Monday, August 22, 2016
Sunday Times at war with Malik Samarawickrema, who is telling the truth?
The usual Media vs the Incumbent Govt. controversy has erupted again, this time with the Sunday Times accusing the Development Strategies and International Trade Minster of using foreign lobbyists and adding spice to this with the Foreign Ministry stating that they did not anything about it and that they at least should have been informed prior to agreeing to this SERVICE.
Of course it is the job of the Sunday Times as a respected Newspaper to pull the Govt. up for indiscretions. However in making serious accusations of this nature, it is best to check and double check the facts in the stories, which is the proper journalistic practice of professionals.
The Minister Malik appears to have insinuated that the truth was NOT corroborated by his Ministry as they were NOT asked about it in the first place and if they the facts would have been laid bare.
Unfortunately whether this is true or not, if this kind of accusation was made by the Sunday Times during the MR Regime when they were doing the same in this sort of headline fashion, instead of a tiny note somewhere in the inside of the paper, the MR Govt. would have at best WHITE VANNED THE EDITOR or at worst had him BUMPED OFF the following morning. It would have been nice if the actual piece in the paper actually mentioned that fact to put it in perspective. Otherwise the READER, the usual illiterate Colombo 7 jhonny, would be too ignorant to realize that things were far worse during MR and that the sums involved were too outrageous to be reasonable. The figures quoted if true are eminently reasonable!
So lets get back to the actual NEWS ITEM for a moment. If cabinet approval WAS obtained, then the Sunday Times must apologize for misleading the public. Secondly, give the right of reply to Malik, to exactly what this transaction is all about, without disclosing state secrets. We can then put this to bed, and begin a period of accommodation, where it is the duty of the Editor of the Paper, to be reasonable in his reports and use the MR fear factor in giving the current devil his due, and be responsible in reporting as the problem seems to me from the ruling coalition today, that the papers are taking an absurdly anti Govt. line, when the readership can be actually falsely lead to believe MR was actually more saintly!