By Colombo Telegraph –
“I see this interest-free motor vehicle loan as a sort of a ‘bribe’. I don’t think it’s appropriate at all for a BBC journalist to take this. Obviously it will damage their credibility.” says former head of the BBC Sinhala Service Vasantha Raja.
He made the above remarks when asked how he saw the issue of BBC World Service employees applying and receiving an interest-free motor vehicle loan from the Sri Lankan Government.
BBC World Service Journalists Chandana Keerthi Bandara and its Colombo reporter Elmo Fernando have been granted Rs. 1,200,000/- each as interest free loans from state banks to purchase cars or vans. The Treasury will grant the interest due to the state banks for the interest free loan amount of Rs.1,200,000/-.
Quoting the Secretary of the Ministry of Mass Media and Information Charitha Herath, the Colombo Telegraph reported yesterday that the BBC World Service Journalist Chandana Keerthi Bandara’s application for an interest-free motor vehicle loan has not been rejected and like others, is on a waiting list. BBC’s Colombo reporter Elmo Fernando has been granted the loan last week.