Efforts to internationalize Lankan issues:
‘Media should put country first’
All sections of the media in Sri Lanka should act responsibly and put
the country first. Various fingers are being pointed at the government
by NGOs etc since the government eradicated terrorism and gave freedom
to the country and its people. Certain incidents that took place in the
country in the recent past is part of those pressures, Acting Media
Minister and Acting Cabinet Spokesman Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said at
yesterday’s Cabinet briefing.
According to the Acting Minister, the main objective of these
elements which promote ‘incidents’ is bringing such ‘issues’ to the
international level and start a ‘discussion’ at that level to create
problems for Sri Lanka. The recent ‘milk incident’ and ‘Dambulla
incident’ are some good examples of the ‘operation’ carried out by
certain elements which are interested in bringing Sri Lankan issues to
the international stage. Some of those ‘issues’ created by them are now
being discussed in Geneva etc.
Acting Minister Yapa pointed out that the media and such
organizations should think about where we are heading for. The media
should give priority to national responsibility than the publicity.
“The media should give publicity to incidents and they should also
mention the fact that such incidents are not doing any good for the
country and people.Some people cast aspersions at the state owned
television channel for showing the Eelam flag been carried during the
UNP May Day rally in Jaffna. But,if a private television channel showed
this visual, nobody will point the finger,” he said.
“As the Acting Media Minister, I responsibly say that no crew from
ITN covered the UNP May Day rally held in Jaffna. Therefore, nobody can
point the finger at ITN journalists or its administration. Television
channels telecast visuals obtained from other sources. One UNP MP says
they warned and released the persons who displaced the Eelam flag and
another UNP MP says nobody displayed the Eelam flag during the rally,”
“Their statements are totally contradictory and raise suspicion on
releasing the persons without handing over to the Police. What can be
the hidden intention of releasing the culprits after warning them ? Some
say the UNP commemorated Babu (The LTTE suicide bomber who killed former
President R. Premadasa) by holding their rally in Jaffna. The government
has ordered that a full investigation be held in to this incident,” the
Acting Media Minister said.
“There is nothing wrong in showing crime stories, such as, the
Vilachchiya incident. Can anybody wearing a STF uniform become a STF
member. Anybody can wear uniforms. If the incident which took place in
Mexico on the World Press Freedom Day, happened in Sri Lanka, the Sri
Lankan government would have been subjected to countless attacks by all.
When a government governs a country, incidents take place here and there
from time to time and the government takes action. But the most
important fact is the freedom enjoyed by Sri Lankan people to day,” he
“Protecting people is the responsibility of the government and the
Sri Lankan government is doing its duty”, the Acting Minister added.