(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Media Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that he had called Prof Neelika Malavige of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, at the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura yesterday (8) and apologized to her for the damage and distress caused to her by media.
The Minister said he apologized to her on behalf of all journalists and as the Minister of Mass Media for the damage done to her by certain media institutions distorting a statement she made and publishing.
The Minister posting on his Facebook page, also called on all journalists to transform this mistake into a good start for the art of responsible journalism.
“Prof. Neelika Malavige is a social leader who sacrifices her knowledge, voice and personality to save her fellow citizens at a time when the country is plagued by an epidemic.
I personally listened to the whole speech she made at the web conference organized by Gateway International School, which was the basis for the above controversy. As a result, I came to understand the harm and distress caused to her by distorting and publishing a statement made by her. We all need to be sensitive to understand that.
Therefore, on behalf of all media friends, I personally addressed her yesterday and apologized to her as the Minister of Mass Media. Therefore, I sincerely urge all my fellow colleagues to transform this experience into a good start for the art of responsible journalism,” Minister Alahapperuma said.
Professor Malavige in a Facebook post refuted media reports that have misquoted her regarding the reopening of schools.
She accused Sri Lankan media of misquoting her, taking a single sentence out of a 30-40 minute webinar.
Following is her full post:
I have been silent all this time while Sri Lankan media has been misquoting me, stating things that I never said, taking a single sentence out of a 30-40 minute webinar I do, and take the whole thing out of context. I am just sick and tired of Sri Lankan media doing this to me. This must stop! Why are they doing this? Is there no stop to this? Don’t they know the harm they are doing by misquoting things and even worse posting things that I never said. Also, to all media out there, when I do a 30-40 minute webinar and you take just 1 sentence out of the whole webinar and put is as a headline, how misleading is that?
I did NOT say that we should open schools now. We have a lockdown and cases and deaths have just started to come down. If anyone is interested about what I actually said during a webinar at Gateway college, please watch the below.
All those who just comment on the media articles shown below, without checking if I said this or not, those humiliate me, ridicule me, I have nothing to say to you too.
FYI during the last 8 weeks the only time I spoke to media, was at the Rupavahini ‘Husma’ shown on all TV channels simultaneously and Sunday times. All other times during the last 8 weeks, when I have been quoted on media, was either they took it from a lecture/webinar I did, or they dreamt it.