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Who stopped Gunaratnam interview on ITN?

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The last minute cancellation of the ITN’s latest weekly political program ‘Sathyagaraya’, which was to be telecasted on Thursday; April 02 at 10pm has created a political hullabaloo. ITN had carried out a publicity campaign indication that ‘a person living mysteriously in hiding’ was to be the guest.

The Nation reliably learnt that the person whom was to be interviewed by Upul Shantha Sannasgala was Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP) Central Committee member Kumar Gunaratnam. The eighth program of the series was to be telecasted on Thursday, April 2. However, at 10.00pm, ITN announced that the program will not be telecasted due to legal issues. ITN did not specifically state what the legal issues were.

FLSP Politburo member Duminda Nagamuwa told ‘The Nation’ that since there has been no judicial order to deport Kumar Gunaratnam, there could be no legal issue over him taking part in a program, and definitely it should be a political issue.
Meanwhile, The Nation also learnt that Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna was behind influencing ITN not to telecast an interview with the FLSP Central Committee member Kumar Gunaratnam. Political circles air that a serious pressure had come from the JVP as they didn’t want Gunaratnam to speak about the JVP’s history or how they performed in the past.

Contacted by The Nation, DNA MP (JVP) Sunil Handunneththi said that they were busy with their own activities and no need of looking at what others do. He also refused the allegation that they pressurized to cancel such a program and questioned whether the ITN heed to a JVP request. An official from the ITN confirmed that a political pressure as well as the Police also approached them.

However, The Nation learnt that ITN will telecast the program soon irrespective of the opposition of the JVP or any other influence.

Frontline Socialist Party was established by a breakaway group of JVP and Gunaratnam was in Australia under a pseudo name. He arrived in Sri Lanka on a tourist visa on January 1 this year. He remained in the country after the visa expired. He has been asked to leave the country by Immigration authorities. However, Gunaratnam remains in the country.

JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, taking part in a ‘Sathyagaraya’ program several weeks back, said that the JVP does not worry about the politics of the FLSP.

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