President Gotabaya Rajapaksa assures media freedom during his administration

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa assures media freedom during his administration

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa assures media freedom during his administration

Written by Staff Writer

12 Dec, 2019 | 9:25 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa assured media freedom would not be hindered during his tenure. He made this statement during a meeting with the Heads of Media Institutions this morning at the President’s Office.

Upon the invitation of president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a meeting between the president and heads of media institutions took place at the Presidential Secretariat today(December 12).

During the meeting, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa stated that media freedom exists for any reasonable criticism while adding he expects every media institute to fulfil its obligation towards the country while engaging in favourable media reporting to uphold the country’s reputation.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa:

“I have no intention to influence the media. If the media is releasing false information, that could be interpreted as disgracing the people of the country.

The Swiss incident, our media was not involved in it, but international media created that story as soon as we came into power.

We had not done such a thing. Neither the Government nor any government institution was involved in it. It is clear that this incident was scripted. These sort of incidents change the perception the international community has on our country. We have to be open with our economic policies.

We have to work together with other nations. The image of our country is a key factor to achieve all our objectives. The media has a responsibility to create a virtuous image of our country.”

Meanwhile, details of an alleged attack which took place on Maduka Thaksala Fernando, the former New Media Head of the Lake House Agency, were revealed at a media briefing which was held today.

Maduka Thaksala Fernando, former Head of New Media, Lake House stated that a person by the name Hemantha Depp came in and asked for him. He added that the person took him outside and insulted him with profanity.

He went on to note that this person claimed chairman of the SLPP Trade Union asked to meet him and on the way when he questioned why he is taken there he was attacked by the same person. He shared that the incident could be checked via CCTV footage recorded.

Attorney at Law Rajika Kodituwakku, Secretary to the Sri Lanka Nidahas Democratic Front noted that the victim had not gone to where he works due to a threat to his life.

He added that the victim’s right to carry out his job had been violated and social disrepute has been brought to him and his family.

Attorney at Law Rajika Kodithuwakku stated that its a criminal offence and a violation of another person’s freedom.

Nuwan Nirodha, Convenor of the Sri Lanka Social Network Media Association noted that it has been only 26 days since President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s appointment and during this period 13 journalists had been threatened.

He added that is one journalist per every 2 days.

Maduka Thaksala Fernando had lodged a complaint with the Fort Police earlier this week reporting his attack and the Fort Police Division recorded statements from several trade union activists of the SLPP, today.

7 trade union activists of the Lake House Agency who are aligned with the SLPP, provided statements to the Fort Police, today.

Journalist Chandana Bandara, Chairman of the SLPP Trade Union stated that they received that the victim was editing a video which was detrimental towards President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He added that they met him to see what was going on and only one of them spoke with him.

He finally stated that this is some sort of facade just like the Swiss Embassy issue.

Attorney at Law Lalith Piyum Perera, Media Coordinator of the Sri Lanka Podujana Lawyers Association noted that according to criminal law in the country, making false complaints is an offence. “Therefore, we would like to tell anyone who is attempting to use these as reasons to seek asylum in other countries, it is not a safe game to play” he added.


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