With conflicting reports and confusion as to whether some functions of the Media Ministy have been brought under the purview of a committee headed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, questions have arisen as to how Rupavahini Deputy Director Kulasiri Kariyawasam, brother of the editor of a JVP journal, was sent on a week-long trip to Japan.
According to reports, the Rupavahini board had given approval for Prasad Dodangoda from the foreign news unit to attend a tsunami workshop in Japan two weeks ago. But Mr. Kariyawasam had also gone with the approval of Director General Nishantha Ranatunga.
Mr. Kariyawasam had been appointed last year as director in charge of news and current affairs but President Kumaratunga had wanted him removed from the news division. Reports say Mr. Ranatunga did not abide by this order, though Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera had directed him to appoint Nimal Ekanayake as director in charge of news and current affairs.
Mr. Kariyawasam still remains as director in charge of news and current affairs, though Chairman M. M. Zuhair also had directed Mr. Ranatunga last week to move Mr. Kariyawasam out.
The new committee headed by the President will henceforth be in charge of appointments, promotions and other administrative measures in Rupavahini and other state media.