In a sudden move Minister for Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera has tendered his resignation as Minister for Mass Media, paving the way for the appointment of Ruwan Wijewardene as new minister for Media but the ministerial shuffle is already being criticised as one rife with conflict of interest issues.
Ruwan Wijewardene is the son of Ranjith Wijewardene Chairman of Wijeya Newspapers Pvt Ltd. Wijeya is the publisher for the Sunday Times, Daily Mirror, Lankadeepa, Daily FT, ADA and Deshaya newspapers and the largest private publishing house in the country.
As State Minister for Media Ruwan Wijewardene will be in charge of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini, the ITN and the Lake House group. As a member of the Wijewardane family and the grandson of D.R. Wijewardene Ruwan Wijewardene holds shares in the Lake House.
The State Minister also has close ties with the Capital Maharaja group and the Sirasa network.
Colombo Telegraph learns that Ruwan Wijewardene will not be granted Cabinet status as Media Minister but will only hold the Ministry in the capacity of a state minister.