Gotabhaya: TV station attack was self-inflicted
[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 January 2009, 12:28 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapakse, claimed this week that the independent television station stormed on January 6 by over a dozen masked gunmen who threw grenades and shot up equipment with assault rifles, had in fact staged the attack to win public sympathy, because the Tamil Tigers, which he said the Sirasa station was supporting, were losing the war. He said government investigations had conclusively established this. Mr. Gotabhaya, who is also the brother of President Mahinda Rajapakse, made his comments to a state media station, The BBC Sinhala service reported Friday.
"At this moment Sirasa is the Voice of Tigers. In Colombo Sirasa is the station that represents the LTTE. As we are winning now they have become desperate. Now the Tigers are losing the war, they are seeking public sympathy. That is why they set fire to Sirasa," Mr. Gotabhaya was quoted as saying.
Claiming a huge compensation from insurance companies was another motive of the attack, he said.
Defence Secretary Rajapaksa also warned that he would imprison the official from MTV, the broadcasting group which owns the Sirasa, who gave an interview to the CNN after the attack.
06.01.09 RSF condemns attack on Tamil-owned TV station