Media Minister confirms Dinamina and Daily News stories on Prelate’s beration
Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister and Cabinet Spokesman, Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana said that the news published by Dinamina and the Daily News newspapers with the headline “Atamasthanadhipathi admonishes Minister Dr. Bandula” is not false. He also said that as the Media Minister, he has given freedom
to publish true news without insulting or slandering people.
The Minister said this while answering a question raised by a journalist at the Cabinet decision notification press conference held yesterday (15) at the Government Information Department regarding a news item published yesterday (15) regarding the Media Minister in the Dinamina and Daily News newspapers.
He said that the Board of Directors of Lake House has been given freedom to make decisions and has been asked to conduct media work in a way that honours its editors. The minister who said that the news published in the Dinamina and Daily News newspapers about him was not fabricated and he said that everything mentioned in that news story was correct.
The Minister further said: I have given a number of general instructions to all heads of media institutions. Even the Information Department Director General knows it. We meet once a week. “We have said that they should make a fair criticism and review and publish truth in newspapers. We have said that for a developed media culture without insulting and slandering people, Lake House should be led in a way that honours its former editors. The Board of Directors of that company has been given unprecedented freedom to make decisions.
The new Chairman of the Rupavahini Corporation has also been granted the right to make decisions. The Sri Lanka Transport Board Chairman has been given the right to make decisions as well. We told them to inform us and make decisions in order to get out of this current situation. It is not fair to publish false news. It is not fair news that the Eye Channel says that the proposal of Lyca Group has been rejected by the Cabinet.In this regard, the Board of Directors has made their decision. If the secretary of the Ministry of Mass Media does not know, is it one of my secretarys who wrote the Cabinet paper for me? These are manufactured news. The news in the Dinamina and Daily News newspapers are not fabricated news item. Over the weekend, I visited the Atamasthanadhipathi before the start of the process of building a new railway line from Anuradhapura to Mihintale Junction.
It is true that he found fault with me at that time. It was not because of a personal problem of mine. The most worshipped tree in this world is the Sri Maha Bodhi. The people of this country come to pay homage to it. They mostly come by train. He said that when a train arrives, a large number of three-wheelers from the city blocks all the roads and some devotees are forcibly put into these three-wheelers and are asked to pay 750 to 1000 rupees and there has been a situation where no human being can stay there. I told the Railways Department to make a plan and operate a bus. They did it. After complaining to the relevant authorities, they had asked what right the Railways Department has to run buses on the highway.
It was stopped after the officials of the Railways Department were threatened. Earlier, when the Sri Lanka Transport Board started this, thugs had attacked the SLTB workers in the city. I asked the Nayake Thera, whether he informed the police about this.
He said that informing the police was of no use, and that it is being done by a large mob. He asked a question, that if the government cannot protect the people who come to worship the Sri Maha Bodhi and if people cannot pay homage in a civilized manner, why are you remaining as a minister of the government. It has been reported in the same way. I am happy about that. Regarding the freedom I have given to the media as the Minister of Media, it is alright to report the truth.
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