Opposition Despots

June 01, 2007 (LBO) – The Free Media Movement has slammed the opposition United National Party over its continued attempts to intimidate newspaper editors using parliamentary privilege. The full statement from the FMM is reproduced below:

The Free Media Movement (FMM) expresses its surprise and dismay at the statement issued by the United National Party (UNP) in response to FMM’s statement concerning the remarks made by the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe M.P., alleging a breach of parliamentary privilege by sections of the media.

In the view of the UNP, some media institutions had not reported on, or failed to give sufficient publicity to, a critical speech in Parliament by the Government Chief Whip, Hon. Jeyaraj Fernandopulle M.P., regarding security arrangements for former President Kumaratunga.

According to the UNP statement, its enquiries in this regard have revealed that the non-reportage of Mr Fernandopulle’s speech by some media institutions was due to fears of attracting contempt of court given that the said security arrangements had been the subject of litigation before the Supreme Court recently.

Both Mr. Wickremasinghe in P