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Bomb attack on ‘Siyatha’ TV station : all programs stopped ; two workers injured
(Lanka-e-News, July 30, 2010, 1.00PM second edition 1.30PM) The Siyatha TV station located at Gangarama Lake Road, Colombo came under a bomb attack this early morning (30) at about 1.30 a.m. There has been extensive damage to the equipments in the premises.

The Director of the TV station, Nimal Ekanayake told Lanka e news about 12 individuals who came in white and red cars caused this bomb attack.

The group of attackers who were masked and unidentifiable carried arms. They had broken open the locks on the gate and had entered the premises after attacking the security personnel. After inquiring where the television service is being conducted they have entered the station and attacked with a bombing device. Consequently, extensive damage has been caused to the laptops, televising and telecasting equipments. Right now it is impossible to continue the television services, Ekanayake pointed out.

This attack has lasted about 10 to 12 minutes. The attackers had assaulted a security personnel and a member of the staff. The security personnel is hospitalized while the staff member is being treated for injuries to his hand, and several sutures were necessary to treat the wound.

The Siyatha Broadcasting service will however continue as there is no damage caused to that division.

A complaint has been lodged with the Slave island Police, and three groups of police officers are conducting investigations.

The owner of Siyatha media chain is Roshantha Kariyaperuma. He is the husband of popular actress Sangeetha Weeraratne.

Because of dire threats and intimidation on the owners of Siyatha after the Presidential elections, Kariyaperuma went abroad for a period. At the last Presidential elections it was the owners of Siyatha who provided funds for the common candidate Gen. Fonseka’s election campaigns which incurred the displeasure and bitter resentment of the Govt. officials.

Apart from the Siyatha electronic media, a ‘Siyatha’newspaper division too was run by the owners. Earlier the Govt. gave a lot of its advertisements to the Siyatha. However, after the Presidential elections the advertisements to Siyatha were stopped and eventually the Siyatha newspaper division had to close down.

This is the second attack on a private TV station during the Rajapkse regime. Earlier the ‘Sirasa’ was attacked and set fire to. Significantly, so far not one single culprit has been brought before the law, neither police investigations have been duly conducted in respect of that attack. The Govt. that time claimed that the Sirasa itself orchestrated this attack.
Pix: Sanjaya Dassanayaka
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