Minister tells Parliament:
Record income by state media
* Baseless allegations by UNP media
* Mangala responsible for overstaffing ANCL
Information and Mass Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday
stated that all government owned media institutions have reported a
record increase in income during the last two and a half years at a time
when most world media institutions were facing a financial crisis.
Minister Rambukwella made this observation yesterday in Parliament
joining the committee stage debate on the Appropriation Bill under the
Information and Mass Media Ministry Heads. The minister further stated
that the State Printing Corporation earned a net profit of Rs 101
million while it was able to reduce its loans to Rs 200 million which
was Rs 582 million three years ago.
Rambukwella further stated that ITN has earned a net profit of Rs
He also said the Film Corporation has also turned out to be a profit
The minister further stated that the income of Rupavahini and Lake
House has also steadily increased but their profits could have been much
more if not for the labour surplus.
He added that former Minister Mangala Samaraweera during his tenure
recruited a large number of persons to those institutions over and above
the required strength.
The minister further stated even the Ranminitenna tele cinema village
is becoming popular. So far two films, five teledramas and seven
advertisements have been created there. He further stated that the right
of reply should be guaranteed in the media. He asked that in order to
guarantee this right all the webs operating in the country should be
Minister Rambukwella noting that there was a Supreme Court order
issued to register those web sites, recalled that there was an era when
journalists were instructed on what they should write with a pistol held
to their head. He added that that era is over.
The minister also stated that it was a sad situation that the
Opposition Leader was criticizing two media persons in Parliament whom
he did not like while at the same time speaking of media freedom. The
minister also added among many programmes to enhance the knowledge of
journalists, the government has granted Rs 100,000 each to around 100
journalists for various courses.
The minister also said UNP MP Gayantha Karunathilake and others made
baseless allegations against the state media. The Media Minister also
tabled in the House the annual financial statement of accounts of all
state media institutions including ANCL.