Written by Staff Writer
12 Nov, 2013 | 8:46 pm
The Samagi Movement or Force for Unity, convened a media briefing in Colombo on Tuesday to raise awareness regarding the Samagi Human Rights Festival which is to be held over the next two days in Pittakotte.
Visiting Channel 4 Journalists Callum Macrae and Jonathan Miller were also present at the event.Channel 4 Journalist:
”You say that President Rajapaksa is riding roughshod over these Commonwealth values, And the first one in the charter as you say is democracy, but the fact that you are sitting here in Sri Lanka today, raising this, is surely an example, the President would argue, that democracy is happening in Sri Lanka. You are free to say this.”Mangala:
”Yes, you are absolutely right. We are free to say what we like here. But if you look at the news stations tonight. Many of what we say here will not be broadcast. And any criticism, specially if it involves the Rajapaksa family, is all expunged or deleted from all broadcasts. I mean that is how they operate this so-called democracy.”Mangala:
”You should just check tonight, maybe with a translator and see, how much of what we said will be broadcast. It will be virtually nothing, virtually nothing. But we will let you have a copy iof tomorrow and day after, er…tomorrow’s programme. Actually in Sinhalese it is called the voice of disssent. And we will be having various presentations and we hope that you can have some time to come there.”
While Mangala Samaraweera thus extols the virtues of democracy, this is what he as a member of the government had to say about Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.
1) “What did Ranil Wickremesinghe do? He remained in the Batalanda Camp consuming whisky and brandy when youngsters were being tortured.”
2) “Ranil Wickremesinghe who is becoming more and more desperate with each defeat is making various statements. He may have forgotten the past, he must think that the people of this country have also forgotten it. For example, on this article in the Daily Mirror Ranil Wickremesinghe says “a clean bill in politics since 1977. Ranil seeks mandate.” He is the only person who says that he has a clean political bill that is because there isn’t anyone to say this to him, not even in his own party ..”
3) “Ranil Wickremesinghe sent Malik Samarawickrama to Wanni to tell them to make threats that the war will start again if the People’s Alliance forms a government with the JVP. If anyone believes that Ranil Wickremesinghe will bring peace to the country, they need to get their heads checked ..”
Those were statements made back then by Mangala Samaraweera who speaks of democracy today. It would be pertinent to consider how such a person behaves without power and what would happen if he was vested with power.
As a responsible media institution, we do not report false information and nor do we say that everything in the country is good. However, we will not hesitate to expose irresponsible opportunists.
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