25 October, 2020

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Working Journos Contradict Exercises ‘Right Of Reply’

Ranga Jayasuriya, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) has responded to the story published by Colombo Telegraph titled ‘Sunil Jayasekera’s Lie Exposed, Park Arrest Tipped Off By Working Journos”.

Ranga Jayasuriya (left) Army Commander Daya Ratnayake ( right)

Considering the letter emailed to us by Jayasuriya, Colombo Telegraph put to him a set of questions relevant to the claims and counter-claims.  CT assured Jayasuriya that his letter would be published in full along with the questions and his responses to the same.  He has refused to respond, insisting that we honour his right of reply.

CT has decided to carry both letter and the questions.  It is now up to Jayasuriya to respond in the public domain.

The following is the statement submitted by Jayasuriya.

Reference to your story, titled “Sunil Jayasekera’s Lie Exposed, Park Arrest Tipped Off By Working Journos,” I wish to respond on behalf of the  Sri Lanka Working Journalist Association (SLWJA).

Your reference that “Immigration authorities had been tipped off about Park’s visa issue by elements in organisations that are full members of the IFJ, disgruntled over continued preference of the IFJ for an affiliate (FMM) over member organizations,” is wholly inaccurate and false.  SLWJA is one of the full members of the IFJ.

SLWJA has been maintaining an extremely cordial and productive working relationship with fellow  Sri Lankan media organizations, including the FMM.

We have  been in touch with Jacqui during her stay in Sri Lanka and In fact, I as the general secretary of the SLWJA met Jacqui on Monday, a day before the said seminar  organized by the FMM got underway.

The representatives from FMM, FMETU, SAFMA, SAWM and SLWJA were present at the GalleFace Hotel throughout Wednesday night,  until the end of questioning of Jacqui, Jane and Sunil by   immigration authorities and CID.  SLWJA  along with other media associations in Sri Lanka which comes under banner of the Alliance of Media Associations are planning on the future course of action over the excessive measures deployed by the government apparatus against our colleagues. Therefore any effort to suggest that local media activists have tipped off Jacqui’s visit is patently inaccurate.

Also let me add that your reportage on this whole episode – the interrogation of Jacqueline Park, her colleague and the Convener of Free Media Movement, Sunil Jayasekara- is, disturbing, venomous and, I am afraid, is   driven by vested interest.  The tread of emails you have reproduced is putting the security of media activists at risk.  That is unbecoming of a journalist who has claimed asylum abroad over the precarious security situation back home.

Last but not least, we believe that personal vendetta should not blind the writer or Colombo Telegraph as a whole in their coverage of this incident.  We expect Colombo Telegraph would play by the basic rules  of journalism of balanced and accurate coverage, while not compromising the security of local journalists and media activists.  Thank you

Ranga Jayasuriya, General Secretary/ Sri Lanka Working Journalist Association

The following are the questions CT put to Jayasuriya:

1.You say, “Your reference that “Immigration authorities had been tipped off about Park’s visa issue by elements in organisations that are full members of the IFJ, disgruntled over continued preference of the IFJ for an affiliate (FMM) over member organizations,” is wholly inaccurate and false.  SLWJA is one of the full members of the IFJ.”

On what basis do you say that this is wholly inaccurate?

2. You claim, “SLWJA has been maintaining an extremely cordial and productive working relationship with fellow Sri Lankan media organizations, including the FMM.”

Why did you and the SLWJA boycott the said event?

3. You say; ‘We have  been in touch with Jacqui during her stay in Sri Lanka and In fact, I as the general secretary of the SLWJA met Jacqui on Monday, a day before the said seminar  organized by the FMM got underway.’

Are you contradicting what Sunil Jayasekera, Convenor of the Free Media Movement who claimed that Park and another IFJ member were originally not assigned to take part in the workshop organized by them? “After hearing that they were in the country we (FMM) decided to request for their presence at the workshop. They did not come here on an invitation extended by us,” he said.

4.You say; Also let me add that your reportage on this whole episode – the interrogation of Jacqueline Park, her colleague and the Convener of Free Media Movement, Sunil Jayasekara- is, disturbing, venomous and, I am afraid, is  driven by vested interest.

Can you be specific ? What do you mean by – driven by vested interest?

5. You say, ‘The tread of emails you have reproduced is putting the security of media activists at risk.’

How so ? How do you think we got these emails?

6. You say It is ‘unbecoming of a journalist who has claimed asylum abroad over the precarious security situation back home.’

Can you be specific?

7. You say, ‘we believe that personal vendetta should not blind the writer or Colombo Telegraph as a whole in their coverage of this incident.’

What is this personal vendetta? Can you explain ?

Related posts;

 

Bitter War In The IFJ: Park’s Perk Man Blames IFJ President For Arrest And Says IFJ Rigs Elections

Leaked Emails Show Park Entered Sri Lanka For Workshops And SL Media Orgs Fighting Each Other

Sunil Jayasekera’s Lie Exposed, Park Arrest Tipped Off By Working Journos

Jacqueline Park Caught Violating Immigration Laws; Previous Violations Being Investigated

IFJ Love Hana And Hate Frederica, So No Statements On Ceylon Today And Sunday Leader Issues

Sunanda Saga, States Of Denial And NGO Accountability

How Sunanda Robbed Money And Rs 30.9 million Unaudited FMM

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    This is becoming facetious by the day, CT. I understand you have an axe to grind but hijacking an issue of such serious magnitude is unbecoming. Hope sanity prevails.

  • 0
    0

    And this is why nothing in Sri Lanka ever changes. No party here looks good.

    So disappointing.

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