By Rathindra Kuruwita
Slave Island Police are investigating some incidents where a group of persons threw firecrackers and stones at the MTV/MBC Head Office in Braybrook Street, following the defeat of the no-faith motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday night.
The Police Media Unit said: “We have received a complaint regarding the alleged incidents. There is no evidence that an attack was carried out. We have only found out that firecrackers were thrown into the premises.”
A senior official at MTV/MBC networks told The Island that they had received information about a possible attack on them and had lodged a complaint with the police as a precautionary measure.
“Soon after PM Wickremesinghe defeated the no-faith motion against him there was a commotion outside our office. We quickly moved the female staff and a number of young people to a safe area. By the time the security personnel closed the gate a large crowd had gathered opposite the premises and later video footage showed that a United National Party (UNP) Colombo Municipal Councillor was leading the crowds. We have handed this footage to the police.”Although the police came and cordoned off the area, the crowds remained outside the cordoned area for about half an hour, the official said, claiming that neither the Prime Minister nor the Media Minister had issued statements condemning the incident.
Media rights groups while condemning the attacks, stated the importance of media institutions to follow media ethics. Chairman of the Working Journalists Association, Lasantha Ruhunage said that they condemn attacks on media institution or a journalist. “Alleging Sirasa has also crossed the line regarding certain issues, Ruhunage said while they condemned the attack, we must also insist the media organizations, too should act responsibly act in an impartial manner,” Commenting on the matter, Sanjaya Nallaperuma, Secretary of the Political Journalists Association (PJA) said that the attack on media can’t be condones and that ideas must be defeated by ideas. “However media must also allow opposing views on their platforms.”