Lanka Dissent’s response to Sunday Island

Tuesday, 16 September 2008 13:20   
The Editor of Lanka Dissent responded to a news report carried by the ‘Sunday Island’ newspaper of 07th September, 2008, titled “Jeyaraj quits Rivira / Nation group under new ownership” that introduced the “lankadissent” news website as belonging to Mr. Mangala Samaraweera.

The ‘Sunday Island’ of 14th September carried the response in part with an apology and we publish below, the full text of the response sent.

      07th September, 2008

The Editor,     
Sunday Island,
Upali Newspapers Ltd
223, Bloemendhal Road,
Colombo 13

Request for correction on reference to Lanka Dissent web site in news report – Jeyaraj quits Rivira / Nation group under new ownership

We refer to the above captioned news report in your Sunday edition of 07th September, 2008 and appreciate the fact that our web site had been duly credited as the news source.

Nevertheless we regret to inform you that your reference to our web site as “the Lanka Dissent website of Mr. Mangala Samaraweera.” is wholly incorrect, while we presume your reference is to the Matara District MP, Mangala Samaraweera.

Please do note, our web site has absolutely nothing to do with MP Mangala Samaraweera or his politics, both editorially and in ownership. The web site is owned and published by a small group of concerned citizens under the label “Centre for Social Democracy” and among them, there is not even a namesake Mangala Samaraweeera. The editorial too has nothing to do with Mr. Samaraweera.

Those who work for us as “news sources”, do have many links to very many political parties that cut across the ruling UPFA through the UNP, JVP and the JHU to the SLFP-M Wing and then to the small time left parties like the USP and the Left Front, as most or all newspapers and media channels do enjoy.

Besides that, we also do not know of such an editorial tradition or practice to refer to media when quoted for news as saying “……. of Mr. Welgama or Mahendra or Wijewardene” as one may wish to insert. This reference in your news report to Mr. Samaraweera therefore is most intriguing, while we see no reason for any one to link our website to Mr. Mangala Samaraweera, other than on ignorance or for political mischief.

That said, we wish you would give this complete letter of clarification due prominence in your columns and in your online edition too, as was done for the news report referred to.

Please also note that we would be publishing this letter in whole on Sunday the 14th September, in our own web site, after you carry this in your Sunday columns.

Thanking you in advance,

Yours in fraternity,

Indika Gamage