Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Road Blocked – where is the local opposition? Don’t we care?

The available news is still very thin, and so the prevention of the freedom of movement and expression of people from the North, I believe Vavuniya and Mannar who wanted to come to Colombo to demonstrate, shows that the Govt. is still not prepared to entertain and dissent against its rule. The demonstration nevertheless went ahead in Colombo, but an additional 1000 would have added to the pressure!

The Govt. also staged a demo, basically accusing the TNA of not highlighting the  atrocities of the LTTE which seem never to be admitted yet by them as part of the quid pro quo of the LLRC. Both sides must come clean on atrocities.

This police blockage of people hiring buses to come to Colombo to demonstrate against the inaction on the Missing Persons issue is deplorable.

Of course it has not got on the main news yet, not because it is not important, but due to self censorship and instructions by the Govt. to all media NOT to report it and give it prominence, at a time SL is fighting a rearguard action to show they mean well, when they have skillfully shown themselves to be untrustworthy, as far as keeping promises in concerned.

The tragedy is further pronounced by the intervention of the US Embassy to denounce this prevention. Why is the US so worried? The explanation is simply because they are using their rights to bring it up, as it has been suppressed by the local media, and so the people of Sri Lanka don’t know what is happening under their noses, as they have a govt. in place that tries to suppress news that is unfavorable to it.

It is time the papers first investigated the incident, got all the facts from both parties and reported objectively on the news. Here I guess I am dreaming if I think our media can be objective.

It is up to Sri Lankan civil society devoid of INGO funding to take up the cudgel and shout, and it is the duty of the media to give prominence to home grown dissent in the interests of journalistic balance and fairness.

Too much Govt. propaganda is fed to people on a daily basis. It is time that there is some balance in reporting. If we cannot ask this of our media, they may as well pack up their bags and shut up shop in shame that they are unable to represent the interests of the people of Sri Lanka.

There are people taking a stand against acts or inaction of the Government. It is our duty to support them, and not spend time debating if and when to do so bearing in mind the parties, be it in this case TNA led activists agitating for some fairness in the search for their missing, an uncomfortable truth swept under the carpet.

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