The best carriers of the ‘message of reconciliation’ decided to join hands to mobilize resources for the noble national campaign. When a large group of media personnel embarked on Yal Devi on ‘A mission to show solidarity with the journalists of the North,’ Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Gayantha Karunathilaka and his deputy, Karunarathna Paranavithana joined the mission enthusiastically.
The media team held discussions with Commander of Jaffna Peninsula) Major General Mahesh Senanayaka to find ways and means of solving some issued faced by media personnel in the North. During the discussions and exchange of views with the journalists, senior officers of Armed Forces and the Police in Jaffna clarified issued to find solutions to problems faced by journalists in North. Minister Karunathilaka told it was the first time that such a mission of post-war professional solidarity is being undertaken with the government support.
This gives it the authority needed to examine and begin redressing the needs and problems faced by journalists in the North as they continued to re-build their lives, their profession and their news industry in a newly reviving region now benefitting from a nationally led policy of reconciliation.
“We hope the media can play a vital role to promote national reconciliation in the country. The trend that prevailed earlier in the country was that journalists in the North were merely confined to reporting the incidents in the North while their counterparts in the South also did likewise. It is rare to find journalists who safeguarded the Sri Lankan identity,” the Minister said.
In Jaffna, the delegation met the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray and religious leaders. The journalists also visited Nagadeepa Viharaya, Nagapoosani temple, Jaffna library and Palali SLAF base. They visited four media institutions, Valampuri, Uthayan, Thinakkural and Dan TV and discussed issues with Jaffna journalists. The media delegation also met the families of the journalists. Minister laid foundation stone for construction of three houses for deserving families of selected journalists. A contribution will also be made to the Jaffna library.