Home » Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala » [Press] Calling Jayantha Dhanapala a liar, or the tragedy of Lankan public life

[Press] Calling Jayantha Dhanapala a liar, or the tragedy of Lankan public life

On March 16, 2014, Colombo Telegraph, a UK-based online news outlet published an article entitled ‘Jayantha Dhanapala Is A Liar; Caught Lying Over Silence On Colombo Telegraph Blocking’. This article was a follow-up of an earlier article on the failure of Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala, a member of the Board of Directors of Dialog Axiata PLC, one of Sri Lanka’s premier telecommunications service providers, to prevent Colombo Telegraph from being blocked by that company in Sri Lanka. These articles were followed by a third follow-up piece published on 27 March 2014, with photographic evidence that Colombo Telegraph continues to be blocked. The third article described Dialog as being ‘surreptitious’ in blocking access to the online newspaper, unblocking the site before Dhanapala delivered a speech at public forum organised by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), and re-blocking it soon after. In the relative aftermath of this outright accusation of Ambassador Dhanapala as a liar, this article attempts at rethinking the issue, in the backdrop of the broader picture of challenges to the free press in Sri Lanka.

Continue reading on Groundviews.

NB: This article was originally published on Groundviews on 12 April 2014.


Our event ‘Decolonising SOGIESC advocacy in South and Southeast Asia: An Activist Conversation’ took place this morning in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara. Months of painstaking work went into the organising of this event, involving one of the senior-most community leaders of the region, Bubli Malik Sahiba, and it was a beautiful collaboration between #Venasa and #Wajood. Venasa is a grassroots trans rights advocacy group founded by the excellent Thenu Ranketh, a leader and role model to us all. Wajood is a leading trans rights body based in Islamabad, which has broken new ground in claiming space in governmental and judicial circles. The workings of neoliberal NGO-industrial LGBT+ rights work is such that Thenu could not join us, and yet another major resource person, Nada Chiayajit, also could not join us. To our greatest regret, our dearly beloved colleague and decolonial queer trailblazer Thiagaraja Waradas @waradas could not join us, as a result of an extremely questionable act of censure and erasure by ILGA World on the day before his planned trip to Aotearoa. However, and despite all those challenges, we managed to host this event. We had clearly outlined the necessity of a one-and-half-hour session, to do the minimum justice possible to the absolutely vital issues being discussed. However, we were only given a mere 45 minutes, which was barely sufficient for our excellent panellists to make their opening statements. This in itself is a reminder of the importance of looking beyond the NGO-industrial complex when working for SOGIESC advocacy, within our respective countries as well as internationally. It was our greatest pleasure to display the Tino rangatiratanga flag, and pay respects to the rightful owners of the land we are standing on. My heartfelt thanks go to my sister Kassie who opened the session with traditional Māori greetings and welcomed us to Aotearoa. #DecolonialAdvocacy #DecoloniseSOGIESC #SOGIESC #GINSOGI #ILGANZ2019 #TeWhanganuiaTara #GenderJustice #Lka #SriLanka #Pakistan #Venasa #VTN #Wajood #TransPolitics #SouthAsia #ClaimingSpace #DecolonialPolitics #DecoloniseILGA
This morning, I had the great pleasure of gifting a copy of my book ‘Decolonising Peacebuilding: Managing Conflict from Northern Ireland to Sri Lanka and Beyond’ [2018], to UN Secretary General’s Special Expert on SOGIESC issues, Victor Madrigal-Borloz. This book is all about challenging established assumptions, perspectives and understandings in relation to the study of politics of deeply divided places, and of developing new, if not innovative strategies of addressing shared challenges. It is also about recognising knowledge systems and analytical approaches that are from non-Western parts of the world, and of ‘de-centring’ the West in our ways of understanding the politics of peace and conflict. It is also about the agency and voice/s of people, especially women, very especially queer women, from the global South/s. The issues discussed in this book share a great deal in common with global challenges involved in working towards SOGIESC rights, especially in the global South/s. #InternationalAdvocacy #DecolonisingPeacebuilding #UnitedNations #VictorMadrigalBorloz #GINSOGIE #SOGIESC #LGBTQIA #Peacebuilding #ConflictResolution #DeeplyDividedPlaces #SriLanka #NorthernIReland #Tamil #Sinhala #Nationalisms #EthnicConflict #DecolonialPolitics #DecolonialEpistemologies #GlobalSouths #ChamindraWeerawardhana #Venasa #Chathra #CWDF #LKA #SriLankanPolitics #RepresentationMatters #PoliticalLeadership #MiExistirEsResistir
Intervention lors de la pré-conférence francophone, organisé par Montréal International, ce qui a facilité une représentation francophone qui n’a jamais été le cas auparavant au sein des plateformes internationaux de l’ILGA. Ma présentation fut intitulé “Vers les mers lointaines : regards croisés sur les francophonies, les héritages francophones et défis SOGIESC de l’’espace « Asie-Pacifique » #francophonie #DroitsdePeuplesIndigènes #Tahiti #Kanaky #Montréal #Montréalnternational #solidarités #globalSouth #AsiePacifique #Ilga2019NZ
A lot of solidarity towards #Muslims here in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara this morning, in the aftermath of white suprematist terror. What unites us is way stronger than what divides us #ChristchurchTerrorAttack #ChristchurchMosqueShooting #NewZealandMosqueAttack #Islamophobia #ILGA2019NZ #theyareus
Te-Whanganui-a-Tara #pride parade cancelled, in the aftermath of the Christchurch white suprematist terror attack. The whitestream media, as usual, is damn desperate to avoid using the word ‘terrorist’ when referring to the perpetrator of this attack. We need to talk about the damage caused by white supremacy to peoples of colour and to peoples of different faith and sociocultural traditions. We need to talk about the links between such issues and worldwide #sogiesc advocacy. #aotearoa #christchurch #lka #FightTerrorInAllItsForms #newzealand
This video is everything about being #SriLankan🇱🇰. We are a highly diverse people with so many different backgrounds, cultural backdrops, traditions and knowledges. Our richness as a people lies precisely in our amazing beautiful, hardworking and high-achieving people, and most importantly in the diversity of our shared heritages. There is definitely a need to showcase more of the rich traditions and knowledges of our minority communities. @theminoritytaste is doing a tremendous and much-needed job in showcasing these culinary traditions - in this specific case Lankan Malay culinary traditions which are, 100% authentically and fully Sri Lankan. In a land slowly recovering from the scars of a 30-year war, where ethno-national politics and politics of self-determination remain unaddressed and (dangerously) ignored, where we are often reminded that the ‘peace dividends’ we now enjoy are in fact a reality that stands on very thin ice, it is always crucial to appreciate our diversity, and remind ourselves of this truism - that what unites us in our diversities is always a lot stronger than what divides us. #lka #Malay #SriLankanFood🇱🇰 #food #traditions #heritage #blessthegrannies #culinaryarts

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