In the midst of the worsening political unrest and economic crisis in the crisis-hit nation, Sri Lanka’s state-owned television channel Rupavahini suspended its broadcast on Wednesday as protesters stormed the building.
The Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) reported that its engineers have stopped both live and recorded broadcasts because protesters have surrounded the company’s facilities.
According to an SLRC official, a group of protesters who had entered the premises had demanded that only news about “anti-government protests” and entertainment programs be broadcast, according to Newswire Lanka.
The channel halted transmission after the protesters had given the public about 15 minutes to hear their side of the story.
Later, the channel started broadcasting again.
Less than an hour after Rupavahini stopped broadcasting, a second state television channel in Sri Lanka also ceased operations.
The PM office’s gates have been torn open by anti-government protesters who are calling for the resignations of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
When protesters scaled a barricade and entered the prime minister’s office, the police opened fire with tear gas.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has previously stated his willingness to step down in order to allow an all-party administration to take office.
He’s given the go-ahead for the security forces to detain rioters.
The protesters, who on Saturday occupied the President’s House, the Presidential Secretariat, and the Prime Minister’s Official Residence, Temple Trees, in the capital, are still there. They are still calling for the resignations of President Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.
The 22 million-strong nation of Sri Lanka is experiencing the worst economic turmoil in seven decades, leaving millions of people unable to afford basic necessities like food, medicine, and fuel.