Daily News Online

Wednesday, 14 December 2011






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Government Gazette

Minister tells Parliament:

Record income by state media

* Baseless allegations by UNP media spokesman

* 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 501.3 million.

He also said the Film Corporation has also turned out to be a profit making institution.

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 registered.

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.



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