Agents of Good Governance and their attitude on Media Freedom

by Staff Writer 04-07-2018 | 3:57 AM
Colombo (News1st) : One of the key promises of the good governance government was media freedom. However, it seems that some of the officials of this Government have forgotten what media freedom truly is. An audio recording of  Thusitha Haloluwa, who is acting as the chief of staff of a key ministry and a working director of a major state-owned copmany, has emerged where he is heard berating a journalist in filth for questioning him about an allegedly corrupt transaction. (VIDEO ABOVE) Darshana Handungoda of SL VLOG states that the Haloluwa's slang-filled tirade was prompted by a question about Jeya Sudir Jeyaram and a deal that he had reached with Halouwa. Jeyaram who is mentioned in this conversation was arrested at the BIA for trying to smuggle out a stock of foreign currency several months ago. The outburst has been condemned by a number of politicians. What is most astounding is that people holding government positions are issuing threats to journalists at a time when the leaders of this country are continuously commenting on Media Freedom. If Thusitha Halloluwa wishes to make a clarification or a counter the revelation made by the journalist, there are many democratic means accepted in society including a judicial process that could be followed. Haloluwa introduced himself as someone who workers for senior politicians such as Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Amarasiri Dodangoda and Dilan Perera in the capacity of Media Secretary. He also claims to have worked in the media unit of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranatunga. Is it not this very person who was once detained in Malaysia for not possessing proper documentation? Is it also not this very person who was detained by Security Forces at the BIA for attempting to carry money out of the country illegally? The conduct of such an individual who is using power and position will never be accepted by a moral and disciplined society. Is it not the government itself that falls into an uneasy situation when people who hold government positions or are government stakeholders boast about their positions and engage in conduct that threatens and intimidates the media? We would like to remind those who level such threats to the Media that Media Institutions too are in possession of details of all their secret businesses and assets.