For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Lynn Ockersz, who took over as editor of the Daily News early in April 2011, was unceremoniously sacked a few days ago for refusing to follow the orders of the Lake House management to print a front-page story adverse to human rights lawyer J. C. Weliamuna.
Rajpal Abeynayake, a peripatetic journalist who has previously worked on the editorial staff of the Sunday Tmes and the Sunday Observer, is the new editor of the Daily News. He served as the editor of the Lakbima News, a weekly rag he founded after his dismissal as the editor of the Sunday Observer.
Speaking from Colombo, a former Lake House journalist senior journalist said yesterday, “Funny things happen here. Rajpal was sent out and now comes back. He will do the dirty work that the top men want. Lynn apparently refused to use a piece on J C Weliamuna, human rights lawyer, on page 1 because he didn’t find it of any news interest. And the next day he was sent out. Manik [de Silva] continues in the Sunday Island. He is the only journalist worth talking about.”
Meanwhile, Ockersz has re-joined the Island (Upali Newspapers Ltd) , where he has resumed his previous job as a foreign news analyst. Ockersz was a former senior associate editor of the Daily News, which he left in July 2007 to join the Island.
Lake House newspapers did not mention any reason for the appointment of a new editor for the Daily News.
| by Shelton A. Gunaratne