16 November, 2019

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‘You Dirty F**king Journalist, You Are Pigs Who Eat Shit’

By FP Staff – First Post

Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse has always been a violently vitriolic man.In this interview with BBC’s Hard Talk, he threatened to execute the former Sri Lankan army chief for treason saying, “He can’t do that. He was the commander. That’s a treason. We will hang him if he do that. I’m telling you… How can he betray the country? He is a liar, liar, liar.”

Sri Lanka’s defense secretary is known for his vitriolic outbursts: Reuters

But his outbursts, which startled the BBC reporter, are nothing new to Sri Lanka’s long suffering reporters. At home he is even more unguarded, violent and unchecked in his responses and interactions with the already much stifled and censored media.

On one occasion, near the end of the war, he told he two journalists working for the state-owned Lake House Publications that unless they stopped criticizing the army, “what will happen to you is beyond my control”.

When asked by the two journalists if he was threatening them, he replied “I am definitely not threatening your lives. Our services are appreciated by 99 per cent of the people. They love the Army Commander and the Army. There are Sri Lankan patriots who love us do and will do what is required if necessary.”

In April 2007 he was accused of calling the Editor of the Sri Lankan newspaper Daily Mirror, Champika Liyanaarachchi, and threatening her, saying that she would escape reprisals only if she resigned.

He was also accused for threatening to “exterminate” a journalist from the same newspaper for writing articles about the plight of civilian war casualties.

Rajapakse has denied all these reports, but he will be hard pressed to defend his latest outburst at prominent Sri Lankan journalist Fredrica Jansz, the current editor of the Sunday Leader, whose founding editor Lasantha Wickramatunga was gunned down by thugs in broad daylight.

Jansz had called the Defence secretary on two occasions to get his response to a report that an aircraft belonging to the national carrier Sri Lankan airlines, was to be changed to accommodate a personal friend and pilot who had offered to ensure the safe passage of a puppy dog for him from Zurich.

Jansz has published the transcript of the phone calls, in which Rajapakse tells her that he will sue her “f**king publication”, declares that he is “not afraid of the bloody courts” calls  her and all journalists, “filthy pigs who eat shit” and even tells her that she will be killed. (Read the entire transcript here)

Jansz’s decision to publish the transcript is an extraordinarily brave move, though some would undoubtedly question the wisdom of the decision.

Wielding all the power of the much feared Rajapakse might, Gotabhaya’s threats are not to be taken lightly.

And the alarming reality is that as a government representative he feels empowered enough to threaten such action. Even in this instance, the article has been making the rounds in English language media and on the Internet, but has been completely ignored by the  local Sinhala media. The story has not been reported in even one local language newspaper, and that in itself is a triumph for the Defence secretary as it means that a majority of his votebank has no idea of what he said.

This is reflective of an utterly demoralizing role of self censorship that has been adopted by the vernacular media in the country. Perhaps afraid of reprisals, or maybe because they tacitly support the government and do not think it is important, they simply choose to ignore. Prominent rights group Human Rights Watch in fact recently released this report, in which it talks about systemic government harassment of critical journalists and media outlets in Sri Lanka.

Whatever be the reason, it is this kind of reporting – or the lack of it – that is responsible for this kind of behavior to go unchecked,  and also caused massive public apathy to the plight of many of the war victims in north Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

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    The writer is absolutely right. Why is the Sinhala media so quiet about the Rajapaksa shenanigans, are they so threatened and intimidated by the Rajapaksa’s so much? It is time the people in this country became aware of who their government officials are, and what they are capable of. Even our people in the villages will be turned off by these ugly threats and brutish behavior. The Rajapaksa family act like they are entitled to all the ill gotten gains, and that their abuses of power have to be accepted by the Sri Lankan people.
    We have a tin pot dictatorship running this country, and a crude, uncouth spokesperson, who presumes he is above the law, shooting off his mouth, every time he is questioned about his crimes. Nice.

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    When people were mowed down by Rajpakse and family, all of Sinhala celeberated. One thing they never realised that they were creating their own Frankenstein. Now nothing in SL can help the people from this new found monster Rajpakse and his clan. Nothing. Compared to Prabhakaran who was a worst monster, this one is 10times more. He will sell his own country to the Chinese very soon, and while SL is basking in the glory of Rajpakse, the Chinese will come knocking at your door and make you slaves. This is a utter reality. No denials, look at your own neighbourhood carefully and you will understand it.

    • 0
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      I completely agree with you Blaster. May be very near future,Mr.M.R assign Chinese man as the Interim minister. If i buy a house in Narahanpitiya, my next door person will be Chinese fugitive .

  • 0
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    I completely agree with the above comments. No where and even during the peak of the thirty year war our country’s wealth been pilfered and assets been sold to foreigners as at present time.The rupee been devalued so low and crime rate increased due to illicit drugs and the political and living standard have deteriorated.Now the most awaited strong arm policy is been adopted by Rajapakse family to suppress the media to hide their corruption. We need a complete change in the system before the whole country is thrown to abysmal by the tyranny.The ultimate beneficiaries of this whole episode will be Rajapakses, the IMF and World Bank,the drug mafia and the foreign corporations who acquired our land and businesses, leaving the country for many future generations to suffer.

  • 0
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    You see, this is all about cultured education. If a person who educated in a proper way in a respected educational system, he/she would understand the societal values, respective language, and mutual admiration especially for women. Also if a person who is really trained as soldier he/she would truly comprehend the command of words, expression, contacts, and admiration. I thought soldier are very respected people whether he/she retired or in duty or running office like GOTA. What I see, his behavior with FJ has destroyed many thousand soldiers respects. That is really sad still this country consider that he is the ultimate power or the most powerful defense secretary (many boot licking journalists and mislaid writers say). Since he does not have proper education training run this important job and appointed by his brother to one of the most important task – this is what we can get from him.
    Then again, people do not understand that GOTA is another minstrel secretary. That is it!!! Nothing is more than that and it is very simple. There are nearly 150 ministers and there and 150 minstrel secretaries. They also do their jobs like him. They do not call them that they are the most powerful secretaries or do not request 20% of the GDP.
    That said, if the people of this country, ministers, MPs, parliament, Supreme Court systems, lawyers, religious leaders (specially Buddhist monks), other ministries secretaries, foreign diplomats, universities, and schools are truly value the LAW of the land, GOTA would face serious discipline action or hearing for his unacceptable foul language for female journalist (which is universally published) because he runs responsible ministry of this country and most importantly his is a government servant like many millions.
    If you are proud of your 2500 years of civilization and human rights (as MR said), show the world that you can civilize this defense secretary.

  • 0
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    This man will never change – the vernacular media which ignores the
    current happening is partly to blame for the Country`s Governance.
    There will be no Arabic Spring among the Sinhalese and if it ever is
    to dawn, the Rajapakses have reserved their residences in CHINA. They
    need not be frightened having to hide in Drain Pipes or Bunkers!

  • 0
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    This imbecile should discard his western attire and opt for an “amude” in keeping with his educational background!!!

    • 0
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      Mr Raymand ,
      THIS IS NOT THE FAULT OF EDUCATION,
      THE NATURE OF FAMILY BACK GROUND AND THEIR ASSOCIATIONS OF THEIR TYPE OF PEOPLE.
      ASSOCIATES LIKE KUDU / PIMPY MERVIN.

      PLS DON’T DISGRACE THE AMUDE, THE LOIN CLOTH.

      BECAUSE THAT IS VERY BAD TO THE PEOPLE, MOST WHO WEAR LOIN CLOTH ARE GOOD CULTURED AND WELL MANNERED PEOPLE.

      mostly rural farmers, EVAN THEY DID NOT HAVE COLLEGE EDUCATION.

      Do you think, most people who get in to western attire are cultured and educated
      See That Beasts like kudu duminda and kudu / badu / pimp mervin also get to western attire.
      Are they good cultured and well educated?,.

      EVAN YOU SELF-ROBED A DOCTORATE.

      { I MEAN to SOCIALLY EDUCATED TO MOVE WITH, AND TO GOVERN PEOPLE.]

  • 0
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    Rajaspkse monster is more dangerous than the LTTE.

  • 0
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    Seperation of power for protecting the state from tyranny. Now it is needed to have a concept of seperation of family power to protect the country

  • 0
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    I think Gota must be right to call these “journos” pigs who eat shit!If
    that’s not the case, Sinhala media must have published his utterances.
    If that didn’t happen,Gota got them right!

  • 0
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    Jansz provoked and she got what she deserved. She knows well that she would be insulted. She would have not a chance in a case court of law because she with her own behaviour provoked the Defence Secretary. [Edited out] I have been a media man since 1966.
    All you idiots see just one side only. Would you like someone walk outside your house and make allegations about you and threaten you? Maybe but I won’t.

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