Cops apologise for intimidating Max TV staff

The Mirihana Police have extended an apology to the Max television station in Nugegoda for police action taken last night. According to Max staff, a group of policemen in plain clothes had entered the TV station and intimidated staff, claiming they were acting on a tip-off that a man carrying a gun and explosives had been seen in the vicinity of the Max headquarters. The policemen, some of them carrying revolvers, said they were checking to see if the stranger had entered the TV station premises.

The TV station staff said the policemen had demanded to see the identification documents of the staff. The intruders had even forced a female member of the station’s security staff to kneel on the floor after she had asked the men to produce their police identification.The men had arrived at the TV premises in two vehicles, at about 7.30 pm.

Max managing director Mahinda Ramanayake told The Sunday Times that he had lodged a complaint with the Mirihana Police.

Mirihana SP Deshabandu Tennakoon told The Sunday Times that he had later in the night explained matters to Mr. Ramanayake, and that two Mirihana police officers had been sent to the Max TV station to apologise to the staff.The Free Media Movement last night condemned the police action, which the organisation said could be deemed a threat to media freedom, and called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to order an investigation.

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