Minister of Finance and Mass media Mangala Samaraweera is asking state banks under the purview of his ministry to stop advertising on Derana and Hiru.
He said this is because these two media organizations were spreading hate speech to provoke communal violence.
The Minister’s remarks were released on a video on Social Media
where he is seen addressing top officials from the state banks.
Finance Ministry sources confirmed that the Minister had met the Chairmen of all the state banks.
A senior Manager from one of the affected channels confirmed to RepublicNext that advertising had been pulled from them by all government institutions.
“The government is accusing us of creating communal disharmony, but we don’t see how that can be true. When we were asked to stop showing the knives that were recovered by police, we complied,” he said.
The Minister went on to say his Cabinet colleague who attended an emergency meeting called after the riots of Sunday by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had been highly critical of the private media.
Samaweera also said that the government is against any media who try to present news with the intention of creating another ‘Black July’ and not against those media who report on corruption with regard to government, president or prime minister.