For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
The CEB Chairman has removed the signal unit belonging to Siyatha media, which is owned by Priyantha and Roshantha Kariyapperuma, since they had allegedly helped General Sarath Fonseka during the Presidential elections. The CEB Chairman had received the order to remove the unit from the President.
The antennas to relay the frequencies of Siyatha radio and TV had been fixed to a CEB tower in Gongala. However, the CEB had informed the Siyatha management to remove the antennas from the tower without any prior warning. The move has resulted in Siyatha radio and TV not being relayed to areas in the South.
The Kariyapperuma brothers, who at one time were close confidantes of the President, have now fled the country after receiving death threats from the Defence Secretary after the Presidential election. Roshantha Kariyapperuma’s wife, popular actress Sangeetha Weeraratne has also left for Canada for the confinement of their first baby.
It is learnt that the relations between the Kariyapperuma brothers and the President had soured when they had failed to give part of the commission money received from the Telecom- Maxis deal to Namal and Basil Rajapaksa as agreed upon earlier. President appointed Roshantha Kariyapperuma as the local agent for Maxis Malaysia. However, angered by the non payment of part of the commission money to the Rajapaksas, the President had removed Roshantha and appointed Divaina journalist Manoj Abeydheera as the local agent for Maxis.
This move had been the beginning of the cold war between the President and the Kariyapperuma brothers. However, the various stories told to the President by Neth FM Head Nihal Epa Seneviratne and Derana media head Dilith Jayaweera had also worsened his strained relations with the Kariyapperuma brothers.