by Karu Jayasuriya
Abuse of state media by the present regime, for political gain, disregarding accepted norms, is not a new phenomenon. We have highlighted this matter on many occasions.
TV programme broadcast by a state TV Channel, to discredit Mr. Mahela Jayawardena, Vice Captain of the Sri Lanka Cricket Team, is a clear proof that the state media is being used by the present regime not only to fulfill their political aspirations but in other areas as well.
It is evident that throughout Mahela and Thilan have unblemished cricketing careers. The veteran journalist who, contributed to the above TV Programme accuses Mahela using maliscious language without substantiating his story with facts. This journalist is an editor of a state owned paper.
Previously, on many occasions, opposition political parties, moderate members of society and the general public have questioned the partiality of such programmes. Government authorities have maintained silence regarding these accusations, indicating the tragedy that everything else has been subordinated by the political aspirations of the present regime.
In our opinion, the allegation if there are any against Mahela or any other member of the Sri Lanka Cricket Team, should be brought to the notice of the Sri Lanka Cricket. Broadcasting TV programmes of this nature, undermining accepted norms of media, engaging some journalist, will demoralize our cricketers.
No sensible person will pay any heed to false accusations against our players.
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State media institutions have no authority to broadcast such derogatory, programmes unilaterally without the knowledge of the government. It is regrettable that this is being done at a time our cricket team is engaged in the World Cup tournament.
You cannot boost the morale of a cricket team merely by creating a theme song or displaying banners. We wish all the best to Captain Kumar Sangakkara, Vice Captain Mahela Jayawardena and the other members of our national team and hope that they will have the courage and determination to win the World Cup for our motherland.
(Statement by Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, Deputy Leader, United National Party regarding the television programme broadcast by a state TV Channel demeaning Mr. Mahela Jayawardena,ViceCaptainofthe National Cricket Team)