The Government has insisted that there are no moves to censor the media in Sri Lanka.
Cabinet Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters today (9) that claims on regulation and censorship of the media or social media are false.
The Minister said discussions are only underway to address bias reporting and unfair treatment via news publications.
He said the false statements are being made by people who are afraid that their personal agendas will be affected.
Stating that people who misuse the media can feel like there are moves to censor media, the Minister added that small groups who claim to be feminists and are fighting for women’s rights could also feel that way.
The Minister of Mass Media explained that the media is a very important sector, and that media personnel are highly trusted and respected in a country.
“People believe what is reported on the media. Therefore, it is essential to give importance to the opinion of the public,” he said.
Minister Rambukwella said if any regulation is introduced with regard to the media, it will be to protect media personnel and to prevent biased media reports being published via certain media.
He pointed out that media institutions focused on bias reporting operate on their own fears and suspicions.
The Government is focused on inclusivity and is keen to obtain everyone’s views, including that of various stakeholders.
“Previous attempts in this regard have ended in failure. We, as the Government, believe we should all work together and address this issue,” the Minister said.
Minister Keheliya Rambukwella further explained that at present, the public have a very bad opinion of the media, and this must be rectified, as there should be some form of respect for the media.
He said discussions are underway to regulate the media and to formulate a plan as to where it should be headed.
The Cabinet Spokesman added that it was also the responsibility of the Media Ministry to safeguard the fundamental rights of the citizens of this country.
“We should provide an opportunity for the public to voice their allegations and seek justice,” he said. (Colombo Gazette)