Friday, November 18, 2011

The launch this morning of newspaper “Mawbima” a tale of back-stabbings

To coincide with the President’s birthday, Sarath Fonseka’s left over funds from his disastrous Presidential campaign, namely Rs500M is being used to launch the series of newspapers today. To please the President and to curry favor and promise to be servile, they begin the day with a special supplement to mark this birthday. It should therefore not be any surprise to know who they are trying to cow tow to!!!

Sarath Fonseka is said to be furious as it also marks the day the results of his White Flag case heard before the Supreme Court also comes out with a verdict, and if it was to use his money the least they could do would be to come out with the first edition on the 19th with a NOT GUILTY verdict!!(an unlikely scenario when there is no independent judiciary)

So Tiran Alles ‘of the secret deal with Prabarkaran fame’, which brought Mahinda into power, is now back to support him, deciding that the horse he backed at the last election with Mangala is not worth backing and is as good as dead meat. He maintains that the money is his as he brought it in from donors, whilst SF was hoping it would be useful to him to restart his fledgling bid in a party that is now almost defunct. We go next to discuss the longevity of this paper.

There will be the daily and Sunday editions both in Sinhala and English, and huge sums paid to poach staff from existing newspapers paying them between 50% and double what they were earning at their previous employers. I also understand that the previous employers were glad to see the back of them as they were the most untrustworthy staff, which was proved by their defection. This gives a chance for the up and coming younger people in those establishments to get to the next level.

It is expected that these papers will begin to make a profit in the 3rd year, which I think is doubtful, and they  will have to go into the 4th if they can last till then. They will also have to pump in at least Rs1B in this period to last this long before turning a profit. By siding with Mahinda and on the hope that he will bankroll them when needed they obviously do not seem to worry about this possibility.

Further it is also on good authority that I heard Maharaja Organization is also a stakeholder, with deep pockets to fund the initial losses, though if it goes on for too long I am not sure even they will carry the can if the circulation does not rise to the occasion and expectations.

I wish the paper every success, as it is good to have more choices of media to get opinions from and the reader should keep an open mind and know their angle!!!!

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