15 October, 2019

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WikiLeaks: Rajapaksa Managed To Influence MTV Owner Maharaja

By Colombo Telegraph

“During a cordial chat, Rajapaksa was able to persuade Maharajah not to air any more programs on such sensitive topics,” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

A leaked “CONFIDENTIAL” US diplomatic cable, dated March 22, 2007, updated the Secretary of State on  Sri Lanka’s media suppression situation shows that President Mahinda Rajapaksa managed to influence the owner of the Majaraja Broadcasting Company. The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable was written by the Ambassador Robert O. Blake.

Ambassador Blake wrote “Television stations have also been feeling the heat. This matters, because about 60% of the population gets its news for TV. Television journalists tell us, however, that the Majaraja Broadcasting Company, owned by a prominent Tamil, had been the only broadcaster covering press conferences critical of the government by former Foreign Minister Samaraweera, as well as stories on human rights violations and abductions. However, a senior executive of the Maharaja channel (protect) told us that President Rajapaksa had summoned the owner of the station to Temple Trees (equivalent to the White House). During a cordial chat, Rajapaksa was able to persuade Maharajah not to air any more programs on such sensitive topics.”

Below we give the relevant part of the leaked cable;

VZCZCXRO2317
OO RUEHBI
DE RUEHLM #0475/01 0811128
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 221128Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5725
INFO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0293
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 9984
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 6959
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 5037
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 3620
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0781
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 3706
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 1021
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 2786
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 7534
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 5236
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0146
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1916
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 COLOMBO 000475

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA PDAS MANN, SCA/INS AND SCA/PPD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/21/2017
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PTER KPAO KDEM CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: SLOW STRANGULATION OF MEDIA FREEDOM

REF: A) COLOMBO 460 B) COLOMBO 439 C) COLOMBO 337 D)
     COLOMBO 264

Classified By: Ambassador Robert O. Blake, Jr., for reasons 1.4(b,d).

1.  (C) Summary: Since the inauguration of President Mahinda
Rajapaksa in November 2005, Sri Lanka's vibrant media has
been slowly smothered by attacks on journalists, publishers
and broadcasters by the LTTE and armed paramilitary groups
with alleged links to the government security forces.  The
decline of human rights generally and the resulting "culture
of impunity" have stoked the surge in intimidation,
kidnapping and murder of journalists.  The Government of Sri
Lanka (GSL), invoking strengthened emergency regulations, has
put pressure on editorial content and arrested journalists
without charges.  More recently, editors and broadcasters
have received veiled threats by telephone allegedly from the
top levels of the Rajapaksa government.  As a result of
direct and indirect harassment, four independent newspapers
are likely to close in the next 90 days.   End Summary.

7.  (C) Television stations have also been feeling the heat.
This matters, because about 60% of the population gets its
news for TV.  Television journalists tell us, however, that
the Majaraja Broadcasting Company, owned by a prominent
Tamil, had been the only broadcaster covering press
conferences criticial of the gvernment by former Foreign
Minister Samaraweera, as well as stories on human rights
violations and abductions.  However, a senior executive of
the Maharaja channel (protect) told us that President
Rajapaksa had summoned the owner of the station to Temple
Trees (equivalent to the White House).  During a cordial
chat, Rajapaksa was able to persuade Maharajah not to air any
more programs on such sensitive topics.
BLAKE
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Wow wow, That is why all these are happneing, attacking Ranil and promoting Sajith . ho ho , now we can understand. CT by the way who is this Director ??

  • 1
    0

    Killi is unscruplous and no morals or ethics.. Killi is backing Milinda, Sajith and Tamil quisling Renga..

    • 0
      0

      BS

  • 0
    0

    Milinda Horagoda was the broker for Killi…

  • 0
    0

    I know my Uncle well, this is not true at all, My uncle nah this is not true

  • 0
    0

    What else do you expect when all their government contracts (Maharaja Organisation) is at stake

    • 0
      0

      Anything for money – The new maharaja policy.

      • 0
        0

        kakah you own people are the same. Don’t look up and spit.

  • 0
    0

    If we banned all this stupid TV’s for a month we will hit the highest economy in a week. trust me

  • 0
    0

    It’s funny how the US Govt knew everything but they just stood idly by. Well I guess that’s not surprising given what they do themselves.. lol

    • 0
      0

      The day will come when we learn that nothing of this was true. The US has been on many smear campaigns. I have known Kili Mahendra for nearly forty years. He is a businessman and not someone who will sacrifice a good deal for a clean pair of hands. But he is one person who had to realise that his riches would have gone to fatten Prabakharan and not the Tamil people. After all his ancestors were “rags to riches” being in Colombo not in the North or East among people who would have ripped him off faster than he could make anything.Some Tamils in Kotahena made it selling “taste” in the toddy tavern in Kotahena so iof they got on the wrong side they probably would have being looking at the embers of their wealth. I still think that the Colombotelegraph is a LTTE oriented rag of rubbish.

      • 0
        0

        Peter you have taken a leaf from the GOSL book .
        Anyone who has opposing views
        (“”I still think that the Colombo telegraph is a LTTE oriented rag of rubbish”” )
        Becomes a Ltte agent CT^has nothing to do Ltte . They cut and pasted it from Wikileaks .

        How ever the fact remains that Mr. Kill is getting Kickbacks in the shape of advertising revenue . You don’t have to feel bad it happens all over the world except for a very few places .

        If you take look at the Editorial direction they have taken Since of late Its Visible to any Blind person .

        Well there was this rumour about Mr. Killies getting Kickbacks , Now uncle Blake has confirmed it . So Take it easy , This is old news

  • 0
    0

    All apart of democracy. happens in US, UK & elsewhere. Well done Mahinda.

    • 0
      0

      How will any Democracy remain a democracy if they have to bow to the whims and fancies of other “democracies” who are trying to impose the wishes of a few expatriates who have been promoting terrorism for over half a century? I have more respect for our own President who is not trying to impose his ideas on the Tamil and Muslim population. He could but he allows the ungrateful to continue being ungrateful. If it was me I would put them on a boat and let them drift tpo anywhere in the world where they can live on social benefits and then get stoned by the locals.

      • 0
        0

        Dear CHETTY,
        You would have us beleive that a few tamils abroad have successfully “brainwashed” all western nations, in favour of beleiving their tales of injustice.
        These guys must be fantastic experts in psychotherapy.
        And, the western leaders must be all gullible idiots.

      • 0
        0

        Well said Chettiar – for a busker who sang at underground railway stations for money and picked up coins from the white men!

      • 0
        0

        Chandra, You know Hettiyar is from Kotahena and he love goats ( Elucchi) Kotahena people knows that story.

  • 0
    0

    It appears that Peter Casie Chetty (a.k.a. Chettiar) is a racist in terms of the comment he made above!

  • 0
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    Sirasa [Edited out]. They broadcast cheap and harmful programmes especially towards children. Their cartoons are violent and low standard, not to mention other garbage which aimed at our children!

  • 0
    0

    Sirasa TV is and virus to Sri Lankan society. It systematically rape our culture and heritage using retard baby journalists. Trust me love ones.

    • 0
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      Edit. Sirasa broadcast ” Sarth Madu” type teledramas to brain dead the youth. The youth is been molested by cheap taste from entertainment to sausages. Trust me

  • 0
    0

    Shame on them.. for liking such blood coverd hands ..that too of tamils and sinhalese….
    Rise up all to sen this Raja to hell ! (not home )

  • 0
    0

    killy is a good man and works hard, puts his life on the line for all you people. I support him 100%

  • 0
    0

    Kili was no doubt politely threatened. Maharaja Org’s offices have been attacked more than once.

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