Written by Bella Dalima
10 Dec, 2014 | 10:01 pm
The National Convention of Journalists was held in Colombo on Wednesday. Several senior journalists were in attendance at the summit.
Several journalists who were at the summit pledged to uphold media freedom and the right to information, with their lives. Subsequently, a stylus was presented to the presidential candidates and public representatives who attended the convention to symbolise their commitment to media freedom and the right to information in Parliament.
The requests and suggestions of journalists were submitted to the candidates at this event.
Common Opposition Candidate, Maithripala Sirisena expressed these views:
[quote]I would like to clearly state that as a politician who clearly understood the right to information and media freedom, I will pay attention towards guaranteeing the right to information and media freedom of all media institutions. You all know that two days after my resignation from the government I took part in a political show aired on Sirasa TV which was disrupted from being freely broadcast to the masses. Next, you know how state media is being abused during the run-up to the polls. I know the true feeling of journalists in these state-run media institutions. I could say, in keeping with my conscience, that they are giving into this in order to secure their employment.[/quote]
National Leader of UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe shared these views;
[quote]When media freedom is established, democracy prevails. This is an enormous task. That is why we say that this should be established. So, after the general elections, let us rule the country together for at least two years. A socio-economic frame could be established, but we need to establish a democratic frame. Until that is achieved, we can go forth together. Thereafter it really doesn’t matter which path we take.[/quote]
Presidential Candidate of United Socialist Party, Sirithunga Jayasuriya shared these views:
[quote]We are contesting separately because our policies differ from one another. We are working towards a leftist future for the country. We are going forward with the purpose of the people. We state once again that this will not end on the 08th of January.[/quote]
Presidential Candidate of Nawa Sihala Urumaya, Sarath Manamendra expressed these views;
[quote]I suggested that we should include this in our policy statement that, under a “Maithri” governance, no journalist or media institution could be bought for money. Journalists should not be assaulted. Not a single journalist should be killed nor injured. And their rights, their right to information should be guaranteed.[/quote]
Presidential Candidate of Janasetha Peramuna, Ven. Battaramulle Seelarathana Thero shared these views;
[quote]Every journalist in this country holds the right to report any incident worth reporting in any part of the country. The right to information should be vested upon all citizens in every corner of the country, freedom to report and pen the information and to witness and read the information.[/quote]
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