The former Lakehouse Chairman Bandula Padmakumara who hosted the popular morning programme – Mul Pituwa that is aired in Swarnavahini has been removed from it due to political pressure from the newly formed government, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.
Sources from Swarnavahini told Colombo Telegraph that the order came from a top politician of the new interim government.
Meanwhile, Padmakumara speaking to Colombo Telegraph said he cannot comment on the reason behind his removal but added that there are no justifiable grounds upon which Swarnavahini could have removed from the programme, except for external pressure as he has been hosting it for the past 12 years.
“It has earned credibility to Swarnavahini and revenue and its the highest rated programme in the morning hours,” he said.
Colombo Telegraph learns that there has been a growing objection against allowing Padmakumara to continue hosting the program, due to the biased nature he displayed towards former President Rajapaksa. The most recent incident that had resulted in his removal had been the presentation of a newspaper article that was published in a daily Sinhala newspaper which argued that MR won a majority of electoral seats at the recently concluded elections. Hence, he had been removed on the grounds of being biased in the recent past whilst moderating the programme.
Media reports also stated that he was chased away by the Lakehouse staff after Rajapaksa lost the elections. But he refuted the claims and told Colombo Telegraph that despite the request by the new Media Ministry Secretary Karunarathne Paranavithana to remain as the Chairman of the Lakehouse until the new board of management is appointed, he handed over his resignation in the morning of January 9 and left the Lakehouse premises by 12 noon.
Sources from the private sector media also revealed that a top politician of the new government has requested the media to not hamper the implementation of the 100-day programme and to conduct their programmes in a manner that supports it.