Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera
Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said today he regretted the shutting down of the transmission centre belonging to TNL television at Polgahawela and assured that he would submit a report in parliament on the matter.
In response to a question raised by joint opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa, Mr. Samaraweera told parliament that he did not have much information on the matter and assured him that he would look into it and submit a report to parliament soon.
“I got to know about it only an hour before it was shut down. I tried to contact the chairman of the TRC but I couldn’t get through to him,” he said.
MP Wimal Weerawansa said he did not approve of a media institution being forced to shut down in this manner. “The TNL has been very critical of President Sirisena recently. I doubt that it led to the shutting down,” the MP said.
Mr. Weerawansa said a powerful hand must be behind this move and added that such a decision could not have been taken by the TRC chairman alone.
Minister Harsha De Silva said the TRC was under the purview of the President and added that media freedom should be ensured.
“I’d like to remind the President that we established the good governance government to ensure media freedom,” he said.
Minister Samaraweera pointed out that politicians should be able to face both praise and criticism and added that he and the Prime Minister were heavily criticised by the Sirasa network but they had no issue with them.