It has been almost fifty years since I began my professional career as a provincial correspondent at Dinamina, the Sinhala language sister-paper of the Daily News.

Having written to newspapers from my childhood up until the time I entered politics, I feel personally proud to congratulate the Daily News as it marks its 100th anniversary as Sri Lanka’s English-language newspaper of record.

Having written as a journalist during a period that saw a civil insurrection, the birth of a new Constitution, and the inception of the national struggle against terrorism, I have a special appreciation for the role of a vibrant national media espousing a diverse range of views that form the basis of informed public debate on all issues of national importance.

While our vision of a clean and disciplined nation cannot be fulfilled should journalists feel cowed or intimidated into blindly supporting the government of the day, I believe that a national newspaper plays a critical role in ensuring that the citizens of Sri Lanka can reach informed opinions in the public debates that impact their lives and the lives of our children.

This is a responsibility that I am proud to say that the Daily News has fulfilled with conscience and dignity under the stewardship of its current editorial team and management, and I encourage them wholeheartedly to continue to hold the interest of their readers above all others. In times of challenge, we must never forget the memories of those Sri Lankans who have sacrificed their lives in service to this sacred duty, and our own duty to honour them by ensuring their sacrifice was not in vain.

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