Harsha And Eran Contradict PM And Openly Support "Black Media": UNP MPs Condemn "Despicable Behavior" By Two Politicos

In a surprising turn of events, two UNP politicians namely Harsha de Silva and Eran Wickremearatne issued public statements defending the media institutions that supported the political crisis engineered by President Maithripala Sirisena. 

Several civil organizations staged protests opposite all mainstream media institutions yesterday demanding fair and ethical coverage. The protest came against the backdrop where many media institutions in the country supported President Maithripala Sirisena's move to appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister on October 26, triggering a 51-day political standoff. 

It was Prime Minister Rani Wickremesinghe who described the media institutions blatantly supporting the constitutional crisis as "back media". The Prime Minister's statement was endorsed by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and they even called for parliamentary action against those who engineered and supported the "coup." 

Both Harsha de Silva and Eran Wickremaratne threw their weight behind the "black media" and issued statements supporting those who chose to lend legitimacy to the "51-day coup". UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa too, on a previous occasion, unconditionally defended the Maharaja media network when it came under public scrutiny in the aftermath of the crisis. 

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, De Silva condemned the organizations that protested opposite institutions yesterday, claiming they attempted to "intimidate the media".

Eran Wickremaratne, in a tweet today also condemned the "acts of intimidation on the media."

"I believe that unbiased reporting is the responsibility of media institutions. Nevertheless, freedom of expression is a democratic right. Neither of these values should be compromised. I condemn acts of intimidation on the media that curtail our citizens' democratic rights," Wickremaratne tweeted. 

"It is appaling how they show who is funding their election campaigns. Both Harsha de Silva and Eran Wickrenaratne have no qualms about contradicting their own party leader and the Prime Minister of the government when it comes to defending the 'black media'. Not only have they compromised the party, but also they have betrayed the democratic values that citizens and civil organizations fought for, throughout the political crisis This seemingly despicable behavior must be condemned by all right-thinking citizens," a UNP Parliamentarian said.

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