A Presidential directive approving the use of the song ‘President’s Official Song for 2016 – Numba Ape Minihek’ as the Ring Back Tone (RBT) issued by the Telecommunication regulatory Commission to mobile operators has been recalled with the letter having been collected by the Presidential Security Division (PSD), Colombo Telegraph can reveal today.
Officers of the PSD had visited the offices of each of the mobile operators and physically collected the said directive prior to the denial issued by the Presidential Media Unit to the effect that it had nothing to do with the production or airing of the song.
In the face of growing public criticism the video of the President Sirisena’s Official Song for 2016, has been removed without any reason being offered. President’s Secretary P.B. Abeykoon on January 11, 2015, said that there was no official song released by the President’s Secretariat or other responsible entities to mark the one year anniversary of democratic governance under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena. Abeykoon said “The song has been played by some social networking websites without the permission of the President as well as the Presidential Secretariat”
Status updates on Facebook by the producer clearly shows that the President was aware of the production and had approved the final cut to be telecast. Sirisena had checked the script and listened to the song prior to its broadcast.
When Colombo Telegraph contacted the President’s Media Director, Dharmasri Bandara Ekanayake on January 15, 2015 for clarification on the matter, he claimed ignorance. However, he agreed to inquire from the President himself, but is yet to respond to the query.
The producer of the said video, Dr. Arosha Fernando, a senior consultant at Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka, which is an institution that comes directly under the President, has posted on his Facebook page on January 7, 2015 that the video was being telecast over all TV and radio stations and that the Ring Back Tone (RBT) was available with all the mobile operators with the following song code:
Dialog – 87534349
Mobitel – 23740
Etisalat – *3541622
Hutch – 876010
Airtel – 88800600200
Although Arosha Fernando has now deleted all pictures from his Facebook page, screen shots were grabbed and archived by Colombo Telegraph.