Dayan Jayatilleke (our Permanent Rep to UN in Geneva) responding to Reporters Without Borders condemning the attack on Voice of Tigers as quoted in Today's (30 Nov) Island:
"The radio station concerned is neither an independent media organization nor located in an independent country. In short, it was neither legal nor legitimate. It was not, for instance Al Jazeera or the Serbian TV." (http://www.island.lk/2007/11/30/news14.html)
Is it that the government will attack all 'non-independent media' organisations? There goes all our media organisations!! And not located in an independent country? Is he conceding that Killinochi is no more part of the independent country of Sri Lanka?
And this is our Prof Rajiva Wijesinghe. An extract from an interview that he gave to BBC Asia today. He himself has taken pride in what he has said in the interview that he has got it posted on the Peace Secretariat website.
Presenter: But it is rather unlikely that you have taken out one of their chief egotiators on the very same day we saw colonel Karuna arrested here in London and the charge that’s put is that it was the Sri Lankan government that enabled him to travel – to get him out of the way – on a diplomatic passport.
Dr.Rajiva Wijesinha: That charge I have certainly read and it is conceivable but when I first saw he was in London I thought that this was a wonderful British way of removing a problem and agreeing to have him...I think certainly the fact that Karuna is no longer in the East would help in reducing
some of the tension.
Prof Wijesinghe is known for his almost daily reports on the SCOPP webiste using the space to mud sling on a wide variety of people - Prof. Uyangoda (for calling the secretariat a war secretariat - I am full in agreement with the Professor), Bradman Weerakoon, Rohan Edrisinha, Dr. Saravanamuttu, Sunila Abeyesekera and others who resigned from the advisory committee to the Ministry of Human Rights, the International Commission of Jurists etc etc, and of course the UNP and its leader.
There used to be a time when our public officials though controlled by politicians were careful in showing themselves as apolitical. Nowadays this is not the case. And Dayan an Rajiva are of course political appointees and people who were involved in politics. Rajiva was President of the Liberal Party and Dayan's political credentials are very diverse to elaborate, including his short stint as Minister of Fisheries in the Varadaharaja Perumal North East Provincial Government.
Post Script - 02 December 2007
Todays Sunday Island in its editorail commends Dayan's remarks:
Ambassador Dayan Jayatillake in Geneva competently handled criticism by various organization, including the local Free Media Movement, of the bombing of the Voice of Tigers radio station in Kilinochchi shortly before Prabhakaran’s annual birthday speech by pointing out that VoT was neither an independent media organization nor located in an independent country. It was a propaganda organ of an armed separatist organization designated as terrorist by many countries. The employment of civilians in that facility, if indeed there were any, was a choice made by the LTTE. The target was a legitimate one.
So the message is: "If the LTTE employs civilians then we cant help it. Its unfortunate. LTTE should be blamed. We are helpless"