FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

Media should exercise self censorship- Lakshman Yapa

Acting Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said yesterday media in Sri Lanka should exercise self censorship, with regard to matters pertaining to the country.

Speaking at the Cabinet briefing held yesterday, he said that whilst media freedom exists in the country, media outlets should censor what they report, and media should not report on matters that would damage the integrity of the island.

He made these remarks when questioned by media workers on the recent personal attacks that state media has carried out on rights workers and civil society activists.

Gnanasiri Koththigoda, the head of the Working Journalists Association said that a state-run television station has broadcast opinions calling him a traitor, and that he holds Minister Abeywardena personally responsible if his life were to be in danger as a result.

A state-run media station ran segments over the past week of several rights activists who were in Geneva for the Human Rights Council, calling the individuals “Dollar-funded agents” who conspire to bring down the regime and to tarnish the island’s image.

Abeywardena said he would intervene to investigate the attacks by the television station. (Ceylon Today Online)

By Dinidu de Alwis

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