18 August, 2022


Yahapalanaya Does A Vettu, Follows MR’s Draconian Media Policy

Taking a leaf from former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s draconian media policy, the Yahapalanaya government has ordered all news website operating in Sri Lanka to register with the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media before March 31, 2016, and warned that any website that fails to register will be considered ‘unlawful.’

Web RegThe application form available on the ministry website has requested for details of the owners, administrator, and journalists serving for the website, as well as details from where the content is uploaded.

The move comes just weeks after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe launched a scathing attack on several newspapers and television stations, accusing them of towing a pro-Rajapaksa line and also lashing out at newspapers for writing critical articles about him (Wickremesinghe).

The Yahapalanaya government which pledged media freedom when it came to power has however not delivered their promise with even ministers such as Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella going to the extent of abusing a journalist this week using filth after letters were leaked where it showed the minister was ordering universities to hire his supporters and acquaintances.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Parliament Reforms & Mass Media Karunarathna Paranawithana in a tweet claimed that the call to register news websites has been given a wrong interpretation and denied it was a move to monitor or censor websites.

During the Rajapaksa regime, several anti-Rajapaksa websites were raided, and attacked after they were asked to register with the government.

Following the raid in 2012, UNP Parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera in his capacity as the head of the UNP Communications Division filed a fundamental rights case against the CID raid on the Lanka X News website, which was the official website of the UNP’s Communications Division. ( By Munza Mushtaq © Colombo Telegraph)

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Latest comments

  • 16

    Coming signs not good for the free media in Sri Lanka. It was freed from the strangle hold of the Rajapaksa Mafia iron fists only a year ago. Once again it is being quietly strangled. Only a week ago Ranil threatened a news media for being critical of the government.

    Our politicians do not understand that a free media is part and parcel of a vibrant and good democracy. When you stifle free media you also stifle democracy.

    Ranil we are watching you.

    • 2

      RE: Yahapalanaya Does A Vettu, Follows MR’s Draconian Media Policy

      Vettu, Vettu, Vettu Paiya Vettu, Shunni Vettu

      Everybody Yahapalanaya and Non-Yahapalanaya like Vettu.

      Let’s do a Vettu on them. Circumcise them All.

  • 18

    Yes we must have freedom. But lets be careful “No freedom of the wild ass”

  • 17

    Dear MS & RW

    Uphold the true values of Yahapalanaya. Change your ways or be ready to be changed by the people soon. We welcome your initiatives and our present freedom compared to the horror times we had under MR but practice what you also preach. The term “yahapalanaya” is a very uncompromising and ambitious standard to set for one’s self and even falling short of it marginally won’t be accepted by the people.

    PS: pls reign -in your kiriella. He is making a fool of himself before the people.

    • 8

      During the UNP reign Richard soyza was brutally murdered and his mom a doctor recognized the killers over TV and it was police officet Ronnie who died with Premafsda.Then they cut the mouth of Unus cartoonist,then stabbed Kithsiri,then totured and killed human rights lawyer Liyanaarchchi etc etc and Ranil was a minister then.

  • 24

    There is registration required for the print media within the country. This does not imply there is censorship. The request to register local media websites seems logical. However, this does not necessarily imply censorship. Registration would imply accountability for what the local print and the web media publish. There is an urgent need for media accountability.
    However, two issues of concern would be, the right of the government to require overseas-based websites to be registered and how they will be held accountable. If this would mean blocking them like what the previous government did, it will be absolutely unacceptable. Blocking a website is meaningless, because they can be accessed through proxies.

    The Tamilnet website yet remains blocked! This is stupid and no one has protested because those who access can yet do so through proxies, while those who do not know about are denied the right to information. It is for those who access this website to decide whether it is reliable.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 1

      The requirement to register print media with the Department of Posts is applicable if postal services are to be used for the dispatch of newspaper. No prior licensing or registration is required , say with the Press Council or Press Compliants Commission to operate a newspaper. The registration of websites came into being after a court order to do so. That is why in the Ministry letter it does not refer to an Act or a regulation requiring the registration nor the consequence of a failure but merely say it is unlawful, which means any action in violation of court orders can lead to facing charges of contempt of court. As Doctor Narendran states the application of this requirement to overseas web-sites is questionable but if and when a partner of an overseas unregistered website visits Sri Lanka then there could be problems to him or her.

  • 10

    Even this government is slowly and steadily incorporating the Mahinda Chinthanaya for good governance.

    This government is taking the next step on this as they have no choice. Mahinda is a broad thinker and he knew what the future government wants.

  • 7

    Lickers of Yahapalana and the CT’s yahapalana ‘like force’ do not see the danger of this action. Only this country will go forward when people start to see things without their political glasses. Best example is this news item. When MR did this, its wrong and when RW or My3/CBK do the same, its just right. What a bunch of mockery commentators!

  • 2

    The announcement is very poorly drafted. It is not clear if this applies to foreign based websites. In any case, there are millions of “news websites”, and is the government going to ban the “unlawful” ones?
    If this applies to local sites only, there should be no censorship.
    Sri Lanka simply doesn’t have the technology to run its own “approved” internet.

  • 7

    Hahaha good laugh. We have exchanged a “. Hotu gani to a Kani gani”…meaning exchanged a runny nose, phlegmy woman to a coughing,bronchitis woman..

  • 9

    Registration does not imply censorship.

    It implies a sensible way of doing things.

    I seriously dont think this is a problem for anyone.

    • 0

      @Mikey Mouse

      Nope. You are right .

      It wasn’t a problem for the European Jews either, when Mrs. Hitler’s little boy decided to start having them registered

      Just harmless

  • 4

    In our text of “Animal Farm (Yahapalana edition), firstly it will be to curb the freedom of the wild ass.
    The other asses wake up when the throttle is applied to all asses, besides other animals.

  • 6

    Old habits die hard, and this is particularly true of our Sri Lankan political class.

    The standard responses of the Sri Lankan politician who is criticised is:

    1 Deny, and insult the people who criticise.

    2 BAN the offending website, newspaper, radio station, broadcaster etc

    3 Arrange for the/those who criticise to be ‘taught a lesson’

    4 Arrange for a ‘disappearance’

    5 Unavoidable death. Obviously accidental; what to do?

    Please do not confuse this with ‘proxy-blame-taking’ eg a minister runs someone down and up steps an acolyte to take the blame, OR a Pradesheeya Sabha honcho rapes a tourist, up steps a minion to take his place, etc etc

    Our political leaders are too thick-headed to understand the ridiculousness of their actions. WE will just have to bear it until a better class of politician comes along. What to do?

  • 4

    The ghost of MR returns with a slow but vicious pace. I read here comments like “registration does not imply censorship”
    Well, you can see it in a different way. The Government will only want to have things written in themedia the way they want it. Journalist who will tag and kiss ass. This is exactly what happened in the past.
    Sorry, but the character of most Sinhalese will always be that of a low down animal. Nothing changes in Sri Lank, it only gets better. HA!HA!

  • 7

    Prabhakaran thought he was too smart, but eventually he found out that he wasn’t that smart. Former President MR thought he was too smart, but eventually he also found out that he wasn’t too smart either. Likewise current President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister will find out that they are not too smart as they think. Sri Lankans are very resilient people, therefore the political leaders must think ten times before fooling the people.

  • 6

    Dear Ranil.
    If you cant bear the heat,get out of the kitchen without any further
    damage. Dont try to change the accepted systems to suit your inefficiencies.

  • 0

    What is Vettu !!!!!!

  • 1

    Here is some bad news for the Diasporians who are waiting to buy their Condos in Yahapalana Colombo.

    Our Treasurer Galleon Ravi says the USD will fetch only LKR 110 as soon as he gets the next USD One Billion to park in Singapore Mahendran’s safe.

    This is despite Fitch and Moody both giving an F for the Yahapalana Economics.

    Wonder whether Galleon has.mistaken the Aussie for the Green Back?..

    These are the issues our Yahapalana suckers must be worried about although they can’t afford Colombo Condos at the current prices which the builders are asking.

    I just checked one in Slave Islands off the plan.

    USD 543,000 for 1100 Sq Feet on the 5th floor.

    And it is 32 Storeys high.

    Hope they wouldn’t use Indian Lifts to carry our rich Diasporians up and down…

  • 3

    Freedom also means Responsibility good luck

  • 1

    Sri Lanka reverses controversial website censorship move
    Mar 03, 2016 18:50 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

    ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government Thursday admitted it had no legal authority to call for the registration of news websites and rolled back an order which amounted to regulation and potential censorship of the Internet.

    The Parliamentary Affairs and Media Ministry had taken the cover of two supreme court decisions on website regulation, but it was pointed out that the highest court had only asked the ministry to come up with “guide lines.”

    Deputy minister Karunaratne Paranavithana agreed that the court had not conferred legislative powers on his ministry and that what they proposed to do had no legal basis.

    “There is no piece of legislation.. we are in the process of drafting that,” he said when asked what law was being used to register websites.

    “We are in the process to develop a mechanism. We will introduce it to parliament, only then will it become law.”

    There is a misconception that a newspapers have to be registered with the state, but the registration is with the post office to get a discount on postage.

  • 5

    Hello ,Media,and so called Journos, you asked for it and got it ,and serves you bloody right. I saw it coming for some time, with your irresponsible reporting, terrible choice of words, and subtle twists to facts. You were like the Animal that was released from the Rajapakse’s cage…. enjoying the freedom of the Wild Ass. Go on in this manner, and more will come your way….unless you change NOW ! Just report the facts without adding horrendous ‘colourings’ that suit your thinking just to sell your news !!

    • 3

      Well said ELDORADO.

      Websites that abide by media ethics, decency and accountability will not feel threatened by this move. Only those who practice gutter journalism and provide a platform for racist and sexist bilge, will.

      Going by the tone of this news report, it appears even CT feels threatened.

  • 1

    Since media is the point of focus below is an extract from Kierkgard the Danish Philospher and is worth a read

    “One person can head a rebellion, but one person cannot head this leveling process, for that would make him a leader and he would avoid being leveled. Each individual can in his little circle participate in this leveling, but it is an abstract process, and leveling is abstraction conquering individuality. The leveling in modern times is the reflective equivalent of fate in the ancient times. The dialectic of ancient times tended towards leadership (the great man over the masses and the free man over the slave); the dialectic of Christianity tends, at least until now, towards representation (the majority views itself in the representative, and is liberated in the knowledge that it is represented in that representative, in a kind of self-knowledge); the dialectic of the present age tends towards equality, and its most consequent but false result is leveling, as the negative unity of the negative relationship between individuals.

    Everyone should see now that leveling has a fundamental meaning: the category of “generation” supersedes the category of the “individual.” During ancient times the mass of individuals had this value: that it made valuable the outstanding individual. . . . In ancient times, the single individual in the masses signified nothing; the outstanding individual signified them all. In the present age, the tendency is towards a mathematical equality . . .

    In order for leveling really to occur, first it is necessary to bring a phantom into existence, a spirit of leveling, a huge abstraction, an all-embracing something that is nothing, an illusion–the phantom of the public. . . . The public is the real Leveling-Master, rather than the leveler itself, for leveling is done by something, and the public is a huge nothing.

    The public is an idea, which would never have occurred to people in ancient times, for the people themselves en masse in corpora took steps in any active situation, and bore responsibility for each individual among them, and each individual had to personally, without fail, present himself and submit his decision immediately to approval or disapproval. When first a clever society makes concrete reality into nothing, then the Media creates that abstraction, “the public,” which is filled with unreal individuals, who are never united nor can they ever unite simultaneously in a single situation or organization, yet still stick together as a whole. The public is a body, more numerous than the people which compose it, but this body can never be shown, indeed it can never have only a single representation, because it is an abstraction. Yet this public becomes larger, the more the times become passionless and reflective and destroy concrete reality; this whole, the public, soon embraces everything. . . .

    The public is not a people, it is not a generation, it is not a simultaneity, it is not a community, it is not a society, it is not an association, it is not those particular men over there, because all these exist because they are concrete and real; however, no single individual who belongs to the public has any real commitment; some times during the day he belongs to the public, namely, in those times in which he is nothing; in those times that he is a particular person, he does not belong to the public. Consisting of such individuals, who as individuals are nothing, the public becomes a huge something, a nothing, an abstract desert and emptiness, which is everything and nothing. . . .

    The Media is an abstraction (because a newspaper is not concrete and only in an abstract sense can be considered an individual), which in association with the passionlessness and reflection of the times creates that abstract phantom, the public, which is the actual leveler. . . . More and more individuals will, because of their indolent bloodlessness, aspire to become nothing, in order to become the public, this abstract whole, which forms in this ridiculous manner: the public comes into existence because all its participants become third parties. This lazy mass, which understands nothing and does nothing, this public gallery seeks some distraction, and soon gives itself over to the idea that everything which someone does, or achieves, has been done to provide the public something to gossip about. . . . The public has a dog for its amusement. That dog is the Media. If there is someone better than the public, someone who distinguishes himself, the public sets the dog on him and all the amusement begins. This biting dog tears up his coat-tails, and takes all sort of vulgar liberties with his leg–until the public bores of it all and calls the dog off. That is how the public levels.”

    [See S�ren Kierkegaard, The Present Age and of the Difference Between a Genius and an Apostle, trans. Alexander Dru (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1962).]

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