Thenuwara slams media for distorting his comments | Sunday Observer

Thenuwara slams media for distorting his comments

13 October, 2019

Slamming the media for distorting his remarks, Professor Chandraguptha Thenuwara explained yesterday that his ‘ranawirugaaya’ reference was to persons who used military personnel to serve their own political agendas.

In an interview with the Sunday Observer, Prof. Thenuwara said that he was simply commenting on the fact that it was those who spoke the most about “ranaviruwo” who never treated the veterans of war with the respect they deserved.

“War heroes, such as Sarath Fonseka were dragged and put behind bars by those suffering from ‘Ranawiru Gaya’. Those are the same people who got soldiers to clear drains, trim grass, collect garbage and do other menial work,” Prof Thenuwara said.

He emphasised the need for the introduction of a definition for a war hero.

“Is it a soldier who joins the forces today or is it someone who was engaged in the war? They should be properly identified and given due respect,” he said.

According to Prof Thenuwara, people who never set foot in the battlefront, and merely confined themselves to AC office rooms in Colombo and claimed to have given orders on the war cannot be called war heroes.

“People who are involved in the fraudulent MiG deal can’t be identified as war heroes. Sarath Fonseka and other soldiers who sacrificed their lives and limbs are the real war heroes, not those who left the country during the height of the war,” he added, in a blistering attack on SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

He said it is the very people who talk so much about war heroes that were responsible for sending General Mahesh Senanayake and 15 senior military officials home, saying their services were no longer needed.

“These were the very people who were at the war front during the last hours. It was done by the very same American who claims to be a patriot. If we need a stronger man, then we have Mahesh Senanayake,”

Speaking of media behaviour, especially during the run up to a presidential election, Prof. Thenuwara said it was shameless behaviour where lack of professionalism was evident.

“My statement was completely distorted by two media institutions, TV media outlets. It is shameful how the media behaves.

They have not only distorted what I said, but also changed the chronology of events and given a completely different message,” he charged.

The two private media channels launched a scathing attack on Prof. Thenuwara which was picked up on social media.

The onslaught comes at a time when both Prof. Thenuwara and Gamini Viyangoda have found themselves at the receiving end of death threats and intimidation over their decision to file a writ application challenging Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka citizenship status at the Court of Appeal. Last week, the two activists lodged a complaint with the Criminal Investigation Department over the continued harassment.