[2008-06-12 7.35pm] Five local media rights organizations have condemned the provocative language reportedly used against Secretary of the Working Journalists Association Poddala Jayantha by new chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Hudson Samarasinghe.
A statement by them said that Mr. Samarasinghe had indirectly called for the taking of the journalist’s life, while participating in a programme of TNL Radio on June 08th.
The SLBC head had reportedly said, “Poddala Jayantha, what do you know about the media? Do not sell the war. Will you provide for the children after bombs go off? Remember one thing. The country’s people will take care. Do not be traitors.”
In a similar tone, Mr. Samarasinghe had recently accused BBC Sandeshaya Correspondent Elmo Fernando against ‘interfering with local politics.’
The five media groups say such fascist utterances are only intended at provoking the people against dissenting voices.
Their statement further says that this individual had, in complete disregard to journalistic ethics, had targeted journalists, trade union and civil society leaders, through his hate speeches.
His appointment as a head of a state media institutions is an indication that the government too, approves of his conduct.
The statement warns that such hate speech spells danger to all democratic forces in the country.
It has been signed by the Free Media Movement, the Working Journalists Association, the Federation of Media Employees Trade Union, the Muslim Media Forum and the Tamil Media Alliance.