A Tuesday night live programme on State-run Rupavahini on the proposed tough regulations on television broadcasts came to an abrupt end before Free Media Movement Convenor Uvindu Kurukulasuriya could respond to two other participants.
Mr. Kurukulasuiriya said he was invited as a guest to take part in ‘Ira Anduru Pata’ programme along with Media Ministry Advisor Charitha Herath and Colombo University lecturer Dhammi Dissanayaka. Mr. Kurukulasuirya said according to the format of the programme Mr Herath and Mr. Dissanayaka first made their comments. He had thereafter expressed his views on the regulations.
He said it was in the second round that Mr. Herath and Mr. Dissanayaka had gone further into detail. He was ready to give his own response. "Suddenly the programme was interrupted by commercials. I thought after they were over I would get an opportunity to respond. Instead some songs were aired. When inquiries were made I was told that the programme had ended," he said.
Mr. Kurukulasuirya said he was told that instructions had come from the 'top' to suspend the programme. However, the person who gave such an order was not identified.
The Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association, the Free Media Employees Trade Union, the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum, the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance and the FMM strongly condemned the sudden suspension of he programme.