“Hands off Free Media- it’s the People’s Right!” – JVP Leader warns President.

“Hands off Free Media- it’s the People’s Right!” – JVP Leader warns President.

“Hands off Free Media- it’s the People’s Right!” – JVP Leader warns President.

Written by Zulfick Farzan

21 Mar, 2021 | 7:35 pm

Colombo (News 1st); The President had directly made a threat to several journalists and specific media institutions in his comments about the media on Saturday (20), said JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Saturday (20) during his weekly ‘Discussion with the Village’ program said he will not allow those in the ‘media mafia’ to control the governments, adding he knows how to teach them a lesson if required.

Through those comments he conveys a message that he has a right to exert influence, said Anura Kumara Dissanayake stressing the fact that the President has no such right.

“… Every Saturday, the President goes for a program called ‘Gama Samaga Pilisandarak’. It is a program organized every Saturday for him to lament on the issues faced by him, rather than to give an ear to the issues of the people,” said Dissanayake.

Media Freedom is not a license or a privilege given by the President, said AKD adding that it is the right of both the people and the journalists have, to be informed.

“I cannot fathom out the reason for a President to make such a comment on teaching a lesson to the media,” he pointed out adding there were horrific lessons taught to the media in recent times.

“The studio complex of Sirasa was destroyed using two claymore mines. Lasathwa Wickremetunge was assassinated. Ekneligoda was abducted and forced to disappear. Poddala Jayantha was abducted and assaulted. Keith Niyahr was abducted, brutally assaulted, and left in the street. The same happened to Upali Tennakoon. Those were the horrific lessons given to Sri Lankan journalists,” Anura Kumara Dissanayake told reporters.

Anura Kumara Dissanayake said though the President said he did no add any influence, his comments on Saturday (20) say otherwise.

“The President needs to understand clearly that this is a different era. The rulers of that era also learned lessons from those horrific lessons, he said.

Only Parliament has the power to draft legislation and not the President, stressed Dissanayake

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