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Sri Lankan launches Sinhala TV channel in UK
Sunday, 9 July 2006 - 4:58 AM SL Time

A new Sinhala television channel, `Kesara TV` will be launched today in London.

The initiator of this novel project, Dr. Sampath Wickremaratna says that his primary objective is to cater to the large number of Sinhala-speaking people in UK who have no direct access to a Sinhala television channel.

`There are other minority community television channels like Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and Tamil but not a Sinhala one. That`s why I thought of starting this new channel`, he said in an interview with the Sunday Island.

Asked what Sinhala viewers can expect from this channel, he replied, `Programmes of Sri Lankan cultural values and identity will be shown. It is sad that a large number of Sri Lankans forget their roots when they live here. They are swiftly influenced by the `Ballroom and Disco Dance` culture of the West. I would be happy at least if Sri Lankan children born in the UK could learn about Sri Lanka and her people by watching this TV channel. I would also like to show what the expatriate community could do for their motherland`.

`News in Sinhala, English and Tamil will also be telecast`, he noted.

Q: Who will produce your programmes'

A: I have an experienced team, some of whom have worked in popular television channels in Sri Lanka.

Q: How can people access your channel'

A: Initially, we will telecast on the internet. They can watch the channel by logging on to In about 6 months time, they will be able to watch it on cable TV. We will also have a parallel radio channel. One can log on to to listen to it.

Q: You may be aware that there were some Sinhala TV channels that were launched in UK, but they closed down within a few months. Do you think you

will be able to survive'

A: Those channels were closed down because they didn`t have a proper plan. I want to start this on the internet first and then switch on to cable TV later. I have the backing from the Sri Lankan

community and I am confident that this is going to be a success.

Dr. Wickremaratna said that anyone in the world can watch this channel hassle-free. `I will be

providing a tiny device for a very small fee for those interested in viewing this channel via television.

Q: Are you a nephew of Rev. Marcelline Jayakody'

A: Yes, he was my grand uncle. I was very close to him. Maybe that`s why I want to follow in his footsteps and do some service to art. He

respected Buddhism. I am also a Catholic, but I also value Buddhism. I want to start my

channel daily with Pirith Chanting.

Dr. Wickremaratna, an Executive Manager in a private bank, is an accomplished football who represented Sri Lanka. He was the only Asian football referee in England. `I have also started the Sri Lanka Football Association in the UK with the help of my master, Upali Jothirathana`.

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• Island

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Senior Member

Joined: May 2005
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9 Jul 2006 10:51:33 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Kesara tv is in the making too i guess.

Good work Dr. we need one like this. Will it be only for UK or it will have wide coverage?
Joined: Aug 2005
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9 Jul 2006 12:49:44 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Sinhala TV in London.

Wish you a success.

There are a lot of wealthy Sinhalese in the West. THey can finace this enterprise to enable his fellow countrymen have access to their culture and language.
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9 Jul 2006 13:45:20 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Is this another GOSL intelligence network in UK ? Should be reported to UK officials and watch all the events for any leading for GOSL intelligence and GOSL propaganda in UK soil!
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9 Jul 2006 15:46:21 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Congratulations Dr. Sampath

Great stuff. It would be good if the telecast could be expanded to other countries as well. This is something that was long awaited by all foreign based Sinhalese.
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9 Jul 2006 17:21:06 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Thank you Dr Wickremaratne we appreciate your work. For Sinhalese there is hardly any TV in the UK unlike for Eelamists.
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9 Jul 2006 20:29:49 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Is it a propaganda tool for the lies of the GOSL??????????

The GOSL has been very annoyed with the adverse publicity it has been given. One method of dealing with this of course has been to bump off the journalists. If this reporting is not balanced - the station most probably will not last as in the UK there are several avenues for exposing biases in media. You are not hamstrung by govt. bureaucracy or political ties.
Edited By - smile4u - 9 Jul 2006 20:30:16 GMT
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10 Jul 2006 06:44:13 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Is it propaganda tool for the lies of the GSOl

Why nervous?Many more to come in every country!Thanks LTTE for encouragement without You we are a failure.
Edited By - BABA - 10 Jul 2006 14:42:19 GMT
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