Posted on November 2nd, 2009

By Noor Nizam, Sri Lanka Peace Activist and Freelance journalist “”…” Canada. Nov.2nd., 2009.

The government needs better communications experts and personalities to stop the hounding media from false news.

It is indeed a sincere statement expressing the governments stand and the assurance given by HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa as the President of Sri Lanka in defending the situation in which General Sarath Fonseka has been placed. Making the statement to the media that the Government of Sri Lanka stand firmly behind the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff of Sri Lanka, and will not allow that high post to be denigrated or made vulnerable should be the stand of the government, be it General Sarath Fonseka or any other General holding that position.

 But what I cannot understand is the content is the address to the media made by the Foreign Minister. The “metaphors of the message” seems to create opinions unwarranted in terms of the subject matters and has NOT focused on the prime issue of “a voluntary statement” requested by the US Department of Homeland Security or DHS. Moreover the statement redirects circumstantial thoughts to the media and others following this issue to the fact that the Government of Sri Lankan is “panicky” with regards to the “intention expressed” by a telephone call on 28 October, received by General Sarath Fonseka during which a US DHS Attorney had stated that the objective of the interview is to use him “ƒ”¹…”as a source against human rights violations done by Secretary/Defence’.  It was earlier reported in the press that this official referred to Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the Minister of Defence. When a senior cabinet minister, specially the FM makes statements like “”…”

 “Moreover, whatever General Fonseka may have become aware of during his service with the Government of Sri Lanka and in the course of his duties, has the status of privileged information. He has no authority to divulge or share this information with third parties, without the prior approval and consent of the Sri Lanka authorities.”

through the analysis of the principles of Communication Science, this statement has indicated and can be concluded as a “metaphor” that the FM is of opinion that the General is NO MORE serving the government of President HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The first troublesome statement/sentence is “during his service with the Government of Sri Lanka”. The other troublesome statement/sentence is “He has no authority to divulge or share this information with third parties, without the prior approval and consent of the Sri Lanka authorities.” What is the FM trying to infer by these statements to the media is a big question now? But the worst of the statement to the media is what has been said as follows:

 “Firstly, whatever information General Fonseka may have acquired in the exercise of his official duties is privileged by nature. Therefore, it cannot legally be shared with third parties without the prior approval and consent of the Sri Lanka authorities. The matter under reference has serious implications for the security and welfare of the people of Sri Lanka and the Government of Sri Lanka will under no circumstances authorize such an illegal act.”

As a Communication specialist and a researcher in “political communication studies” attached to a leading University in Canada, it is my analytic opinion that the FM of Sri Lankan has “jumped the gun”, in making such statements. The FM has addressed General Sarath Fonseka as of a “Prisoner in the Dock” and referred to an innocent Defence Secretary as of “an accused of circumstances”.

It is time up that the Cabinet ministers or politicians of Sri Lanka should learn to be more responsible in what they speak out, especially to the press or media. It would have been, in this respect most appropriate for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the FM to have consulted Communication experts and legal personalities in preparing the statement made. Further political communication analysis clearly indicates that such statements made can be detrimental to the subject matter at large and can hurt Sri Lanka at the end. It can also lead to instigating the media/press to pick on the “UNWARRANTED STATEMENTS/SENTENCES” and “go to town” in creating imaginary news items and news datelines. Already news websites droning the cloak of supporting the HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa government and the Secretary Defence have begun to drive the wedge between the unity of our great 3 patriots of modern political history of Sri Lanka.

The government of Sri Lanka should spend more time in looking at the US Title 18, Part 1 > Chapter > 18 U.S.C. § 2441 : US Code – Section 2441: War crimes and the USA Patriotic Act of October 26th., 2001 signed by President George W. Bush and the amended Act of March 9 and 10, 2006. It should use the best of it’s eminent lawyers of International Law and International Relations to study how the situation of the assumed War crime allegations can and will affect General Sarath Fonseka and Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa as both of them are assumed to be US Green card holders and dual citizens of Sri Lanka. This will give a clear picture that the situation is not grave as the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka has tried to dramatize to the media.  

In my opinion, there is and will be NO harm done to the Secretary of Defence, even if the General speaks out as assumed by the Foreign Ministry address to the press, which I am sure will NOT be so.

Therefore, once again, please do not hurt the General or the President any more. Do not hurt Gotabaya too. DO NOT DIVIDE THEIR UNITY PLEASE. These are patriotic citizens of Sri Lanka who have given their best to the nation to remove the threat of violence and terrorism and create an atmosphere of peace and sustainability inclusive of harmony to the Nation of Sri Lanka. The opportunistic politicians, political leaders and the media should, including the international press/media stop their nonsense forthwith. Lets us stand united to save the present for the future of our children by the grace of God Allmighty. Let us fight the USA even to save our 3 patriots. It is our National duty. 


  1. Raj Says:

    Thank you Noor for this article. You are absolutely right in everything you say here.
    Raj Tharmasunderam

  2. cassandra Says:

    The points are well made. This, surely, is not the first example of ill advised statements that ministers of the SL government make from time to time. It is time for the SL government to become more professional in this area. And anyway if you have nothing useful to say, it is best to say nothing rather than end up saying the ‘wrong’ thing. As someone once observed, it is better to remain silent and let people think you are a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.

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