Today ITN is celebrating its 32nd anniversary with pride.
TV transmission commenced in Sri Lanka for the first time in April, 1979 as a result of an experiment carried out by several Sri Lankans led by Shan Wickramasinghe during an era when the world was making strides in the field of technology. On 5th June in the same year it was taken over by the government and started official telecasting. For 30 years the ITN not only stayed with the nation during challenges as well as victories but was able to fulfil its national responsibility at the highest manner. That was why the ITN became the favourite family channel in a course of 32 years. The transmission started in a small room in Mahalwarava, Pannipitiya has been shifted to a building complex in Wickramasinghepura, Battaramulla and it has today become the leading channel in a network of channels with its Sinhalese, Tamil and English transmissions. The Maha Dangha will chant Pirith overnight at the premises of the ITN main office in Wickramasinghepura today to seek blessings . ITN is prepared to fulfil its national mission by meeting the aspirations of the viewers who stay throughout the world.
All religious observances were also held to invoke blessings on the ITN. The Muslim religious observances were held at the Jumma mosque in Maradana. The prayer was conducted by Mahammed Moulavi. Blessings were invoked on the ITN for its future activities. Cloth were distributed amongst children following the prayer. ITN Chairman Rosmond Senaratne, Member of the Board Hashim Omar, General Manager Aruna Wijesinghe and other senior officials participatedHindu religious observances were held at the Shiva Subramanium Swami Kovil in Jinthupitiya under the patronage of Kurukkal Shivasiri Shivanesha Shiva-chariyar. The Catholic religious observances were held at the Archbishop’s House in Borella. The service was officiated by Rev. Fr. Benedict Joseph. Senior officials of ITN and employees participated in the occasion.
Meanwhile the News division of ITN carried out a social service programme to mark its 32nd anniversary. The leprosy hospital in Hendala has not been the focus of attention for centuries. Many innocent persons marginalized by the society are staying at the hospital even today. They were segregated at a time when leprosy was considered incurable. Although they are cured today they still stay in the hospital due to the misconceptions in the society. The ITN team that visited the hospital entertained them with songs along with the performances of the ‘Kopi Kade’ artistes. The ITN team went near them and served them food and presented gifts. It was a novel experience for these people who are living alone in a separate world for many years. The aim of the ITN social service programme was to bring them back to the society by eliminating misconceptions and to seek public assistance towards them. Deputy General Manager-news and Current Affairs Sudharman Radaliyagoda said that service we have a responsibility towards these people who are hidden in the society. The ITN has decided to celebrate its birthday with these brethren. He said that more will be done towards them in the future. Dr. Darshana Mohotti of the leprosy hospital said that it could be the oldest hospital in the world. He said that the people staying there are most unfortunate as people treat them with disdain.