For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
According to trusted sources, the Editor of the state run newspaper ‘Silumina’, Karunadasa Sooriyarachi had suggested to the President Mahinda Rajapakse to take action against websites which are unduly criticizing the the Sri Lankan Government.
Sooriyarachi has made this proposal to the President at a meeting of the chiefs of the media Institutions held on the 13th at the Temple Trees headed by HE the President.
This Editor has directly asked from the President why such action is not being initiated. He had added that these websites are attacking the Govt., the country, the President’s family and sometimes his own Institution, and therefore why measures should not be taken against those websites.
The President who had in the past proclaimed that he is a friend of the media, leaving aside friend –foe relationship, had intently listened to this fawner of an Editor’s request.
The President had then said that, he is also aware of that situation, and that cannot be allowed to prevail. But, if steps are taken to curb and control the media, they would launch a campaign that undemocratic measures are being taken to stifle the media, and freedom of the media is being undermined.
“They would tell the whole world not to grant the GSP plus to this failed Government, while publishing irresponsible reports like the false information that the Chief justice (CJ) is going to resign, and I, after the second swearing in had not met the CJ”, the President had added.
The President was showing a copy of the news report published in Lanka News Web about the resignation letter handed over by the Chief Justice to the President.
(The Lanka News Web had meanwhile stated, Although the President had made such a statement, we still stand by the veracity of the story published by us. We would also like to emphasize the fact that the Chief Justice had not yet made any comment about the matter.)
A Seperate unit to hunt down the operators
The President had also noted, that websites are publishing anti Government news and specially attacking the Forces. Some websites are being operated from outside the country and are being helped by those in Sri Lanka.There is a separate unit investigating these websites, and after the information is received following the investigation, action will be instituted against them, President noted.