Chamuditha Samarawickrema

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Chamuditha Samarawickrema has had his education at Mahanama College, is an acclaimed free-lance journalist well renowned ,much debated not attached to any media institution who possess his own inimitable elegance .It had been properly etched in his mind that he would not like to be a permanent employee under any institution in his career. Many are of the opinion that Chamuditha is a permanent employee of Hiru Television channel. It is not so as a freelancer he does only the “Paththare Visthare” on weekends and the ‘Salakuna’ political program on Monday’s as a contract. The law in this country deviates from one another which was what  Chamuditha wanted to prove always. Even the Police higher ups according to Chamuditha have different agendas follow rules for different books which is harmful to the security and progress of the country. For the allegations about Chamuditha he had retaliated saying in recognized television channels like CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera etc the presenter is not at all concerned whom he interviews whether a prime minister, president, politician or a layman. Likewise, to him it does not matter he confronts Sajith, Mahinda, Ranil or Basil which to Chamuditha it is irrelevant. He had added that some like his style and technique and some dislikes which is a natural phenomenon. Any such presenter should be talented to handle the guest’s approach to make the dialogue interesting. Chamuditha believes not to allow the guest to creep through his ears as such he is used to a tactic not allowing him to interact. Chamuditha is accused of not allowing the guest to dominate, by not giving a patient hearing. He is also accused for been too oppressive lately to his attitude earlier to which he has admitted as times have changed ,he too had changed consequently. It is learnt that Chamuditha had been even questioned whether he has family issues for his aggressiveness in his approach .Via the Chamuditha’s Truth with Chamuditha  you tube channel he endeavours as his main motive is for the viewers to know what were not revealed in the media. Chamuditha’s endeavour is solely to make the public be updated to know the detailed truth of the occurrences very often testified as biased and distortedly reported in the media.

Chamuditha has been accused over the years for been extraordinarily belligerent, hasty , hostile and aggressive style he conducts in front of his guest, not allowing him to explain and speak. To this accusation Chamuditha had retaliated saying that it is his passion , desire and appetite not to allow the guest any room for retaliation . Chamuditha admitted that our higher up Police officers are mostly targeting their promotions only not justice, to become the IGP with diverse intentions having two separate books to follow when at the helm ,however Chamuditha adds they are a frightened lot , awfully scared not only to criminals but to even to models and for those who dress brides. Chamuditha has admitted that for his boldness has caused his life to be in vulnerability as there is an obvious conspiracy to kill him which he had very positively cited the names of many persons and kept at a secret place at his dwelling so that in the event he is killed one of them mentioned therein should be held responsible. Chamuditha had quipped that lodging a complaint in the police or requesting for security is a useless proposition. Despite threats Chamuditha has not stepped a foot back, but boldly continues in the same vein and disposition with his traditional mission uninterrupted .There had been life threatening messages saying , ‘to bring your hands and limbs should we send a person” which Chamuditha had retorted appropriately that his parents had brought him up not to donate them to criminals.  Under this possible scenario as a warning or threat, Chamuditha’s dwelling was attacked by armed gunmen at his residence in Piliyandala on February 14th year 2022 by threatening the security guard positioned in the vicinity by pointing a gun. The assailants had arrived in a white van in the wee hours of the morning, had stoned the dwelling had even thrown faeces damaging extensively, the windows when Chamuditha, his wife and daughter were inside the house sleeping in the wee hours of the morning. The perpetrators were not caught though attempts were made by police and detectives. This was even reported by the International Federation of journalists. It is obvious that such incidents which are initiated by the state ,the usual norm is that the perpetrators and brains behind are not brought to book in front of a judiciary. It is vital that journalists should be able to carry out their work without fear of violence or intimidation which unfortunately does not exist in native Sri Lanka..

Chamuditha was awarded the Sumathi Best Television announcer in the inaugural Sumathi awards ceremony in year 2002 for his work in TNL television superseding many announcers in numerous television channels that existed then. Chamuditha during this era had been instrumental in steering many television programs successfully for the TNL to elevate the fame and popularity of the channel .It has been mentioned that Chamuditha has had no authority in the selection of programs  as it was decided by the Chairman and his staff as the sole authority. Chamuditha had stated that he was fortunate to receive accolades and other benefits via the acquaintances while serving the TNL.After receipt of the Sumathi Award owing to unseen circumstances he was served with letter of dismissal .Chamuditha has added his dismissal letter and his letter  tendering resignation had concurrently occurred. After his dismissal from TNL a large announcement was made in the TNL television channel screen indicating Chamuditha Samarawickrema is no longer in service , the management of TNL will not be held responsible for any dealings with him. This prominent announcement had made Chamuditha to receive a more widespread acceptance and popularity. Chamuditha had made it clear that he was never involved in financial dealings even not represented in marketing hence could not be accused or made responsible for monetary losses of TNL institution. For a few years Chamuditha has had no relationship with Chairman of TNL Shan Wickremasinghe but he had quipped to the media that currently he is closely in touch with him having immense respect as the Chairman of TNL.

“Truth with Chamuditha” was adjudicated as the best timely you tube channel in year 2021 at Sumathi annual awards ceremony held for the 25th year in succession. In year 2023 awarded the year’s most popular television presenter at Popular Awards ceremony. This was the third such award Chamuditha had won unanimously a very creditable achievement been a freelancer. Apart from Chamuditha’s involvement with the Hiru television he is having a relaxed itinerary only involved with his you tube channel “Truth with Chamuditha”. Today he has successfully completed well over two hundred and thirty videos confronting a vide cross section of personalities having millions of viewers. There have been allegations from many that Chamuditha charges heavily from his you tube channel interviews which is untrue was confessed by him. He says charging or not charging is in his hands but had confirmed that he may have charged to date only for just a few less than the number of fingers in his hands. There had been a false allegation made that after his program “Karala” that he had charged rupees one hundred and fifty thousand from a doctor at the Karapitiya hospital. Chamuditha had jested that like the saying ‘birds of a feather flock together” all criminals too are attached as a click flock as a unit. All these blemished allegations are from such groups.  

Chamuditha had regularly received brick bats in the social media platforms. Once he had attended on invitation to a five-star hotel in the heart of the city where despite the quarantine requirement the organisers regardless had invited many popular personalities. As there had been two Covid-19 positives in the hotel itself not taken the required precautionary measures he had been observed. For the safety of everyone Chamuditha had taken the initiative to quarantine many for fourteen days.On the way to the hotel while travelling in the bus actress, model Piumi Hansamali whom Chamuditha had not seen or spoken even over the phone had made nasty drastic remarks on him classifying him as a ‘Nattami’ which Chamuditha claims to be a highly respected designation as he carries weight of many individuals always, On this controversy even Chamuditha’s wife had questioned him whether he is acquainted with her.

There have been allegations that Chamuditha goes to ‘Kade” for politicians. He had retaliated saying to some extent ‘yes’ while his tenure at the TNL  as he may have gone ‘Kade’ for the UNP stalwarts Shan and Ranil Wickremasinghe.Chamuditha had been invited for his media skills by Maithripala Sirisena when he was minister of agriculture and health as the media secretary which Chamuditha adds was primarily following the agenda of the ministry not at all his personal.When Maithripala Sirisena was the President  he had been his media secretary too ,not at all a media adviser as he was only following the agenda of the authorities. It is learnt that Chamuditha had been offered some free lance work at the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation lately too. Once Basil Rajapaksa had organised a ‘Divi Neguma” program which he had entrusted to Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena to conduct though he had vouched to perform well but he had failed miserably causing Chamuditha too to be dismissed which had surprised him, Though he had sought redress from the media minister Charitha Herath he had been bluffing talking irrelevantly. Only consolation Chamuditha had obtained was when Dullas Alahapperuma had told him that he should not worry as nothing wrong was done by him.  Chamuditha had conveyed openly and straightforwardly that he has never attended to a meeting with any politician only at political discussions a bold stand indeed. His life is simple sans any extravagant conducts other than his contracted programs stated above at Hiru television channel. He is always relaxed ,even used to have a small ‘nap’ in the afternoons, thereafter attends to his you tube channel work .Chamuditha had confessed that he only participates in discussions with politicians but neve attend to any parties of politicians.

Having been involved in well over two hundred and thirty Talk With Chamuditha over a relatively short period of time.The participants are from many walks of live which Chamuditha had completed very impressively discussing on many topics making the viewers to watch with immense interest. Some of the interviews are within this article.The author wish  Chamuditha the very best for all his future endeavours.

Sunil Thenabadu in Brisbane

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