Special Committee to probe possible media complicity in Saturday's incident

Lanka Daily News, Dec 14, 2004

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- The Government has appointed a Special Committee to inquire and report if there was any connection and/or incitement on the part of any media organisation leading to Saturday's tragic events at the Indian artistes show in Colombo and also to recommend measures on the steps to be taken by the media to prevent a recurrence of the events as that witnessed at the Race Course grounds.

In a media release issued last night Ports, Aviation and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera condemning Saturday's incident said that the bomb attack on the musical concert of Indian Super Star Shah Rukh Khan at Race Course grounds on December 11 has brought a slur on the true Buddhist Philosophy, the Buddhist devotees and the entire country as a whole.

He condemned the brutal act supposed to have been committed by a set of extremists who call themselves Sinhala Buddhists.

The Minister equated this incident to that of the black July of 1983 orchestrated by a handful of thugs who were pawns in the hands of politicians and described the act as an indelible scar and insult upon the true Buddhists of this country who staunchly believe in the noble philosophy of non-violence.

"By now it has become internationally known that certain extremist power hungry politicians were behind the bomb explosion on December 11.

One of the aims of the perpetrators of this heinous act was to damage the friendly relations between Sri Lanka and India", the release stated.

"The greed of unscrupulous business tycoons both in the North and the South are evident by the acts of this nature. Their endeavours are buttressed by the media mafia keen to kindle communal flames, religious and racial rifts to perpetuate the mean opportunities to amass wealth", it said.

The Minister informed that a decision has been taken to appoint a special committee to probe into wrongful media complicity in this process and recommend measures to prevent recurrence of similar incidents in the future.

The Government also extended its deep sympathies to the bereaved families including those of Dilani Maheshika and Lanka Jayasundera who came by their untimely death owing to this dastardly act, the release adds.