Connect with us

Special

Mawbima’ Condemn Violence Against Them

Editorial of “Mawbima” sinhala Weekaly, condemned increasing violence against the newspaper, by a statement.

Published

on

Editorial of “Mawbima” sinhala Weekaly, condemned increasing violence against the newspaper, by a statement.

The complete statement as follows:

On the orders of the Defense Secretary, Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Mr. Dushyantha Basnayake, a Director of Standard Newspapers (Pvt.) Limited, and the Publisher of ‘Maubima’ and ‘Sunday Standard’ newspapers, was arrested at around 10PM on 26 February by the Terrorist Investigations Division (TID). The arrest took place at the offices of CBE (Pvt.) Limited., where Mr. Basnayake is the Managing Director.

Furthermore, we have been informed by reliable sources that Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa intends to arrest Mr. Tiran Alles, the Chairman of Standard Newspapers (Pvt.) Limited. Until Minister Mangala Samaraweera was relinquished of his duties as the Minister of Ports & Aviation, Mr. Tiran Alles functioned as the Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services Limited.

Following a complaint made by a certain individual a few months ago, Criminal Investigations Division (CID) interviewed Mr. Dushyantha Basnayake. Upon completion of the interview, officers of the CID stated that there were no allegations against Mr. Basnayake and he wasn’t even required to make an official statement. A few days after this incident, President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself phoned Mr. Basnayake and expressed his regrets for the inconvenience caused to him. Under these circumstances, it is clearly obvious that Mr. Basnayake has been arrested in order to harass the Maubima newspaper.

After Ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi were dismissed, the President convened a meeting of the Executive Committee of the SLFP in order to give his reasons for the dismissal of two senior Ministers. At the ensuing press conference, President Rajapaksa was very critical of Maubima newspaper’s coverage of human rights violations. President Rajapaksa also criticized the management and the journalists of Maubima newspaper during his press conference of 24 February.

It is now clear that these threats and allegations are not merely confined to words. A few days ago, there was an order to impound the passports of Mr. Tiran Alles and Mr. Dushyantha Basnayake. There also is a campaign underway to intimidate and harass the advertisers of Standard Newspapers. This campaign of intimidation against Standard Newspapers is being carried out because President Rajapaksa misguidedly believes that Standard Newspapers support the politics of Mr. Mangala Samaraweera.

A few months ago, Maubima published an article critical of the President. There was an additional article that stated that a certain group in the United States was going to file a lawsuit against Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for human rights violations. This was the beginning of the campaign of harassment against Maubima. Due to extreme pressure brought on our journalists, Maubima was forced to discontinue their defense and political columns. We were under pressure not to publish even articles that were already published by other newspapers. There were special restrictions placed on our newspapers when it came to publishing stories on the irregularities and corruption in the Government. We had to think twice before writing any story that exposed corruption in any Ministry under President Rajapaksa. Most times we were forced to cancel such articles. Finally, even our coverage on the human rights abuses that were happening throughout Sri Lanka became an issue with the President. We were forced to curtail our reportage on these stories due to the harassment and death threats made on the management and journalists of our newspapers.

The first step in this intimidation campaign was an allegation against our newspapers that claimed we were supportive of the LTTE. We have amply proved that these allegations were baseless and untrue, on many previous occasions. Our newspapers are a platform where viewpoints of every ethnic and political group in Sri Lanka can be found. This conspiracy to harass and intimidate the Maubima newspaper is due to the fact that several powerful politicians dislike our independent viewpoints.

As part of this intimidation campaign, a Tamil journalist for our newspaper, Ms. Parameshwari Munuswamy, was arrested a few months ago under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and is languishing in prison without any charges being brought against her. Our journalists have been receiving death threats, which increased after the press conference by the President and the Defense Secretary on 24 February. We categorically state that the arrest of Mr. Dushyantha Basnayake and the plan to arrest Mr. Tiran Alles is a blatant attempt to silence the Maubima newspaper.

Under the unstable, volatile political climate that prevails in Sri Lanka, the defense apparatus has the right to detain and investigate any person they deem suspicious. We accept this fact. However, abusing the laws of the country and exploiting the PTA to harass and intimidate journalists who are critical of politicians is something that we thoroughly condemn. This cowardly attempt to intimidate and silence Maubima is a blatant abuse of power by politicians in high office.

This campaign of intimidation against Maubima newspaper is a reflection of the Government�s attempt to suppress the media. The intimidation campaign that Maubima is facing today, is something that will most certainly be leveled against other newspapers and media organizations tomorrow. Therefore, we request every one to unite and help defeat the forces that are trying to suppress an independent media and the freedom of the press.

On behalf of Maubima,

Thilakaratne Kuruwita Bandara
Chief Editor � Maubima

Ruvan F. Guruge
Director Editorial Board � Maubima

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Special

President orders investigations into Daham’s nightclub scandal

(NIDAHASA News) President Maithiripala Sirisena call for an investigation into the Colombo nightclub attack allegedly carried out by his own son.

Published

on

(NIDAHASA News) President Maithiripala Sirisena call for an investigation into the Colombo nightclub attack allegedly carried out by his own son.

A group allegedly led by Sirisena’s son Daham attacked Clique nightclub at Town Hall, Colombo last Friday (07), allegedly after they were denied entry to the nightclub around 2.00 am. A security guard was admitted to the Colombo National Hospital following the attack with head injuries.
However, speaking to Sri Lanka Mirror web site, police denied any connection of President’s son to the incident.
“He had arrived there around 7.00 pm, and it was a long time later that the clash took place,” Sri Lanka Mirror quoted the police.
In 2013, during the time his father was a minister, Daham Sirisena was accused of attacking a youth at Passikudah beach.

Continue Reading

Special

Severe weather: over 200 families missing

(NIDAHASA News) Over 200 families missing after a massive landslide in Aranayaka, in Kegalla district.

Published

on

(NIDAHASA News) Over 200 families missing after a massive landslide in Aranayaka, in Kegalla district.

“16 bodies have already been recovered and about 180 people have been rescued,” said military spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera.

“The task is to figure out what happened to them,” the Red Cross said in a statement, noting that some people may have left after local officials warned earlier this week of possible landslides.

The Disaster Management Center (DMC) reported over 350,000 people were affected by floods and landslides caused by massive rains.

Meanwhile warning has been issued to several suburbs areas of capital Colombo due to the increasing water level or Kelani river. People living in Wellampitiya, Megoda Kolonnawa, Sedawatte, Kohilawatte and surrounding areas have been asked to move to a safe place.

The depression, named BOB 01 is currently moving towards South India; however rain will continue for several areas in Sri Lanka until the end of this week, weather specialists say.

Continue Reading

Special

Sri Lanka's firebrand Buddhist monk arrested

(NIDAHASA News) Supporters of Galagodaatte Gnansara started a violent protest in front of Homagama court after magistrate ordered to remand infamous Buddhist monk till 09th February.

Published

on

(NIDAHASA News) Supporters of Galagodaatte Gnansara started a violent protest in front of Homagama court after magistrate ordered to remand infamous Buddhist monk till 09th February.

The General Secretary of extreme Buddhist movement Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) surrendered to the court this morning (26) after magistrate ordered police to arrest the for alleged contempt of court. He was accused of making an argument with the judge during the court hearing of disappeared journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda's habeas corpus.

Gnanasara has alleged that arresting the Army officers over Ekneligoda's disappearance was illegal and the prosecution should be arrested for “illegal arrests” of military officers. The counsel representing the missing journalist's family informed the court that the monk has also threatened the journalist's wife Sandhya.

Protesters, including a group of monks attempted to enter the court premises challenging the court's order to arrest their General Secretary and tried to block the prison vehicle. Police however managed to take Gnanasara to the remand prison with the support of extra police team.

Gnanasara and his BBS had been accused of inflaming religious tension between Majority Buddhists and Muslims. They were also accused of being a cat's paw of previous Rajapaksa regime. However BBS denied any secret relationship with Rajapaksa brothers.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2018 NIDAHASA