MR-MS Controlling Private Media Coverage On Political Crisis: Only Two TV Stations Gave Coverage To Range’s Revelations On Bribing MPs
UNP’s Ajith P. Perera said only two Television stations, gave coverage to the revelations made by UNP State Minister Palitha Range Bandara yesterday, on alleged attempts made by the Sirisena-Rajapaksa camp to bribe him to switch allegiance in Parliament.
Addressing a press conference at Temple Trees this morning, Perera raised doubts if the Rajapaksa camp was influencing private media even before they formed a legitimate government.
“The SLRC and ITN are being used in a despicable manner for their own propaganda. And it is now clear that they are exercising control over the private media as well,” he said
Perera said both Upali Tennakoon and Keith Noyahr, who were assaulted under the Rajapaksa government, worked in media institutions with strong links to the Rajapaksas. “Just because they are friendly with you today, don’t believe they will remain your friends forever. You must remember what happened to your own colleagues in the past.”
Perera also requested media to ensure fair coverage for their press conferences and public demonstrations against President Sirisena’s despotic actions, in the name of “freedom and democracy.”
Range Bandara, addressing a press conference yesterday, played recordings of his telephone conversations with ‘coordinators’ for S.B. Dissanayake, Yoshitha Rajapaksa and S.B Nawinne. In one of the conversations, an agent offers to pay him Rs. 500 million in US Dollars (USD 2.8 million).
In another recording, UPFA’s S.B. Dissanayake calls Paitha Range Bandara and offers him a Cabinet position if he crosses over to the government “immediately”
He also alleged that Prof. Ranjith Bandara was the go-between in the ‘financial deal’ and had attempted to contact him over the phone several times. Presents call records and affidavits from his security officers to the media.
He then indicated that he was in possession of several other recordings which he will release to the public in due course. He said the unreleased recordings contained his conversations with an anti-corruption activist and a VVIP who attempted to bribe him to switch sides in Parliament.