The media office of the Voice of Asia Network that operates Siyatha TV, Siyatha FM, Real Radio, Vettri FM and Siyatha, came under arson attack at around 1.30 this morning, reports say.
Residents of the area around the office – located on Hunupitiya Lake Road in Colombo 2 – said that they had first heard the loud noise of glass breaking, followed by dense smoke that enveloped the area.
They said that the police had arrived promptly on the scene, followed by the fire brigade that had helped douse the flames and mitigate the panic sweeping through the area.
According to reports a gang of men, armed with poles and carrying 2 cans of fuel with them had forcefully entered the building, ordered its employees to kneel on the floor and then proceeded to set the place afire.
Two employees of the Siyatha TV station had been injured in the attack and are reportedly at the Colombo National Hospital, while the channel’s broadcasting has been temporarily suspended.
Friday’s attack was the first targeting a private television station since an identical torching of another private TV network ( MTV/MBC Networks) near the capital in January last year. No one has been brought to justice in connection with that attack.