3 journalists attacked by medical students in Colombo

Three journalists from private media institutions were allegedly assaulted and their cameras snatched at the Medical Faculty of the University of Colombo this afternoon (Aug. 28th).

Journalist Yamuna Darshani and cameraman Janaka Galappatti of ‘Lankadeepa’ newspaper and Sirasa TV journalist Dushyantha Manoj are the victims of the incident.

At the time, they had been seeking public opinion over the dispute surrounding the boycott of answer script marking at the G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination.

A medical student had told them about his views, after which the media group had tried to take a photo when other medical students had turned unruly.

Two still cameras and a video camera had been seized from them.

Police had to intervene to rescue them from the undergraduates, and were admitted to hospital.

Later, they had lodged a complaint with the police, and the students had threatened the media group at the police station.

Police have found the seized cameras, but no arrests are yet to be made.

Source : LankaDissent

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9 Responses

  1. Dean says students’ security threatened

    A release by the Dean’s Office of the Colombo University Medical Faculty said following the tragic incident at the Eastern University, University Students’ lives are threatened and entering the faculty without permission led to the recent clash between the media personnel and students.
    It further said: On August 28 at around 11.30 a.m. two persons of unknown identity were taking photographs of the hostel and its surroundings. These two persons repeatedly refused the request of the sub-warden to produce their identity and continued photographing.
    They used abusive language and physically attacked the sub-warden when he informed them they had no permission from the university authority to take photographs of the hostel.
    His action in response to their behaviour was to ensure the security of the establishment as instructed by the authorities of the University in keeping with public vigilance requested by the Government via the print and electronic media in the recent past. Subsequently persons from an electronic media establishment also forcibly entered the premises of the hostel in spite of the efforts of the security personnel and the police officers who had been summoned earlier.
    The arrival of the electronic media group worsened the tense situation. The students acted to protect the sub warden from further attack and to maintain the security of the establishment, it said.

  2. seems like media is loosing its direction. you may be right in the case of Dr.mervin silva, not here.

    there are certain rules and regulations in universities. one of them is nobody can enter in with out permission. not even these people called journalists. you cant just go there as if you are visiting sunday fair.

    whatever the facts are Im set against violance too. we shouldnt apply the jungle theory to solve problems.

  3. http://www.new.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4072576&o=all&op=1&view=all&subj=26052131187&aid=-1&id=554465857&oid=26052131187

    This map Outlines Why The surrounding of where these guys were taking photographs is a HIGH security zone!!

    As you can see firstly, there is the Bloem hostel and immediately next door is the Army Camp and the Carey College. Immediately infront of the hostel is the National hospital of Sri Lanka and the Colombo Faculty of Medicine.

    As you all know, just yesterday there was a tragic bomb blast in Olcott mawatha, Pettah.. and sadly 45 people were injured, some critically!!

    Our country is in a state of alert

    So is it not our duty to question anyone whom we feel suspicious about & who is taking pictures????!!, wud we want to see our lives & the lives of our loved ones & many more be endangered from a terrorist attack???!!

    So why did this cameraman react so aggressively toward our security when he asked them to produce their media IDs???. To set the record straight, no one assaulted him, our security acted in self defense, The cameraman assaulted him wen wen tried to take the camera. They’ve even put in the papers that 150 students assaulted them, but yet you Dont see even a single mark!! They’d have to be superman, to have gone through such an ordeal & yet be wearing the same neatly ironed shirt seen on tv hours later!!!

    In my opinion even if they are media people, they still DON’T have a right to Film or take pictures in a high security zone. We are all well aware of the consequences our Brave brothers & sisters have faced in the past, by traitors who provided Information to the LTTE.

    To take it a step further, just because one has a media ID, it does NOT give them a right to poke their cameras @ any person or anywhere!!!

  4. Naked media giants in Sri Lanka

    By Kumara Kaluarachchi © http://www.lankajournal.org

    They come in hundreds to Lipton circus or Fort Railway station, armed with megaphones, placards and banners. They shout and jump up and down. They take their won photos and video record their own antics. After that all of them go to a nearest bar to discuss their days work. Then they go home. The officials of the Free Media Movement, how organized the whole fiasco may “retire” to five start hotels and embassies to meet their foreign handlers and pay masters to receive the balance of payments due to them. That is what an average media man does these days in Sri Lanka.

    Most of them do not write or contribute to any media other than writing placards and jumping up and down in demonstrations. However one time of their lives, they have had worked in a newspaper, a radio station or a television studio. That qualification is enough to get the life membership and earn a better life by “electing” in to offices of Free Media Movement and other media watch dogs!

    Naturally, the chaps who are currently working for Sri Lankan media (for a measly sum of course) are not happy. They know their ex-colleagues in Free Media Movement sell them to foreigners for Dollars and Euros. That’s why they have put up another organization “Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association”!!! However when it come to protests and demonstrations, they forget their differences as the “interested parties” are sponsoring some of the notable personalities in the association.

    If you examine carefully, you will understand that the education standards of our media people are not that high. Most people in Sri Lanka believe that the only job available for an under-educated person is being a politician. I beg to differ. Having gone through the educational qualifications of the media chaps in Sri Lanka, I think that there are two jobs available for an under-educated but highly ambitious person. They start their career as media people and end that as non other than POLITICIANS, very people they criticize day and night!!!

    Read more at http://www.lankajournal.org

  5. Stop this Disgraceful journalism against Colombo Medical Students

    Students strike back!

    By Kumara Kaluarachchi

    © http://www.lankajournal.org

    Mainstream media personnel in Sri Lanka seem to think that they are more equal than others. When they are doing their so called media work, they forget about common courtesy, decency and avoiding illegal activities. They are criticizing all and sundry, but no one is allowed to criticize their stupid acts.

    Under education is a common denominator among our journalists. Responsible job with lack of education is a dangerous mix. This is a story of such stupid act of Lankaeepa and Sirasa journalists who ventured inside the hostel of the Colombo medical faculty, without any permission. You may have already read what happened next, according to the journalists in the mainstream media. This article is giving a space to the other side of the story.

    As soon as the mainstream journalists started their media vitriol, medical students started replying with non-traditional media. Our mainstream journalists have forgotten (or have they never heard of those??) that this is the days of BLOGS. As they say, the non traditional electronic media rokz!

    Medical students started sending e mails, SMS messages and writing to web forums describing their side of the story. They started this discussion group named “Stop this Disgraceful journalism against Colombo Medical Students”. This is how they describe their discussion group:

    “Stop this Disgraceful journalism and false accusations against Colombo Medical Students. We have not done anything wrong, just because they are media people, does not give them the right to film up any person. What bothers us most is that the cameraman who started this nonsense in the first place, refused to show his media ID when requested to by the security, so how do we know whether he was a terrorist filming our faculty to plan an attack???? After all we are a security target & so is the National Hospital of Sri Lanka, which is next door!!! We also visibly saw how he insulted with foul language against our security!! We also have video evidence of journalists insulting medical students. It will be put up soon. Stop this campaign of Disgrace!!, Please show your support for this cause & Don’t let such low level cockroaches who call themselves ‘journalists’ ruin the lives of these innocent students and the lives of millions of more”.

    Usual tactics of the journalists who get in to hot waters is to admit in to a government hospital saying that they were beaten up. Then they publish about their heroic acts of defending rights of the people while getting beaten up. They played that prank this time too, without understanding that very same medical students work in the hospital. This age of digital era, the medical students also have video recording. They also could post their videos in the internet for all of us to see. The truth is just a You Tube away!

    This is how a medical student who posted their video in the internet describes the situation in the discussion board:

    “Please watch this, watch for your selves, the helpless looks of these innocent students as they watch from the floor above @ the police station while being inhumanly insulted by the Journalists from down, you’ll also see our Student union Representatives trying to reason out the matter but yet how unruly these journalists r @ us, We do not deserve this, We are a much more dignified people than these so called ‘journalists’, You’ll also see What an award winning act the cameraman from Sirasa puts up @ our accident ward EVEN though there ISN’T a single scratch mark on his body, We did visit him @ hospital to observe him (Since it is our work place!!!), well he looked pretty darn well to me”

    At my last check, there is another Facebook discussion group started to discuss this event. That is “Boycott Sirasa Media Network” and it has 50 members and growing!

    I am not going to judge who the guilty party is. However I do certainly stand for the civil liberties of the people where you are not allowed to TRESSPASS others property without permission. Media men or no media men, please be polite enough to get necessary permissions before you proceed. If Sirasa want to “investigate” so much, why not investigate the fact that Maharaja Group opens all their Letters of Credits off-shore, by avoiding Sri Lankan banking laws???

    Finally, I am happy that there are ways and means to express the other side of the story without piggybacking mainstream media. Same time I am unhappy that our so called media people are not aware of those discussions as very few of them are comfortable with the e-media!

  6. Both Electronic and print media reported this news covering only one side of the story. Medical students have stated that photographer has entered the premises without permission and when sub warden questioned him , he acted violently without producing his ID.
    Anyway the police will conduct the formal inquiry, but the role of the media should be to report an unbiased story covering both sides who are involved.
    I think there should be a regulatory council to report such biased and untruly electronic media reporting to avoid such situations in the future.

  7. The stories we get from the media are one sided. It’s as how the media see it and only how the media see it.
    From what I read on other online news sites is that these journalists have tried to photograph the hostel building of the Colombo Medical Faculty. This was what lead to the fight. A hostel is a place where hundreds of students reside and with the current security situation nobody should be allowed to photograph such places.

    I also saw the cameraman complaining that about 150 students assaulted him. This is very very hard to believe. If 150 males in their early twenties assaulted a man, he would not live to tell the story. The cameraman was lucky it was the Colombo medical faculty. Had it been a place like Peradeniya, the journalist would now be in another world.

    This goes to show how irresponsible the journalists are. They have the tool to touch the hearts and minds of the people, and yet they abuse this tool just to sell their work.

    It’s not just the medical students but also the journalists involved that should be blamed.

  8. Stop this Disgracefull journalism and False accusations against Colombo Medical Students. We have not done anything wrong, just because they are media people, does not give them the right to film up any person. What bothers us most is that the cameraman who started this nonsense in the first place, refused to show his media ID wen requested to by the security, so how do we know whether he was a terrorist filming our faculty to plan an attack???? after all we are a security target & so is the National Hospital of Sri Lanka, which is next door!!! we also visibly saw how he insulted with foul language against our security!! we also have video evidence of journalists insulting medical students, It will be put up soon. Stop this campaign of Disgrace!!, Please show your support for this cause & Dont let such low level cockroaches who call themselves ‘journalists’ ruin the lives of these innocent students and the lives of millions of more.

    Please watch this, watch for your selves, the helpless looks of these innocent students as they watch from the floor above @ the police station while being inhumanly insulted by the Journalists from down, you’ll also see our Student union Representatives trying to reason out the matter but yet how unruly these journalists our @ us, We do not deserve this, We are a much more dignified people than these so called ‘journalists’, You’ll also see Wat an award winning act the cameraman from Sirasa puts up @ our accident ward EVEN though there ISNT a single scratch mark on his body, We did visit him @ hospital to observe him (Since it is our work place!!!), well he looked pretty darn well to me,

    [video src="http://www.newsfirstonline.com/flv/manoj.flv&OBT_fname=manoj.flv" /]

  9. Eventhough medical studets are academically talented they lack the social contextual understanding.
    That’s why they resort to this kind of unruly activities.

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