Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP and Proprietor of Uthayan newspaper, E. Saravanapavan, yesterday called on the Government’s Media Spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, to refrain from giving false news to the media. He was referring to Rambukwella’s comment that the damage to the Uthaytan office was insignificant, and that the media office is continuing to print as usual.
Saravanapavan said the Uthayan is in circulation as usual but with lesser pages as their web off-set machines had been razed to the ground.
“Our web offset machine had been torched completely, and now we are doing alright with the sheet spread machine,” he said. The newspaper has lesser pages, with the number being reduced from 32 to 12.
Referring to the statement by the Director General of the Media Centre for National Security, Lakshman Hulugalla, that the incident was an inside job, Saravanapavan charged that the Sri Lankan Police are very adept in closing down investigations based on ‘guessed intelligence.’
He added the Sri Lankan Police’ only ability is to close investigation within hours of commencing the same, and give a reason as to what would have caused of the incident. He said the police officers who had visited the scene of the incident had completed the investigation within hours and had concluded that it was an inside job. “The incident took place around 4.00 a.m. and by 10.00 a.m. the investigation was over,” he said.
Saravanapavan averred the government thinks all the people around them are fools. “The President is surrounding himself with the wrong people and one cannot expect justice in such an environment,” he said.
Referring to the allegations that certain elements are trying to tarnish the image of the country, Saravanapavan said the government has adopted this ploy several times. He said that in 2006 too the Uthayan paper had come under attack, at the time the International Journalist Forum was on in Colombo.
“Then too the government had come up with the same jargon. When masked gunmen entered the office, killed two people and injured eight others, the government said the same thing,” he recalled.
“If that is true, why is the Uthayan paper being the target, and why not any other paper?” he asked. He claimed that the Jaffna administration is under three entities – the Army, the Eelam Peoples’ Democratic Party (EPDP), and the Governor of Jaffna, and that the people are scared of the administration. “The Army in Jaffna is involved in all administrative work and Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe is behaving like a politician.”
Saravanapawan while wandering whether the President is aware of the happenings in Jaffna, said he is not against the government.