JVP leader accuses PM of resorting to “a new form of media suppression”

JVP leader accuses PM of resorting to “a new form of media suppression”

JVP leader accuses PM of resorting to “a new form of media suppression”

Written by Lahiru Fernando

28 Nov, 2016 | 9:45 pm

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been accused of ‘suppressing the media’ by JVP Leader and Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake in parliament.

The JVP leader began by reminding of the previous “dark decade” for journalists, where many were murdered. “But what is happening today?” he questioned.

“They have failed to conclude the investigations into any of those cases, correctly identify those responsible and punish them. We all know that Sirasa was bombed, but to date they still cannot find out who did it.”

Anura Kumara also went on to excerpt a speech made by the Prime Minister in Kandy on  July 23, 2016, where the prime minister had said if the Daily Mirror editor does not resign, he will have to see what should be done. This was after the Daily Mirror Editor called for the PM’s resignation.

“Is this not a new form of media suppression?” questioned the JVP leader. “Even though there are no kidnappings, or white vans or assaults on journalists, we consider this statement made by the Prime Minister as a serious threat. We do not know how the Prime Minister’s henchmen will react when he makes such statements. Because he has given the signal”,he added.

In his response, Premier Wickremesinghe said: “That was something I hhave always said about the Daily Mirror editor, I will not withdraw a single word I said. I have not suppressed anyone. What do you think I am trying to do? To burn down the Daily Mirror and Vijaya offices? Kidnap him? He can’t even be carried.”

“I have the right to speak about media freedom more than anyone here. If no one is being abducted, then there is no problem in saying it verbally is there? They attack, so we attack. Then the country eventually knows who is in the right”, he added.

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