Gotabhaya 'warns' activists of state-owned media
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 May 2008, 11:52 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary and the brother of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday invited two media activists Poddala Jayantha of Working Journalists' Association and Sanath Balasooriya, the secretary of the organization, both employed in the state-owned Lake House, and had cautioned them that their activities are bringing disrepute to State armed forces, and that the Government will not bear responsibility if any harm befalls on them from 'patriotic citizens' who support the military, informed sources from Colombo said. on Wednesday, SL Minister Keheliya Rambukwella confimed the meeting and reiterated that state employees should abide by rules of their employer organization.
Sources said that although Lake House Director Bandula Pathmakumara, and Director of the Media Center for National Security Lakshman Hulugalla participated in the meeting with the Defence Secretary, no details were made public of their attendance.
When Pathmakumara mentioned that both Balasooriya and Jayantha had previously worked for the election victory of Mahinda Rajapakse, Mr Gotabhaya Rajapakse had allegedly dismissed the fact as irrelevant to the current matters being dealt with, informed sources said.
Keheliya Rambukwella in his press briefings was responding to a question by a journalist on the above meeting of Gotabhaya Rajapakse. In the press briefings, Mr Lakshman Hulugalla mentioned that the Defence Ministry has in its possession video footage of Balasooriya criticizing the Government, and that the two journalists were called in for a meeting for clarification and not for reprimanding.