FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

Pressure from foreign missions, NGOs impede media freedom – Minister Weerawansa

wimalFor some people, media freedom means the freedom from state influence, but in actual sense it is the acceptance of ‘santhosam’ from and yielding to the pressure of certain foreign missions and Non-Governmental Organisations that impedes media freedom, said Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa.
ANCL Chairman Bandula Padmakumara presents a copy of a special edition of Janasewana to Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa Pic: Thushara Fernando

He was addressing a ceremony at ANCL to mark the second anniversary of the Janasewana publication. ANCL Chairman Bandula Padmakumara presented a copy of a special edition of the publication to the Minister. The Minister said, “According to a recent research conducted by him he found that almost all weekend English newspapers had published negative articles on Sri Lanka’s tourism trade.

“It is evident that this is a pre-meditated act. Likewise, the media profession is being used for some sinister purpose. Similarly, there are cartoons depicting me. These cartoons have either targeted the same politicians or incidents. This shows that these people act according to someone else’s agenda,” he said.

He said, “I too had functioned as a mediaman and this benefited me a great deal as a politician.

“There is a large number of media personnel who are bold and forthright unlike those who abuse their profession for the sake of a few chips from a foreign embassy”.

Referring to the Janasewana publication, Minister Weerawansa said that it had succeeded in raising public awareness on his ministry and the institutions under its purview.

ANCL Chairman Bandula Padmakumara, Editorial Director Seelaratne Senerath
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