The “Praveena Deshapalana Vicharaka” (The veteran Political Analyst)
Posted on January 1st, 2018

 Upali Cooray

The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses. Malcolm X.

The political talk shows and news casts in Sri Lanka media has relative independence in addressing the public unlike during the previous regime. Those so called journalists” were not to be seen during that time, only the bold and the brave carried on regardless. Some of them had to pay with life for being critical of the corrupt. Lasantha Wickramatunga, Prdeep Eknaligoda were two such persons. Keeth Noeyer, Farrahz Shaukatally escaped death.

 Farraz Shaukatally was shot by three unidentified gunmen in his own bedroom. Shaukatally, who was an investigative journalist for the privately owned Sunday Leader (whose editor was murdered in 2009), has been known for his exposés on corruption in the country.

While Shaukatally was recovering at the National Hospital in Colombo a rally, held by Buddhist extremists, was taking place in the outer suburbs of the city. The BBC crew that was on hand to report the incident was harassed and placed under citizen arrest” by a mob before being handed over to the police. The Police continued to detain the crew on site until their superior officer arrived and ordered their release.

While both issues are on opposite spectrums of the crackdown in media freedom, these were certainly just a few signs of the anxiety faced by journalists in the country during MR regime.

Sri Lanka is no stranger to a poor record in media freedom.

 Attacks on journalists were not the only issues facing the media in Sri Lanka, an encroachment on the independence of media outlets continued. In October of 2012, the Sunday Leader, one of the more outspoken newspapers in the country, was purchased by a close friend of the ruling family. The following weeks saw the departure of the editor-in-chief and several columnists over allegations of censorship 

While the Sunday Leader was purchased, other newspapers that have chosen to remain independent did so by avoiding certain pressing issues. This is a simple case of keeping their head below the surface and drifting with the tide.

Despite the issues facing journalists many of them refused to bow down. In the north of the country; Tamil newspapers continued to report the issues facing the populace often at great risk to them.

Earlier the distributors of the Uthayan, a leading Tamil newspaper in the country, were attacked by an unidentified group when attempting to deliver the papers.

This was not the first time this paper had come under attack; back in July 2011 the paper’s news editor (Gnanasundaram Kuhanathan) was brutally assaulted by two men armed with iron rods.

What was becoming even more disturbing for the industry was the repeated rebuffing by authorities in bringing to justice those responsible. Investigations in to the 2009 murder of former Sunday Leader editor, Lasantha Wickrematunge, appear to have come to a grinding halt. In 2012 one of the leading suspects in the case died while in police custody, despite a coroner’s report being produced there appears to have been no follow up to his death. Since then no new suspects have been found.

Similarly the other attacks on journalists have gone unimpeded with no arrests and imprisonments being made. Not only was this a comment on the reluctance of the authorities to put a stop to these attacks, but also an indirect green light to the groups to continue their assaults. Each attack that went scot-free was a message that they can continue.

According to the Center for protection of Journalists; there are currently 23 journalists from Sri Lanka in exile, 19 have been murdered since 1992 and one is missing. The figures do not make for good reading, and certainly smears a dreary picture of the situation on the ground.

Despite the increasing demands from the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner regarding the increasing attacks changed little. With the U.S. resolution against Sri Lanka presented at the UNHRC meeting in Geneva, questions over the country’s membership to the Commonwealth arose.

The situation since 2015 brought a mass of so called Journalists. One particular feature is, they called themselves experts in Journalism. A media man who is often called to give his political views is addressed as Praveena Deshapalana Vicharaka (Expert political analyst ) This particular person who has no media education at all has only the O’levels but belongs to a political family more known for corruption than a very popular game played in Sri Lanka. He was not to be seen during Mahinda Rajapaksa days. The media channel for which he works have young, professionals qualified with Masters Degrees in media, are no match for him. Probably they are not aware he was collecting commissions from suppliers when his father was a minister in charge of well-known state trading organization.

It is the web Journals such as Lankaweb and few other Jornals which were able to face the onslaughts and even threats to their lives.

The purpose of this piece is to expose Praveena Deshapalana Vicharakayas” who only sings for their supper.

Upali Cooray

[email protected]

3 Responses to “The “Praveena Deshapalana Vicharaka” (The veteran Political Analyst)”

  1. Christie Says:

    To me this looks like an interesting article by another ““Praveena Deshapalana Vicharaka” (The veteran Political Analyst””.

    Ask Trump and he says “Fake News” about the media. This applies to our media, definitely.

    India and Indian Colonial Parasites use the media world wide to protect their interests. The best example is the silence if the world when it comes to Rohingiyaas who have returned to India where their roots are.

  2. ranjit Says:

    Media is not accurate and telling the truth all the time . Faked cnews always there in every day to day newspapers . You should not blame Rajapaksa era for all the corruption and murder of journalists. How many were killed in cold blood during JVP insurgency and during UNP was in power before Rajapaksa ? Eknaligoda was a LTTE sympathizer and a supporter. LTTE was a criminal outfit who massacred thousands in cold blood . What about one of our famous and likable journalist Richard Zoysa who killed him? Why nobody ask that ? What about corruption now ? Who stole the central bank ? Under which government all this happened ? After independence every government was corrupt that’s why we are in this situation today if not we are second to Japan only. We need a strong sinhala buddhist leader who has the willpower, vision and courage to stand in his two feet straight and take bold decisions on every issue concerned our motherland . Laws should be one to all citizens in the country All the citizen must obey the national 🇱🇰 flag , national anthem and respect the laws of the country . Those who don’t abide by the rules and conditions of the majority should leave the motherland and go and find their own likable place to live without creating unnecessary problems like destroying our land, buddhist monuments ,Temples,Forests,Rivers and other important places in the country . Media has a duty to expose all the conspirators , thieves and saboteurs within and outside . We need to save our country from minority terrorists and western and indian parasites before they erase our identity and the Sinhala motherland .

  3. Christie Says:

    Thanks Ranjit

    I agree with you except this one. ” After independence every government was corrupt that’s why we are in this situation today if not we are second to Japan only”

    Corruption started with SWRD in 1956. He was financed by India and local Indian Colonial Parasites.

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