Controversy Riddles President's Media Awards Ceremony: Audience Remains Indifferent To Sirisena's Late Arrival: Media Minister Orders Probe

President Maithripala Sirisena's arrival at the President's Media Awards was met with a sense of indifference from government officials and members of the media.

Arriving late for the event, the President was shown to his seat with many people choosing to ignore him. It is usually customary that when the Head of State enters a room the people inside would stand. 

However, Sirisena's arrival was ignored by most with only a few Ministers and officials from the President's office greeting him. A considerable number of invitees had left the venue by the time the President arrived at the award ceremony.

Clearly the snub by members of the audience did not go down well with the President who instructed officials to take the podium off the stage and place it near his seat when he presented the Life Time Awards. 

Several senior members of the media have boycotted the award ceremony, forgoing their own awards, over anger of the President's treatment of the media.

The controversy did not end there with observers reporting that senior editors of two leading Sinhala newspapers has left the event early to demonstrate their anger over the seating arrangement. 

The members of the audience were further angered when the Governor of the Northern Province, Dr. Suren Raghaven, was asked to give a speech.

Raghaven, who was appointed as Governor of the Northern Province after supporting the President during the 52 Day Constitutional Coup, used his opportunity to lavish praise on the President.

Meanwhile, Media Minister Ruwan Wijewardena has said that he will launch an inquiry into the incident where senior newspaper editors were not given appropriate seats at the event. 

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