ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka's state institutions are halting advertisements private television channels, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has said, alleging that they were contributing to communal disharmony.
"Any media institutions trying to make a business out of racism and human blood will be strongly opposed," he said.
Samaraweera was speaking to chairpersons of state banks at the finance ministry, a video of which he uploaded himself to social media this week.
"Two television stations, Hiru and Derana, are working to a certain policy, to ruin the country in this situation," he alleged.
"At the last cabinet meeting, my peer ministers criticized me for letting the situation build up to the current proportions."
One of the two television networks confirmed that state banks have already halted advertising to them.
State banks annually spend around 5.5 billion rupees in television advertising, and Hiru and Derana are among the country's largest networks.
Advertising professionals said that other state-owned institutions are also starting to halt business with the two networks. (Colombo/May17/2019)