For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Saturday, 16 October 2010 01:30
By Yohan Perera
Opposition United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday the UNP could survive without the media as it had done in the past, because the suppression of journalists had resulted in the media being reluctant to give space and air time to opposition political parties.
“The media are not reporting the real situation. What they report is quite different,” he said addressing the Grama Charika programme at Sirikotha.
Mr. Wickremesinghe said the UNP managed to form a government in 1977 without much media support. “At that time we were not allowed to use loud speakers at our rallies but yet we managed to win the 1977 general election,” he said.
UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya said the objective of the Grama Charika was meant to enliven the voice of the village which had been suppressed by the present regime through its politically motivated fairy tales.
He said this journey was not going to be easy and stressed the need for all UNPers to remain united to carry it out successfully.
“On our way, we have to defeat the Gobelian propaganda of this regime and not falter till we achieve our objectives,” he said and added that the Grama Charika was not for personal gains of an individual.
Quoting from the the Dhamma Padha Mr. Jayasuriya said, “Charatha Bikkhawe Charikam Bahu Jana Hithaya Bahu Jana Sukhaya,” — engage in the journey for the well being of many.
He said the UNP should follow the same principle. Several MPs including General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, Mangala Samaraweera, Ruwan Wijewardene, Palitha Range Bandara participated at the launching.