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Law and Order

Brouhaha at Rupavahini

Senior Rupavahini Corporation officials last night complained to the Cinnamon Gardens police in Colombo after staff objected to the presence of police officers and Election Commission staff inside the Master Control room (MCR) of the station.

The MCR is the place where the transmission of programming handled and is a high-security area. The presence of policemen and other civilians in this area had perturbed the staff.

The officials present had entered the MCR and gone to a particular editing booth where a Current Affairs interview with Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera was being edited in preparation for broadcast, Rupavahini staff told RepublicNext.

These officials, accompanied by two police officers had entered the MCR apparently without authorization from the Rupavahini management.

Rupavahini sources told RepublicNext that an employee had tipped off the Elections Commission that the State Broadcaster was preparing to air an interview attacking the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, causing the officials to arrive.

However, it was not a politically sensitive interview and the program was cleared for broadcast.

However, neither the Duty Officer nor the Chief Security officer had been informed by the Corporation high command of their arrival.

Eventually, the staff of the SLRC had detained the four men and called senior management. Thereafter the Chief Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya, as well as Rupavahini Chairperson Inoka Satyangani, had arrived and the two officials and the two police officers had been let go.