For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Bandula Padmakumara, Chairman of Lake House, the print media unit of the government, has launched a repression within the institution against ‘Lanka Irida Sangrahaya’, ‘Rawaya’ and web sites that publish news and articles against the government. The reason for Padmakumara’s indignation against the media is said to be an article published in ‘Lanka Irida Sangrahaya’ last Sunday exposing an attempt to privatize Lake House.
The ‘lead’ of ‘Lanka’ newspaper on the 9th stated that “Lake House would be sold to settle a Rs.10000 million loan and as soon as the article was published Padmakumara had called the librarian and officials of the Lake House library and asked them to remove ‘Lanka’ and Ravaya’ from the library immediately. Also, viewing of web sites that publish anti government news and articles have been banned for employees of Lake House and journalists within the premises.
Later, Padmakumara had had discussions with the legal department of Lake House and asked them to see whether there was any opportunity of taking legal action regarding the news item published in ‘Lanka’. However, the lawyers who had studied the case had informed Padmakumara that no legal action could be taken against ‘Lanka’ for publishing the relevant news item institutionally but Padmakumara could take legal action privately.
Padmakumara has decided to take legal action and has taken steps to ban ‘Lanka’, ‘Ravaya’ and web sites that publish anti-government news and articles within Lake House.