Political circles are surprised by the inclusion of the private company Creative Helanka, owned by artiste Jackson Anthony, in the list of state institutions that comes under finance and media minister Mangala Samaraweera. The gazette notification mentions it in the 31st position among state departments, statutory boards and corporations. Previously, neither the finance ministry nor the media ministry had such an institution coming under it.
When contacted, Anthony said Creative Helanka is fully owned by him. Started in 2010 it produced ‘Maha Sancharaya’ and other documentaries, ‘Daskon’ and ‘Sri Raja’ and other tele dramas. He said he was surprised to find his company mentioned in a government gazette. Recently, an investigation was carried out into a Rs. 18 million payment to this company for having organized ‘Karadiyawara Mangalyaya’ at the launch of Hambantota port. It was just one of the events it had organized during the previous regime.
When contacted, a media ministry spokesman said the private company has been brought under the ministry, but that nothing had been known about it. The presidential secretariat, under the signature of its secretary P.B. Abeykoon, has issued the relevant gazette. Attempts to reach Abeykoon for a comment failed, with his private secretary saying he was at a meeting with the president.