and concerns of those families only. The jurnalists play ball and those who protest can operate websites, like this one.

      • 1
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        Hiru TV and Radio – Duminda’s broher

        TNL TV and Radio – Ranil’s brother

        Today, Mawbima _ Wheel dealer Tiran Alles

        Sunday Leader – Asanga S – Namal’s rugby coach

  • 3
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    The truth is that none of the print media or electronic (tv) media is making money. The only profitable medium is radio due to low operating costs.

    Hence to survive as a tv or print media institution you need the support of the govt at tht time for advertisements.

    Hence it is impossible to run a media institution without govt backing and hence the need to compromise. A good example is Wijeya group.

    Sunday Leader without Rajapakse financing will be up for sale shortly unless Asanga jumps and support Sirisena. It is the same story with Derana and Swarnavahini. Sirasa and TNL struggled for two decades and should be ok for the moment.

  • 2
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    Great. Emile you are another of a rare breed who inspite of various obstacles stood tall.
    Other journalists please note.
    Ethics and journalistic discipline is more important than being lapdogs.

  • 3
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    Emil van der Poorten

    The post-Rajapaksa bravery of some political commentators and my personal experience

    *** Before I comment on your Article I like to say that I am elated with the news coming out from Mother Lanka. The Right Honourable Mr.Wickramsingha”s announcement in the Parlaiment that the New Government under the stewartship of the Right Honourable Mr.Maithripala Srisena will devolve power to Tamils under a Federal Arrangement is music to our ears one we have been waiting for 64 long years. It looks like finally we can be in charge of our destiny under a unitary State if we can contain the the majority who voted for MR.
    It is a new DAWN and RECONCILIATION can begin in earnest but accountability has to be addressed as a deterrent to future despots.

    As for your writing talents it is not in doubt. You might not scale the heights of Lasantha who is a hard act to follow but you are not far behind. So use it to heal the wounds inflicted by MR and his cronies.

    I know you hail from Kandy and I have a connection to Aniwatta and every time I come to Sri Lanka I visit Aniwatta and I am not sure if it is your natural Habitat. Hopefully we can meet when I visit Mother Lanka next.

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