Daily News Online

Tuesday, 11 June 2013






Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette


In the first place the Media Ministry is not seeking to enforce a media ethics regimen from outside the industry, but that has not stopped people from crying murder. It’s a hysterical reaction -- but it is also telling, in that it is indicative of the misplaced nature of common dissent -- in this era of protests gone mad.

But the absurdity of the entire ‘ethical media’ protest contretemps is clear from the fact that the response to the charge that the media lacks an ethics regime, is for practitioners and their backers to look for scapegoats, fall-guys or distractions. For example it is being said that state media or state controlled media is to blame for ethics violations by the bushel-load.

Those who see the speck in the others’ eye do not see the mote in theirs -- and that’s biblical wisdom. Demonizing what is conveniently labeled as ‘state media’ is an old trick, and it is difficult to teach old dogs new tricks, which is why they keep pulling the same old dead rabbit tricks out of their hats …

The state media bogey is convenient. In this country, the ‘state’ was at the beginning, not supposed to own media institutions in the first place. But, it became beyond clear that the private media is essentially a creature of kept vested-interests of a particular coterie of the business oligarchy. The state media became an essential component of governance, particularly for progressive regimes which were spurned by the business oligarchs for obvious reasons.

The state media’s establishment, obviously meant that certain smoke and mirror operators who fancied themselves as king-makers could not make or unmake governments from the Board Rooms of their media empires, as things happened in the past.

Hell hath no fury worse than oligarchs scorned. Together with civil society, they launched a valiant campaign to win back what they thought was birthright -- the power to make and unmake governments at will. Campaigns were launched in earnest to privatize Lake House and to open IPOs for various so called state media institutions. That these plans of mice and men were not successful is a testament to this nation’s peoples’ good fortune. Imagine a country which is a nominal democracy run by business oligarchs controlling vast media empires?

However the thwarted impulses of the control freaks of the kept media of the business oligarchy, has led to the sustained tactic of the demonization of the ‘state media.’ Ethical tenet to ethical tenet, the below the belt tactics of the privately controlled broadcast media is no match for unfair play, if any, on the part of the state media. But the Eran Wickremeratnes and the Chandra Jayaratnes parrot the line that the state media violates ethical standards, as usual not alluding to specifics or pointing to real violations, so that the issue is up for debate.

Eran Wickremeratne may think that his whiter than white whites make him a paragon of virtue, but his support of anti national causes doesn’t make him any more ethical than the next opportunist, despite his current sartorial inclinations. Moreover, Wickremeratne will rant that such an opinion -- such as the one preceding -- is not ‘ethical.’ Facts however are scared and comment is free, provided it’s fair.

Wickremeratne may think along with his Darth Vader accomplice in pontificating to the press, that ugliness-lover Chandra Jayaratne (who decried the Colombo beautification programme!), that being namby-pamby and insipid in style, but economical with the truth and the facts -- is what media ethics is all about.

No, that’s media humbuggery and that’s what the majority of the pro-business oligarchy’s private media is all about. In this space, this editorial writer ISSUES A CHALLENGE TO BOTH THESE PEOPLE to point to one instance where the state media has been unethical i.e.: unethical by definition, in falsifying facts, or concocting stories for the purposes of maligning somebody. May be they can point to a smattering of stray episodes if they can at all – but a single swallow doesn’t make a summer.

Eran’s rants remain just that – they are rants.

Britain awards compensation for colonial crimes :

Sri Lanka must now submit its claims

After 63 years of consistent denial despite overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence of British war crimes and crimes against humanity in British colonies, the wheels of justice have finally turned against Britain which has now agreed to pay £20m to 5,228 Mau Mau torture victims for crimes against humanity committed during colonial rule under the British Empire.

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The reaction of the inveterate critics of the government to the proposed constitutional amendments, as usual, is not based upon reason. Their attempts to whip up hysteria that the two proposed amendments, especially the proposal to repeal Article 154(G)(3) as “dangerous”, and that they will render the 13th Amendment “worthless” are based not on reasoned logic, but on the entrenched position that carving out of an ethnic enclave in the North needs to be achieved at all costs.

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