By Chandani Kirinde
President Maithripala Sirisena last night brought the influential Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) under the purview of the Ministry of Defence by an Extraordinary Gazette notification.
Along with the takeover, the SLRC was also tasked with the “Implementation of programs for the promotion of peace, harmony and reconciliation among people whilst ensuring national security through the use of audio visual media, enhancement of the entertainment quality of the people and creation of a higher media culture using state-of-the-art technology.”
The sudden takeover of SLRC by President Sirisena who is also the Minister of Defence came midst moves to appoint Kalum Palitha Maheerathne as SLRC’s new Chairman by Media Non-Cabinet Minister Ruwan Wijewardene.
Sources said the appointment of a Chairman to SLRC has led to differences between the President and the Media Minister.
Wijewardene was appointed to the post of non-Cabinet Media Minister in February this year after Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who also held the post of Mass Media, abruptly resigned from the post the same month.
There is no immediate change to the other State media institutions, namely the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd., (ANCL) and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) which will remain under Wijewardene.