FMETU condemns placing SLRC under President

Federation of Media Employees’ Trade Union has condemned the placing of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation under the purview of the Ministry of Defence headed by President Maithripala Sirisena.

The FMETU in a statement signed by its General Secretary Dharmasiri Lankapeli and its President Karunaratne Gamage said that transferring to the SLRC from the Media Ministry to the Defence Ministry was a result of ongoing dispute between President Sirisena and government headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

"The act committed at a time when elections would be announced soon amounts to misappropriation of state property for political purposes. Our Federation demands that the Chairman of the Elections Commission as a part of its responsibility to hold free and fair elections should express its standpoint over the matter.

"This error should be rectified immediately and the SLRC and other state-controlled media should be converted into public service media organizations.

"We as federation fighting for media freedom have always been maintaining the standpoint that media organizations funded by public funds should be changed to public service media organizations as without doing so there would be no ensuring of those institutes being abused by those in power for their advantage. The President’s act of taking over the SLRC under a ministry headed by him is also against political ethics.

"There are many instances of troubled politicians taking over the control of state media institutes and forcing them to serve as their political trumpets. The history also shows that such actions consequently paved the way for further erosion of democracy".

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