PM’s guards disable Hiru drone chip

‘Goon attacks’ in Hambantota:

by Dasun Edirisinghe

The memory chip of the Hiru TV drone, containing aerial visuals of the Hambantota violence had been disabled by the Prime Minister’s Security Division (PMSD) which seized it on Saturday during the Hambantota protest, News Director of Asia Broadcasting Corporation Sudeva Hettiarachchi said yesterday.

Hettiarachchi said the drone has been given back to them without the memory chip by Saturday evening after the intervention of Information Department officials.

"We received the memory chip the following day from the PMSD, but it is not working," Hettiarachchi said.

He said the chip was not responding to recovery tools though they made several attempts to retrieve its data,

Hettiarachchi said adding sabotaging the chip might have been carried out by an expert.

"We informed the Government Information Department that our memory chip had been disabled, but there has been no response from it so far," he said.

Director General of Information Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya had promised to return the memory chip with all data stored in it earlier, Hettiarachchi said.

Meanwhile, Joint Opposition claimed yesterday they had all details on thugs brought to Hambantota from Colombo to cause havoc, even though the PMSD had disabled the memory chip.

Matara district MP Dullas Alahapperuma yesterday challenged the government to produce the data it had stolen from drone memory chip. The MP said "the chip contained footage of thugs brought from Colombo and its suburbs to cause mayhem at Mirijjiwila."

Colombo District MP Bandula Gunawardena said the government had introduced the Right to Information Act recently, but it was using Gestapo tactics to terrorise the media

He said the government was taking the country back to the 1989 era, when the UNP government killed journalists such as Richard de Zoysa and muzzled the media.

The Island made several attempts to contact Government Information Director Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya but in vain.

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