30 May, 2024


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

“We appreciate the work of Colombo Telegraph in raising important issues of public interest. Freedom of speech expression and the connected right to information are important for all citizens of this country, and the current interruption of news through Colombo Telegraph is a violation of our rights. Unlawful restrictions on the media by the State or private actors is a matter of serious public concern and must be questioned.” two prominent members of the Friday Forum said today.

Prof. Savitri Goonesekere

Prof. Savitri Goonesekere

Bishop Duleep de Chickera

Bishop Duleep de Chickera

Responding to a quarry by Colombo Telegraph Prof. Savitri Goonesekere and Bishop Duleep de Chickera, made above remarks today. We asked individual opinion form selected members of the Friday Forum on the serious conflict of interest arising from Jayantha Dhanapala‘s roles as a non-executive director of Dialog and as a member of the Friday Forum. So far we have only heard from  JC Weliamuna, Prof. Savitri Goonesekere and Bishop Duleep de Chickera.

Ten days ago we wrote to them seeking their individual opinion; “As a member of the Friday Forum, and associated with its public statements that are often issued under the signature of Mr. Dhanapala, we would like to know what your personal view is of this serious conflict of interest. We think it is of fundamental public concern, and critical to the credibility of civil society voices both individual and collective, that your views are made known.”

Sending a joint reply, Prof Goonesekere and Bishop Chickera said; “In regard to the issue of conflict of interest raised in your letter, we wish to point out that members of the Friday Forum have diverse professional interests. They engage with the State and the private sector. Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala in his personal capacity can have professional connections with the Company you refer to in your letter. We are confident that he will address issues of Company policy involving the public interest with fairness and personal integrity, respecting legal norms and standards of accountable corporate governance.

“Jayantha Dhanapala has provided wise and timely leadership on issues of public concern, which in our view needs to be affirmed in an environment where such leadership is critically important for our country.”

Related posts;

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!

Other attempts 

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

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 1

    Lots of words, no clear statement calling for the resignation of JD

    Keep going CT, till we get a either a resignation or firing

    • 0

      Exactly. No difference to the politicians, volumes spoken but does not address the issue directly. I do not see any difference between JD’s evasive statements and these self praising clique of civil society leaders. “Friday Forum”, we do not need so called do-gooders who do not have the backbone to call a spade a spade. Either you stand for civil society rights or you do not. Looks like your conscience is not clear; saving your comrade seem to be the priority here and not the civil rights. Your action here is no difference to MR’s who will bend the rules to save one of his own.

  • 1

    What about unlawful use of the telecom networks to propagate new year wishes etc ?

    Can we know if these messages were paid for or given gratis ?

    If so, shouldn’t the prime minister and the leader of the opposition and maybe even Mervyn Silva be also afforded this facility ?

    What a load of hypocrisy ! Dhanapala has taken that job to pay his bills and that is the bottom line.


  • 1

    Dear Prof. Savitri Goonesekere and Bishop Duleep de Chickera,

    Remind the People that this is a Republic, not a Kingdom.

    “We appreciate the work of Colombo Telegraph in raising important issues of public interest. Freedom of speech expression and the connected right to information are important for all citizens of this country, and the current interruption of news through Colombo Telegraph is a violation of our rights. Unlawful restrictions on the media by the State or private actors is a matter of serious public concern and must be questioned.” two prominent members of the Friday Forum said today.”


    What does the state want to hide? The people have a right to know.

    This is a Republic, not a Kingdom.


    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.



    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Article [I]13
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Article [II]
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Article [III]
    No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

    Article [IV]
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Article [V]
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Article [VI]
    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

    Article [VII]
    In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

    Article [VIII]
    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    Article [IX]
    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Article [X]
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    • 0

      Never mind what the US constitution says, read here what its present caretaker, Obama said at Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels few days back.

      “But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.”

      Amarasiri, Tell us whether Obama is telling the truth? And Obama and his predecessor Bush followed the US constitution and international rules when they waged their war against Iraqi people? I’ll tell you my opinion after you.

      • 1


        You have or less the same information Amarasiri has.

        We all know George Bush lied, based on the Neocon, the Republicans and the Jews.

        The question you ask is, is Obama doing the same, and that question needs to be addressed to Obama and the US Administration, and of course the UN Security Council.

        Because the other guy lies, is no t an excuse for you to lie or for Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala or President Mahinda Rajapaksa to lie. Looks like, the Monk Mahanama of Mahawansa fame had infected a lot of people over the past 15 centuries in lying.

        Is lying part of Buddha Dhamma,, the teachings of Buddha? I have not seen it in the Tipitaka or any of the summaries of the Tipitaka. If it is there, please point out.

        Looks like, in Sri Lanka, they follow Maraism.

        No wonder why the Native Veddah call the Sinhala, Para-Sinhalas and the Tamils, Para-Tamils.

        • 0

          Bando what happened to your opinion? Now that Amarey has spoken his mind out?

  • 0

    Dhanapala condemnations are not strong enough

  • 0

    The intelligentsia which is in the minority had a man of honour and integrity in Jayantha Dhanapala.If the policy of Dialog is to fall in line with the government for survival then he should resign pronto.
    If a man of his standing also were to cave in when a pack of nincompoops are at the controls with a board DESTINATION UNKNOWN AND OMINOUS SIGNS ARE THERE THAT BY HOOK OR BY CROOK THEY WILL CONTINUE IT WILL INDEED BE A SAD DAY FOR SRI LANKA.

  • 0

    Chikera is not only an anti-national but [Edited out]

  • 0

    It is sad that Bishop Duleep de Chickera like all others in our nation try to cover up for their friends and colleagues. No one takes a stand when their own interests or interests of their friends or colleagues are invoved.

    The question dear Bishop and dear Professor is not whether Mr Jayantha Dhanapala “has provided wise and timely leadership on issues of public concern” regarding others but his continued presence on the Board of a Company which he knows is acting contrary to the standards the Friday Forum espouses and his failure take leadership on this issue of public importance because his own interests are at stake. Particularly so as he is an Independent Director appointed to keep watch on exactly this kind of violations in the Company whether or not he is a member of the Friday Forum.

  • 0

    The Rajapaksa regime was trying hard to do the same to Ananthi Sasitharan as it did to Mrs Balendran Jeyakumari, but Ananthi is well known to the international community. Plus the situation is getting worse, and a grave danger for the Rajapaksas survival. Therefore, they had to implement a drama to keep Mrs Balendran Jeyakumari silent, and also to bring the LTTE fear factor to increase their votes; plus to justify their foolish actions to the International community. However, their foolish action won’t give that much leverage for the Rajapaksas to manoeuvre internationally in the future. I haven’t reached out to all the countries’ leaders to secure votes for the US backed resolution; because I still prefer to bring a change through the country’s election. I know the West well; therefore, I am hesitating to bring the West inside of the Indian Ocean. I am a victim of the Western tricks; therefore, I don’t mind to give one more chance to the Rajapaksas and let them see what is coming; if they carry-on their stupidity. I don’t know which way the UNHRC voting will go today, let’s wait and see. I am happier to tightening the noose of the Rajapaksas to direct them into the right path and enlightening the average Sri Lankans than bringing the West into the Indian Ocean.

    Minister Mervyn Silva is starting to know what is coming, he cried yesterday after laying the foundation stone for his tomb at the Borella Cemetery. I couldn’t stop laughing :-)

    Here is a one joker call Ven. Kamburugamuwe Vajira Nayake Thera in his sermon said, “Mervyn Silva has, on this occasion, shown what is living and dying. His heart is pure. Through his strength he had made yeoman service to the country and the people. He is a blessed individual, who worships the Buddha daily, and he also worships my late father.”

    In response,this is what our beloved joker and marriage proposer Silva said, “If the Ven. Nayake Thera had told these things after my death, I would not have been able to hear them. But now, in front of my own tomb, I heard it for real. That is a source of great happiness. “The Geneva Conference is going to create a huge setback for us this week. The white man is getting ready for this because he does not know there is death for him.”Kings such as Dutu Gemunu and Parakrama Bahu the Great, have safeguarded our country and developed it. In modern times, it is the great hero called, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had done that. Now we have to face a group of Geneva white men, who do not know religion and death.”

  • 0

    Are their doubles in the friday forum?
    here we read a joint statement from Chikera & savithri????
    Why is that? Inseperables???

    • 1

      Bishop Duleep de Chickera, is supposed to preach the gospel not politics as for Prof. Savitri Goonesekere is free to do so.

      • 0

        Chickera would not have found employment anywhere if not for his Biblical Studies! I mean he could have sold illicit liquor and lived in a hut or been a “priest” and lived a posh life in a church. Remember “Father” Matthew Pieris? These people are parasites. Go get a proper job you bum.

  • 0

    The subject matter here is freedom of expression and CT asked a few for their personal opinion. Many did not respond and the two that responded did so with a joint statement. Joint statement defeats the purpose of personal opinion as its written in consultation with each other. Its not far fetched to assume that this was only to protects friends and cover their XXX.

  • 0

    [Edited out]

  • 0

    Jayantha Dhanapala is a stooge of the leading clan.He must resign from the board if he is gentleman. There are these pseudo intellectuals like Dayan Jayatillake and Dhanapala who want to look like intellectuals but will do anything to suck up to the unscrupulous leaders of this government.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.