|National Conference on
self regulation in the media
|The recent phone hacking scandal in the UK has raised
several questions about ethical journalism around the world.
Is it time to reinvigorate respect for the Editors Code of
Professional Practice, and take a fresh look at
self-regulation in the media? Is the modern day requirement
a multi-media code of ethics in the multi platform world of
integrated global media?
The National Conference on Self Regulation organised by the
Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) will be
held on September 7 and 8 in the Auditorium of the Sri Lanka
Press Institute, 96 Kirula Road, Colombo 05.
The Chief Guest on the occasion will be former Secretary
General of Parliament and Parliamentary Ombudsman Sam
Wijesinha and currently the Chairman of the Dispute
resolution Council of the PCCSL. The key note address will
be delivered by Insurance Ombudsman Dr. Wickrama
Weerasooria, a former Secretary to the Ministry of Plan
Implementation and High Commissioner to Australia and
one-time professor at Monash University in Melbourne,
This is the first National Conference to be held by the
PCCSL after it was established in 2003 by the media industry
and among those participating at the two day event will be
delegates from Jaffna, Batticaloa, Matara, Trincomalee,
Kandy, Kurunegala, Hambantota, Ratnapura, Vavuniya,
Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Ampara, These delegates will
include provincial correspondents, civil society
personalities and individuals who have made complaints from
the provinces to the PCCSL.
There will be six Working Sessions during the conference.
They are as follows:
Session I: Sept 7, 2011 - Policing the Media: Statutory or
Self Regulatory. The speakers will be Wijedasa Rajapaksha,
MP and a former Chairman of the Press Council, Dr.
Ariyaratne Athugala, Director General of Government
Information and Arittha Wikramanayake, former Director
General of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Session II: Sept 7, 2011 - Media Ethics; Fact or Fiction.
The speakers will be Journalists Mr. N. M. Ameen, Ms. Seetha
Ranjanee and Mr. R. Prabaghan.
Session III: Sept 7, 2011 - The Internet: A License to
Slander? The speakers will be Jayantha Fernando, ICT Law and
Policy Expert and Nalake Gunewardene, Science writer and
Session IV: Sept 7, 2011 - The World Outside. The speakers
will be William Gore, Director General Press Complaints
Commission of the UK (via satellite), Neville de Silva,
Press Attaché, Sri Lanka Embassy in Thailand (recorded),
Lakshman Gunasekera, President, South Asian Free Media
Association (Sri Lanka Branch) and Hana Ibrahim Former
Editor Sunday Standard.
Session V: Sept 8, 2011 - Role of Media Organisations in
Self Regulation. The speakers will be Sunil Jayasekera, of
the Free Media Movement, Gnanasiri Kothigoda, of the Sri
Lanka Working Journalists Association and Dharmasiri
Lankapelli, of the Federation of Media Employees Trade
Session VI: Sept 8, 2011 - PCCSL: Resolving Conflicts
between the Media and the Public. The speakers will be Kamal
Liyanaarachchi, Acting CEO of the PCCSL and three
complainants who had their complaints effectively resolved
by the PCCSL.
The entire proceedings of the National Conference will be
relayed live to the newsrooms of the Lankadeepa and Lakbima
newspapers in Colombo and the Uthayan in Jaffna.
|First woman Attorney General of Sri
Lanka takes oaths
|By, Dulan Hettiarachchi, Media
Consultant, Ministry of Justice
Shanthi Eva Wanasundera, PC was sworn in as 26th Attorney
General of Sri Lanka before His Excellency Mahinda
Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka cementing a remarkable
milestone in the history of the Judiciary of Sri Lanka
becoming the first woman Attorney General of Sri Lanka.
She will be succeeding Mohan Peiris -PC.
Shanthi Eva Wanasundera was born in Kurunegala, during the
period her father Hector Jayasena, a reputed teacher from
Down South was posted to a school in Kurunegala district.
Jayasena rose to the enviable heights of his determined
ambition of becoming an attorney-at-law by his untiring
efforts in later years. It is inspiring to learn the story
of his incredible achievement. True to form, it was the
daily routine of Jayasena to escort his daughter Ms Eva
Jayasena a student of the law college to the college for the
sake of her safety. He observed the phenomenal engagement of
the law students in their studies at the time of his visits
to the law College every day. This encouraged him to pursue
knowledge and professional articulation in the study of law
accredited him with great success of becoming an
Sumana Jayasena, a house wife and the mother made a
dedicated effort guiding with prudence for her daughter
Shanthi Eva to rise to the loftiest echelons of legal
Eva’s brilliance in studies was highly impressive from the
salad days of her career in school.
Beginning her primary education at St. Thomas Girl’s College
in Matara, she was compelled to change schools on account of
her father’s transferable profession of teaching. She was
fortunate to win a scholarship to study in USA while she was
at Dharmapala, College, Pannipitiya. Ending her studies in
Sri Lanka she left to USA to pursue her higher studies under
the scholarship at Canyon del Oro High School Tucson,
On completion of her studies under the scholarship in USA,
she returned to Sri Lanka and entered Law College in early
1970s. Her intellectual aptitude stimulated with masterly
performance of candescent success influenced her to achieve
her ambition of becoming an Attorney-at-Law. She debuted as
an Attorney-at-Law at the Gangodawila Magistrate Court
followed by the District Courts Mt.Lavinia and Colombo. It
was significantly a special feature to note that all
relative legal matters under her purview were handled by
She joined the Attorney General’s Department in 1979 as a
State Counsellor. Subsequently she served as the Senior
State Counsellor, Deputy Solicitor General, Additional
Solicitor General and Solicitor General. It is a spectacular
scenario of ascendance to higher rank as the first woman
Senior State Counsellor, first woman Deputy Solicitor
General, first woman Additional Solicitor General and the
first woman Solicitor General of Sri Lanka in her
resplendent career of this noble legal profession.
Eva Wanasundera served as the Acting Attorney General 16
She is also master degree holder of Law of the University of
Leicester, United Kingdom. She mastered trade law for her
LLM degree. Being a professional and senior official of
Attorney General Office, she represented Sri Lanka in key
conferences overseas keeping The Sri Lanka Flag high.
She is married to Indrajith Wanasundera, a well renowned
businessman in Ratnapura. Their son Subodha lives in
Australia with his wife Chandani. And daughter Medanee is in
USA for higher studies.
|First Wildlife lecture on elephants by
Srilal Miththapala on Wednesday
The first of four lectures scheduled for
September, the month dedicated to Wildlife and Nature by Sri
Lanka Tourism, will be on Wednesday the 7th and delivered by
Srilal Miththapala at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce
Auditorium at 5.30pm.
Srilal Miththapala needs no
introduction to tourism and wildlife enthusiasts will speak
on the largest seasonally recurring concentration of wild
elephants in the world. The Gathering at Minneriya has been
recognised by Lonely Planet as amongst the Top 10 wildlife
spectacles in the world. It is estimated to be worth a
billion rupees of annual tourism revenues for the country.
The second lecture on the 14th is by Chithral Jayathilaka
and Riaz Cader on ‘Why Sri Lanka is best for Leopards?’
Starting from a campaign with its roots in 2001, Sri Lanka’s
Yala has gained international recognition as the best place
in the world for seeing and photographing leopards. Chithral
and Riaz will share some tales from the leopard country of
Yala and Wilpattu and explain why Sri Lanka is best for
The third on the 21st is on the Sinharaja Bird Wave, the
biggest and longest studied bird wave by Professor Sarath
Kotagama who will make his presentation on a tropical
rainforest spectacle which is the longest continuously
studied and the largest bird wave in the world. It also
offers the longest viewing time for eco-tourists. The
Sinharaja Bird Wave study has been led by local scientists
for over two decades in collaboration with foreign
The fourth and final lecture on the 28th will be by Gehan
de Silva Wijeratne on why Sri Lanka is the best for seeing
Blue Whales in the world. He also will explain that it is
the best chance for seeing Blue and Sperm Whales in the same
sailing. Whale revenues can now top over a million rupees a
day during the season from December to mid-April.
These four lectures by eminent personalities on the
themes Elephants, Leopards, Birds and Whales of Sri Lanka
are scheduled for September, the month dedicated especially
for Nature and Wildlife in the tourism calendar in an effort
to promote the Sri Lanka as the ultimate island safari.
Conducted under the auspices of the Sri Lanka Association
of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), the series of lectures
will culminate with a safari focusing on the ‘Elephant
Gathering’ in Minneriya on September 30 at the Chaaya
Village, Minneriya. An awareness programme for stakeholders
such as Wildlife Department officials, trekkers, safari jeep
owners and other service providers will also be held on the
A wildlife phototherapy competition has also been
organised, which will run throughout the month. It will be a
virtual exhibition where participants can upload their
images of nature and wildlife to the Sri Lanka Tourism
website www.srilanka.travel. A winner will be chosen at the
end of the month. The competition is open for both local and
|Dr. Chris Nonis, new Sri Lankan envoy
to UK, N. Ireland
|Dr. Chris Nonis assumed office as High Commissioner for
Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom on September 1, 2011, at the
Sri Lanka High Commission in London. Dr. Nonis will also be
concurrently accredited to Ireland. He succeeds Justice
He studied medicine at the Royal Free Hospital Medical
School, University of London and also obtained a First Class
Honours Degree from Imperial College, London. He spent his
electives at Harvard Medical School Boston, USA and
completed his postgraduate studies at Addenbrooke’s
Cambridge, Brompton and Hammersmith, and obtained his
He has lived and worked in both countries, in the public
health sector in the UK, academia, international and civil
society organisations, and the private sector. He was
appointed as the Deputy Chairman of the Royal Commonwealth
Society (RCS) in 2008, and is the first Sri Lankan to hold
this office in the RCS’ 140-year old history. At the time of
his being chosen as the Sri Lankan envoy to the UK and
Ireland, Dr. Nonis was functioning as the Chairman of the
Mackwoods Group of Companies, which was established in 1841.
Welcoming the new High Commissioner, P. M. Amza, Acting High
Commissioner said that Dr. Nonis would bring in a wealth of
experience, gathered over the years working in different
areas ranging from international business to international
affairs. He recalled Dr. Nonis’ long- term association with
the Royal Commonwealth Society, and expressed confidence
that his broad experience in multiple sectors in both
countries will be of immense help in furthering Sri Lanka –
UK bilateral relations at this important juncture.
Upon assumption of duties, High Commissioner Dr. Nonis said
he would be committed to further enhance and strengthen the
bonds between the two countries, building on their shared
commonality of values.
He commented that his diverse background developed in him an
understanding and respect for the dignity and diversity of
people irrespective of their background, and that it has
also taught him a degree of empathy and sensitivity and a
broader perspective of life.
Making specific reference to the conducive macroeconomic
environment and emerging opportunities in post-conflict Sri
Lanka, he said he would also attach importance to economic
diplomacy while working closely with the host government
towards greater collaboration and cooperation in all other
areas of mutual interest.
Multi-faith religious observances by the Buddhist, Hindu,
Islam and Christian priests were conducted to invoke
blessings for the New High Commissioner and for peace and
prosperity in Sri Lanka.
|Korea to increase economic assistance
|Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea have undergone many
similar experiences in the past and, overcoming difficulties
of a formidable nature, have every reason to look to the
future with confidence – a consideration which establishes a
powerful natural bond between the two countries as a basis
for close co-operation both bilaterally and at the
international level, Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik of the
Republic of Korea said in Seoul on Thursday.
Kim Sung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the
Republic of Korea, said at a separate meeting that Korea has
identified Sri Lanka as a country with which it would
develop special economic relations, with increased resources
being made available, as the two countries celebrate next
year the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic
The Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister made these
comments while receiving Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of
External Affairs, on a two-day official visit to Seoul.
Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik said that, as a country which
had derived considerable benefit in the past from foreign
assistance, Korea was acutely mindful of its obligation to
reciprocate, and observed that Sri Lanka’s striking
achievements in the recent past in responding to the
challenges of restoring peace and stability and promoting
reconciliation, made the country an appropriate beneficiary
of Korean assistance in every way.
At the meeting which Minister Peiris had in the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Korean side expressed
satisfaction with the success of projects which had been
undertaken in Sri Lanka in the sectors of health care,
highways and information technology, implemented with
assistance from Korea’s Official Development Assistance
provided under the Economic Development Co-operation Fund.
Further assistance is to be made available through the
Export-Import (EXIM) Bank under a New Framework Agreement
which will be signed next year for a period of four years.
The Korean government has agreed to an enhanced quantum of
assistance for Sri Lanka.
Prof. Peiris indicated, at a meeting at the Ministry of
Finance and Strategy, that priority projects for
disbursement of these resources next year would be
improvement of the Peradeniya – Badulla - Chenkalady road,
the Daduru Oya Integrated Water Supply Scheme, the
Galagedara – Horana Road, the Haragama (Kundasale Area)
water supply project, the Gampaha administration complex and
the construction of the Northern Provincial Council office
complex. The modalities for financing the Hambantota Sports
Complex were discussed with the Ministry of Finance and Exim
The Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA), which
undertook the rehabilitation of 8 schools in the districts
of Ampara and Batticaloa, the improvement of health
facilities in Matara and the construction of an
international convention centre in Hambantota, will increase
the resources to be made available to Sri Lanka next year.
There were strong indications of a resurgence of interest by
Korean investors, who brought the most extensive resources
into Sri Lanka some years ago, in re-entering the country
with investments on a significant scale. Minister Peiris was
hosted at a series of events by leading business
organisations including Korea Importers’ Association
(KOIMA), Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI),
Korea Federation of Small and Medium Sized Business (KBIZ)
and the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI).
The Minister addressed the Korean International Trade
Association (KITA) on investment and trade opportunities in
Sri Lanka. 35 of Korea’s largest companies attended this
meeting and interacted with Prof. Peiris at a question and
Prime Minister Kim appreciated the observation by Prof.
Peiris that there are important synergies between the Korean
project, Saemaul Undong (New Village Movement) and Sri
Lanka’s Divineguma programme, the object of which is to
develop 1.1 million economic centres to achieve food
security for family units. The two sides agreed to
strengthen initiatives under the Korea Project on
International Agriculture (KOPIA) to assist Sri Lanka with
seed processing, soil management, packaging and marketing.
Minister Peiris was received by the Speaker of the National
Assembly, Hon. Park Hee-tae for an extensive discussion on
At his meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
Prof. Peiris explained Sri Lanka’s position on
rehabilitation issues and connected matters at the
international level. The Korean side expressed understanding
of Sri Lanka’s position.
The Minister was interviewed by The Korea Times and The
Korea Herald and also gave a media briefing in Seoul.
|Tourism development strategy launch
|The launch of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Strategy
2011 – 2016 will take place on Monday, September 5 at the
Cinnamon Lakeside hotel at 4.30pm.
The chief participants of the event organised by the Sri
Lanka Tourism are Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic
Development; Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane, Dy Minister; Dr. P.
B. Jayasundera, Ministry Secretary; Dr. Nalaka Godahewa,
Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA)
and Rumy Jauffer, Managing Director, SLTDA.