Opposition cries foul over 'Channel Eye' deal

by Jayamal Ratnayake 14-08-2023 | 9:42 PM

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka's opposition raised concerns on Monday (14) over an agreement struck by the government with a privately-owned foreign broadcasting organization, to sell the air-time of Channel Eye, a television channel owned by the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC).

Speaking to the media on Monday (14), Politburo member of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa revealed that the government has sold the air-time of Channel Eye to a company named VIS Broadcasting Pvt. Ltd. for a period of 6 months, effective from the 30th of July 2023. 

"This agreement was struck with no transparency, without revealing it to the public. The 6 month period began on the 30th of July. It has been sold for 25 million per month", Dr. Jayatissa revealed. 

Providing further details on the matter, Dr. Jayatissa claimed the government was compelled to present a cabinet paper on this agreement, since certain employees of the SLRC and parties aware of the the deal had voiced their opposition on it, adding that the cabinet had rejected the decision. 

"The organization named VIS Broadcasting Pvt. Ltd. has bought air time of Channel Eye to broadcast a channel named SBC TV. From what we know, SBC TV is linked to Lyca Mobile", he said. 

Commenting on the same matter, Sri Lanka's Opposition Leader  Sajith Premadasa on Monday (14) alleged the government is operating as if the SLRC is their own property.

"We believe that attempts are being made to handover Channel Eye to a certain group, with cover approval. They should have attracted investors for Channel Eye via competitive and transparent systems. Instead, they are selling off national assets", he claimed speaking during a meeting in Ampara.