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Re-clarification of facts on Minister John Amaratunga media incident

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 14 June 2017 00:02

A re-clarification of the facts on the much magnified incident at Minister John Amaratunga’s residence on the 8th June 2017 has become necessary in view of comments and reaction enticed by the reporting of the incident. Re-confirming the fact that no media was invited by me to the meeting of the Minister with the members of the Organization for Conservation of Muthurajawela ,directly or otherwise, for it was a mere briefing and discussion, which was conspicuous by the absence of the State Media normally invited if coverage is so required. The uninvited presence of the journalist involved with the incident who represented three private TV Channels although seemed out of place was tolerated in good faith. However it soon became clear that his presence had an ulterior purpose and his irritating and endless questioning of the Minister even after the Meeting had ended successfully, seemed to prove that he was pursuing to obtain through provocation a targeted response from the Minister very clearly subscribing to promote the political or other agenda of the people he actually represents. His behavior seemed to represent a person under the influence of liquor.

Questioning is a major tool used by journalist but it needs to be fair and by ethical means. Minister Amaratunga is one of the most senior parliamentarians in the country with over 40 years of representation but was treated un-respectfully and provocatively by the Journalist whose track record in journalism is known to be highly questionable. The country needs good journalists respecting ethical values contributing to a better media culture for better and healthy democracy in the country.

Lawrence Madiwela

Media Secretary to the Minister of Tourism Development & Christian Religious Affairs

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