The trade unions of the main State television Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) expressed their concern over the loss being incurred due to the telecasting of election campaign advertisements of one Presidential candidate free of charge.
In a special statement to the Elections Commissioner, the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya, Rupavahini Corporation Employees Union and the Programme Directors Union stated that airing advertisements like the ‘Thaarunyata Hetak’ with the participation of sports personalities and artistes as well as the ‘Subha Anagathayak’ (A brighter future) advertisement, had led the Corporation to suffer a great loss.
“Other channels telecast these advertisements charging fees but the Rupavahini telecasts them for free. The Corporation has earned a huge income during election times for almost 27 years but since the day that the 2010 Presidential election date was declared the situation has changed,” their statement said.
They said that although the Elections Commissioner had issued directives to the State media the management had not bothered to follow them.
The unions had given a few suggestions that the institution should follow including following instructions given by the Elections Commissioner, charging for all election campaign advertisements under the commercial category, charging for all advertisements published since the declaration of the date of the Presidential election and making arrangements to collect Rs. 30 million due to be collected from previous election campaign telecasts.
The statement was signed by the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya secretary T.A.Hema Ajith, Rupavahini Corporation Employees Union president M.Saman Kumara and the Programme Directors Union secretary Gamini Pushpakumara.