For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
(Lanka-e-News, Aug.19, 2010, 10.42 PM) The Media and information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella addressing the media today (19) to brief them on the weekly cabinet decisions at the State information dept. Auditorium, when answering a question posed by the media, asked what ethics do the media which props the LTTE know?
The media Ministry took a bus load of media personnel to Hambantota for the water filling opening ceremony of the Hambantota Harbor. At Homagama, however, the Sirasa media crew was forced to disembark before the bus proceeded with the rest to Hambantota. The relevant officials stated that they had to take that action following instructions from the President.
The media questioned the Minister whether doesn’t this action confirm the suspicions regarding abductions, disappearances, assaults and attacks on the media and are these ethical?
The Minister replied, for the Madu church festival, the invitation was extended only to the Sirasa media. But when the state television channel wished to have copies of the video footage covering the event from the Sirasa, they refused to give. This is ‘tit for tat’ the Minister added.
When there was a bomb explosion inside a vehicle at Horton place, there was nobody injured. But the Sirasa telecast scenes dressed to look as though injured persons were being transported. The Sirasa acted that way against the Govt. then.
Hereunder, is the question raised by the media and the answer furnished by the Minister.
Who are those of the media who propped the Tigers. Can you please name them to us?
When I was the spokesman for National security, I disclosed the names. There is no need to tell them again. When questions like these are asked, feelings can run irrationally high. Therefore. please pardon me. Let both parties, the Ministry and the media work together to combat when such situations arise. We shall formulate measures to meet them in the future.
In any case, I am totally unaware about the expulsion of the sirasa crew from the bus which was taking the media personnel to Hambantota to report on the Harbor water filling ceremony. I certainly don’t approve of such actions, he noted.
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