Independent Television Network commemorates its 31st anniversary with pride. It is now the No. 1 TV Channel in the island.
The local population until the end of the 1960 decade enjoyed only the radio electronic media at a time when a massive transformation was taking place in technology. Only a handful had heard of television at that time. It was during this period that Shan Wickramasinghe had an idea of launching TV transmissions. After an effort mooted for several years, he succeeded in securing a permit or TV transmissions during the end of 1978.
Before several weeks had passed with the launching of the first TV Channel in such an environment, the small TV Station was vested in the Government with the purpose of undertaking a broad national task. It was on 5th June 1979 that Independent Television launched a streamlined transmission with state ownership. As the pioneer TV station, ITN shouldered the task of being the leader in Sri Lanka and took the lead in the television field. It did not do away with its national responsibility during conflict situations the nation encountered.
It was with the launch of the final humanitarian operation against the deadliest terrorist outfit in the world that the family Channel undertook the national task. It took over the responsibility of arraying the entire nation towards the national target fashioning the minds of the people on behalf of the uphill task of vanquishing terrorism. Several news media teams were deployed to the battle zone in the North to bring on the spot information on the heroic task discharged by the war heroes to the public. It should not be forgotten the effort made by ITN to mould a national Tele-drama trend at a time when the public were dragged into the foreign tele-drama drift. All these challenges were surmounted when ITN was completing 30 years in the television field.
Survey reports revealed that it had become the No. 1 Channel, winning the hearts of the entire nation. The awards it had been honoured with year after year proves it is the No. 1 Channel in the island. ITN was also the only channel to be feted with the highest number of awards at the Raigam Tele-drama Festival.
Members of the Maha Sangha chanted Pirith throughout the night yesterday at the precincts of the Head Office at Wickramasinghepura, showering blessings for the 31 year journey of this popular station. Prayers were offered at the Dawatagaha Mosque while there were religious ceremonies at the Sri Manikka Vinaayagar Kovil in Bambalapitiya. Mass was celebrated at the Sacred Heart Church in Rajagiriya. ITN is now proud to have three TV Channels and three Radio Channels in all three languages. Its noble desire is to meet the public who are yearning for entertainment.