State Minister Ruwan hits back at Prez for removing SLRC from his purview


Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) had not been under the Defence Ministry even at the height of the war, Non-Cabinet Minister of Mass Media and State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene, yesterday, told President Maithripala Sirisena, adding that it could only be considered as an attack on media freedom.

In a strongly-worded letter, Wijewardene said that he should have been consulted before issuing the gazette bringing the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation under the Defence Ministry. "In the gazette you have said that SLRC was taken under your control to strengthen national security, to promote peace and coexistence among people, to enhance the aesthetical sensibilities of the people and to promote media ethics. However, you have shown no interest in doing anything to achieve the stated objectives in the last four years. Although you speak of promoting media ethics, you did not have the decency to consult me before taking this step."

Wijewardene was appointed the Non-Cabinet Minister of Mass Media, on February 22, 2019. He said that after his appointment he had tried to remove SLRC Chairperson Inoka Sathyangani, and to revitalise the institution suffering due to bad management. "Audit reports show that the SLRC making a loss of Rs. 50 million a month and surveys show that it is only the 6th most popular TV channel. This indicates that the chairperson of the SLRC has failed to come up with programmes that could attract the people. When I tried to remove her, you objected on several occasions."

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