Former Deputy General Manager of Independent Television Network (ITN) Sudarman Radaliyagoda stated during a media briefing that the government is plotting to turn ITN into an unprofitable institution and then sell it to a minister of the government.
He had said this at a media briefing organized by an organization named Yuktihyata Handak (a voice for justice).
But subject Minister Mangala Samaraweera emphasizes that there is no such plan. He added that the government is strengthening the above institution by making necessary reforms to publicize the government’s policies.
The country knows how Sudarman Radaliyagoda performed when he served as the Deputy General Manager of ITN. He administered the institution with a gun on his table. At that time, ITN was a media institution that cleaned Rajapaksa’s mud, and slung mud at Rajapaksa’s opponents during the presidential election season.
He once insulted Maithiripala Sirisena by telecasting a recording of a 14-year-old child who claimed to be the son of a woman who was allegedly held by Maithripala Sirisena. He later stated that he did it as per the orders of then Chairman Anura Siriwardana. Eventually, after the above mother and son lodged a complaint with the Police Children and Women’s Bureau, Sudarman’s allegations were proved false.
At that time, one had to bribe not only politicians but also heads of this institution such as Sudarman to telecast a teledrama. Not only monetary bribes, sometimes people even had to offer sexual favors as well. Therefore the teledramas telecasted by ITN at that time were low quality teledramas. But, under the Yahapalana government, that situation changed and ITN was able to telecast fine creations such as Kumbiyo and Sahodaraya teledramas.
During Sudarman’s period, only the journalists who served Rajapaksa were given the opportunity to work at ITN. But now, there is no such situation, and persons who worked at ITN under the previous government are still doing their jobs with no problem whatsoever. Mangala Radaliyagoda, Sudarman’s brother, is still working at ITN and is receiving promotions.
When the court issued a warrant for Sudarman Radaliyagoda with regard to an iron business, he was able avoid the court because he was a Rajapaksa supporter. And today, he is shedding crocodile tears.