Gota Goes Berserk. Is this investigative journalism or provocative journalism?
Posted on July 12th, 2012

By Professional Analyst “”…” Canada. 12th., July 2012.

The Sunday Leader dated the 8th., July carried a news interview with the Secretary Defense Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa where investigative information as suggested by the journalist who produced the content has published them as being a dialogue between the journalist and the Secretary Defense on the phone regarding certain administrative matters that happened at the Sri Lankan Airlines, the National carrier. Interestingly the journalist is no other than the much gossiped about writer Ms. Fredrica Janaz who is the present editor of the Sunday Leader.

Reading through the article, I am surprised to see that it is NOT an investigative journalistic piece of work rather it is a provocative journalistic outcome report. Analyzing the episode of the first and the second telephone conversations, Ms. Federica Janaz has had with the Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, it is clearly evident that the approach Ms. Frederica Janaz had taken has had some ulterior motive, under the cloak of representing herself as a journalist. This is like a Member of Parliament questioning or making irrelevant and accusing statements against a Senior Ministry of Finance government official behind the cloak of Parliamentary privileges of MP’s as recently done by the Leader of the Opposition. But the privileges enjoyed by an elected member of parliament (MP) are governed by the Parliament (Powers Privileges Act/Amended Acts “”…” No. 21 of 1953, Law No. 05 of 1978, No. 17 of 1980, No. 25 of 1984, No. 37 of 1987 and No. 27 of 1997). Therefore the leader of the opposition has gone scotch free from the law. But the cloak of using herself as a “Journalist” to put on dock a Senior Government Official in the manner in which Ms. Federica Janaz has conducted herself, gave her no right within the “Rule of Law” or under any legislative enactments to do what she did. It is abuse and false pretext of communicating, of assuming to having a “Legal Right” as a journalist, that she has pretended to execute her stand during the dialogue with Secretary of Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa. It is only a Social misunderstanding of all laymen that Journalists have the Right to question anyone or publish any rubbish like what Ms. Fredrica Janaz has done in her article. Fortunately she wants to make a cover-up by stating: –

FJ: Mr. Rajapaksa I called you as a journalist to inform you of what was happening and get your version but all you have done is abuse me “¦

Furthermore, Ms. Federica Janz is lying in this statement because she was not really informing the Secretary of Defence, but the trend of the telephone communications between Ms. Federica Janaz and the Secretary of Defence when analyzed through Communication Science discipline clearly indicates that it is not an informative telephone call, but a provocative one.

The journalistic background of Ms. Fredrica Janaz is much questionable. It is more revealed that Ms. Frederica Janaz was a Personal Secretary to Mr. Kumar Rupasinghe when Mr. Rupasinghe was Country Representative for International Alert between 1995 and 1998 and was working in the IA office at Kinross Avenue, Wellawatte until when Ms. Federica Janaz was sacked from her job at International Alert around the first week of June 1998 for reasons still unexplained. Then the IA office was closed down on the 14th., of June 1998 because they feared that the security establishment were planning to raid IA office in Kinross Avenue to gather evidence of having links with the LTTE funding resources abroad. Her journalistic experience has only been as a on and off “freelance journalist” and due to the lack of good English educated professional journalists, any expressive English writer of some news of the caliber of Ms. Janaz was considered a “journalist. But press reporting evidence now reveals that she even knowingly with held information to the Colombo High Court during evidence time in May 2010.

Ms. Frederica Janaz failed to inform the court that she was employed between 1995 and 1998 by the International Alert, Colombo Office. Communicating and understanding communication has been a problem to this journalist. She has also been warned by judges to respect the court as she failed what was communicated by the judges in the White flag case evidence. Apart from the above, it is clear that the dialogue she has narrated in the news article published in the Sunday Leader under heading “Gota goes berserk” clearly indicates that she was communicating with a high ranking government official, who has had many years of living experience living in the United States. Therefore Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was not rude in his initial replies when, as claimed by the journalist, it was only intended to bring to notice the subject matters stated.

But the trend of the dialogue again confirms that it was more provocative than informative. In terms of communication studies and communication Science Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was behaving within the norms of the culture and background which he has got accustomed to by living in the US. Communication Scholars Prof. Ronald B. Adler and Prof. George Rodman in their book, “Understanding Human Communication” (eighth edition) P. 17, chapter 01 (Oxford University Press, 2003) state this:

“For example, qualities like being self-disclosing and speaking clearly that are valued in the United States are likely to be considered overly aggressive and insensitive in many Asian cultures, where subtlety and indirectness are considered important”.

Keeping to this analytic principle explained by the scholars in their book, of the behaviour that is valued by American citizens, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has replied the first two questions with the qualities of “being self-disclosing and speaking clearly” that are valued in the United States.

But the out of context dialogue which commenced with question 03 which should have been directed to the Sri Lankan Airlines was crossing the line of the intention of Ms. Frederic a Janaz which was NOT to inform, but to drag the listener to a provocative dialogue, which is what one has to presume, was the objective of the telephone calls that were made to the Secretary.

Ms. Frederica Janaz may have dragged the Secretary Defence to the situation what she has explained as life threatening to her as a Sri Lankan journalist “”…” specially a women, that too and it has already been radiated all around the world for cries of Anti-Sri Lanka slogans against the government of HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa. Thus it is clear that the article created and published by Ms. Federica Janaz in the Sunday Leader is blood for the vampires such as Dr Agnes Callamard, ARTICLE 19 executive director and the International community pro LTTE rump of the Diaspora. It is a preplanned and orchestrated provocative dialogue beyond all norms of the ethics of journalism and the International Journalistic codes to destroy democracy in Sri Lanka and to strength the anti-Sri Lankan media to energize the ideology of the LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka. This anti-democratic LTTE ideology and evil was that which the Secretary of Defence with the support of the security forces under the guidance of HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the patriotic leader of Sri Lanka, was able to root out fully.

Starting from the victorious debacle of Mavilaru (Mother of Rivers) in Trincomalee in 2008 resulting in the winning of the right of water to the farmers and the people of Trincomalee, which the brutal and ruthless LTTE had denied. The President cautioned the LTTE then, saying that the supply of water was a non-negotiable fundamental human right. “If any one tries to obstruct it by laying down conditions, the Government will do everything within its means to overcome such obstructions and cater to the people’s needs.” That was the accomplishment that the Secretary Defence fulfilled to his commander-in-chief and then continued bringing the war to an end at Nandikadal, the gift to a Nation by God “”…” PEACE at last on the 19th of May 2009. Is it to this citizen of Sri Lanka and a top government official that the editor of The Sunday Leader has focused to make offences of “Libel” or attempted to label offences of “desacato” under the Sri Lankan laws of defamation, raising questions on an issue that was officially not relevant to his Ministry or his duties as Secretary Defence. But Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was again fair enough to give frank answers to the questions raised about a puppy dog.

Being a citizen of Sri Lanka, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is not someone special because he is the brother of the President. He has all the equal rights as do all other citizens and there is nothing wrong in Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa getting down a puppy dog from abroad through a friend of his who is a pilot with the National carrier. Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has very simply informed Ms. Federica Janaz that he was paying for this service to Sri Lanka airlines. The Secretary Defence had even informed the Editor of the Sunday Leader of another incident of getting down a dog earlier the same way and nothing was wrong doing so too, he has exclaimed. In that incident all formalities, governmental approvals and the procedure and the requirements for importation of a dog as laid down by the Department of Animal Production and Health had been followed as required. But the provocative manner, in which the Editor of the Sunday Leader had conducted the continuation of the telephone dialogue, is the issue one has to focus our thoughts on. There was definitely a style of questioning, in challenging the Senior Government official pertaining to a subject matter and issue that did not come under his official purview.

The management and administration of Sri Lankan Airlines does not belong to Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa. This Mr. Rajapaksa has mentioned to the Editor Sunday Leader when she has raised questions about certain administrative and operational matters and had requested Ms. Frederica Janaz to contact Sri Lanka Airlines to obtain the information she was looking for. But the Editor of the Sunday Leader has been arrogant and continued with her provocative attitudes of journalism to question the Secretary Defence on irrelevant issues, which she has now used as a media sensation that has been published in the Sunday Leader under the heading “Gota Goes Berserk,” content that the anti-Sri Lanka international media is going to hell with now. That is what the anti-Sri Lanka pro LTTE rumps of the international media wants the Sunday Leader to do. Ms. Frederica Janaz the Editor of the Sunday Leader has accomplished that again.

The publication of the continued dialogue from question 3 onwards as narrated in the article fully satisfies the offences of “Libel and desacato”. Therefore the Secretary of Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has the right to commence action of “due process” for judicial review under the defamation laws of Sri Lanka for “Libel and or desacato” against the Editor of the Sunday Leader. Will the Secretary Defence do so?

9 Responses to “Gota Goes Berserk. Is this investigative journalism or provocative journalism?”

  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    WILL THE SECRETARY DEFENCE DO SO ? Definitely yes. He should commence action on Libel, Defamation and also Desacato ( act of contempt…disrespect )

    No citizen in Sri Lanka has the right to disrespect a very Senior Government Official, in the manner that she has done, questioning the Defence Secretary on matters relating to the Airlines, of which he has no administrative jurisdiction. It is wilful provocation with no deference to investigative journalism.

    This is one Journalist who has brought Sri Lanka Disgrace. It is time to rein her in.

  2. herman Says:

    Strongly suggest that Gotabaya learn and practice Meditation if he continues to tread the political path.

  3. callistus Says:

    Totally agree with the professional analyst. My friend got down his pet dog which he used to have in the US, and the whole thing including quarantine and other formalities and airfare cost him $5000. So, what’s wrong, if he could afford. Mud slinging is the Sunday Leader’s objective, and not informative journalism.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Why is Ms Janz provoking Gota at this point in time, when Security Issues are all important to Sri Lanka ?

    Attempting to connect some dots on some relevant points here :

    * The Navy is being asked to withdraw from Mullikulam Navy camp. What on earth for ? This Navy Camp is all important for Sri Lanka’s security to guard against ILLEGAL MIGRANTS & DRUG SMUGGLERS, mainly from Tamil Nadu, India. Also to contain Tamil Nadu fishermen from poaching in Sri Lanka sea waters. Note also that Rev. Reyappu Joseph is still in Mannar.

    * Mullikulam is located in the Mannar area. Mannar is the off shore OIL area and has to be protected. As with all the Natural Resources of Lanka, the Oil fields of Lanka belong to the People of Lanka. GoSL & our armed forces are the guardians of the Resources.

    We say to Gota : Best put the phone down on errant journalists and don’t get caught to their nasty traps. There are a number of subtle traps being laid on in Sri Lanka, inimical to the vast majority of the People of the land.
    Dear Gota, get yourself a dozen of puppy dogs, we are very happy that you love doggies ! And our thanks to you for all you and your family folk have done for this country and its masses of People.

  5. nilwala Says:

    Frederica Jansz has initiated the telephone conversation regarding the transport of a puppy that was being paid for by DefSec’s private funds, purely in order to provoke him and record it. Clearly, she has done so with malicious intent in the full knowledge that he is under much stress dealing with the multiple national issues being handled by his Ministry. He is known to have a short fuse, but considering the success with which he has handled the many challenges he has had to find solutions to, he has earned the respect of the nation, and his short temper is a small price for the nation to pay for the efficiency with with he gets things done.
    However, it is time that he faced this problem and found ways to stop himself, and exit a conversation with a polite short excuse when he finds his temper rising. Moreover, it is time that “call screening” is done before he picks up the ‘phone, and that he stops taking calls from journalists….particularly from those known to have ‘mala fide’ intent.

    It would be a bad idea however, to ban the Sunday Leader. We need rags like The Leader to remain available as venting devices until such time that they die a natural death.
    It takes all sorts….as the old adage goes!

  6. sena Says:

    Or better yet, go in the reverse direction on Freedom of information act and make it a crime for anyone who inquire about government business

  7. . Says:

    Message from Moderator to PW
    Dear PW, This is the reason why your comments are not published.
    Gotabaya Rajapakes is not the Defence Minister nor an elected politician. He is the defence secretary, an administrative position much similar to a civil servant’s job in UK. Please note that Lankaweb.com is not allowed to promote slinging mud at Sri Lankan political structure without any basis. As far as democracy is concern, Sri Lankan democracy is 10 times better than so called Western democracies. We don’t run Guantanamo bay type camps in Sri Lanka to keep know terrorists caged up indefinitely. We put them in Rehabilitation camp and release them once rehabilitated. Will you allow American journalists to writing pro al-Qaeda terrorist propaganda in your national papers in the US? . If they do what will happens to them. However, In Sri Lanka pro LTTE terrorist publications are not banned. This particular journalist is famous for writing pro terrorist articles. I think you should be more worried about the land where even an Indian Sikh man with a turban is not safe and could be a taken as a suspect terrorist because of his turban.

  8. Naram Says:

    What this episode shows is the highly transparent visible and apprachable nature of Sri Lanka’sgoverning apparatus.

    Perahps we are naive, and this well known gutter journalist is taking the country for a ride. Her loose way of conducting interviews are recorded in courts of justice past had approached the highly respected Permanent Secretary for the ministry of justice, without any intervening layers of checks.

    She had put questions of a personal nature deliberately to make him lose his temper.

    I cannotimagivne what right has Frederica Jansz to ask questions of this nature, surely such interviews should be pre- arranged. A permanent Secretary need not be available to answer questions from newspapers of low repute and low circulation.

    In all developed countries there are question sessions by the all part Pariamentary select committees where various high ranking officers are called to account for themselves by Parliamentarians. I have not seen any instance where gutter press journalists are allowed access to high ranking government servants for personal questions.

    In the so called democracy of UK we see billinnaire bankers, well trained by public relations industry evading a range of obsequious questions put to them by friendly parliamentarions whose verty parties get well oiled by the same industry with massive donations. Questioners are in first name terms with the suspect whose misdeeds arecausing misery to billions of people in all parts of the globe but massively enriching his own circle of is well known.

    In the watering holes of Colombo one hears many people speaking with contempt about Sri Lanka and those who hold positions of responsibilty wishing fora day the white man would come back to rule, doors will open for a surge of migrants from Enngland , Holland, Portugal and Tamil Nadu to teach Sri Lankans the fine art of governance.

  9. Vijendra Says:

    We all know from the white flag saga about the nature of this vicious and non-patriotic gutter journalist. There is no doubt that the readership will not forget that easily and will interpret whatever she says with that background. It is third class journalism by any standard.

    On the other hand, Mr. Gothabaya Rajapaksa was the strategist and director of the victorious anti-ltte war. He is a true patriot of SL. He remains a very high GOSL official and represents the GOSL, not only because he is a high GOSL official, but also because he is our President’s brother. He is very passionate and gets heart when someone tries to undermine what he says. I have seen him being interviewed on the BBC about Sarath Fonseka, and I still remember his angry reactions to some of the questions the interviewer was posing. As a representative of the GOSL, I am sorry to say that it was rather embarrassing. I know he is human being like anyone else, but as a Govt official, he should take care to keep calm under pressure for sure. As we all know, when one gets angry, all the reasoning goes out the door. So, as someone who admires the leadership of Mr. GR and all he has already done for us, I certainly would like him to cultivate more patience, which would come in handy when he is being interviewed or talking to these rabble-rouses. They are all out to get him and for that matter, anyone else who loves Sri Lanka. They are just scumbags, but a little patience and tact goes a long way to avoid slippage and getting dirty.

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