An incident is reported from Anuradhapura that indicates the President, despite giving visas to Callum Macrae and his group to enter the country and saying ‘come and see’, has instructed his followers not to allow them access for information.
A group instructed by the Deputy Minister of UPFA government S.M. Chandrasena and the Chief Minister of North Central Provincial Council S.M. Ranjith engaged in an agitation at Anuradhapura Railway Station today (13th) blocking the train to Vavuniya travelled by Channel 4 journalists including Callum Macrae.
T. Upasena, the coordinating officer of the Chief Minister and Deputy Minister Chandrasena’s coordinating secretary Nilantha Ekanayaka were directly involved in directing the protestors. The police had intervened and had sent back Macrae and the group to Colombo in a private vehicle.
Ben de Pear, Editor of Channel 4 News speaking to the media said when they met the President he had asked them to visit everywhere and see everything from their own eyes. However, their journey was blocked at Anuradhapura and the police asked them to go back to Colombo he said.
The Director General of Media Center for National Security Lakshman Hullugalle has said despite the group not being given permission to visit the North, they would have wanted to go there with special permission from the Department of Information and the Ministry of Mass Media.
Giving permission to Macrae and company, who were denied entry by India, and later stirring up its supporters to protest against them indicates it is the government that paves the way for them to produce videos that are detrimental to the country.