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Apart from broadening the mind, travel also allows me to catch up on the ‘Economist’, which still remains my favourite news magazine. I used to be astonished that its entry into Sri Lanka was so often restricted since, while its headlines and some of the phrases it uses can be acid, its reporting is generally balanced. I also had a soft spot for it because a debate over something erroneous it had reported enabled me to pinpoint, so that the Norwegian head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission had to grant my case, the source of the negative leaks about the Sri Lankan government that were emanating from his office.

With the offending publicity officer removed from his job, we stopped the nasty little digs for which the SLMM had been held responsible, but which its by then highly professional leadership repudiated. We got on very well thereafter, and the generally earnest personnel the Norwegians sent us told me some pretty harsh stories about the LTTE by the time they finally left.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

May 2011
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