For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Saturday, 08 January 2011
Several media organizations have expressed their displeasure over the government decision to reactivate the Press Council.
A newspaper advertisement last week requested the public to lodge complaints regarding any defamatory article in the media.
It said all newspapers and periodicals should register, or renew their registrations, with the Press Council by March 31.
Commenting on this, head of the Editors’ Guild Manique de Silva said there was no need to reactivate the public-funded Press Council.
He noted that the Press Complaints Commission, formed by the journalists themselves, was functioning satisfactory.
Acting chief of the Working Journalists Association Gnanasiri Koththigoda said any impositions against the media would endanger the people’s right to balanced information.
Convener of the Free Media Movement Sunil Jayasekara begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting noted that the government intended to imprison opposing journalists through the Press Council.
He added that the reactivation of the Press Council would be illegal, since there would be no media representation as required by the Press Councils Act, as journalists had decided to boycott it.