11 years since the attack on Sirasa Depanama Studio

11 years since the attack on Sirasa Depanama Studio

11 years since the attack on Sirasa Depanama Studio

Written by Staff Writer

06 Jan, 2020 | 10:12 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Irrelevant of the government that holds power, as a media organization that stands for the truth and the peoples’ right to know, we cannot forget the incidents that transpired on the 6th of January.

On a day like today, 11 years ago, media freedom in the country and the right to free speech dealt a serious blow.

The Sirasa media network had just completed the installation of the state of the art studio complex in Depanama to enhance the television experience of our loyal and ardent viewers.

As the first attempt, on the 2nd of January 2009, a group of unidentified assailants began their attack on the Depanama studio complex by throwing petrol bombs at the studio.

Three days after that on the 5th of January a white van without a license plate was seen patrolling around the Depanama Studio Complex.

While the law enforcement agencies were informed of the imminent threat on the 6th of January at 2:10 am a gang of armed thugs broke into the Sirasa studio complex.

The assailants first attacked the security personnel at the studio complex and their next target was the main television broadcast control room of the studio.

The group who destroyed all the equipment at the studio complex escaped after rigging 2 claymore explosives at the studio complex.

During the government analyst’s investigation after the attack, an 8kg claymore explosive was found active at the main control room.

Despite the brand new studios being completely reduced to ashes, within a few hours we were able to begin telecasting as a sign of the strength we found in our unity.

Law enforcement agencies launched investigations into the attack and politicians at the time promised swift action against the perpetrators.

Within 48 hours of the attack on the Sirasa studio complex veteran journalist Lasantha Wickrematunga who arrived at the location and condemned the attacks was murdered in Attidiya.

The attack on the Sirasa Studio complex and the murder of veteran journalist Lasantha Wickremetunga are still unresolved cases.

This blatant attack on media freedom will forever remain a dark reminder of the oppressive times that Sri Lankan had endured.

We strongly believed and continue to believe in the power of the people.

The people of the country saw how former Minister Ranjan Ramanayake was arrested for not having a valid license for his official firearm.

Why aren’t responsible authorities who were so enthusiastic and prompt to arrest an MP for not having a license for his official weapon issued by the government, showing similar interest in bringing to justice the perpetrators who rigged two claymore bombs at a media institution?

Claymore bombs are not freely available for purchase. It has to be stocked and transported before being used.

What is the origin of such large scale explosives? Shouldn’t these matters be investigated?

A large stock of weapons without serial numbers were found onboard the Avant-Garde floating armoury.

Shouldn’t these matters also be investigated?

Certain people who were behind these attacks are now facing the consequences of their action brought about by the natural order.

While it is pertinent that the perpetrators of these crimes be mindful of the concept of Karma or the deity watching upon the people from above.

The people of the country are also still waiting for justice to be served.


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