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Sri Lanka’s Media Requested To Avoid Negative Media Coverage – OpEd

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By Shenali Waduge

Many would agree that reading the newspaper, watching the news or listening to the radio the public hear nothing but crimes, killings, drugs, murders, rape, suicides whether it is taking place in Sri Lanka or globally. For the reader, viewer or listener it does not afford a pleasant experience to start the morning off with such news. It is nothing but depressing.

By requesting media to avoid negative coverage of news it does not denote that media must sing hosannas of the Government, neither does it mean media must sing hosannas for the opposition but it signifies a key role Sri Lanka’s media needs to play especially when a country has moved to a phase devoid of decades of terror. At the same time the media is beholden to protect the integrity of the nation which comes before all else. Self-censorship is thus an important area that media in Sri Lanka fail to understand the importance of. Rather than enforced laws in place if media advocates its own policy of ensuring the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka is never compromised a lot of negative vibes would not take place? There are nicer ways of putting things in perspective and it need not have to always take an attack mode of strategy. That is how respect can be earned.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

The media must realize that Sri Lanka’s polity has been victims of 3 decades of news that had nothing more than hearing or reading about bombs, suicide missions and fear as a result of LTTE terrorism. With the elimination of that terror the people now deserve to read and listen to far more nicer things than they currently do.

We are well aware that media cannot deny that in relaying information to us they do so with a pinch of salt and often refraining from conveying the exact story to leave room for sensationalism. The electronic media are the guiltiest of this abuse of their role. In many country codes have been given to media on the type of reporting that they must conform to.

Be that as it may the people deserve far better than to have to start their morning by opening the newspaper and reading how many men paid to have sex with a pregnant woman, how a child killed himself, how many times a woman was beaten! Such figures and statistics whilst important for those doing research and reports, should be kept by the media unit, the police and the Government Information dept to be given on a need basis.

What the media can do is to use these incidents and provide a greater service by using their medium to promote good living, good habits and good practices using these incidents that are taking place in Sri Lanka as well as worldwide. Without conveying the raw details as they happen it would be far nicer to have the media playing a bigger role in partnering the growth of Sri Lanka instead of depicting it in poor light. This would lead to the media offering a far better customer centric service to the public as well as to the country one which would do a greater service to society and Sri Lanka as well.

The views expressed are the author’s own.

One thought on “Sri Lanka’s Media Requested To Avoid Negative Media Coverage – OpEd

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    October 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm
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    Hi Shenali Waduge, Here we go again! with lies and more lies ‘agreed upon’ by your government and ilk’s like you to inform the international community a very maliciously distorted facts. Having read some of your articles it seems that you are a communal minded racist. Intentionally trying your level best to cover-up all the horrendous deeds carried out by successive Sinhala governments and paint innocence. Get out of your parochial thinking.
    Let me tell you at the very outset, I am no writer with journalist hue, neither a prophet, or a politician. Neither an apologist for LTTE. I have lived in the West for the past five decades. A rational thinker able to read between lines and analyse various matters. Have been following carefully what was happening in Ceylon, later when it became Srilanka without consulting or taking any note of other ethnic groups, especially the Tamils. I have taken into account all events that took place and how they were presented to International community and the intention. This government, with many elitists calling themselves as patriots and ilk’s like yourself have never stopped, but kept on harping on the ‘era of terrorism’.( Thirty Years or so), Is it because this is a ‘comfort zone’ where you can go on bashing the LTTE and hide behind anti-terrorist slogan. Many of the wayside- claymore bombing were carried out by Army Intelligence unit in the Sinhala provinces and comfortably placed the blame on their opponent’s. Similarly few high profile assassinations were carried out and then conveniently palmed off. There is a history, that all the Commission Of Inquiries have came to nothing in Srilanka. The COI set up in 2006 by this President who also had invited the IIGEP’s from eleven countries also ended with the same fate. The IIGEP’s left with disgust in March 2008. So far no true culprits were found, but scapegoats are serving prison time, even without being charged and found guilty. This why the negative vibrations will not and still emanating in Srilanka.
    There were no Terrorist, or militant Tamil groups before Mid 1970’s. Is it very convenient to forget the atrocities committed from 1956 to 1983. A well calculated structural genocide was committed and being continued to be committed in Srilanka on the Tamil community. It is the parochial mind set based on Mahavamsa which had created this militancy among the Tamil youths. “Indiscriminate Aerial bombing and scorched land policy” of the Sinhala government which contributed towards the creation of the Suicide bombers. what you have written “Is it the whole truth but nothing but the truth”? Or else; Excerpt from your article—“The media must realize that Sri Lanka’s polity has been victims of 3 decades of news that had nothing more than hearing or reading about bombs, suicide missions and fear as a result of LTTE terrorism. With the elimination of that terror the people now deserve to read and listen to far more nicer things than they currently do”. If the LTTE terrorism was eliminated, why are people fearing to speak out, Journalist had to flee, why risk their lives and get into ‘rickety boats’ to migrate out of this paradise? If negative views about the Srilankan State is to stop the government has to put its house in order. Bring good governance into practice, weed out the corrupt politicians, reconcile with minority groups, a genuine feeling be created within the citizens of Srilanka, make them feel, that all are equal and do belong to their mother land. Stop wiping out Tamil peoples of their Identities and their ancestral home by land grabbing for colonisation and militarisation.This would help to prevent negative vibrations from the Diaspora too.

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