UN calls for media freedom

The United Nations (UN) has called for media freedom in the wake of the crackdown on the Sri Lanka Mirror website in Sri Lanka.

Responding to a questioned posed at the daily UN press briefing in New York yesterday, Martin Nesirky, the spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the UN was aware of the incident in Sri Lanka.

“We are obviously aware of those reports.  And as we’ve said in many other cases, not just with regard to this country, journalists need to be able to do their work without interference.  And that’s the general principle, and it applies in this case, too,” he said.

Earlier on Monday Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the authorities cannot allow media freedom to be abused and in the process ruin the lives of individuals.

Both the embassies of the United States and the European Union in Sri Lanka had over the weekend raised concerns over the raid on the office of the Sri Lanka Mirror news website and the subsequent arrest of its staff including several journalists.

The pro-opposition website was raided over allegations it published false and malicious news and a court case was filed against it.

Rambukwella told Xinhua that the international community must be mindful of the implications publishing false news could have on the lives of individuals.