A Sri Lankan Journalist Eagerly Toes the Line
This New York Times article is impressive. Rajpal Abenayake is one of the few really professional journalists of this country. What he says is highly important despite his present day extreme partiality towards the government which goes so deep to name the journalist accused of killed by the government as terrorists using journalism as a cover. The statement at least admits the responsibility of the assassinations.
Actually, the government too has a logic behind its acts although some of them lack democratic values. For instance, Rajpal said that those who had fled the country were either working as agents of the countries they fled to or were looking for free tickets out. “They are economic migrants,” he said, “just like these people who get on boats to Australia.”
He seems not to have worries about his selection to be a pro-government media handler. “All journalists to a very great extent are forced to toe a certain line,” he said. “In the end, you gravitate to a place where the management views are in consonance with yours. And I have gravitated to that place.”
But what Dilrukshi Handunnetti says is also true. “You really cannot question them,” said Dilrukshi Handunnetti, the senior deputy editor of Ceylon Today. “It’s just not allowed. You are expected to stay forever grateful that they delivered us from war.” Ms. Handunnetti described Sri Lankan journalism, including her own newspaper, as “a collective lame duck.”