Feb 07, 2017

Ranil-loyalists in ‘Lankadeepa’ sacked! Featured

Wijaya Newspapers is conducting an internal inquiry against a senior journalist, who stands accused of having sabotaged government advertisements worth many millions of rupees which its ‘Irida Deshaya’ weekly was to receive.

If found guilty, the management will sack him immediately, according to reports reaching Sri Lanka Mirror.

These reports say the accused is a close friend of prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

A top official of Wijaya Newspapers charged that on the PM’s instructions, the journalist had got an official of the PM’s office to influence state banks, corporations and other institutions against giving advertisements to the newspaper.

After the last presidential election, Wickremesinghe asked his uncle and chairman of Wijaya Newspapers, Ranjith Wijewardena, to remove ‘Deshaya’ editor Ranjith Ananda Jayasinghe, who is said to have run the newspapers according to advice given by the Rajapaksas.

However, that request, made through the chairman’s son and state minister Ruwan Wijewardena, was ignored.

The chairman also terminated the services some months ago of Asoka Jayathunga and Sujith Mangala de Silva, despite a request by Wickremesinghe to promote the two as well as Dinith Chinthaka Karunaratne, who were senior journalists of ‘Lankadeepa’ and loyal to him.

SLM learns that Karunaratne too, is to be removed from the institution shortly.

The PM has so far not mediated on behalf of Jayathunga and de Silva, who have become helpless after their expulsion from ‘Lankadeepa.’

They are considered to have done a big service within the newspaper for Wickremesinghe during the period the UNP was in the opposition.

In a show of gratitude, de Silva has been given temporary employment in ‘Irudina’ newspaper by minister Ravi Karunanayake.

However, the staff of that newspaper has not been paid for the past two months.