Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana yesterday said that Irida Lankadepa journalist Dayaseeli Liyanage had come under heavy fire by UNP and Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe over an interview with TNA leader R. Sampanthan carried in last Sunday’s issue of the paper.
The Minister said that Wickremesinghe had attacked her and the editor of Irida Lankadeepa at a recent propaganda meeting though he continued to propagate press freedom. He said that following the UNP leader’s outburst, Liyanage had given up her responsibilities at the editorial.
Meanwhile, the National Forum of Journalists said the UNP leader had targeted Dayaseeli Liyanage, Ranjith Ananda Jayasinghe and Ariyananda Dombagahawatte following the revelation. Sisira C. Vithanage, President of the forum said
that the lives of the journalists and their families had been endangered by Wickremesinghe’s action. He accused the joint Opposition of planning to launch a protest campaign targeting a section of the media, particularly Dombagahawatte.
Dileesha Abeysundera of the National Forum of Journalists last night told The Island that Vithanage had no right to issue a statement on behalf of the organisation due to him being suspended for violating the Constitution of the forum.