- This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on June 25 2014. This is a backup.
He became a political activist while working for Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps in 1980s. He experienced the war in the zone of North East and realized what the war was; He wanted to further study the political context in which the war began, he wanted to expose fraud and corruptions in the military activities in public being in the Army, he did his further studies in the field of photography and journalism during that period. He was arrested while writing a column to Rawaya named ‘Balakotuwa’ (බලකොටුව) against fraud and corruptions in the army, he was jailed in the prisons respectively of Army Medical Corps and Military Police while a court-martial was being conducted, he was finally jailed in Welikada prison for one year, but the authorities had to release him after three months due to an order from the appeal court.
He later developed a new discourse called Open Dialogue, a knowledge based process to make the entire society better based on social sciences such as Political Science and History, in this context he Introduce a new theme as Media & Human Relationship to the private sector. He has worked for the Jetwing Hotels, Mount Lavinia Hotel and Club Benthota – sister company of Mount Lavinia in advisory capacity for several years. He is now working for Maxies & Company (Pvt) Ltd as Head of Department, Media and HR/ Advisor to the Chairman. He has launched a monthly newspaper for Maxies also named Wedabima (වැඩබිම) and does suggest to develop an industrial dialogue in the country. He has introduced another new discourse while working in Maxies as 'art of music vs science of life'.
He Joined Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps
To LAK HANDA (ලක්හඬ) Radio to illustrate this history.
With RAWAYA (රාවය) NewsPaper
After a few weeks Chapa was again arrested once the court martial was implemented at Panagoda Army Camp, he was kept in a shell at Army Medical Corps premises in Colombo for 3 months until the court martial was over, he could continue the column ‘Balakotuwa’ in Rawaya even during this imprisonment.
Hearing of court martial was going on for nearly one year and at last he was sent to Welikada Jail for one year’s imprisonment; Mr. Manjula Makumbura, Attorney - at - law handled first part of the court martial. Mr. Kalinga Indrathissa and his assistant Mr. Viraj Premasinghe, attorney - at - law continued the process and made an application to appeal courts after the said judgment, after three months he was released on an order given by the Magistrate, Fort, Colombo considering the application of the court martial too – it is a remarkable incident of the judicial system as this is against the military authority in the country. Chapa kept on writing his column for Rawaya during his imprisonment at Welikada jail too, he then exposed of several hidden issues in the prison also through his column ‘Balakotuwa’ Then he worked for Rawaya as a freelance journalist, but full-time till beginning of the year 2001, that was very critical era of the country as there had been various political crises, specially the war in the North and East had come to its peak level; there were serious allegations against the president Mrs. Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumarathunge ( Mr. Victor Ivan, editor in chief of Rawaya has very clearly analyzed that situation in his ‘Chaura Rejina’ (චෞර රැජින) book too), during that period Chapa was very active political activist who did various investigations against fraud and corruptions, political violence as well in the country – he stood for social justice for any cost introducing a new dimension for the field of journalism, specially Chapa was struggling for free and fair elections during the president Chandrika’s era to strengthen democratic practices in the country; media practice of the Rawaya newspaper was also remarkable in Sri Lanka in that era as it did a tremendous role to make the governing system of the country more democratic. He has written various articles and involved in different political activities against NGOs also which have become international political partners in the historical crisis in Sri Lanka.
He did an investigation on water management policy which was suggested for Sri Lanka by international organizations led by IWMI and developed a media campaign against that criticizing the said project as a ‘commercial crime’; he wrote a book named ‘Jala Rakusanta Erehiwa’ on this issue and some of professionals whom have been exposed in the book filed cases in the Supreme court on defamation, Mr. Sarath Perera, Attorney – at – Law appeared for the cases on behalf of Chapa and the cases were dismissed due to some technical grounds. He still keeps on educating and guiding the community against this so-called water management policy.
To be ‘free’ (නිදහස්)At last Chapa has very clearly emphasized in his book ‘Rawayata Sakshiyk’ on his vision ( according to him, his practice! ) for social justice and how the media does make barriers against his way serving for its capital; he further explains in his book, in that circumstances how any media involvement does support the political system available in a country as a major partner of the global market creating economic disparity and social injustice everywhere in the world.
Chapa left Rawaya editorial in the year of 2001 to launch a free media movement named ‘free Lanka media net’, he formed the new media center at Nawala, Nugegoda, there was a team of members for his media center including Miss. Dinuksha Paththiniwasam and Mrs. Amali Konara, they got a new web site registered named ‘free’; by that time ‘Unilever’ the well-known company had suddenly closed its Mabole factory dismissing nearly 810 workers and those workers had been asking media support to solve their crisis in more democratic manner. Most of the reputed media stations do still depend on Unilever advertising budgets and therefore none of them could stand for rights of the said workers. Chapa joined the particular workers with his team to develop a media protest launching a monthly newspaper named ‘free’, the protest went on for more than one year and ultimately all the workers were able to get their compensations, this is also a remarkable incident in which practice of the media gets another political dimension. Chapa had met financial challenges to continue his work and decided to do commercial arts using his born talents in arts to raise funds to run the movement, he did photography, TV documentaries, illustrations and also cartoons for various organizations on commercial basis. Name of the said paper was changed from English to Sinhala i.e. ‘free’ to ‘Nidahas’ from the second year and it had been published for 10 years, i.e. till the year of 2011, in fact ‘Nidahas’ is not a usual newspaper, it is a political involvement, most of the articles had been written while protesting against social injustice on the ground, it is a new media practice - it is a miracle! He did this struggle without any capital and also without advertisements, he has published a book named ‘Kumbi’ analyzing this long history, he has explained in this book how difficult this journey was. He has developed a new political discourse named ‘open dialogue’ with this experience and in the book of ‘Kumbi’ he has described that he and his activities are in the same ‘process’ of open dialogue. ‘life and the world remain in open dialogue!’ he has written!
In Maxies (මැක්සීස්)Chapa introduced the discourse of open dialogue to Maxies to reorganize the company up to a certain level, he introduced the new concept of Media and HR into Maxies while launching the ‘Maxies Media Center’ also for the company, monthly newspaper ‘Wedabima’ is being published now and it does suggest an industrial dialogue among all the industries in the country.
He has introduced a series of programs named ‘life – to experience…’ with the theme of ‘ art of music Vs science of life’ into Maxies, these programs are being conducted by him in the organization, in schools and in the prisons.
‘Struggling to make the society fair and better is a historical challenge which has to be analyzed in open dialogue, there may be many ways to follow and many grounds to work!’ he says!