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Wrong Raja Katugampola?

Mr. Raja Katugampola

News Director

Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation

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Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation

Background Information

Employment History

News Director


News Director

Lanka Truth

Web References (18 Total References)

Lanka Citizen :: freedom of expression [cached]

The Free Media Movement (FMM) condemns the physical assault on Mr. Raja Katugampola, news director of the state-controlled Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), by the SLBC chairman's private security guards. The assault took place on 26 October 2005 in the chairman's office. Mr. Katugampola was later admitted to the National Hospital in Colombo.

While Mr. Raja Katugampola has the right to hold and express his own political views, FMM insists that, in accordance with ethical practice, all journalists refrain from expressing these views in their news reporting. It is regrettable that under Mr. Katugampola's direction, SLBC's news and current affairs reporting has become completely biased towards the candidate of the governing party, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksha.
The Joint Free Media Coalition has condemned the assault on Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation News Director Raja Katugampola by some security officials attached to the SLBC.

Lanka Citizen :: Free Media condemns attack on SLBC news director. But where is the FMM, the public asks. :: October :: 2005 [cached]

The Joint Free Media Coalition has condemned the assault on Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation News Director Raja Katugampola by some security officials attached to the SLBC.

Lanka Citizen :: October :: 2005 [cached]

The Joint Free Media Coalition has condemned the assault on Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation News Director Raja Katugampola by some security officials attached to the SLBC.

lankatruth::previous news_26.10.2005 [cached]

The News Director of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, Mr Raja Katugampola has been assaulted by a gang of UNP supporters lead by its Chairman Mr Hudson Samarasinghe yesterday within the office premises.

Nittewa: Hysterical Hudson? [cached]

Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) News Director Raja Katugampola is in hospital.He says Chairman of the SLBC Hudson Samarasinghe and two security personnel assualted him.

The Background
Raja Katugampola is the same News Director who got into trouble over the SLBC report about LTTE leader Prabhakaran's death in the Tsunami.The SLBC ran the story on an anonymous tip, without waiting for any confirmation.It turned out to be a very big mistake.He was fired for that and replaced but he managed to save his ass, and get his job back, because he was in Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse's good books.
A few days ago there was a story online that said the Chairman of the SLBC, Hudson Samarasinghe was again firing News Director Katugampola.
News Director Katugampola is a known Mahinda supporter and had been seen as following a openly pro-Mahinda and anti-Ranil agenda in his work in the past month or so.
But people at SLBC stated that this story was completely wrong, and that though Samarasinghe had warned Katugampola about his conduct, but had not removed him from his post or threatened to do so.
Sources within SLBC also alledge that Katugampola had been missing a lot of his work and neglecting his duties for reasons unknown, and that Samarasinghe had been quite annoyed about how things were being run in general.
Someone who was present at the meeting states that Samarasinghe was not happy about this, and wanted to question Katugampola.
Samarasinghe then discovered that Katugampola was in the building and sent a peon to search for him, and to get him to attend the meeting.
After the meeting Samarasinghe personally went to the News Division to look for Katugampola, who had made himself scarce by then.
Later in the day Katugampola had finally gone into the Chairman's office.He just couldn't dodge the Chairman anymore.
Katugampola says that then the Chairman stood up and assualted him, and called for the security personnel outside to also assault him.According to a interview given to Sirasa TV the News Director says the security personnell held him from behind and he was not sure who assaulted him as his spectacles were smashed and his vision was blurred.He also claims one of the security personnel picked him up and threw him against the wall twice.
Hudson's Story:The Chairman says that he was displeased with the way the News Director had been acting with regard to the upcoming Presidential elections.He says he had sent several messages to the News Director asking him to explain himself, and that Katugampola had just avoided them without reply.Samarasinghe says that today when Katugampola came into his office there were heated words exchanged, and that Katugampola got into a fight with his security personnel upon exiting the Chairman's office.
When Katugampola did not arrive for the morning meeting and dodged the Chairman during the day Samarasinghe gave orders to have the News Director removed from his post and from the premises of the SLBC.
Inside the Chairman's office Samarasinghe criticized Katugampola both for his political agenda being reflected in their newscasts and for his neglection of duties.When Katugampola said that his wife was ill Samarasinghe had said that Katugampola's problems with his wife were of no concern to the SLBC.
The source says that at this point the Chairman assaulted Katugampola.
So, those are four of the stories that I have heard so far, including the two official statements made by Samarasinghe and Katugampola.

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