Govt Decides To Boycott Political Programmes On Sirasa, Derana and TNL

December 05, 2014

The government has decided to boycott political talk shows on three television channels, namely Sirasa, TNL and Derana.

The government has decided to resort to this 'unofficial' boycott on the grounds that the three TV channels are tilting the playing field against representatives of the ruling party.

However, the government will continue to take part in political programmes conducted by Hiru TV and Swarnawahini.

Confirming this, Minister of Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella said that the government and members of the ruling party will not hereafter participate in any ‘biased and disgraceful’ television programmes.

Speaking to media yesterday (4), the Minister said that certain private television channels are functioning with hidden political agendas and they do not have any right to discredit the sri Lankan government and it’s Ministers.

“We have realized that certain media organizations are acting biased towards the opposition and shaming the representatives of the government," the Minister added.

Commenting on the conduct of Derana, the Minister said the channel even refused to disclose the identity of the caller who insulted Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.

"People have a right to know who is behind these blind accusations and the channel did not intervene when a Minister was being clearly insulted on a live telecast”, Rambukwella added.

The Ministers claims came in the wake of the incident that took place during the ‘Waada Pitiya’ political talk show in Derana TV two days ago (3), during which an anonymous caller accused Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage of being one of the biggest racketeers in the ruling party and alleged that his wife bears witness to his alleged fraudulent acts.

The programme had to be stopped as Minister Aluthgamage walked out of the studio and lodged a complaint with the Mirihana police station against the anonymous caller saying he was insulted in public.

Aluthgamage, before walking out of the TV studio, accused Derana of supporting The campaign of the common candidate. He said he was insulted during the programme in a manner that would tarnish his public image and reputation.