Saturday, January 15, 2011

Govt. Media, ‘Silumina’ Editor turns grave digger for websites

(Lanka-e-News, 15,Jan.2011, 10.25AM) The Editor of the Govt. newspaper ‘Silumina’ Karunadasa Sooriyarachi had suggested to the President Mahinda Rajapakse to take action against websites which are unduly criticizing the Govt.

Sooriyarachi has made this proposal to the President at a meeting of the chiefs of the media Institutions held on the 13th at the Temple Trees headed by the President, according to information reaching Lanka e news.

This Editor has directly asked from the President why such action is not being initiated. He had added that these websites are attacking the Govt., the country, the President’s family and sometimes his own Institution, and therefore why measures should not be taken against those websites.

The President who had in the past proclaimed that he is a friend of the media, leaving aside friend –foe relationship, had intently listened to this fawner of an Editor’s request. The President had then said that, he is also aware of that situation, and that cannot be allowed to prevail. But, if steps are taken to curb and control the media, they would launch a campaign that undemocratic measures are being taken to stifle the media, and freedom of the media is being undermined. They would tell the whole world not to grant the GSP plus to this failed Govt. while publishing irresponsible reports like the false information that the Chief justice (CJ) is going to resign, and the President after the second swearing in had not been met by the CJ, the President had added.( the website which published these news is still operational within SL).

The President had stated that websites are publishing anti Govt. news and specially attacking the Forces. Some websites are being operated from outside the country and are being helped by those in Sri Lanka.There is a separate unit investigating these websites, and after the information is received following the investigation, action will be instituted against them, President noted.

The Managing Director of the Virakesari newspaper Kumar Nadesan has referred to the murders, abductions, extortions and specially the steep shooting up of prices of goods in Jaffna and has blamed them on the Govt.’s weakness. The President’s attention was drawn to this matter.
It is learnt that the President had got angry over that issue. He had replied that it is natural when a country is being restored to normalcy, such crimes like murders, abductions and extortions occur,adding that this morning too there was a woman killed in Borella. But they are to be controlled by the Police, he had pointed out.

The President had regretted that, though the Govt. is engaged in development of the country and the economy, the Tamil newspapers do not highlight them. The President had charged that the Tamil newspapers are still partial to the LTTE and illicitly supporting the LTTE sympathizers and their actions.

The Govt. has controlled the smuggling of illicit drugs into the country. Earlier it was the LTTE who were carrying out these smuggling operations.The Tamil newspapers did not write about the LTTE smuggling at that time because they supported them, the President has accused.

When the Ravaya Editor Victor Ivan questioned the President on what is the biggest challenge the Govt. is facing this year, he President has told, in a lighter vein, it is them. The media had enjoyed the President’s joke.

The President had made a special request to the media not to further bruise the harmony of the Sinhala nation, and sow seeds of hatred.

The Sunday Leader Director Lal Wickremetunge the brother of the former Sunday leader Editor Lasantha Wickremetunge who was assassinated had drawn the attention of the President to the assassination inquiry. The President had stated that so far the assassin has still not been identified, and requested to furnish information, if any is known to Wickremetunge on that. The President had also confessed that on the deaths of Lakshman Kadirgamar and D M Dassanayake too, there isn’t any breakthrough.

When Rajpal Abeynaike, the Editor of Lakbima News inquired about the decision regarding the national anthem being sung only in Sinhala, the President had directly told, there is no such issue. Of course various news reports are appearing on this subject, but I am not bound to give answers to them. Yet there is no such issue too. When we read the newspapers we go mad, he had asserted.

The media chiefs and Editors were then treated to a sumptuous breakfast.

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